I finished the Thunder Road Marathon with a time of 5:34 or thereabouts. I have not checked to see if the official times are posted yet, but I am happy. Sure I was aiming for faster, but I think the fact that I was sick all this week combined the with the 30 degree temperatures this morning makes 5:30 + change pretty good.
At least I didn’t get picked up by the white van! Although, I must admit SO MANY times I was tempted.
This morning it was so dark when we arrived at the Convention Center downtown.
[Excuse the graininess that is my point and shoot!]
Earlier this week I found out that my friend Anna was running the half, so we rode together to the race.
I was so happy to have a friend to rock my marathon tee with! We got these cool technical tees that we both ended up wearing the whole time. Love.
We started out ok, probably about 2-3 minutes past the gun time. My first two miles were slower than I wanted, but still in the 10 minute range. My first mistake was when I stopped for a bathroom break at the 3 mile mark. I lost a good chunk of time waiting for a port a potty, and in retrospect I should have waited.
Anyway, when I hit the half marathon mark it registered 2:35. I was rather disappointed at that time, because that is the slowest half time I have ever ran. I knew then that my dreams of a 4:30 time were out the window, and I just focused on finishing. I walked through the next water break and took some sport beans.
I am not going to lie. It was hard. And every single body part I own ached the entire time.
Miles 16-20 I was totally focusing on my music and playing mental games with myself to keep my mind off how much pain I was in. At 16 I took a shot of Gu and again at 20. I think all in all, I took the 2 shots of Gu and 1.5 packs of sports beans. I was fueling whenever I felt I needed it, and I never felt that I didn’t fuel enough.
I hit the 20 mile mark in 4 hours, which at the time I still thought maybe I had a shot of finishing around 5 hours.
Um, those last six miles were the hardest miles I have ever ran. Between 22 and 23 I made myself run the whole mile without stopping. I then realized that it was easier to run as much as I could with little to no walking breaks to the finish.
Once I saw mile 24 I knew the end was coming soon, and mile 25 was even more exciting. At about 25.5 I rounded a corner and saw my parents and Cecily. I broke into a full out run, waving my arms and screaming. I was so excited, and tears just filled my eyes. I was SO CLOSE and so happy to see my family.
I turned another corner and saw my other sisters and started crying again. It was all so emotional! I am not a huge crier, but I had been on the verge of tears for the last 14 miles, so that was all it took.
Meredith, Sabrina [and Izzle! sorry no pic of him] ran the last half mile with me [across the finish line!] cheering me the whole way. Linden followed behind snapping pictures.
When we were in sight of the finish line I heard the announcer say: Here comes a whole pack of them! I just ran my little heart out and SPRINTED across that finish line.
[Excuse the pasty face and my eyes darting in the wrong direction. I was trying to look at two cameras at once!]
Me, mom, dad and Cecily + my huge chunk of bread.
It was truly the best thing I have ever done in my life. Will I do it again? Well…that is yet to be determined. I say never say never. We shall see.
At least for the next year, I am planning to stick with shorter distances and improve my speed. 2011? Who knows?
I just know I am proud of every single one of my race medals.
And I wouldn’t object to adding to the collection.