After 16 weeks of preparation, May 1st finally rolled around. The weather forecast for Sunday morning ranged from rain, to no rain, to rain in the afternoon. I was a little freaked out, on account of the fact that I own no real rain gear. I am happy to say that I am a fair weather runner, if it's raining or too cold, I will run inside.
Kim, Abby and I hit the expo on Friday night and had a ball. We had our pictures taken, ended up on the facebook page for the Tulsa Marathon, and made friends with the people from OK Runner. We even scored Team OK Runner bright pink shirts to wear, I picked up a pair of Nike shorts to wear for 20% off, and we bought some GU Chomps, and Jelly Belly Sport Beans. We hit the Sweaty Bands booth, and I got a skinny black sparkly headband to wear on race day. The latest weather at that point was rain in the afternoon on Sunday, and I really wanted to look good in my pictures. Metro Shoe Warehouse had a booth, and I ended up spending $70 on a North Face, Summit Series rain jacket, that is so light and so cool. I couldn't believe I spent that much, but it is North Face and will probably outlast me, and it was going to be good for wind as well as rain. This is Oklahoma after all.
Saturday was beautiful. We had a nice lazy day, and I took the kiddos up to Edmond and we headed to dinner with the gang. We went to Gaberinos, and I can honestly say I was not impressed. It was a very small restaurant, which is OK, but for a while we didn't think we would have enough chairs for all 20 of us, with the other party of 20 that was there before us. I ordered whole wheat linguine with marinara, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli. The pasta was like mush. I like to be able to twirl my pasta but this pasta just fell apart when it touched my fork. I did get a class of red wine, and we took tons of pictures outside the restaurant when we were done.
I had all my stuff laid out and I was in bed by 9 pm. I woke up at about 12:30, and again at 2, for bathroom breaks, and I didn't really fall back to sleep after that. The alarm went off at 4 am, and I was up and we got dressed and headed out to meet the group in Moore at 4:45. We caravaned to my work, and thank goodness I work where I do. We had planned to let anyone that needed to use the bathroom do that there instead of the port-o-potties, and while we waited to head out to the starting line it started raining and the start was delayed for 30 minutes. So we hung out and waited, and went to the bathroom a few million times more and it got close to 7 and we headed the two blocks to the start. The rain hadn't stopped but it wasn't as bad, and we were hoping that it was just gonna clear up and move on out.
I had a hard time finding Abby at the start, and had visions of 26.2 miles all on my own, but then I got a call before I got past the start line, and she was waiting for me a few blocks into the race. We settled into a nice pace, although my Garmin was under my rain jacket so it was hard to tell. Abby had a scare before mile 4 where she rolled her ankle, but she was gonna fight through it and we stuck with it. I opted to shed my throw away shirt at about mile 4, but hung on to my gloves until mile 14. It rained, it thundered, there was lightening and at about mile 14 the sun came out. Finally! We thought that it was finally going to give us a break. I let my gloves go and I regretted it later. After about five minutes of sun, it clouded up again and started raining again. The wind was brutal, but it would have not been quite so bad had we not been soaking wet.
I had initially started trying to avoid puddles, but it was a waste of my time. At one point at about mile 20 I felt like we were running on the edge of the ocean, there was so much water on the street. It got really interesting at about mile 22 when it started hailing, yes it started hailing. I felt like I was being punked. It was so miserable you just had to laugh. There were not as many cheering fans along the course as I had hoped for, but who could blame them. You had to be crazy to be out in the crappy weather.
After mile 6, we walked a bit after every two miles, and after 20 we walked some after every mile. The mile markers didn't match up with my Garmin, which was frustrating. We saw Abby's husband Brian at about mile 23, and I don't think I have ever been so happy to see someone! He snapped a few pictures of us, and ran with us a bit, although we had to keep telling him to slow down, and then left to let the other's know we were on our way. I ran into my friend Ben at about mile 24, again it was so nice to see a friendly face. There were some firefighters out in all their gear walking the route that we tried to convince to throw us over their shoulders and carry us to the finish line, but there declined. When we made the turn onto Broadway, and I knew that we only had six blocks left I was so excited. Josh and the girls, and all our running friends were there to cheer us in and we crossed the finish line.
These are my official results, but my chip time was 4:33:25. We had hoped to finish between 4:30 and 5 hours, so we did way better than I could have imagined, even with the horrible weather. Kinda makes you think what we could have done had we had sunshine and better temps. I think that is what keeps people coming back again and again.
I got home, took a very hot shower, put some pain relieving gel on my poor legs, had some hot tea and a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and Nacho Cheese Doritos. Amazingly, my feet were not any worse for the wear after the race. It was almost like all the water I sloshed around in all day protected them from blisters. I don't think I'll be loosing any more toenails that I was already in the process of loosing.
I did take a nap, but the girls and I just hung around the house all day. I was in bed at 9 and didn't even consider going to the gym this morning. I went to bed a marathon runner, and woke up a 90-year-old woman. It's amazing that I ran 26.2 yesterday and can't hardly move today.
Overall, I am very proud of myself, and happy that I set out to do this and did it. I'm going to have to go see about a 26.2 sticker for my car, and I hear there's one out there that says "Toenails are for Wimps". I definitely need that one. It was a long 16 weeks, and I could not have accomplished this without Josh and my girls. It is nice to have people that support you no matter what crazy ideas you have, and I have been lucky enough to surround myself with an amazing group of like minded (Read: crazy) friends that have helped carry me through.
I am one very lucky, and very sore girl.