... How many steps did I take running my first 26.2 mile marathon? And I burned over 2800 calories - Wow!
There is no denying the anticipation that I had for this event. I counted down the days, made sure that I hydrated, carb-loaded, and passed on the wine. It was all I expected it to be...
Fun... Long... Grueling... Exciting... Exhilarating... Painful...
I ran with a great group of friends, shout-outs to Connie, Karen, Diane, Jim & Chad. We kept each other motivated and on-track. There's something exciting that happens when you do something with a group of people that are all running toward a common goal. A kinship - a community - a family is birthed where you least expect it. That in itself is priceless.
Running through downtown San Antonio was nice. The weather was great and the scenery was beautiful. The crowds all through downtown were excited - which we all appreciated. I felt great all thru mile 18, then I started to feel shakey and hungry and if I were by myself, I might have considered quitting had this one woman not shouted "Come on! You can do it! This is what you trained for!" Lady - whoever you are - Bless You! You kept me focused and I needed it bad.
Around mile 19, I had to take a potty break and told my buddies to go ahead and I'd catch up. That break made my leg muscles tighten up and it took me longer to get back into a running rhythm. I ran by my husband, son, mom & sister at mile 21 and they cheered and yelled and all I thought to myself was "Ok, less than a 10k left. It's a new race, I can finish this!" About 100 yards past my family, my calves just cramped up and did not want to run anymore. If calves could speak, mine would have been saying, "Hey! You've never made us run this far before so we're not doing it!" I spent the next 2 miles walking and stretching A LOT! By this time, I knew 2 things - I was not going to catch up with my group, and I would not finish at the 5 hour mark. But, I kept trying to run and FINALLY - shortly after passing the mile 23 marker, my calves gave up their fight against my determination to finish. My pace was not as strong as it had been but I was moving. Hallelujah!
That last stretch to the finish line is all I've heard it could be. It felt great. I had my "moment."
My official time was 5:20:32 and I'm looking forward to beating that! You heard that right - I will do this again.
I look goofey in this pic - My smile looks bigger than my head and I should have straightened my shirt and centered my bib but I think at this point it took every ounce of energy to hold up my "bling" :-)
Q & little Q met me at the finish line and I was so grateful they did. Q helped me stretch out and then drove me straight to Big'z Burgers to eat one of these... (I passed on going home to shower, cuz I was starving!)
As I hobbled thru the restaurant to a table, I saw 2 others wearing their bling and chowing down on some burgers and then another fellow marathoner came in after me. They, like me, came straight from the finish line. Happy to report that the restaurant smelled like a burger joint and not stinky marathon runners.