This year I ran the marathon with my "Bonus Mom," Realaine. Last year when she watched us finish she was totally inspired and wanted someone to run it with her so I happily agreed. Not sure why I agreed so happily, but I did. So this year I looked forward to training better than I had last year since I now knew how to manage my shin splints, however my training was not as intense as I thought it might be but I did find out how to completely eliminate my shin pain. I was nervous for this year because I knew I was not in the same shape I had been in last year, even though I had run more this time around. Everyone reassured me that my increase in running would be a help to me and I think it was, but only a little. I ended up with some pain and injuries during the race that I'm sure were related to my softer muscles of this year. But it was still fun (as fun as 5 1/2 hours of torture can be) and I'm still glad I did it. Official finishing time: 5:36:35.
Here we are still feeling pretty good around mile 16! (Pretty good is a relative term, haha.) We're right in the middle of the picture. I'm in a purple shirt and blue shorts and Realaine is to my left in the blue shirt.
Right here we're waving to my siblings and mom. Yes, I like to full on "cheese it" in most pictures.
It's always fun to see people you know and love as you're in the middle of something like a marathon. It's just a small thing, but even just a little bit of help is lovely.
This picture makes me laugh. I was trying to show enthusiasm, but now that I see the picture it looks like I have to pee. Which makes me smile, because every marathon photographer I passed was flashed a smile and a thumbs up from me. And if every smiling, thumbs up picture looks like I have to pee there are a lot of "urgent moments" of me captured forever. :) One thing for sure from yesterday's race is that we had far too many potty breaks. They were all needed, not always successful, and all of them were a waste of time. We were running a great pace that had us pretty happy about what we were doing, but all of those stops became at least 20 minutes added to our time. So we should really claim a time of 5:16 or so... but I'm still pleased that I ran it faster than last year.
I loved this poster my sister made. Thanks Lauren!
It made me smile, as well as a lot of others that took the time to touch that star.
(I even hear it made the news. My sister's a celebrity!)
You want to know why we were smiling so much? (This was mile 24 and we were MISERABLE!!!)
We could suddenly see this:
It was so cool to see it and then everyone around was cheering for me, which really made a difference. When I saw it I thought, "All the other official marathon signs don't really look like that. That must not be a marathon sign. Oh, that has my name on it. Oh. It's for me. Cool!" I just love these boys. They are my world.
Here I am at the finish. And I'm still smiling, which means I am likely to repeat the experience... just not for the next 5-10 years. It's too hard for me with young kids. My hubby works too hard which leaves me relying on too many others to babysit. But if my body isn't strong enough to do it then, I'll be OK. Promise.
I know this is not the most glamorous photo, but it was a milestone, for sure. I was so glad to sit down and rest my legs. In the first part of the race I was having slight IT band issues in my right leg and I spent a lot of time rubbing from my hip to my knee while I ran. About the time I took my second dose of ibuprofen that pain let up a bit but my left knee started to really hurt. I'd never had a pain like that in my knee before and it felt like it was something with my MCL, which made me nervous. That made the last 8 miles really hard. But I could not finish slower than last year. I just couldn't. And the moral of that story is that it felt good to sit a while.
Here I am with some of my greatest supporters. Marshall had already run off to the nearest playground and there were many other family members and friends that helped me through this day. I honestly could list off at least a hundred people that helped me in my journey... thanks everyone.
I gotta tell you a little more about all those potty stops. After the second stop (around mile 10) I came out of the out house and Realaine told me the 5:30 pacer had passed us. I was so ticked! We got back on our pace and passed him and his group again fairly quickly. Around mile 19 we both had to go again, so we stopped, even though there was a line. We waited for a handful of minutes when suddenly I could see that dang pacer again and there was no way I was going to let him pass me!!! So I said, "forget it!" and took off up that baby hill. I kept saying that if he passed me again I might swear. Haha. I think it was mile 21 or 22 when I couldn't wait another second and I stopped at the porta-potty just to come out watching that guy pass me again. At that point I would have loved to swear, but couldn't find the right words. Probably because swear words are so ineffective. :) I just kept hoping and praying that he was a little ahead of his pace and that I was going to still finish sooner than 5:30. But this was when my knee was really giving me fits and I just couldn't push it any harder than I was. At this point, all I can say is oh well. I didn't finish around 5:15 like I thought I would have but I ran that pace the whole time, so I couldn't be too discouraged.
In the days leading up to the race when I started thinking about what my expectations were I realized that if my body would hold up there was a small chance I could break 5 hours, which I would have loved to do. Which is why I fear I'll attempt this torture maybe one more time. Dang pride. It's going to be the death of me...