I called my brother, Jeremy, as I approached mile 20. I had a long way to go considering my pace, and I needed someone to talk to. He’d been tracking my progress online, so he wasn’t totally surprised to hear from me. He knew something was up. I vented and complained for the first 10-or-so minutes, but that eventually gave way to fantasy football updates and three-way calls with my parents.
The next four-plus miles were humbling and humiliating—and a little infuriating.
I was constantly passed by inferior runners, and the encouragement I’d enjoyed from supporters during the first half of the race now sounded patronizing. I wanted to tell them that I was better than this. I wanted to explain that my knee would no longer bend; that running was no longer an option. Instead, I avoided eye contact and said nothing.
As the finish came into view, Jared and Katie took turns walking with me. Katie said she was proud. Jared said he was sorry. I was both.