It was pretty surreal this morning, running past the finish line and thinking how last June I couldn't even run 5 minutes straight without feeling like I was going to die... and here I was running 13.1 miles. We got an early start this morning (me, my sister, Ashleigh, my youngest sister, Whitney, and Whitney's best friend, Mallory.) We woke up around 4:50am and parked at Gateway and took the TRAX up to the starting line. We had about 45 minutes to go to the bathroom, stretch and warm-up. We were all a little wired. In fact, one guy came up to us and told Whit and Mal that he wanted to run with "these ladies." Assuming from their dance moves that they would be a riot to run with. Then he asked what their pace was and they both looked at him and said "We don't know." Then he walked away pretty quickly after that. I guess we weren't serious enough for this guy. My friend, Amber, met us a couple minutes later and at 7am the buzzer went off and it was race time. The first mile my knee started aching and I thought "Oh no. How am I going to make it another 12?!!" Thankfully though the 4 ibuprofen I took 30 minutes before kicked in and I didn't really start feeling pain until about mile 8. At mile 10 2 of my online friends, Leslie and Heidi, were there cheering me on. It was a great boost and definitely much needed at that point. Around mile 11 my hip really started to hurt. I pushed through as much as I could but eventually had to walk. There was a hill we had to go up from about mile 11 to mile 12 and it seemed to make my hip worse, which was frustrating. I didn't want to have to walk too much, but the pain started getting worse. When I hit mile 12 I got a second wind, knowing I was only 1 mile away from the finish line. So I picked it up and tried to push harder than I had the last couple miles. I LOVED running down Gateway. The crowd screaming and music blasting made me so excited and gave me that extra oomph I needed to finish strong. I almost had tears in my eyes running that last stretch. It was awesome. I crossed the finish line at 2:22. I was a little sad just because I was running around 10 min/miles for the first half of the route (and even had a couple faster miles) and was hoping to keep it up, but by the end I was just glad to finish. I told my sister "At least I beat the fastest person on the Biggest Loser!" I actually think I was probably a little faster because after I crossed the mat at the start, it took me a good two minutes to get going because there were a lot of people we were weaving through. Well, at least I have a time to beat now for my next half! After the race we all got massages (mine wasn't that great but better than nothing.) Then we went out to lunch at IHOP. We were all stinky and making multiple bathroom runs, as our digestive tracts were starting to function again. ;) The drugs I took have worn off now and both my knees are hurting pretty badly. I'm really grateful though that I was able to make it all the way through. After I finished my first race ever in 2004 (5 mile race in Moab) I told myself I would NEVER run a race that long again. My first thought after this race, even though my hip was hurting was "I can't wait to sign up for another one." So, I guess I've come a long way these last couple years and I hope I just keep getting faster and stronger. Thanks to all of you for your well wishes. It really meant a lot.
(Notice the Ethiopian guy on the right in the background. He had just won the marathon. Amazing to think someone can run a marathon in the time it took me to run half of one!)
Can you guess which one doesn't look like the others? Yes, I think my toenail will be coming off very soon. It actually looks worse in person but you get the picture.
Thinking of You
5 days ago