Marathon Rookie Milemarker Highlights

first half marathon

I have witty friends with T-shirt accounts.


As if herding through the streets of San Antonio with 30,000 of my closest friends is not bovine enough, we are grouped into “corrals.”  I am with people who look like they might not be able to walk thirteen miles, including a man with a walker. No, really. A walker. This is probably some foreshadowing that I am going to ignore. Ye-haw! On with the race! Hurry up and wait.

I wish Husband was here. I miss him. I am tearing up a little. I hide my face from my friends. Crying at a race is stupid, stupid, stupid. I am happy, happy, happy! Mooooooooo.

Let’s get it over with.

Mile One

Woot, woot!


Mile Two

Woot, woot! Funny guy. Back of his shirt says “Ask Me About My Bionic Ball.” I sure hope that’s in reference to a hip replacement. Man, my groin is tight. Keep going, it’ll go away. Huh, bionic ball. Funny. Um, I guess if he has a fake hip I’d better pass him. Let’s go, girls. Let’s go!

Mile Three

Pee stop? Really? Okay, fine. I’ll walk while you stand in line to go pee. Dang it.

Mile Four

Hm. Maybe just a quick little rest. I am now the annoying one everyone has to stop for. Oh, there goes the Bionic Ball guy. Dang it again.


starting line

Still Able To Smile

Mile Five

Beer? The Firemen are offering free Beer? Free beer? Can I really drink it and run? What will happen to me if I drink a beer (a free beer)? They look so nice. The firemen, I mean. Hm. Maybe I should have gone pee. Keep going, and it’ll go away.

Mile Six

Need. Water. Holy crap, this water is good. (Still secretly thinking about the free beer.) My calves are cramping. Hm. Friend is scowling. I cannot disappoint. Keep going, and it’ll go away.

Mile Seven

Maybe just a quick long little rest? Two smiling guys with signs cheering for every woman who goes by really crack me up here. “You’re So Pretty” and “I Like Fast Women!” gets me through that section. Calves no longer cramping, but the hamstrings are charlie-horsing. Keep going, and it’ll go away.

Mile Eight

I need to find my cheerleaders to make it through this mile. I can still remember hearing “Hey, Cheahleadah! Cheah!” as I jumped and screamed under the football lights as a Radford Rambabe in Hawaii when Dad was stationed with CINCPACFLEET. Hey, there they are! My cheahleadahs. Dogboy and Doggirl are cheering for me. Pretend to look like a superstar! I am a running maniac! What? We are three minutes ahead of our predetermined pace? We rock! We are stoked! I feel happy. I look at Dogboy with his camera, and I give him my best “Mile Eight makes me really really happy” face. My very best one.

tired runner

This IS my happy face.

Mile Nine

I’ve hit the wall. I suddenly realize this is the farthest I’ve ever run in my whole entire life. My running-mates realize it too when my left quad contracts, and stays that way. If I keep running will it really go away? I’m a stiff-legged runner looking ridiculous. Pain is OUCH weakness leaving OUCH the DANG IT body … Water. Beer. Something.

Mile Ten

The goo station! I forgot we were getting goo! I’m so happy. Sugar to finish the race. My lack of math skillz or a GPS watch has tricked me into believing I only have two miles left, and I think I can do two miles with my eyes closed. The goo makes me sick to my stomach, but it releases the quad cramping contraction from hell, so I am marginally happier and slightly less stiff-leged. But uh oh. Sick feeling. If I keep running it will go away. It will. It really will.

Mile Eleven

A hill? Really? REALLY? NOW? You are so mean, whoever you are. If I could move my muscles, I would OUCH kill you. Hurts to walk. Hurts to OWIE run. Might as well run/shuffle. Oh my gosh. We just joined courses with the marathoners. They are finishing 26 miles in the time I’m finishing 13! Not worthy. Not worthy … “Run Baby Run” comes on my ipod. Walk baby, walk.

Mile Twelve

Owie. Mommy. Mommy! I’m so glad Husband isn’t here to see this. Wonder where the Bionic Ball Guy is. I wish Husband were here.

Mile Thirteen

I. Can. Get. OUCH. Up this (expletive, keep it to yourself) hill. WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN TO ME!?

Finish Line

Downhill run! Is this really a run? I can’t tell if the adrenaline is helping or hurting here. Smile OUCH for the camera, OWIE smile for the DANG IT camera, smile for the camera, where’s the FREAKING camera? Smile for the camera … AND … I did it! We did it! I can’t walk now, but I did it. I really did it. I didn’t do it the way I wanted to, but … IT’S OVER. I get a medal! No, not these ones, these are the specially colored ones that were earned by people who actually trained. They are not for you. The honorable mentions are over there, crazy stiff-legged lady.

Gathering Area

Ah. I’m getting cold. I need water. Water. Water. I need to pee. Pee. Pee. Ah. Sit. Breathe. Rest. Uh oh. Not sure I can get off the port-a-potty. Owie. Mommy. Owie. I did it! Owie. I did it! Owie.

Still cold. Need my jacket. Where are the bag stations? Whuh, what? Down the stairs? Are you kidding? And then back up the stairs, and then back down, and then back up again? This was devised by the person who put the hill at mile 11. I am going to OWIE find that person and OWIE give them my OWIE…

Hey, guess what? We did it. We did it. We DID IT!

Tune in tomorrow for “Paralyzed Pedestrian,” which describes my victory meat meal and my comparisons between Thirteen Miles and Thirteen Months.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Healthy Homefront | Featured Mil Spouse: Lori Volkman!
  2. Stephanie Knight Mittmann
    Sep 16, 2011 @ 10:32:01

    Wow, I am hoping my experience will be a bit better but man I feel ya, this sounds familiar. I ran 6.18 miles last night no stops! So we will see!


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  5. DogBoy
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 13:54:14

    Fer, did the Lorrior tell you that meeting you is on my bucket list? Don’t be afraid. I’m safe like ketchup on fries. The fries may not be great for you, but the ketchup is sweet and has lycopene.


  6. fer
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 12:30:41

    Next time, the beer. The beer garden I ran through during America’s Finest City Half Marathon, and the little dixie cup of beer I drank fueled me for the remaining miles. And when I say “fueled,” I mean distracted by the pride I felt: “Dude! I just drank BEER during a race! I’m rad.” If you’re going to hurt, you might as well feel a little bit like a rebel at the same time.


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