The Day You Sign Up
You did it! You signed up, and you couldn't be more excited about it. You promptly begin to start mapping our your training plan. You buy a new pair of running shoes and a couple pairs of good quality socks and you get to it!
You're super regimented. You track your food, your water intake, your pace, your splits, etc. You're gonna hit that PR for sure.
The Day Before
For some reason, you thought you'd have more time to increase your speed and add mileage. Race weekend leaves you feeling a bit nervous and bewildered. You can't believe it's actually here!
The Morning Of
"Why do I have to wake up so early?!" you say to yourself. You won't actually start running until 8:30am, but you have to leave your apartment at 5am to get there with time to check your bag, eat a banana and everything.
At the Starting Line
You find your corral, and you start stretching. As the latecomers start to trickle in, space becomes non-existent. Why is everyone standing so close and why are they pushing forward towards the start? You don't like being shoved.
You know you said that you'd start off at your goal pace, holding yourself back, but like... you gotta get past of of these slow people who got put in the wrong wave. It'll be fine.
You trip over a couple people's heels and run on a curb momentarily to get out of the claustrophobic crowd.
You're feeling great. Everything is great. You're passing people, and nothing hurts. You love running.
You're starting to sweat a bit, especially since you're going faster that you're supposed to, but you feel awesome about it. You're a rock star. You're like a legitimate athlete.
It's beginning to get a little bit harder, so you start checking your stats -- pace, water intake, heart rate. You adjust accordingly.
You're almost halfway done, and you're feeling good. Someone in the crowd cheers for you and you give them some happy finger guns back.
Alright. It's getting real. You're starting to get tired. And Hungry.
You pull out the dates or gu that you packed and grab a quick snack. It's not the best thing you've ever tasted, but right now it's pretty amazing.
As you're digesting your little snack and starting to feel more fatigued, you start daydreaming about all of the food you're going to have earned by the time you finish. Donuts for days.
You're getting really tired. And kinda sad. Did you make a wrong decision signing up for this? Did you not train enough? Oh man... it's because you shot out of the gate too fast? Why did you make such a big mistake?!
Everything hurts and your legs don't feel like they're functioning like they normally do. "Is this what my legs normally do when I run? What if I have forgotten how to run??" you think.
You're super over it. It's taking everything in you to not stop.
So tired, but so close. You can see the finish line. Visualize and attack. You can do this!
The Finish Line
A wave of relief surges through you. You look up at the clock and see a new PR on the clock. They said you couldn't do it. But you did. Cuz you're awesome.
After You Get Your Medal
You're very tired. You greet every person with a smile, and some with awkward sweaty stranger hugs. You grab your medal and your snacks and just soak it all in. You did it.
When You Get Home
Your legs don't work. You can hardly pick them up to get in the shower. Generally, you think it's gross to take a bath when you're sweaty, but you're too tired to stand, so you crawl in the tub and soak in epsom salt. "That was great, but I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon," you think to yourself.
Three Days Later
Inevitably, after your body starts to feel normal again, you promptly start searching for your next race. Perhaps a full marathon this time!!