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Funny how…

Isn’t it funny how when things happen, you can be completely mortified and then as time goes on, it slowly fades away? Even to a point where you can look back and shake your head and laugh. Believe me, a lot of these moments happen to me throughout my life. Perhaps, I’m maybe, a little, dramatic. Just a tiny bit.

I was completely mortified, thought my life was over, verge of tears, worst experience ever and no I’m not being  in the least bit dramatic after my first marathon. I legitimately didn’t think things could go any worse than what they did, and I’ll never know, maybe they could have. I guess I could have broken my leg or something, but that is luckily not what happened. After I finished I had no overwhelming sense of accomplishment, no tears of joy, no “wow I can take on the world feeling”, nothing. I thought I would fall to the ground on my knees with my arms held high above my head and God would open the clouds and white doves would fly all around me, and all my pictures would be of me shrouded in a huge marathon glow. Nope, that didn’t happen either. I thought perhaps I would be whisked away to be inducted into the marathon hall of fame for finishing and I would be basking in every ones congratulations forever. Nope, the chariot wasn’t there, and the marathon hall of fame, not going to be inducted into there anytime soon! I remember being so excited to get the medal. Yup, of course, hands down the most hideous medal of my collection.

I never imagined that day would have gone like it had. Seriously, the last thing I ever expected to ambush me at mile 8 happened. Those last 18.2 miles were rough. ROUGH, I tell you. I literally thought that at any moment, the tears would spring from my eyes and I would just sit on the curb unable to get up. I vowed never, ever to step foot on the 26.2 starting line ever again. I told myself  that it was stupid to run this far, it was stupid to try to do this. Why did I ever want to do this, and pay to do this? There was a lot of weird internal dialogue that went on that day. I remember all the porta potty stops I made and as the blue door slammed on my way out, I thought that this whole marathon thing? Yea, it just wasn’t for me. Everyone else could keep doing it. I would stick to my half marathons and my 5ks. I wouldn’t do this ever again. This was too painful and humiliating.

I remember leaving in the car and saying, “Welp, that’s done.” I remember writing my post about the race, and how I didn’t really want to tell you guys everything that happened, since it was disgusting, but of course all your encouraging words made me smile and reminded me that it wasn’t the end of the world. I never thought I would be able to laugh at the whole day though. I never thought I would look back on my first marathon and not say, “Wow, that was a wash,” but it’s funny how things change right? Funny how now, every time I tell the story, I laugh at how many things went wrong. Funny how I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen that often, but of course it happened to me.

It wasn’t the best race of my life, or my favorite race, or even a good memory, but it makes for a good story, doesn’t it? Funny how that works. Slowly, slowly, I am considering working up to run another marathon. I’m getting more and more excited about it now, which I never thought the feelings would return. Give me my 4-6 milers, and I’m happy. Give me a 20 miler and I’m uh… poopy. Well not anymore, but you all remember the good old days. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll start thinking about another marathon. Maybe I’ll give it another chance, maybe I’ll try again. I mean, isn’t it the old saying, “If you fall off a horse you just gotta get back on and ride” or something like that. Well perhaps this 13.1 trick pony wants to have 26.2 tricks up her sleeves.

We shall see what falls on the horizon.


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  • Reply John at Hella Sound

    Wow. That you wrestled with The Quit Monster for over 18 miles–and won–is a huge testament to your Texas-sized huevos. You’ve got stones, kid.

    Thank you for sharing this. Honestly, I’m finding that learning about the not-so-good days folks have (and sharing my own) makes me love running all the more. Because it ain’t all sunshine, roses and PRs all the time. We all have bad runs, bad races, bad experiences. So: thank you!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:28 am
  • Reply Shannon

    Girlie…you totally have another 26.2 in ya! Do it! Do it! Do it! We’ll be tweering for ya the whole way!! And hey…it can only mostly go up from here, right?!? Keep after it, sister!

    Shannon :)

    August 13, 2009 at 11:39 am
  • Reply Alisa

    You’re going to cheat on 13.1?!?! hehe

    August 13, 2009 at 11:57 am
  • Reply Sam

    It’ll be easier next time, because you have the experience under your belt and you know you can finish. There’s no more mystery to it for you. You had tons of problems, but a slow day is difficult because you’re on your feet for longer than you’re used to. You’re much faster than your time and your next course is easier, so you should be done a lot quicker. Oh, and the humidity that day was a killer. I don’t know anybody who had a positive experience down there. Don’t fear it and you’ll be fine!

    August 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm
  • Reply Melanie

    It’s true that it’s funny how things can be funnier later than they were at the time. Like the one time I threw up at the table in a mexican restaurant.. all over the table and my friends. Ok, so that’s not really the same… but it’s funny now and it for sure wasn’t then!

    I think the best thing about this is that more than likely, things can only get better with marathon numebr 2. Maybe you got your “bad” one out of the way and you’ll kill it next time!

    August 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm
  • Reply Cory

    Let’s go Long Beach Marathon!

    August 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    Thanks for posting this… seriously… I’ve been a negative nancy all week and had complete and total SRS. (Shitty/Sucky Run Syndrome) and keeping my “I love running” smile plastered on my face has been tough. Glad to know we’re all human after all.

    P.S. DO IT!!!! ;)

    August 13, 2009 at 12:57 pm
  • Reply Denise

    Stinks that the first one wasn’t what you hoped. But you should give it another try. You definitely have it in you!

    August 13, 2009 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply ShutupandRun

    I have no doubt you’ve got another 26.2 miler in your future. We’ll be here to cheer you on!!

    August 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm
  • Reply J.J.

    I remember that post. I loved it. Made you soooo human….I remember thinking you were so brave to post with such honesty. That is a LONG way to run…your story is WAY more interesting than the clouds parting and the grand release of doves. YOU ROCK!

    August 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm
  • Reply Lindsey

    The fact that you were able to finish despite so many unfortunate circumstances should make you feel very proud! I’ve had my share of stomach issues because of running. A friend recommended taking a peppermint pill before all long runs, and it has been a life saver!! I bought the bottle at Whole Foods. It helps the whole digestive system calm down. With your talent, you should definitely give the marathon another go!

    August 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply TorontoGirloutWest

    I find the most horrible events make (sometimes) for the funniest of stories after the fact! :P

    Like the time we nearly died in a plane crash . . . that one is hilarious in retrospect!!!! ;) (not kidding either)

    Point is you did a marathon and you lived to tell the tale. Whether you do another one or not you still have bragging rights and one hell of a tale!

    August 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply KatieA.

    I really thought that this post was going to end with big announcement #2 for the week: marathon #2 is announced! Ha!
    You totally can do 26.2 again, you already had “the bad” experience, now the good or better one is waiting! And, I’m just sayin’, it would be totally cool if that next 26.2 was in Nor Cal – just sayin’. :)

    August 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm
  • Reply J

    Time heals all wounds – we all have bad experiences but its funny how as athletes we always go back to running. We give it a second shot. I really do truly hope that if you do a second marathon that it is an awesome experience for you!

    August 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm
  • Reply ilovesteaks

    If you want to see a hideous medal, I’ll show you the one that I got for my first marathon. Surprisingly it was also from the SD RnR Marathon. I thought I was going to be done with marathoning after my first, but look at where I am now! When I allow my body to heal up, we should run a quality marathon together. At 100% I should be fast enough to get you qualified for Boston.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Caroline

    This is unrelated to the post, but thought I’d mention I tried to add your blog to the blogs I follow on blogger, and it says it can’t detect a feed for your blog. I tried a few days ago too, so not sure if it’s blogger, but thought I’d just let you know in case …

    August 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm
  • Reply aron

    mmm hmmm… never believed you wouldnt give it another shot anyways :) just hope i get to run 16+ miles with you again someday soon!

    August 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm
  • Reply Jen Hardina

    I don’t think 26.2 is done with you yet, and I’m sure 13.1 won’t mind! I’d say give it another shot! :)

    August 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Jen

    You’ll rock the 26.2!

    August 13, 2009 at 10:48 pm
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    Danica – Thanks for all yor words of encouragement the past few days. I owe you when you get to that point in your training (note the use of “when” and not “if). I’m actually looking forward to Long Beach. There was so much I didn’t know when I ran my first marathon. This time I just want to do what is within my abilities, and the flip the marathon distance the bird. When I pass the finish line this time I will give out a big yell and raise my arms. If my nipples aren’t a bloody mess…..

    August 14, 2009 at 8:35 am
  • Reply kristen

    Do it!

    August 14, 2009 at 9:37 am
  • Reply Marlene

    Glad to see you re-evaluating the experience. You know what they say – what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.

    OR… my motivation for running a 2nd marathon: It can’t POSSIBLY be as bad as the first. :)

    August 14, 2009 at 9:53 am
  • Reply The Laminator

    Hmmm…me thinks you kinda wanna sign up for another marathon? Haha!

    August 14, 2009 at 10:35 am
  • Reply B.o.B.

    If you decided to do another I am behind you all the way! But if you don’t, that’s cool too. Basically I am here to be a cheering section of 1 should you need it. ;)

    August 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm
  • Reply Legallyblondemel

    Well written, although I’m sorry you had to suffer through it. I really admire you for running the remaining 18 miles, whereas I would have quit as soon as the sh-t hit the proverbial (and literal) fan.

    I can relate in a way to this – when I fell off my horse right after winning a national riding thingy comes to mind. So humiliating at the time, but hey, I made it, and in retrospect it is hilarious. Good times.

    August 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm
  • Reply Megan

    Girl the fact that you made it through your first with what all hit you is HUGE. I would have sat right down. No lie. You can totally do this again…

    August 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm
  • Reply X-country2

    Happy to hear you and 13.1 have such an open relationship. :o)

    August 14, 2009 at 8:11 pm
  • Reply Ms. V

    I knew you’d come around.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm
  • Reply Nicole

    You can do it Danica! You did it once, you can do it again! :) :) :)

    August 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm
  • Reply SDrunner

    So I’m fairly new to your blog and did not get to read that post about your 1st marathon, but it seems like something I should read.

    I have been thinking about making my way up to half-marathons and eventually a full marathon. Glad you’re reconsidering running another one, but I really hope whatever happened to you doesn’t happen to me!!

    August 17, 2009 at 10:03 am
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