Thoughts on my first Marathon (Chicago 2013)

When you run for 26.2 miles you have time to think. A lot of time to think. I realized that a Marathon is just like the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games. You spend months “rehearsing” for the big show. You rehearse when you take a sip of water, when you take a GU, when you stop to stretch, etc., and during that day you are just doing the best you can to follow the plan and adjust to new conditions.

Here’s how did it go in my brain…

Mile -1: (me walking to the starting line) Man, it’s really cold.
Mile 0: Why are people running so fast? STOP! Let’s slow down folks!
Mile 1: Shit, my heart rate is at 149, it should be at 139. Breadth, count, breadth, count.
Mile 2: Still at 149. This is not going to be good. I’ll hit the “wall” at mile 13 this way.
Mile 3: Oh, just fuck it, 149 it is.
Mile 6: Damn, RunKeeper really lost track due to GPS & tunnels, now I have no clue what’s my pace. I don’t think I can make it even close to 5:00 by my calculations.
Mile 8: Holy shit, I just realized I’m on track to finish at 4:30. Fuck, yeah!
Mile 10: This is so easy. I don’t even feel tired.
Mile 11: Damn, I should have kept the voices in my head shut, now I’m starting to feel tired.
Mile 12; Quick stop for pictures with the kids.
Mile 13.1: Halfway.
Mile 16: Yep, pain is coming in.
Mile 18: Shit, a lot of pain. More than when I did the 21-miles three weeks ago.
Mile 20: WTF? I have no more pain. Literally, all the pain is gone. I think my brain just gave up on pain. Sweet, let me pick up my pace.
Mile 22: Oh no, my good knee is hurting, and I was on track to finish at 4:45. No problem, I still can finish in under 5:00.
Mile 23: My legs are tired. My heart is at 167. Walk, run, walk, run.
Mile 24: OK, I’m at 4:36, if I run the last 2.2 miles at 10-minute/mile I can do this. Wait, 10-minute/mile while my whole race average was closer to 11:15 or so? No fucking way. Well, at least I’ll finish it.
Mile 25: So close.
Mile 26.2: This is it. I ran for 5h and I finished it. Strangely enough I don’t feel that much pain or that much tired. Another 1-mile walk to the hotel now.

Marcelo Calbucci

Marcelo Calbucci

I'm a technologist, founder, geek, author, and a runner.