Saturday, February 9, 2013

Miami Part III: How It Feels to Run 26.2 Miles

Not even close.

In Part I of my saga, I went to Miami and prepped for my first ever marathon.
In Part II...I ran said marathon. And it went just splendidly.
And now, the final chapter of my marathon tale: So how ya doin?!

Let's paint a picture:

So you've just run a marathon and you've found your friends and you're like "OMG! YAY! I RAN A MARATHON!" And then you call you parents and your Dad explains that due to the Google earth tracking system he has been cyber-stalking your every move since 5:30 am and knows more about the course and your splits than you do, and you're like, "I RAN A MARATHON!" and then you hang up. And then you look at your phone and you have 33 text messages and 46 notifications on Facebook and 11 twitter mentions and you're like, "OMG! I'M SO POPULAR! AND SOCIAL MEDIA IS AWESOME AND I RAN A MARATHON!"

And your friends are trying to force water and pain killers on you because they're like, " ok...?" and you're delirious and happy and THE KING OF THE WORLD and weirdly, no, you're not hungry and in fact food is repulsing you. And then you realize that you feel a bit faint and that, yes, perhaps water is a good idea. And yes, you'll take the pain killers. ALL OF THEM. And then you try to sit down and realize that you can't because your quads are literally so shot that you can't sit down. And when you finally maneuver yourself to ground-level you're like, "Well...I guess this is where I live now..." Because you truly believe you will never stand up again.

So that's where we were.

After celebrating with the TFK ladies for a bit, [still a lil' drunk] Betsy managed to help me walk the 1/2 mile or so to the shuttle bus. When I got to the front doors of the bus I was like:

But I managed to [painfully] heave myself up the stairs. And then on the bus all of a sudden THE HUNGER began. And it continues to this day.

So about an hour and a half post-finish -- still wearing my sweaty clothes (and medal!), dirty from laying on the ground and gritty from my own sweat drying and leaving a salty-residue on my oh-so-pretty-face -- I simply couldn't wait another moment to eat. B and I ate at the restaurant in the downstairs of our hotel and I dove into a Chicken Parm sub and just went to town on it. Didn't stand a chance. In about 34 seconds flat, my massive plate was reduced to little but crumbs and a piece of lettuce.

No image. Food gone too quickly. 

For the remainder of my time in Miami, I ate everything I had been denying myself during those final weeks of training. All of the junk and the fried and the cheese and the frosting....oh it was so good. So. Good.

And then I took the most epic shower of my life. The shower at the hotel was one of those awesome ones that rains out of the ceiling. I wish I took a picture. Instead I'll show this:

It was like rain! And it was GLORIOUS!

Then [now hungover] Betsy and I needed to be asleep. Immediately. So we passed out for a couple of hours and were awoken by a knock on the door.

"Room service!" called the cheery voice.


"Wait, wait...." I muttered. "That's not for the service...maybe food...what..." And I tried to get out of bed but couldn't because I was rendered paralyzed so Betsy had to.

And then it was THIS!!!


In my bleary, moderately-delirious state at first I thought it was a gift from the heavens. Perhaps some sort of marathon miracle that was bestowed on me by the angels.

But once my eyes adjusted and I read the card I realized that it was even better. Some of my girfriends from NYU had called the hotel and had delivered these [delicious] cupcakes and lovely chocolate covered strawberries! How freaking cute and amazing is that?

And Betsy and I ate absolutely destroyed the cupcakes, and then we passed back out.

When we awoke a bit later, I felt that I wanted to be out in the world to [briefly] celebrate. So we put on clothes and I put on my medal and we went to get celebration cocktails.

A medal and a martini! And a bit of a running shirt sunburn.
Drink served from a penguin shaker!

We were too exhausted and I was in too much pain to muster more than this brief little party. So B and I did the best thing ever instead: We got to-go pizza and ate it in bed while watching TV.

And it was glorious.

The next morning I awoke and the pain was -- if you can believe it -- a little worse. Getting up and down (from things like....the toilet...) were a fiasco. And parts of my body such as my neck and shoulders and sides that had been masked by the leg pain were suddenly feeling the repercussions of my actions.

Luckily I had thought ahead and booked massages for B and I just a short walk away. So she walked (and I shuffled) the 10 minutes to the spa and were got glorious massages. 

Followed by the much-anticipated subs at Publix. [Note: Worth the hype!]

The deliciousness was then followed by the beach, just a couple short blocks from our hotel.

It was a delightfully relaxing day, except for when I was laying down and suddenly felt something bite my hand! Turns out that for the first time in about two decades I had been stung by a bee. A FREAKING BEE!

Since I hadn't been stung for so many years, I had no idea if I was allergic and that caused a few minutes of panicked Googling [what did people do before you could Google "Bee sting what to do"?]. But luckily everything was fine and no hospitalizations were neessary.

No one panic! Everything is okay!

That night we went out for a "real" celebration dinner at this lovely Cuban-fusion restaurant on Lincoln Drive called Yuca. I forgot to take Food Porn pictures, but of course got some great cocktails and pretty dresses shots.

Mojito and prettines

Fancy drink and red lipstick

Closeup of the fancy layered drink!

We had a leisurely meal followed by a couple of beers at an outdoor bar, and then we called it a night. Turns out we aren't the "clubbing" type so much.

Tuesday morning was, sadly, our last day in Miami. We checked out of our rooms and spent the day at the rooftop pool and bar lounging, drinking [see a theme here?] and soaking some last-minute sun before venturing back to NYC.

This. Is. The. Life.

Due in large part to the massage and the massive amounts of laziness we had exhibited, two days after running 26.2 miles I actually felt decent! Of course I was still sore. But it was not nearly as bad as I had been told it could be.

Frankly, I didn't feel much worse than the first time I ran a Half Marathon back in 2008. Back then I didn't really know what I was doing in regards to running, and I remember it taking a long time until my legs felt okay. I also had a lot more issues with blistering, chafing, and fun things like that back then.

But with time and with practice, I've learned -- even with this new long distance -- to manage these things a bit better, I suppose.

I attribute my success in large part to the absurd amount of training I did leading up to this month. But more importantly, I attribute it to doing that training correctly. I didn't over-train despite 20+ months of time. I added cross-training and strength-training. I watched what I ate. I didn't wear heels for about 6 months.

In sum: I was calculating and I was careful. And I was crazy.

But I can't stress this next point enough (but I will try by using bolding and size):

Throughout the entire process I had -- and continue to have -- the most supportive, understanding, and wonderful co-workers, friends and family that have been carrying me on their shoulders all the way. 

It's meant the world, and it's meant all the difference, and for that I thank you.

Onward and upward. I've completed this amazing, life-changing event, and now I'm living in a post-marathon world. I've been resting a lot, beginning to incorporate exercising back into my routine slowly and carefully to prevent injury, and eating everything in sight.


The marathon-training appetite, it turns out, most certainly does not dissipate just because you run the race.

Now now what? I guess only time will tell.....

...Oh, that and the Half Marathon I'm signed up for in a few weeks....

...And the Full NYC Marathon I am signed up for on Nov 3rd...

...just that. And time.

Yes, I am running New York and I am so truly happy that I made the decision to do so. It's not [just] about running just another marathon. Although Miami was an amazing experience and I had a wonderful mini-vacation down in Florida, it's not like it was an easy-breezy process (as you know). But now this is a part of me.

And I'm on a roll.

Now it's about enjoying the process, enjoying my physical fitness, and finally conquering the elusive New York City Marathon. Because she and I have a date with destiny, and it's about time that I show that race that MeriG means business.

In sum: Lots more shenanigans ahead.

Thanks for joining me in my NYC Miami Marathon adventure. I loved sharing every single moment of it with you.



  1. Replies
    1. Already full for 2013....doesn't mean we can't set our eyes on 2014, though....just sayin'....

  2. "But now this is a part of me." - absolutely, lady! You've successfully and gracefully changed your life and now have this new awesome component. Please keep blogging, k?
    This is awesome because I've always wanted to know what it feels like to run a marathon and...I'm...getting there...
    Yes, what he said BOSTON 2014!

    1. I'll keep blogging if you keep blogging. :)

  3. I still want to shout from the roof tops "I ran a marathon!!!" congrats again!

    I cut off my fat kid status when I left Miami and man am I missing it. But I laughed at your post marathon shenanigans. The most venturing out we did was to the pool. Then it was Chinese and movies in bed :-)

    We were totally spent!

    1. I tried to run 7 miles today and it feels like 26.2. I keep forgetting I'm not fully recovered!!!

  4. I am so glad our cupcakes made an appearance - I was waiting for that!

    1. Oh my goodness, they were so good!!

  5. You are amazing! We love you! Also, that red lipstick looks fabulous!

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