As I run with our TFK members who are anxiously looking forward to their first marathon, I find myself reflecting on my first marathon and all the mistakes I made but had a ball doing it. It was 1992 and I trained and ran it with my best friend. We didn’t know a thing about training, but did our long runs religiously every weekend, talking our way through 10-milers, 15 milers, 18-milers and building up to one 20-miler. We never did hill workouts, tempo runs, or stretched.
On the day of the marathon in early October, a now defunct course in Rhode Island, it was a beautiful day in the high 50s but I was over-dressed from head to toe in a Jane Fonda workout-sort-of look. I wore a wool headband from skiing, a neon purple windbreaker over a long-sleeved, cotton, turtleneck shirt, tucked into Capri-length spandex tights. Really! What was I thinking!
We went out slowly and preceded to do what we always do, talk! The course was beautiful, winding through beach communities and country roads. I remember at mile 20 being so excited that I did a little dance. We finished in 4:15 and couldn’t believe we did it. Then we got back in the car and drove to a victory lunch at a seaport town. We hobbled in, still stinky and sweaty. Guess who was at the bar having lunch? Ted Kennedy! He was having a political power lunch with some cronies and they came over and congratulated us and bought us a round of drinks.
After lunch, we drove home and I took a long hot shower – didn’t know about ice baths back then. Needless to say the next day I couldn’t walk! But I was thrilled and fell in love with the marathon. I will never forget my first marathon, and neither will you. It is a testament to drive, determination and passion. And if you have the passion, you can do anything!