Katelin’s Marathon Journey

I am inspired by my friend Katelin. She completed her first Marathon yesterday! Read her story below and leave a comment congratulating her! The day after a race can be tough with recovery so your messages will be huge.


My Scattered Marathon Thoughts.
by Katelin Atwater on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 10:12am ยท
I wanted to quickly jot down my thoughts throughout the race yesterday. Poor grammar and very scattered, but I just wanted to get it down on paper so I wouldn’t forget everything entirely….. This is what I recall:

I threw on a trashbag last minute that Anne gave me to wear before the start. (Attempting to stay dry as long as possible) I walked over to the start line with Sarah Pierce Brown, my buddy from IG. Huddled up with the 9min/mile pacers, who all wore white bibs (half marathoners). The blue bibs (marathoners) were very few and far between. National Anthem starts. Gun goes off and we’re moving. Take off trashbag, head to the left where Charlie said he would be. I see him and look up and smile for the camera. Toss trash bad on the ground. And we’re running. And it’s raining. Hard. Surrounded by half marathoners and it’s messing up my pace. I Have to slow down. Don’t go out too fast! Music… Where’s my music? Did I even start my watch?? I can’t believe Im doing this. Mile 5.5 pace 8:54- right on target. “Kate!” Heyyy! There’s Charlie! How’d he get there?? Wave and smile. Mile 9ish along the water comin up on 5 big guys in cyclosport bike shirts. I tuck in behind them to shield against the wind. Tap one on shoulder and ask what their time goal is. 4 hours. I look down at my watch and their running 8:22 pace. That’s no 4 hours guys! Gotta slow down and let them go. Flood! everyone gets to the grass.. or mud.. to escape the shin deep water. Soo crowded we have to walk on the sides until the road is clear to run. Mile 12. Fans and volunteers are are yelling ‘Good job! One mile to go! Keep going!’ Ughhh! Shut upppp! I still have 14.2 miles to goooo aaactually. Coming up the chute. My heart sinks. ‘Marathoners to the left! Everyone else to the right.. Finish line around the corner!’ I see no other marathoners near me. ‘Number 16! Stay to left and keep going. That’s me. #16. Ok Charlie is somewhere around here. Looking. There he is. ‘Im already tired!’ I yell. ‘Here!’ He hands me a Gatorade and asks if I need anything else. ‘No. No I’m fine’. Look down at watch. right on schedule at around a 9:08 pace. Mile 14. WTF. Increasing rain with some sleet now and major head winds. Oh boy. Mile 15. Where is everyone? I’m Out here alone. I wonder whose more miserable, me or these poor volunteers. ‘You’re amazing!’ One Of them yells. Mile 16.5. Wow I am freeeezing. And soaked to the bone. I rip off my soaked ear warmer and stuff it in my pocket. Pace around 9:15 now. Mile 17ish. Ohhh the wind! It’s getting worse! Its like a maze to try and find unflooded road to run on. sinking in the muddy grass. I have to walk or ill break my ankle. Mile 17.5. Ok back on pavement. Wow its so hard to get started again. Mile 18 walk through water station and take a Gatorade. There’s Charlie! ‘Babe! I don’t feel good! I feel sick and so cold!’ ‘Do you want me to take you back? Be smart… A lot of people are bailing.’ ‘No.’ Keep running. Mile 18.5. Where’s my phone. I have to call Charlie. I can’t feel my hands. Pressing all the wrong buttons. Damn it. Ring, Ring. ‘Babe! I don’t know what to do I can’t run right now I’m going to throw up. Should I walk the rest of the way?’ …..’Where are you? Ill come get you’ …..’I have to finish though. I have to finish!’ Hang up.. I manage to fumble around and send Sarah Pierce a text. ‘I feel so sick’…..’Crohns sick or vomit sick?’ …..’Vomit’ … o wait a minute… speaking of vomit. Dry heaving. On the side of the road. Is this for real? I must be dreaming. I feel like I’m in a movie. Did I pay money to do this?? Ok mooove. Have to keep moving. Drink some water. Why do I feel so weirddd? Make yourself run. Running. Mile 20. Charlie has big, Soft, wooly socks… And one glove. I put a sock on one hand and the glove on the other. In retrospect, I Should have taken the two socks. Great arm warmers. This was a Godsend. My hands. I can feel my hands! Ok I’m running now an I’m smiling and delirious. Praying. ‘thank you, Jesus. thank you. please give me the strength to get to the finish.’ Half mile increments. I can make it to 20.5, I can make it to 21, (how many miles left? 4? wait no thats not right. 26 minus 21 is 4 right? No. 5. I think its 5.. Ohh whateverr!) 21.5, 22, 22.5, 23. Ohhh yeaa I have another gel left somewhere. I feel in my pockets and check my hydration belt. Ah ha! My 5th gel and I decide to take it. I see Charlie’s car. ‘What mile are you on? He tells out his window.. ‘23.5!’ ‘Almost there babe!’ He drives off…. (How easy it would have been to just climb in the car and go home) Mile 24 I see a girl ahead walking. I tap her on the shoulder…’How are you doing? Are you as miserable as me?’ ‘I can’t feel my body’ she says. ‘Why are we slurring so bad? I cant stop shaking!’ She continues. Hypothermia. It’s so hard to speak, my mouth feels so strange. A volunteer agrees.. ‘You all have hypothermia. But you arent stopping now! You’re almost there and you’ll be warm soon!’ My ankles feel broken! My left quad is cramping now. Oh please don’t get a cramp! My mom. I want to call my mom. My phone is dead, But I turn it on long enough to say ‘Mom! I’m at mile 24! Can you hear me??’ ‘I hear you Kate!! I hear you! Oh my gosh are you ok?’ Click. Phones dead. Everything is going to be ok. I can crawl now if I have to! I wave and thank an older volunteer for being out there with us. ‘Great job! I love to see that smile. Keep smiling!, he yells as I jog by. Smiling? Am I smiling? Ok. I’m dizzy I have to walk. Wow I never imagined I would feel so awful. I’m so cold. Mile 25. Glove/sock soaked. Theyre so heavy.. I gotta take these off. Little girl coming up ahead. Shes limping pretty bad. ‘You ok?’ I ask ‘My legs aren’t responding!’ She says. ‘Keep moving forward. Even if you have to walk. We are so close! You’re gonna make it!’ I say. ‘Thanks.’ She says. She looks like she’s crying. She’s so damn little! 4’10 maaybe. I run ahead. 25.5. I pass two men limping along.. mumbling to themselves. ‘Dig deep.. its all over soon!’ I Say. Woww I hear the crowd!! I hear music! 26. Ok I have to walk for 15 seconds in order to make sure I can run across the finish line. Feeling lightheaded. Get it together. Breathe. Wait a second. My watch says 26.2. What the hell? I’m supposed to be finished now! Pick up your legs. C’mon legs. Run. 26.3, ouch, 26.4, ouch, 26.5. Everyone is yelling and cheering. ‘Way to go runners! you did it! way to go!’ I hear a spectator yell. There it is.. the Finish line! And theres Charlie! ‘Yeah!” He yells. My arms go up in air with clenched fists and I do my best to smile big for the cameraman. ‘You did it!’ He says. I limp over and snatch my medal (I didnt realize I was supposed to let them put it on me) and a Gatorade from the volunteer. ‘Baaabe,’I whine. I…feel…..’ …….’I know, you’re slurring. Come on. lets go. you have to get those wet clothes off..’ He grabs my hand and I stumble to the hotel door. ‘Katelin! I almost got your picture but I couldnt get it! I wasnt sure if it was you! Nice job!’ Its Julie. I give her a hug. She did the half marathon and was cheering for Anne and I….. We made it to the room. We’re trying to get my clothes off. Peeling them one by one. My skin is cherry red. My hands are like sausages. Shower. Ahhh Hot shower. Cookie. Banana. Cookie. Eating In the shower. Crap that was conditioner. Holy shit Im alive. And Im a marathoner!


I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I am embracing the brokenness of my sin and sin nature, that apart from God through the work of Jesus Christ, I can do nothing. I am a work in progress surrounded by people who love the Lord. I want to know my story and be able to see Christ and myself in others.

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Posted in Running
2 comments on “Katelin’s Marathon Journey
  1. Amybeth says:

    AMAZING STORY!! Amazing tenacity and amazing woman! Awesome job Katelin! I’m proud of you. Your story brought me to tears. Fantastic!!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  2. Bryan says:

    I love it! You are a marathoner and NOBODY can ever take that away. As the saying goes, pain goes away, pride lasts forever. Congratulations.

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