At mile 24, the last aid station, a cup of Gatorade was handed to me. Orange flavor, great, just happened to be my favorite. All the volunteers at the aid station played another role as a cheerleader, “come on, you can finish it; you got ONLY 2 miles to go.” I felt like I could see those pom-poms flying in the sky.
“2 miles. What a surprising short distance! Should be ridiculously a piece of cake.” Apparently, my mind game didn’t work; my legs for sure understood that these weren’t any 2 miles that had a fresh start; these were the last 2 miles of a marathon. And I am telling you, I was exhausted.
I grabbed a handful of pretzels and a cup of water. Not only was I tired, but I was starving. The pretzels were not tasty anymore, they were soaked because of the rain, and my mind was softened as well, not being able to play tough. As I was counting each pretzel I chewed, I was counting each step I walked. Right, I was walking, and I walked for almost a mile. Once you start to walk for an extended time, you are doomed. If not because I knew that at the finish line, somebody was waiting for me, I couldn’t have raised my knee again.
Mile 26. My husband started to run right next to me, and together we finished my longest 0.2 miles. 5 hours 12 minutes 21 seconds; I was expecting to finish this within five hours when I finished the first half within 2 hours and 20 minutes, but I should still feel proud, right? After all, this was my first marathon. I limped around because of the blister at my right little toe growing since mile 15 or so, having this complicated mixed feelings of proudness and disappointment.
The first two days after the marathon, my sore legs kept sending me flashbacks. The more I recalled the memories of the marathon, the better I realized my disappointment was simply nonsense. I made a commitment of 26.2 miles, and I fulfilled it. Fast or slow pace, it was a respectful effort. Never have to mention that during the process, I had nice running weather, pleasant scenery, and cheerful people. I learned a lot and I have grown more confidence to ensure the next marathon will be even nicer. “Next marathon?” you might ask. Yes, you didn’t hear me wrong; I am addicted.
上個禮拜天，完成了第一個馬拉松，貨真價實的 26.2 miles。
其實大概剛開始練跑的時候，就有想過要嘗試，也確確實實地練習了好一段時日，後來因為冬天下雪找到藉口，開始曠日廢時。終於又恢復練習，還是因為寄出一份報名表（加上報名費），這下找到督促自己的藉口。不過練習的過程中，也不是挺老實的，居然最後在參賽之前，跑過最長的距離也不過20 miles而已。離終點線還有6.2 miles 的距離。
本來想真的不行，就跑半馬好了。沒想到跑完半馬，感覺身體很輕很舒服，不知不覺地繼續跑下去。跑了 15 miles ，右腳指開始覺得不太對，我心知是長水泡了。水泡是跑者的大敵，練習的時候，我從來沒有長過水泡，只是馬拉松當天，一直下著小雨，有時候也會踩過泥濘的地面，潮濕的鞋襪大大提升長水泡的機率。可是身上並沒有準備另一雙乾燥的襪子，也只好認份地跑下去。
前23 miles，平均還可以維持在11分鐘跑完1 mile的情況。可惜，慢慢地，訓練量不足果然開始反映到實際的比賽上了。雖然很多人說，馬拉松跑過第20 mile，就開始是心理戰了，不過練跑從沒跑過馬拉松的長度，真的很難不懷疑自己，一有疑慮，那麼這個心理戰也不用玩了。
於是從第24 mile開始，拖著疲憊的身軀大約走了1 mile。跑馬拉松的時候，跑個1、2 miles，適當地走個30秒或者是一分鐘，其實是有益無害的。不過走了將近1 mile，又是在賽程相當後段的地方開始走，是相當不妙的。當時又開始繼續跑起來，真的是花了相當大的力氣說服自己。