Sunday, February 20, 2011

Crossing the Line

Right after you cross the finish line the first thing you get is your blue Tiffany’s box with your medal in it. I think they do that because they want to get it into your fists before your body realizes the marathon is over and starts shutting down.

I felt great as I came across the finish line and was ecstatic when I got my box. Then right behind the firemen were people handing out empty ‘swag’ bags. That was smart because as you work your way away from the finish line you go through several areas and pick up goodies.

So I tossed my Tiffany’s box in the bag and headed for the shirt tables to pick up my “Finisher”’s shirt. They were out of my size (XL) but I held up a large and it looked like it was going to fit. I didn’t occur to me at the time that it was probably because I had sweat out 10% of my body weight over the last 26.2 miles.

Next, my timing chip was clipped off my shoe and I headed for the next table. The foil blankets were all gone. I could have really used one. I was moving slower now than I was on the course, and it seemed to be raining harder than ever. My body temperature was dropping fast. I was starting to feel it.

But they still had bottles of Gatorade to hand out. The nice boy who handed me mine cracked the seal for me first which I thought was very kind of him. I didn’t feel like drinking anything yet. (Common. But I should have tried to drink as much as I could).  So I dropped the bottle into my swag bag and red Gatorade promptly bled all over my beautiful blue Tiffany’s box! Ugh!

Next was the photo tents where you could pose in front of different back drops with your friends for posterity’s sake. Before the marathon I had planned the post-marathon pictures I wanted to take. One with me and my running partner Cindy. One with Kris and I together and one with Kris pretending to drag me out of the picture by my leg. Ha! Ha! But at that moment, all I wanted to do was find Kris and get to the bus back to the hotel.

Kris found his way to me and said, “So what do you want to do first?”

He knew I had a lot of things I wanted to do after the marathon:

Go to the stretching tent and get a professional post-run stretch
Go to the TNT tent and eat.
Go to the Nike tent and eat some more while hanging with the professional runners and get a massage.
Get my iPhone and necklace engraved
Visit the Finisher’s Boutique and buy up as much finisher’s gear as I could carry.

“I want to check in with TNT so they know I’m off the course and then find the buses.”

“What about the finisher’s boutique?”

“I just want to get back to the hotel.”

“Are you going to skip the Nike tent?”

“I just want to get back to the hotel.”

I think that’s when Kris realized I was hurting.

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