One morning in December I woke up and decided I wanted to run a marathon in four weeks. I had little time to train, little time to prepare, but the new year was starting and I was determined to run. I would successfully run a marathon. I then made the poor decision to not only do a marathon but a half marathon the day before. In my life, I had only ever run a 5k. I had never run consecutively for more than four miles.

Even during my training for the marathon, I did hour based workouts due to my hope to get my legs used to moving for that long. I did a growth rotation, adding 30 minutes onto my training schedule every single day up until the race, my time making it up to six hours and then back down again. Luckily for me, I kept a constant pace of around 10 minutes per mile through the whole race. I knew this was a comfortable speed for me, and I could finish without being completely burned out, or so I thought.

Here are the thoughts that went through my head before, during, and after the race.

Before

1. It's 4:00 a.m. Why. Why is it 4:00 a.m.

2. I'm so tired.

3. That person is running to the start line. Why? Are 26 miles not enough? WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

4. This was a horrible idea.

*The first group of racers gets released*

5. Well, I guess there's no turning back now.

6. Wow, I'm really about to do this. Oh my gosh, this is crazy.

7. I really have to go to the bathroom.

8. YOU GOT THIS GIRL.

9. AHHHHH

10. You are not alone in this. There are thousands of people here. Just don't give up. You will finish.

During

Mile 1: Wow that seriously went by so fast. 25 more miles of this? Only 25 more steps to the finish line.

Mile 2: That only took me 16 minutes? Crap I need to slow down.

Mile 3: JUST RAN A 5K. YEEAAAAHHHH

Mile 4: I'm running in a sweatshirt, and I'm sweating, but I'm still cold. How is that possible?

Mile 5: So I only have 20 miles left, and I'm feeling really good. I should probably stop to stretch. But I'm passing all these people, so I should be doing okay. Right?

Mile 6: ENERGY GEL TIME. Ugh, these taste like berries I'm so excited. Water water WATER.

Mile 7: Damn this is easy. I'm like Hercules. HERCULES HERCULES.

Mile 8: Oh no, I'm hitting the baby wall. I'm getting tired, but I just need to get to mile 13, and then I can eat a snack and stretch.

Mile 9-13: Pretty Trees. Painful feet. Boredom. So many miles.

Mile 14: More than halfway there! Another Energy Gel just in case,

Mile 15-16: *Sings along to music and bobs head back and forth*

Mile 17: I don't feel too hot, my stomach really hurts.

Mile 18: *Wall hits* oh. my. god. I have never known true exhaustion until now.

Mile 19: I will never complain about a workout. Ever again. NEVER.

Mile 20: Six more miles? That's like, two 5ks! Oh my god, that's two 5ks. Kill me now.

Mile 21: I got bio-freeze in my eyes! I can't see! (I actually did get bio-freeze in my eyes, I was running with my eyes closed from miles 21-23)

Mile 22-23: Blink really fast. Don't run into people. DANG, IT. GET OUT OF MY EYES.

Mile 24: Two miles. Two miles left. My legs are numb. My bones hurt. Can bones really hurt?

Mile 25: Food.Water.Pain.Help.Numb.

Mile 26: Do not stop until you see the finish line. I will fight you Andrea. DO NOT STOP.

After

Crossing the finish line: Oh my goodness, I did it. I'm going to cry. Yep, I'm crying. I'm such a baby. That was the hardest thing I have ever done.

15 minutes after: I can't move my legs at all. *takes off shoes, feet are bleeding* well that's fun.

The day after: Ow.

Two Days after: What do you mean it's a four-week recovery process? Four weeks? Without running? *15 minutes later* My bones hurt. My head hurts. Why do my shoulders hurt?!? I'm never running again.