I would hate to keep my readers waiting. So here it is...the marathon run down. We (me, Justin, Mommy, and Daddy) got up at 5:30 in order to leave the house by 6:00. We got off on time and stopped by Starbucks for coffee...well, I didn't have coffee but some others wanted the caffeine. We drove downtown to the start and were pleasantly surprised that the traffic wasn't bad at all. We parked near the start line and walked around a little getting the lay of the land and finding my corral. Around 7:00, we decided I better head to the porta-potty line. The line wasn't too bad and I had plenty of company to wait with. After that, we headed for the corral. Daddy, Mommy, and Justin waited outside the corral with me until about 10 minutes before the start. They headed for the start line at that point to see me off and I got into the corral. I was pretty nervous at that point trying not to think about how far I had to go.
After the gun sounded, it took about 4 minutes for me to cross the start line. I saw my crew and headed out! The first few miles were fun and I didn't even wear my mp3. My knee was doing okay but after every walk break, a pain would shoot up my leg. I kept praying that the pain would go away...and sometimes when the pain wasn't very bad...I just prayed it wouldn't get worse. About mile 5, I stopped for my first bathroom break. Only 3 people in line in front of me, not bad. About mile 10, I stopped to use the porta-potty again. Not really because I needed to but because there was no line. As I kept running, I would find out that none of the porta-potty's would have lines. What a relief since I tend to make quite a few pit stops. I was really excited to get to 13.1 miles! Nothing like the relief of being half way done! Then at mile 15, I saw the whole crew up ahead. Grandmom, Granddad, Randy, Kathy, Carey, Mommy, Daddy, and Justin had all come out to cheer me on. It was great to look forward to seeing them all through the race. It kind of gave me a goal...if I can just get to mile 15. After that, I was feeling tired and decided it was time to put my music in both ears and try to pretend I was somewhere else doing something else. That worked for awhile and I didn't get too exhausted until about mile 20. At that point, it was a mental battle. I kept telling myself that I just had to get to the next mile marker. Then I could re-evaluate how I was feeling and decide if I needed to walk. I had decided before the race to enjoy myself as much as possible and if I needed to walk to the end that was okay. But each mile came and I would think I could do just one more mile.
About mile 24...I got it in my mind that I couldn't walk now not after coming that far! So I ran until the end. I'll admit that a few tears escaped in there somewhere. Everything in me just wanted to be done so bad! A little less than half a mile from the finish, my coach saw me and started running with me until the finish line. It was great to have him run me in just when I thought I could run no more. I told him when he started running with me that this was really hard. He laughed at me and said "Did no one tell you that?" Plus Mommy, Daddy, and Justin were near the finish line to cheer me through.
It was an amazing experience to cross the finish line and see the clock and know that I had just run 26.2 miles! After I crossed the finish line, they put the medal around my neck and I navigated slowly to meet the family. Once you stop running, your body wants to collapse! But I made it out and we even walked all the way to the car. Once we got back to the Grandparents house, everyone was waiting for me (Randy, Kathy, Carey, Grandparents). They made a big deal out of it which was very cool. Then I took a quick dip in the pool. Yep, you heard that right. I got in the pool to substitute for an ice bath which is supposed to help with soreness. Then I was pretty much pooped for the rest of the day.
I will write more about the weekend and the TNT events we went to later. I figure this post is long enough. Here are some pictures at the marathon!
Me at the starting line. Justin's view of the start of the race.