I FINISHED!!!!!!!! Yes, I did it! I finished my FIRST marathon. I say first because I have decided that it is my new addiction. I loved it! Every minute of it! I started the day pretty early, I woke up at 2 and just couldn't go back to sleep. I tried to not toss and turn so my wonderful husband could get some sleep since he was going to have the kids and he needed all the sleep he could get. Anyhow, I made myself stay in bed until 4. Then I got up and crept back to the bathroom and started the chore of getting dressed and rechecking my gear, for the fifth time. My family all woke up to say goodbye to me and to wish me luck. I believe I left the room about 5, I can't really remember the exact time I was just so excited, and nervous, and I had this overwhelming sensation that I was going to be sick! I took the elevator down to the lobby to catch one of the shuttles the hotel was running to start of the marathon (all for the additional price of $10 for 2 miles). I talked with the two men that shared the shuttle with me. One of the guys and I ended up walking around with to pass the time. I ended up ditching him, not because I was trying to be rude, but because I needed to make a port-a potty trip and didn't want him tagging along (oh and I really didn't want to run with someone I just met, especially a man!) So I excused myself and headed out on my own. After over 2 hours of shivering, walking, an additional port-a-potty trip, a gear check, and stretching it was finally time for me to head over to the corral that I was assigned to. Yes, I did say corral, I felt somewhat like a cow waiting to be slaughtered, but tried not to think of it that way. :)
Since this was the Rock-n-Roll marathon they played several songs while everyone milled around. The song you are listening to (unless you paused it) is the song that started the marathon. Let me say it was an AWESOME way to start! Imagine 7,372 people lined up ready to run. The gun went off and we stood there. What were all of us waiting for you ask? Well for those in front of us to start running. The crowd felt like one huge organism moving forward together. All doing the same thing and acting, feeling the same way. We kept walking forward getting closer and closer to the starting line. Then those in front of us start to run, but we were all running before the starting line. Part of me didn't want to start running until I crossed the starting line, because that is where the marathon began, and the other part was soooo ready to start to run! Then I waved at Senator John McCann because he was there to say a few words before the race. (Yes, just a few feet away from him, he smiled down at me and waved back at me...) I wanted to yell out, "Sorry you didn't win! You were the one I was hoping for, since write-ins don't usually win." But I restrained myself, and finally came up to the starting line.
...I started my i-pod and watch while crossing the line and headed down the street, only 26.2 miles to go. I have to say running in a marathon on a cold morning has its additional hazards, forget the possible falls, hurt feet, blisters, sore legs, and dehydration. I had to keep checking my feet to make sure that they didn't get tangled up in all the discarded clothing. Gloves, jackets, sweaters, pants, you name it were all lining the road waiting for Goodwill to make their rounds. What a lovely run! Lovely cloudy day! (I am being serious.) Crowds lined the streets cheering us on. People with signs, one..."Toe nails are overrated," another,"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,"another "You have done worse thing for a long amount of time," another, "Beer that way ->," and many signs made to cheer on those who dared to make the journey. Besides the signs in the spectators I even saw several signs on runners backs, "Text me, at ..." (I guess that bald youngish guy was desperate and looking for a date), another..."If you find me drag me over the finish line." Oh then there were the sad t-shirts of people running in memory of comrades lost in war, or mom's who have died. Then there were others from different organizations running for pledges, and then there was me. A mom, running to prove that it could be done. And I did it! My family was there through out the race. So wonderful to see them! It was the first time for my wonderful husband to see me run and the first for my kids as well. My official time was 4:30:07. And by God's grace, I didn't fall, or break or tear anything. I kept running. I did walk a few minutes after mile 21, but I ran over the finish line. I DID IT!!!!!! And next time.....Next time...I will go FASTER!!!!