So there it is! Objectives were to finish and qualify for Boston and have a good time--all objectives met! I am glad it is over. I am glad I took the last two weeks easy and let my hip and foot heal a bit--they held up pretty well. On to the race--I took Sasha's advice and decided to run 8:00 miles until mile 20 and then see from there. Not so fast finish, but I will learn to do better in the last 10K. This course is NOT flat. Lots of rolling. One nasty hill right at the 22 mile mark, and then a lonely treck through Linwood park wondering where everyone is and if it will be over--but I am getting ahead of myself. It was so windy today--could have done without that but I didn't let it get to me--this is Kansas and the wind was to be expected--could've been worse. So here is the play by play:
Morning: up at 5:45, half a cup of coffe, one piece of toast with peanut butter, one banana, gatorade, got there an hour early, hung out with my husband's cousin Jenny who ran her first half marathon today. Line up and at 8:00 am the whistle blew and we were off.
1. 8:23--caught in the crowd, not up to speed yet.
2. 7:48--break free of the crowd, trying to settle into 8:00 pace
3. 8:02--that's better
4. 8:09--just breezing along comfortable, actually enjoying myself and feeling happy to be running and happy to be healthy
5. 7:59--all warmed up. Ran by a dumpster pulled up to someone's curb in the neighborhood and neatly deposited my earband, gloves, and arm warmers. Slowed down to a walk briefly so I could gulp gatorade
6. 8:04--get to chatting with two guys. One hasn't run a marathon in 20 years and is going for a 3:45. The other guy ran the Kansas City marathon yesterday--he is running in all 50 states and didn't realize it was Kansas City, MO, so he drove down here to run his Kansas marathon today. crazy!
7. 8:08--Still chatting, get some gatorade
8. 7:50--time to break away because I am slowing down too much
9. 7:48--see my husband, he gives me my sunglasses and I tell him I am having a great time--I am! drink more gatorade
11. 7:48 drink gatorade
12. 7:40--thinking I will hit the half right on schedule
13. 7:48-gatorade, I am just drinking it every 2 miles at every aid station
14. 7:43--pass through the half in 1:44 and some change, see my mother and grandfather and yell at them that I feel great
15. 8:06--yucky headwind, gatorade
16. 7:49--golly it is windy, I need to stop thinking about it
17. 7:51--feeling okay, make sure I drink lots of gatorade
18. 8:25--left quad is getting tight and locking up. that's not good
19. 8:24--the downhill slide begins, now I notice that my legs hurt, gatorade
20. 8:04--I can't believe that I haven't used the restroom yet. I don't think I am going to need to
21. 8:18--right quad is locking up. Nice. now I am symmetrical-gatorade
22. 8:37--hill. mean ol'hill. just what my locked up legs needed
23. 8:39--my husband! Yeah! I tell him that I am hurting and I can't wait to see him at the finish line!
24. 8:42. Lonely mile. No spectators through here. Somewhere in here I pass a few people which surprises me because I feel like I am barely moving. Legs are soooo locked up. I feel all the energy draining out of me. Where is that aid station?
25. 8:48 my legs are concrete pillars, don't get much at the aid station because I can't slow down or I will probably never recover.
26. 8:31 a little surge because I am almost done and I have been checking my watch to make sure I at least make Boston!
last .2 I don't know because I forgot to stop my watch. The last two blocks are on cobblestones so I am smiling and trying not to fall on my face at the same time! I cross the line and throw my hands up in the here because it is DONE!
A year ago I would have laughed at you if you said I would run a marathon and qualify for Boston. So glad I am healthy and a runner and not a smoker. So glad to have a marathon under my belt. This is a happy day, it is really a personal triumph of sorts. I have a past full of bad lifestyle decisions and choices. Quitting smoking last year was the last vice to go, and today is a symbol of victory over all those bad dark things in years past. I really am free. Thanks be to God.
Next: run some more and learn to run a marathon FASTER!