JOURNAL

I’m a Marathoner!

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ME?!? I can’t believe it. I did it! It was hard. It was wonderful. It was tortuous. It was emotional. It was crampy. It was freakin’ FANTASTIC.

NOT because I had the best time or the fastest run but because I did it. I did the best I could. I set a goal and I achieved it. Was I perfect? Nope. Just look at my training schedule that fell apart. Geesh I only ran 4 times in the last month!

BUT…

I didn’t use my new job, or moving or the death of my Dad as an excuse. I could have, believe me, I thought about it. But that’s what "Old Roni" would have done. You know, the "Oh, I had a piece of cake, might as well give up on eating healthy" mentality. Yeah that was "Old Roni". "New Roni" knows there is no such thing as perfection. There are just goals, choices and experiences.

  • Goal: Run a marathon
  • Choices: Set a training schedule. Did what I could when I could.
  • Experience: I ran a FREAKIN’ MARATHON!!!

Sorry I didn’t mean to get all preachy there. You know me, I’m always over analyzing. ;) Let me get to this Marathon! I did tweet the entire race. So I have a great pictorial journal. I’m gonna post some of those in order and mix in a few other memories in between. :)

Here’s the little guy and I walking from the parking lot. We got there, parked and enough time for a nice stroll to the start.

My and little guy walking to starting line

It’s a little blurry but here I am at the starting line.

Me at the starting line!

This is when I realized my Nike+ was not working. I was, of course pissed, but hey, what am I gonna do? I had a marathon to run! So I put on the music and set off!

A few seconds in I saw the family and they snapped this great shot.

Me starting to run

The first 5 miles I was feeling pretty good. It was all uphill and my time was spot on.

First 5 miles

Mile 8 and still feeling great! :)

mile 8

Around mile 11.5 I took a pee break. ;~P

pee break

Between 8 and 12 a few things happened. My iPod went wacky. First the Nike+ and then the iPod. All my gadgets totally failed me. lol

I also took a short walk break around 10 and saw the jump roper. Yes, you heard me, the jump rope marathoner. He was on 9 when I was on 12, I think. I love the people who do crazy stuff during races. They make it so much FUN!

Soon I saw this…

half way! 13.1 miles

HALF WAY WHOOO HOO! and time to see the family. I knew they would be around somewhere and they were…

greeting the family hald way thru the marathon

My Step Father snapped that. I gave everyone a big hug and a kiss. A few steps later I saw my friend and her Fiance. It was AWESOME to have so much support (not to mention you guys) :)

Around mile 15.5 I was starting to get REALLY crampy. I stopped a few times to stretch and snapped a few photos. I was in a very familiar part of the city and it was a nice, relatively flat part of the run.

Mile 17 my legs were failing. That’s really what I mean when I say crampy. To be honest I felt fantastic. I had loads of energy. I was hydrated. I was loving it (even without the music) but my legs were just not prepared for the distance. I mean I knew this was going to happen. I really wasn’t physically prepared for the milage. This is when I wished I did have more time to train.

Then I saw a women walking backwards after a water stop and I thought that was genius! It gave my hamstrings a much needed rest while still making forward progression. Well.. backward progression… well.. I mean progression. ;~P Anyway that’s when I snapped this…

backwards walking

Around mile 18 I saw this and I just had to say.. DUH?!?

duh

Mile 19 I was feeling good. My legs were shot but I was ecstatic as I approached the last quarter of the run.

Mile 19

Here’s my time at 20.

mile 20

At this point I knew most of the big hills were behind me so I was feeling really good even though my legs were NOT liking me at all. I don’t think I’ve ever been as sore during a run as I was the last 6 miles of this race.

The next 5 miles were pretty much hell. I trotted when I could then walked stretched and tried to trot again. I found energy in cheering others on and getting cheered on. Let me tell you if you EVER run in a race, ANY race. Wear you name on your shirt. People are AMAZINGLY supportive. People I didn’t know cheering me on with encouraging words made a HUGE difference. I would get motivated and give a few encouraging words to those around me that were also struggling. This is when I started to get emotional. And let me tell you holding back tears while running your 22-24 mile is not fun. It was the only time I felt out of breath. So I had to hold it back.

Then I saw this..

Mile 25

OMG the LAST mile. All of a sudden I wasn’t emotional. I was in a state of shock. I was going to do this. I was REALLY going to do this!

That whole last mile I ran. Well I "trotted" not stopping to walk once. Then I saw my friend again and she gave me a TOTALY boost. Then I saw the family…

The finish!

…and I was ecstatic. I almost broke down again and the family had to remind me to keep running to the finish line.

To be honest, crossing the actual finish was a little anticlimactic. Maybe I was a little late but no one seemed to be cheering and since I already passed my family and friends I sort of just crossed alone and then tried to find them. But not without grabbing my medal and asking someone to snap a quick photo…

Afterwards I hooked back up with the family all I wanted to do was sit. So sit I did. :)

sitting after the marathon

Then I did quite possibly the smartest thing ever. I put on the comfy slippers I asked the husband to keep in his bag.

comfy slipper after the marathon

Besides putting your name on your shirt this is my second biggest piece of advice… bring comfy flip flops or slippers. You have no idea how many people stopped me on the way back to the car wishing they did the same.

As a celebratory meal I had to pay homage to Baltimore and choose a crab cake. Not only any crab cake but the best crab cake in Baltimore. Seriously if you are every in Baltimore you must try a Koco’s carb cake. It’s a bit pricey but totally worth it!

Koco's crab cake

All in all it was an AWESOME day. I did what I set out to do. I got to celebrate with my family. I came home and took the most awesome bubble bath ever. Even watched a cheesy horror flick with mom after putting the kids to bed. A perfect ending to a perfect day. Now I’m off to get some sleep. Tomorrow is Maize Quest day. A long standing family tradition! :)

Oh but first! Here’s my official race stats.

oh and one more thing then I’m done I SWEAR! I added this to my shirt this morning…

operation beautiful

If you haven’t seen Operational Beautiful please go check it out. A few people asked me about it on the run and I met others who wished there was a similar movement when they were kids. It’s really a powerful movement.

OK, I got to go. Good night and thank you ALL for the kind words and encouragement. You have NO idea how much they mean to me and seriously how much they helped me get across that finish line. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 111 comments so far.

    Melissa

    October 10, 2009

    CONGRATULATIONS! I am soooo amazed! I really want to try a 1/2 or maybe a full marathon next year (December 2010) and reading your story really makes me think that I might could do it.
    Love the pictures!

    Kelly Fuller

    October 10, 2009

    You Rock Roni! Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration!
    Your favorite Wisconsin Cheesehead ~ Kel

    Michele

    October 10, 2009

    Congratulations, Roni!!! I am so happy for you. You make me want to be a runner. Very inspiring. Way to go!

    Robin

    October 10, 2009

    Amazing. I know THREE people who ran their first Marathon today. But the other two were up in Connecticut!

    Danica

    October 11, 2009

    CONGRATS RONI!!! I LOVED reading your tweets as you went along with your full recap. You are totally right – nobody ever asks how fast you ran your marathon, just that you ran it! WTG. You are such an inspiration – way to push through it and meet that goal no matter what life threw your way! As always you are my idol in every way – 1st WW, then, Blogging, and now as a marathoner :)

    Michele Montgomery

    October 11, 2009

    Great job! Thank you for sharing your amazing day and thank you for being such an inspiration.

    Lesley

    October 11, 2009

    Congradulations, I knew you would do great. As always your account of your race made me cry. I love the photo of you about to hug Ryan. My sons cheers at my races have ment more than any others. Loved seeing the pictures along the way. I was cheering for you from my computer at home. Did other runners take those pictures for you or race volunteers?

    LG

    October 11, 2009

    NICE WORK!!!! That’s so exciting. I’ve been following your blog for about 9 months now so it’s so neat to see your dream come to fruition! You now have some serious bragging rights for the rest of your life. :0) I hope your legs return to normal soon too…yieee…

    runnin4fun

    October 11, 2009

    Very Inspiring! 26 miles!!!WOW!!! You are really accomplishing great things-so happy and proud for you!

    Lauren / merrymishaps

    October 11, 2009

    I love all the photos — what a great way to remember your first marathon!
    And of course, awesome race!

    Jaye

    October 11, 2009

    you are so freaking awesome

    theskinnyplate

    October 11, 2009

    Great run!

    Pubsgal

    October 11, 2009

    Way to go, Marathon Woman!!! I’m in awe! Congratulations!!!

    Priscilla

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations! And I’m glad you had a great time. I’m training for my first marathon, the LA Marathon 3/21/10. I’m super excited. I signed up as a 30th birthday gift for myself. Reading your race recap was very inspiring. Keep up the great work. You ROCK!!

    Congratulations! You’re an inspiration! No one can take this victory from you :)

    Melissa (The Daily Mel)

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations, Roni!!! =)

    MIchelle

    October 11, 2009

    tears in my eyes, running nose…pumps in the air of congrats. AMAZING!

    Jeanine

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations, Roni! I prayed for you this morning. I am so glad you achieved your goal. You did great!!!!

    Que Sarah

    October 11, 2009

    Ugh! You make me cry!!! I am so freaking proud of you!!! You are so amazing and such a beautiful inspiration to so many – keep on keeping on ;) YOU ROCK! YOU ROCK! YOU ROCK!

    Krista S.

    October 11, 2009

    AWESOME! My whole family is proud of you and inspired by you. <3

    Joplin

    October 11, 2009

    standing ovation! congratulations! :))) love from India.

    Natalie

    October 11, 2009

    Roni, you are such an inspiration. You’ve an amazing way of describing events around you that make us feel as though we are alongside you. Congratulations on completing the marathon (wow, a marathon!!!), such an incredible acheivement. Well done, well done, well done!!!

    JenM

    October 11, 2009

    Your post totally brought tears to my eyes. I am so freaking proud of you!! You are amazing.

    Lara (Thinspired)

    October 11, 2009

    Hi Roni, Your tweets and pics had me hooked all day yesterday and I was actually getting goosebumps at one point. What a wonderful gift you have given yourself. You are SO, SO inspirational. I loved every word of this recap!
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Eszter

    October 11, 2009

    Dear Roni,
    I’ve never commented before but silently I’ve been following your entries for a year know. I just wanted to say what a huge inspiration you are for many people and congratulate on your marathon running! Thank you again sharing your moments, I can learn a lot from them. Cheers,
    a girl from Hungary

    That is an amazing accomplishment! I love your attitude about it – definitely inspires me to work on my running. I’m currently up to about 4 miles, but who knows what comes next!

    Jen (aka KUrunner)

    October 11, 2009

    Congrats, Roni! I’m so jealous since my marathon in a few weeks just isn’t going to happen.

    Sounds like you should treat yourself to a new Nike+. ;)

    Shannan

    October 11, 2009

    Roni, you’ve got me crying, now, too. I think the last thing you pinned to your shirt was the last straw. lol So proud of you! You make it look easy, and though all I’ve ever done was run on my own, you’ve got me wondering if I can’t go out there and do the same thing one day. Your family must be SO proud of you. (They also take great shots at the right moments.) Have a great Sunday!

    Hayley

    October 11, 2009

    You are such an incredible inspiration Ronnie – thanks so much for the recap. You ARE beautiful – and powerful, and strong. :)

    Amanda

    October 11, 2009

    OMG! I’m so proud of you. I sit here reading this with tears streaming down my face (yes, I’m a sap too–maybe even a bigger sap than you! :)) It’s so awesome that you did this. I loved reading your tweets yesterday. You have inspired me SO MUCH! I went out yesterday and did a 30 minute run and I thought of you the whole time (Roni’s been running for 2 hours and she’s got at least 3 left to go…WOW!) I’m setting my sights on 2 half marathons next year. The one I’ve done before but I walked it–I want to RUN it this time. Thanks to you–I know I can!

    I have to ask…WHERE did you stash your cell phone during the run?? Or do I even want to know…LOL!!! :)

    Gail, from Shrinking Sistere

    October 11, 2009

    It was great keeping up with your progress Tweets. Congratulations!

    Alison Hlathein

    October 11, 2009

    You rock!!!!!!!!

    Susan

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations! And thank you SO much for posting all about this. I have a half marathon next month, and my work schedule has made it impossible to keep up with my training program. It is so exciting and reassuring to read that you did a whole freakin’ marathon with similar time constraints. Thank you!

    Aime

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations Roni! What an awesome accomplishment. I checked in at Twitter throughout the morning. Loved the photos. Your spirit is contagious.

    Stacey

    October 11, 2009

    Yay, Roni!! I knew you could do it! You continue to be an inspiration to me. I’m getting ready to run my first 5K in a few weeks – and as you know, I would never be doing it if it weren’t for you! Congratulations!!!!

    mary

    October 11, 2009

    hey roni. you’ve done something pretty awesome here. not only have you done this amazing transformation in your mind and your body, but you have helped a lot of us see that we are only people. you have helped us realize that we will never be perfect and that is A-OK. You have shown us in so many ways that we can achieve any goal we set as long as we are willing to work for it. Congratulations Roni. You ran a friggin marathon. I think I might have to see if I can do it too!

    Mara @ What's for Dinner?

    October 11, 2009

    Congrats Roni!!! I’m so impressed and proud of you :)

    Kimberly

    October 11, 2009

    Yay! Congratulations Roni! We all knew you could do it! I am sitting here crying reading about your day. What an awesome accomplishment!

    Jac

    October 11, 2009

    CONGRATULATIONS on your marathon! I was following via twitter, and thought you did amazing! I love your photos, and I’m sure you’ll be so glad you have them in the future.

    Will you be doing another marathon? (I keep reading people who say they did one just to do it and got hooked… LOL!)

    But as always, you are an inspiration. I was looking at the snow outside giving myself excuses not to run today… but now I’m going to lace up my shoes and head out the door!

    M.A.

    October 11, 2009

    Roni… thanks for the early morning tears! The photo of you running up to hug the little guy is what gets me every time! Thank you for sharing your life with so many people. You are a rock star!

    moonduster (Becky)

    October 11, 2009

    Woohoo! Congrats for running the whole thing! That’s awesome!

    :)

    Nia

    October 11, 2009

    Just adding to say… LOVE THE TSHIRT!

    caitlin

    October 11, 2009

    love it :)

    what a wonderful race recap!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    justrun

    October 11, 2009

    Oh, again, I’m so proud of you! I wanted to tweet back to every one of your tweets, but I restrained myself to just a few (LesleyG on Twitter, by the way). I love, love, LOVE that you let nothing hold you back. I have been in that place of leg fail during a 5+ hour marathon and while it’s not fun, it is quite emotional. You really get to know your own strength in a new way.

    You are amazing! Congratulations!

    Lori

    October 11, 2009

    Soo PROUD of you Ronnie!
    You are so inspiring….
    Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Jeannie

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations!

    Cinemarie

    October 11, 2009

    Oh Roni! SOOOOO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!
    YOU’RE A MARATHONER!!!!!!!!!!! you did it! you can do anything!!!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS – thanks for taking us along, not only are you a marathoner, but you are such an inspiration to us all!!! Thank YOU!!!

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    October 11, 2009

    I knew you could do it! You did awesome and I love that you took pictures the entire way :-) Congrats !

    Priyanka

    October 11, 2009

    I thought I was the only one, but everyone is emotional here about this awesome experience of yours. I have said this before and I’ll say it again, Roni, you are an inspiration. WTG on the Marathon!!!!

    Michelle in CA

    October 11, 2009

    C O N G R A T S Roni! What a great recap! You are so inspiring to sooooooooooooooo many of us women :-) Congrats again, Marathoner!

    Sandy

    October 11, 2009

    Wow that is wonderful – congratulations. I have just signed up for something out of my comfort zone and all afternoon I’ve been telling myself that I made a huge mistake -I cannot do this. I should just have been happy to stay home and stay comfortable. You are giving me inspiration, but I’m still scared.

    Lori

    October 11, 2009

    Long time reader first time commenter—
    YOU RULE!!! It’s when life throws those curveballs that we find out what we are made of and girl, you are tenacious!!!! Congrats!

    Teagan

    October 11, 2009

    I don’t even really know you and I am so flippin PROUD of you! I teared up reading this post. Good job!!!

    lunzy a la lunzygras

    October 11, 2009

    great to see all your pics! So proud of you! Awesome!

    Sally

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations! Your pics are awesome! =]

    Chantal Henri

    October 11, 2009

    Oh my… oh my YOU ARE A MARATHONER!!!!

    Congratulations Roni, you are incredible! ;-)

    Lou

    October 11, 2009

    Roni, I have never been so happy for and so worried about a person I have never met before. I would read your blogs and really wonder if you were up for the task. I am so glad you were able to do it and not hurt yourself in the process. Congratulations on a fabulous complete marathon. You are a role model and an HUGE INSPIRATION to so many of us out here on a life long weight loss journey. In a year and a half, I can only hope to do as well as you did on your marathon.

    AMAZING GIRL you are… just purely and simply AMAZING!

    Bec

    October 11, 2009

    /cheer!

    You are *SO* inspiring, Roni! GREAT JOB! Way to go!!!

    christina

    October 11, 2009

    wow – you look great from beginning to end and SO SO happy regardless of how your legs felt… you are an inspiration. I signed up for a 5K today… not a marathon but baby steps!

    Bessie

    October 11, 2009

    WONDERFUL!!! I was crying as I read your entry!! It reminded me of my first (and only) marathon in Disney World 6 years ago!! Congrats!!!

    Cherry

    October 11, 2009

    Congratulations Roni. Wow .. I am about to start my training. Hopefully someday I can run a marathon also!

    Beth M.

    October 11, 2009

    Congrats on your accomplishment! I only hope I can do as well in 2 weeks!

    BigTickles

    October 11, 2009

    I have no idea why I want to cry for (or with) you Roni. This is such a great accomplishment and we were with you all the way. I am so proud of you.

    However, now I have questions about running races. I thought you were suppose to run the entire time. I guess that is what is giving me a mental block to even consider something like this. I did not know you could stop and walk and what not. It seems so much more manageble now. I think I need to get a running magazine or something to dispel some of my myths. ;-)

    So Roni, what is your next run? I am so excited… (and I am not even running it – duh!)

    Niki F

    October 12, 2009

    Great post, Roni! YOU DID IT! Wow! You’ve inspired me to want to do a HALF marathon (ya, I’m not quite as crazy as you)!

    Love that you took pictures the whole way!

    alea

    October 12, 2009

    Beautiful post. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’re such an inspiration!

    shauna/dg

    October 12, 2009

    Roni you are the bomb. You had THREE things on that list of Most Stressful Things That A Person Can Do happen to you all at once (new job, moving, losing a loved one) but still you kicked on and did it. You are truly a superstar. Congratulations comrade :)

    Kathleen

    October 12, 2009

    Congrats!!!!
    I wanna do one too!!!!

    Great idea on the slippers, will use that at my next half marathon!!!

    miss c.

    October 12, 2009

    Congratulations, Roni! Yay!

    Nina

    October 12, 2009

    I’ve been following for a few years and just love what you have done with your passion… Whenever I feel like I need a boost or take a minute to refocus the Roni site always does the trick! Thank you thank you thank you so much!

    linda

    October 12, 2009

    You rock! congratulations. Love the “keep running beautiful message” on your shirt.

    Dawn

    October 12, 2009

    WOOT WOOT RONI!!!! AWESOME JOB!!! SO PROUD OF YOU!!! I hate that the finish line wasn’t what I told you it would be. BUMMER!! You still did a marathon even though the crowd wasn’t there to let you know about it. You will always know in your mind that you are a MARATHON runner. Very few people can say that about themselves. BE PROUD AND STAND TALL…YOU ARE THE BOMP SHA BOMP BOMP!!!

    AJ

    October 12, 2009

    Congratulations! I am SO PROUD OF YOU! :-) You set the goal, and you TOTALLY OWNED IT!! :-)

    Marisa (Trim The Fat)

    October 12, 2009

    WOW , Roni!!!! I got goosebumps reading this! I couldn’t be happier for you! You SOOOOOOOOO ROCK!

    ELR

    October 12, 2009

    Wow, I cried reading this entry. I have several health issues, and tons of meds that have caused me to gain a ton of weight. thankfully, I’m stable now. My company is an official charity of an upcoming marathon, and I’ve been debating whether or not to join. You’ve completely inspired me – not to lose weight, but to do what I want and no longer be defined by weight or health issues. Thanks.

    Kristin - runningsongs

    October 12, 2009

    Congratulations – what an amazing accomplishment!

    Becky

    October 12, 2009

    AMAZING! Be proud of yourself! Thanks for sharing every step of your marathon. I sent it to all my lady friends. I am training for a marathon and this really inspires me too that I can do it! THANK YOU!

    Anne

    October 12, 2009

    Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment! You should be SO proud of yourself – and heaven knows you should be able to brag about it on your blog.

    You are an inspiration to me – although I’m not sure that I ever want to run a marathon. I’m going to tackle my first 10K later this month though, and that’s going to be very exciting for me. :)

    Mary

    October 12, 2009

    “There are just goals, choices and experiences.”

    Free muffins in the breakroom … I was on my way when I thought about what I just read and decided to say “No thanks” this time because I have goals, choices and experiences. Thanks so much for writing this and inspriing me to make a different chioce today.

    Congrats Roni!

    Cathy B

    October 12, 2009

    Wow, Congratulations, Roni!!! I am very impressed, and inspired, thank you!

    Melissa

    October 12, 2009

    You have received an award. Check my blog out for details!!

    Paula

    October 12, 2009

    Yay! How awesome! You SHOULD be way proud of yourself for achieving that goal! Thanks for sharing the pics…fun!

    Rachel

    October 12, 2009

    I’m gushing with pride! Way to go, Roni!
    I love the pic of you sitting down after the race – you look so free and at peace and beautiful, of course.

    Misty

    October 12, 2009

    Congratulations Ronnie! I am a long time lurker, but this post inspired me to come out of hiding. I am so happy for you and got totally choked up by your journey…congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment. You’ve got me thinking about training for a half! :)

    Jessica

    October 12, 2009

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You made me cry as well. It really gives me motivation to read about your experience and see your pictures. AWESOME JOB!!! Thank you for being an inspiration :)

    rollercoaster

    October 12, 2009

    Roni congratulations!!! You had me all teared up, that is such an amazing post and I was totally right there with you :)

    DaMora

    October 13, 2009

    You’re amazing!!