I am a marathoner!!

I spent the week leading up to the marathon nervous with anticipation. I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first marathon.

I made lists, I shopped for last minutes items, I packed two pairs of the finest moisture wicking apparel, I decorated my race shirt, I bought plenty of food to consume for 26.2 miles, I packed all that food into my race pack, I packed clothes for the victory party and the pasta party, I made sure I had enough socks, underwear, etc. I packed lotions, creams, anti-fog glasses and hoped and prayed to God my little suitcase had everything it needed to survive the marathon and afterwards.

I checked into the Hyatt in Irvine around 3pm, unpacked, and found the team downstairs in the lounge. We shared our anxieties, held hands, and then someone said something about Icy/Hot, ice bathes, and Aspercreme and being really sore afterwards and hoping that we had all at least packed for recovery. Umm..I remember only packing recovery powder but no Bengay, Icy/Hot, or Aspercreme. How could I have forgotten that? I have millions of tubes of Bengay, etc and I forgot to pack one??? I was a little upset but not deterred. I would find some way to obtain muscle relaxing cream after the marathon.

We headed out as a team to the pasta party. The mentors and coaches were all lined up outside the doors red carpet style to cheer us one by one as we entered. The energy of the team and our mentors and coaches was awesome and made for a fabulous start for the race day weekend. To top it off, they had some amazing pasta and sauces however I should have gone back for seconds. Maybe I was just nervous and imagining that I was hungry.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I was hoping that my shoes and my body wouldn’t fail me and I was hoping that I would come out in one piece. I woke up around 3AM ready to go, ready to get started, and ready to come back to the victory party as a marathoner. We had to meet as a team downstairs by 5AM to check in and make sure we had all the gear we needed for a successful marathon. Around 6AM, we were shuttled out to Fashion Island (the start line) and waited until 7:30AM (the official gun time). It was really, really cold at 6 in the morning and I wish we had been shuttled out later but then again we were first in line at the start and we got to hear all the announcements and also danced to the music to warm our muscles; that’s about all the dancing we got to do that day.

7:29AM: the last of the announcements are made. The announcer asks us if we’re ready and the countdown begins. I look up at the sky, I look around me, and we all hold onto each other and before we know it the gun goes off and everyone starts running. We get pushed around because we’re first in line and we’re nervous but slowly we get going and before we know it we’re at the first water stop and the first mile. Yey! Only 25 more to go. Slowly the miles pass us by and the team gets separated as we determine our own paces and times. Around mile 12, a cop stops me and says I can’t continue forward because the toll road will open in 20 minutes and I don’t have enough time to finish the marathon. I want to cry in frustration but I continue forward anyway despite his warning. At mile 20, I’m approached again at another toll road and still I continue forward. By mile 21, my body hurts and every step is painful and I still have 5 miles to go but I can barely walk and every mile is taking me 30 minutes to complete. I want to cry out of frustration and just be done and go home but I remain strong and cling to my last hope. At mile 23, I find our mentor cheer station. I find the happy cheering faces of our mentors and coaches and also some much needed fries which are unfortunately cold but I’m hungry so I eat them. Jen joins me for the last bit and before I know it; I am at the finish line!! I throw my hands up, the OC volunteer puts a medal around my neck, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I am a marathoner and for a minute I feel no pain just joy until it’s time to check back in and I realize I have to walk another 10 minutes to get my 26.2 Team in Training pin and meet our campaign manager Judy. By this point, I smell horrible but I hug everyone in sight.

I venture out with a friend to grab Bengay, Epsom Salt, and In-n-Out. I take my first ice bath back at the hotel and realize this is not something I am going to get used to easily but it is a necessarily evil and an important recovery tool. The ice bath is followed by a warm Epsom salt bath and then later by a nice hot shower and ultimately the victory party. Hardly anyone shows up at the victory party but my OC Coast team was there and it was hard to say goodbye. We have spent the last five months together, training, sharing our joys and sorrows, and suddenly it’s all over. I hope I see them all again. I plan to be a mentor for the next season. I have submitted my application and am waiting to see if I make it. I hope I do. This was a great experience and it really changed my life. I hope it can do the same for others.

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  • http://dinesha.livejournal.com/ dinesha

    Wow. This brough tears to my eyes. I am so so so proud of you. Congratulations just doesnt seem like enough. I want to see pictures, are you on facebook???

  • http://dinesha.livejournal.com/ dinesha

    Wow. This brough tears to my eyes. I am so so so proud of you. Congratulations just doesnt seem like enough. I want to see pictures, are you on facebook???

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03076696284635984480 Dennis_London

    Not sure if I've said it before…but I'm very proud of you for sticking with it and finishing when you had so many obstacles to overcome. The Irvine Police were idiots! Way to go! You ROCK!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03076696284635984480 Dennis_London

    Not sure if I've said it before…but I'm very proud of you for sticking with it and finishing when you had so many obstacles to overcome. The Irvine Police were idiots! Way to go! You ROCK!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08883048635910557643 Sukhraj Beasla

    Thanks everyone! Dennis, thanks for being an amazing coach and seeing me through it until the end. I'm so glad I took the first step and signed up to do this race. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08883048635910557643 Sukhraj Beasla

    Thanks everyone! Dennis, thanks for being an amazing coach and seeing me through it until the end. I'm so glad I took the first step and signed up to do this race. :)