Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fear and excitement about the Honolulu Marathon

Today I received my packet for the Honolulu Marathon. It brought some feelings to the surface that I haven't had in a while.

I remember my first marathon back in 2005.


I was excited. I did a lot of walking so I figured 26.2 miles shouldn't be a problem About half way through I had some pains in my foot. What do to? Well, half way done...gonna complete it. When I finished, I took the bus home and big blisters on my feet and under my toe nails, chafing that was bad, sunburn and overall soreness. But I had done it. I had problems walking for two days. I had walked the course just seconds under 9 hours from the time the gun went off but in 8:35:22 chip time. I hurt for a week and a couple of weeks later I lost a toe nail. BUT, I had done it!


In 2006 I did the marathon again, but this time I was better prepared to walk the course, learning lessons from the previous year to be applied to this year. I spent a little bit of money to help avoid the pain. I had under armour compression shorts, under armour shirt, energy gels, better shoes and music, sun screen, and a woven coconut hat (Hey, it got me noticed at the finish line besides keeping the sun off my face). I did much better and only ended up forming blisters during the last mile. I didn't improve the socks from the previous year. As a result, I ended up with 7:51:42 chip time. I didn't run as I had hoped but again, I had completed the task at hand.

I went to Walt Disney World during the 2007 marathon. It was good that I didn't participate even though I had paid for my entry. It rained and there were problems with the timing chips. Last year, 2008 I was asked by a group of JCs to help at the starting line. I was part of a group of people that helped the runners get started and then cheered them on as they came down Piikoi Street and turned onto Ala Moana Blvd heading into Waikiki.

This year, I once again signed up. A slight difference for this outing is that I had been laid off. As a result, I actually had a chance to do some training. I was clued into a program called from Couch to 5K. Again, Mahalo nui to Trace over at the Disney Dudes podcast. In nine weeks I went from not being able to run a minute without heavy gasping and pain to being able to run for 3.1 miles, a 5K distance. I wish I could say it was a breeze for the 5K but not quite. I just know that I can run consistently for a 5K distance and not end up doing a technicolor yawn.

So the pickup packet notice arrives today and I had both fear and excitement flood my body. I will be attempting to run part of the course. The game plan is to run a mile and walk a mile repeat last two steps until course is completed. My target is 6.5 hours chip time. That would put me crossing the finish line between 11:30am and noon HST. I have excitement because I'll be taking on a challenge that I haven't done before...RUNNING on the marathon course. But I have fear because I know what sort of pain just walking the course provided the first year.

Then why do it? Because as much as I hurt the first time I participated, it didn't compare to the elation that I felt when I crossed that finish line. The prize of self accomplishment outweighs the pain. If you'd like to follow me, my runner number is 584. On Sunday, December 13, you'll be able to go to www.honolulumarathon.org and put in my number. As I cross the various check points (starting line, 10K, half marathon, 40K and finish line) you'll be able to see the times posted almost in real time. In addition, I'll have a camera phone with me on this go around and I plan on posting up to the web to my facebook, twitter and flickr accounts. I hope you'll come along for the ride!