Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Several of you have asked recently, so there it is--I didn't mean to withhold important information! My finishing time, 8 minutes off my goal of 4 hours, which I never revealed here because quite frankly it's not important.

I realized this truth first at mile six when I had TWENTY MORE MILES to go and it became clear that it was crazy to try to reach this goal when I'd never run a marathon before, much less one with 45,000 other people in New York city.

I realized it again at mile 24 when I saw one of the 4 hour pace groups pass by. I've told several people that the Kelley Barnhardt I know would have chased that guy down without thought or question. But she was nowhere to be found, lost somewhere in the twilight zone.
I was still kind of in the twilight zone when I took this self-portrait during the long shuffle out of Central Park. If my face looks pixelated and grainy that's not only because I took the photo with my phone, but primarily because I'm covered in salt. I was hanging on by a thread at this point, but I can't tell you why because that's for a later post.

So 4:08 it is. A long time to be running, no doubt. Hopefully the next one will be quicker.


peggy dickerson said...

Very proud of you. Would be proud no matter what your time was.

You've done one......why, oh why, in the world would you want to do another one?

How about running a half marathon......not as much pain and suffering.......who picked 26.2 as a magic number.

I guess I sound like a non runner.....who knew?

tommyday said...

When faced with a true reflection of such a great task (miles 6, 24,etc.)the ease with which ones ambition wilts is at the same time embarrassing, humbling, and very much real; and yet it's all quite surreal. Like someone holding an open flame to your skin and you watching passively as it burns you. You are present but not capable of action. And you don't care. You lived the true marathon experience. Read your last sentence again and tell me the time isn't "important." Can't wait to hear the juicy guts of it that I know are still to be told.

Anna Katherine said...

Hello Kelley, I'd like for you to meet my friend, the Beast. Beast, this is your new running partner.

Kenya said...

Last spring....when you decided to tackle this "beast", Davis was on the couch on hydrocodone because the chemo he was taking made his ankles and legs hurt so bad he could barely walk. I bet this was much like you at mile 22. He beat that horrible stretch of his treatment. You beat it and finished your first marathon. Words cant express how proud I am of you both!!!

Anonymous said...

You look fabulous! That gold bling looks good on you. And the 4:08, isn't that what you call a PR since it was your first marathon? That's pretty awesome to me. What's awesomer... I know you'll beat it next time ;)

Anonymous said...

SO PROUD OF YOU! Personally I think your time ROCKED...but I would tend to agree...it's not about the time but rather the experience! I love that you are taking everyone on your journey. It's awesome to be a part of it!!! Again...so very proud of you. You are a true inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I was impressed that you finished. I am really impressed with 4:08.

Heather said...

Congratulations on finishing!! I think 4:08 is incredible!

~Heather (I run w/ Len - met you out there one Sat. a.m.)