Race Recap Hamilton Marathon – My first attempt at 26.2 Glory

I came, I ran, I walked, and I finished. I am officially a marathoner. I even have the medal to prove it:

Needless to say if you have been following my blog at all, I did not qualify for Boston. And no. It wasn’t even close. I’ve said it before, I am slow. Getting faster, but still slow. Last year I was super excited to maintain a 13 minute mile pace. This year I’ve improved but my average is still above 10mm. No Boston in my future. Just a fact. 🙂

I did however managed to stick with my race plan almost the entire way. Impressive since I have a tendency to abandon ship and go free for all about half way through. The race was in Hamilton Ontario so I made sure to get up at 5AM so I could get there in time. Hamilton is a bit over an hour from my house. I triple checked everything, said goodbye to my puppy and was on my way. I was there with time to spare and there were no lines for the portos (unheard of!) and plenty of parking (hello, isnt there a marathon today?). I found Deb soon after an she was a bit worse for wear. She knew Jerry Friesen from all the time she spent running in Canada and only found out the night before that he had passed. It was only then that I put together in my mind who he was. We spent quite a bit of time with him and his wife after the Twenty Valley Challenge talking about races and organizations. So on that sad note we loaded into the bus to the start.

At the school where the start line was, we found Mike our fellow Team Bacon buddy. I was shocked since I figured he’d only come up for the finish. 5 hours is a long time to wait for your friends to finish a marathon. Well he snapped a quick picture of us so we’d have a start picture. Then I ditched my toss off pants because I didn’t want to have to stop and get them off.


I also had him take a picture of this crazy dude in full hockey gear. I was beyond impressed because that stuff is heavy. Pads, helmet, the whole thing. If only it had been a Sabres jersey instead he would have been completely awesome. But thats okay….we beat the leafs the night before 🙂

So after waiting for ages at the start (not really) we were on our way. I set my virtual buddy for 12mm and set my ipod for go. I was as ready as I could possibly be. But anything can happen in 26 miles…..

What goes through your mind while running a Marathon:

Mile 1 – I’m running a marathon! Woohoo! Hey we found Mo & Jo how are you guys? Awesome! This is awesome! Man, I wish I had gloves….. (split: 11:14)

Mile 2 – Holy cow, I really am running a marathon. Why is Deb going so fast? She is up there running with Jo and I’m here. *checks watch, hmm, I’m still fine, in fact I’m a little too fast* (split: 11:53)

Mile 3 – Tossed off my hoodie to a volunteer. My hands are freezing! This wind is wicked. What is that in the road? Gloves? Hm, they look new…. *grabs them* Thank god for dollar store cheapies you can throw away. These are awesome. Jo then turned around and scooped up the headband that was lying next to them. Very nice. Toss offs on a race course are fair game after all. (split: 11:58)

Mile 4 – I’ll walk through this water stop and dream about hitting that kid. “You’re almost there” HAHA too funny….not. Where did Deb go? I think that is her up there running alone, funny since I have Jo with me now (split: 12:04) <right on pace 🙂

Mile 5 – Fuel is yummy, but I should have tried a new flavor while training. I’m really kinda sick of strawberry. However, eloads are still the most delicious thing ever. I could live off these things. And I love this song. Where is Jo? (split: 11:58)

Mile 6 – Where did everyone go? I’m suddenly all alone. Oh well. This is kinda funny but those cows smell like crap. Mooooo Mooooo Moooooo (yes, I literally started mooing at the cows). (split: 11:53)

Mile 7 – Why are their people driving on the course….. HOLY SHIT! That guy almost hit me! || this close! Haha he’s getting a ticket for blowing by the cop. *honk honk* WTF? Why is this guy driving behind me on the wrong side of the road inside the cones…..and honking at me to move? I’m running here idiot! Damn….I hope I survive this race. This is kinda scary. Maybe marathons aren’t my thing (split: 12:05)

Mile 8 – Okay, I’m going to slow down and walk a bit (then I hear super loud COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOO right by my right leg) Holy shit Turkey! Wait… I’m a moron, that’s definitely a rooster. Why is it walking next to me? And why the hell did I think Turkey? Wow, marathons really mess with your head. I don’t think I can take anymore scares today. (split: 12:03)

Mile 9 – It’s really starting to get warm out here, I’m so glad I dressed in short sleeves. I was cold before but now its hot. Better ditch these gloves on that mailbox. Won’t they be surprised when they get their mail. I bet all those other people are wishing they had less clothes. I wonder if people in Alaska wish they had less clothes when they run….wait what? Where did that come from? I think I need more eload tabs. (split: 11:39)

Mile 10 – The world is a beautiful place. Thanks to everyone up there watching over me. I am truly and completely blessed. My life is wonderful. I have a great job, great house, great dog, and wonderful passion that fills me with joy and the recent addition of a wonderful boyfriend. Honestly, how did I get so lucky. Everytime I think my life is perfect, something else pops up and makes it even better. I am overwhelmingly grateful. (yes I spent most of mile 10 praying as I was alone on an open country road and it seemed perfectly appropriate) (split: 12:08)

Mile 11 – Hey, people! What is that awesome smell? It smells like bread baking….like tim hortons! Man I could go for a Tim’s bagel right about now…eh…on second thought, that smells disgusting. Yuck. But hey, more than 1/3 done. Wish I had packed a Honey Stinger waffle….damn. I really want some real food. (split: 12:03)

Mile 12 – This really is a nice day. I think I’ll sing a little tune. *starts singing along with ipod out loud* I’m almost half done and I still feel great. (split: 11:52)

Mile 13 – Funny I thought there was aid at the 13 mile mark….oh never mind, there it is. My those people look so cheerful. What did that cop say to me? Oh, my socks match my shoes….funny I never noticed that but they do today. Hey! MY SHOES GLITTER! That’s awesome! Wait….I hope I’m not imaging that…that could be a bad sign. Better take an extra cup of water and some more eloads. (split 12:21)

Mile 14 – Everyone keeps telling me the downhill is ahead. Where is it? I swear I’ve been going uphill forever. I better fix my sock….it feels like I getting a blister. And it’s after the half mark, that means I can speed up if I want to. I really want to but I don’t think I should. (split: 12:41)

Mile 15 – When they say downhill they aren’t kidding. I think we are flying down a mountain. Bye bye nice lady, this is the fun part! Weeeeeeeee! (split: 10:31)

Mile 16 – Omg I feel AMAZING! Where is this supposed wall everyone keeps talking about? I really don’t want to hit it, but this relaxed pace feels great. If I keep this up I’ll finish with a huge negative split. I wonder if I’ll ever see Deb again before the finish. She is probably having a great race. (split: 10:49)

Mile 17 – I really should slow down again. I’m over 3 minutes ahead of my pacer and I really do have 9 miles left to go. Plus this hill can’t go on forever. Better pull back. Ew a dead rabbit. 😦 Better start singing again. Opps, didn’t realize that guy is behind me. Hope he likes Basshunter, but I guess it doesn’t matter….he probably doesn’t understand Swedish anyhow…. (split: 11:24)

Mile 18 – Hey all those cars are honking at us in support! Cool! Usually it’s just anger lol. Wait a minute…..THAT’S DEB AHEAD! I found her! She’s at that water stop! HEY DEB! I still feel great! (split 12:09)

Mile 19 – Well maybe not so great. I really should get back to 0 ahead on my pacer. They say the last 10K is the hardest. I’ve done so good this far I don’t want to blow it. Urgh. Who invited my cranky calf muscle to the party? I wonder if Jo is okay…. (split: 13:06)

Mile 20 – These Kilometer markers are getting me all confused. I think the yellow ones are marathon and the white are half but I’m not sure. My watch says 10K to go. I hope that’s true. I’m running out of juice but probably have just enough in me for 6 more. Plus got to save a little for a finish kick. It’s only a 10K…… (split: 13:34)

Mile 21 – Hey buddy this is a marathon. I bet he asked all the runners what they were running. I love his Canadian flag though….would it be weird to start singing “O’Canada” especially since Party in the USA just came on my ipod…..how funny. At least I am right on pace with my buddy now, I wonder what my actual pace is. I really have to run 5 more miles? I’m tired. (split: 13:01)

Mile 22 – No. No. NO!!! I hate you! I hate you! How DARE YOU! I still have miles left and you give out on me! YOU STUPID KNEE! I thought we were over this! I thought you were healed! NO!!!! (Needless to say, my left knee turned to jelly and was EXTREMELY painful). This is so unfair. I am right on pace for my 5:15 finish. I followed my race plan, I didn’t go out too fast. I stuck to my pace! I did everything right! WHY??!!? (split: 15:00)

Mile 23 – I still have 3 more miles. It’s so far. That’s like another half hour. So far….so far…. Deb I’m glad I caught you, but it is sooo farr…..I can try but shuffling is all I can managed. Running hurts. Walking hurts. My options are walk fast or shuffle slow…and both still hurt. (split: 14:00)

Mile 24 – Omg it hurts so bad. I can feel it swelling. It looks like an orange. And now my ankles are hurting too. Probably from the weird shuffle/non running motion. Are we there yet? Seriously? Please just let me get there. Let it be over. (split: 13:57)

Mile 25 – My lower body just went numb. That is a really bad sign. And those bastard children have ice cream. I want ice cream so bad. I’m getting a freakin’ ice cream. Why am I even bothering to do this? There is no one at the finish line for me. My family is home watching football. My friends think I’m insane. No one even gives a shit if I finish. The only person waiting is Mike. I guess my running friends are more family than my family. No damn it. I won’t cry about this. This is my freakin’ day. I will make it there and it will be mine and mine alone. No one can take this from me. God my knee hurts. I won’t make 5:15 but I will still finish damn it. It’s my first so I get a PR anyway right? (split: 15:53)

Mile 26 – Deb please don’t leave me. I think I really need us to run this in together. You adopted me back in January and you’re my marathon momma. Remember the kids on the bike back in spring? “Are you guys mother/daughter marathoners?” I remember. Besides my own stubbornness you are the only reason I am here. I really should tell you this but I can’t talk….the pain…. soon….soon… we can run it in. You tell me not to kick to hard at the finish because you won’t be able to keep up. I don’t think I will be kicking at all…..just screaming. (split: 15:07)

Mile .2 – (split 11:40) We have a little left. Who the hell put this hill right before the finish….the horror….the evil….and that kid with the bell better get out of my way because I am pissed there is a hill. OMG! There is the finish. Hold my hand we are coming in for a landing……AHHHHHH MY KNEE!!!!

We made it in with a time of 5:30:52. Together. Mike and Bryan were waiting for us with wonderful water and bagels….Team Bacon made it. The four of us all completed our marathons. And at the finish line we all bemoaned the fact that we signed up for Flying Pig in May. Like it or not, we will be suffering the 26.2 all over again in 6 months. For all the pain, sweat, and struggle it was worth every minute and every mile. We train together, we race together, and we succeed together. I’m sore as hell today but I own it. I earned it. I will recover and live to run another day. I am unable to express how grateful I am to my team mates, because the words don’t exist.

Wherever our roads will take us it is a comfort to know that we will always have Bacon….. 🙂

Team Bacon

7 thoughts on “Race Recap Hamilton Marathon – My first attempt at 26.2 Glory

  1. GO YOU!!! Yay! I love the blow by blow. 😆 If I ever get to the point where I could run a marathon, I’ll have to remember to do that. No training buddies though. Sounds like good scenery, good animals and great friends. ^5s!!! Woot!

  2. Mike Berta

    I am so proud of you! I wouldn’t have missed your marathon for the world Katie! You earned every step, every ache, every pain, every glory! You are part of the 1% of the world’s population that has completed a marathon. Be proud.

  3. Daria

    Katie….your post brought me to tears, laughter, more tears. You are awesome! I remember having the same feelings running my 1st marathon in 2004. I think we all go through this. I will be at the finish line of Flying Pig….I will cheer you on….I know how it feels not to have anyone waiting at the finish. However,you have an awesome support group in your running group. Take time and celebrate your victory over 26.2 miles…..you earned it. You are a MARATHONER!

  4. Love-er-ly post, Katie…and we get to do it all again in six months! This one will bring new goals (like I think we’ll both break that 5:15:00), but some new challenges as well (running a race on hills). It’s time to start talking about “quality time” spent in Orchard Park once a week. Run on, my friend, run on…

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