The marathon was absolutely great! I trained and ran the race with 3 girls (Bethany, Stephanie and Michelle) that I didn't know well or at all before August but we have shared something special now! I met the other 3 girls at our corral right before the race started and then we ran out little hearts out! It was warmer than we were expecting. The weather has been crazy cold and that is what we were used to running in and then all of the sudden it was warm! It didn't bother me much. I just made myself keep drinking a lot of water and power aid. I know this sounds crazy but the race was fun! There were 10,000 people running and a ton of people cheering us on. I think my favorite part was having total strangers cheering for me. I had my name on my bib and as I ran by people would cheer for me by name. They also had inspiring and funny signs. One of my favorites said, "You are all Kenyan's in my eyes!". I also enjoyed encouraging other struggling runners as we ran by. We had some laughs during the race. Around mile 4 someone spit and it flew back in my face and mouth. I freaked out and started yelling, "I'm dying!!!!". If you know me at all, you know I am a germaphobe. Then around mile 13 I stopped to use a port-a-potty (ewww gross gross gross) and when I walked in there was vomit everywhere. I turned around and said forget it. At mile 22 Stephanie saw her family and her son yelled, "Mom did you poop or puke?". Everyone around us burst out laughing. She did neither by the way!
I think we ran without stopping (except to get water at the water stations) for the first 12 miles. We started some intervals but didn't stick with them too much. I felt really good until around mile 24. I got pretty tired but I knew I only had 2.2 miles left and made sure my legs and feet just kept kept moving. Another girl, Amanda, who I have run with a couple of times was there cheering us on. We saw her 2 times and it was awesome to see someone we knew. Bethany's dad was also there and we saw him 3 or 4 times along the course. Once again, seeing a friendly face was very reassuring. The most most reassuring thing was knowing that Toby, Cason, Molly, my dad and Beth were at the finish line waiting for me. I COULDN'T wait to get there to see them. I kept telling myself just a little bit further and I can hug them and drink a Dr. Pepper. That was all I wanted to do!
I ran the race in 5 hours and 5 minutes. It went by really fast in my mind. I admit that I am a little sad it's over. I am pretty sore today. Toby gave me a gift card to get a massage and that felt awesome! I don't think I will ever run another full marathon again but I want to run halves. I am actually signed up for the Dallas Rock and Roll Half at the end of March. I need at least a few days of recovery and then I will be back at it again!
|Toby and the kids gave me this wonderful surprise a couple of weeks before the race.|
|The night before the race. Everything was ready to go.|
|Another running friend, Katy, told me about the wonderful idea of inviting people to "run" with you. If people wanted to pray, encourage or cheer for me I wrote their names, scriptures and quotes on these bracelets and carried them with me.|
|One of my 2 absolute favorite signs that I saw!|
|The kids practicing.|
|Here I come. I was still running!|
|I think this is when I saw Toby.|
|I stopped to give the kids a hug.|
|Then we decided to have them run across the finish line with me. Cason thought it was super cool and so did Molly until right at the finish line when it got loud. I had to stop, pick her up and carry her across the finish!|
|There we go!|
|Finally! The medal!|
|My best friend Beth was there to support me. It was awesome!!! So was my dad but I didn't get a picture with him. :(|
|The kids thought this was hilarious!|
|Me and my 3 training and marathon buddies.|