After a horrible night's sleep Saturday night my alarm finally went off at 5 am. My weather app was even nice enough to notify me at 1:30 am about a winter storm warning back in Norman until Tuesday morning. So thankful they warned me.
I got up, got dressed and grabbed my breakfast and headed down to try to catch the shuttle. The first shuttle was full so I waited for the next one. You can meet some of the nicest people when you are headed to the start of a race at six in the morning. I talked to one girl that has run the Great Wall of China marathon. Seriously, how cool would that be? She said if she was going to do a marathon she wanted to make it a good one.
After a long line and a bathroom break, I met up with Anne and we headed over to the corrals.
The 3-Day shirt came off before the start, and the gloves and ear warmers came off very early. It was a fabulous day.
We hit the 5k mark at 27:45, I felt pretty comfortable at that point. At the 10k point we were at 56:03, still feeling good. We even made it to the stockyards and I tried to take a couple of pictures.
We were running down a hill, I even took one of us.
It is not easy to take pictures while you are running. Anne had a small scare when she almost tripped on the cobble stones. We didn't take any other self portraits after that. I did get to distract myself while chatting to a guy that had a Ragnar shirt on. He ran the Florida Keys race, and one other that I can't recall. We then headed over to the really big hill. We made it up that really big hill and took a short walk break. Anne saw her husband, Patrick, so we started running again. You can't be walking when there is a photo opportunity coming up.
I think that is a horrible picture of me. My white singlet makes me look even whiter I think, and those leg warmers on my arms were my homemade arm warmers. Those turned into kleenex later in the race. Then they turned into trash.
The split was not long after this picture and Anne headed off to finish her half marathon as I headed off on the lonely road with the other marathoners. I got to see my road crew then, which was a really nice pick me up. I still felt pretty good at this point.
I passed the 131 mark at 2:02:33, I was still on pace for a four hour marathon and I felt good. I was worried about hydration and fuel, so I made sure to drink at almost every water stop and I ate my first package of chomps throughout the first half of the race. The miles really did seem to just tick by at this point, there were quite a few hills, but lots of neighborhoods to run in. I got gummy life savers from some little kids, and pieces of banana and oranges at some other houses along the route. It got a little lonely at some points, but then there would be house after house of spectators.
I ran into a guy that works for one of our sister companies at about mile 18. It was so nice to see someone I knew and chat with him for a few minutes. I lost him at the next water stop and then saw Josh and the girls again. I cannot tell you what it does when you see someone out there cheering you on. I saw Anne and her husband before mile 20 when I was taking a short walk break.
At 20 miles I was at 3:11:52, I was glad to only have six miles left, but after that point the wheels sort of fell off. There were some hills that were quite defeating and as much as I wanted to keep running I just couldn't help the walk breaks. The course came out by a river and the trees and shade we enjoyed in the neighborhoods was gone. It's hard to complin about sunshine, and I was really thankful to not have rain (or thunder, lightening and hail) but I sure would have loved a few clouds.
I don't think I can put into words just how hard the last four miles of a marathon are, even now as I think about them it's just a blur. There is a point when all you can feel is pain. I was determined to be running when I made it to the finish line. I crossed at 4:21:25, and burst into tears. I was shocked to see Josh and the girls waiting for me between volunteers handing out medals. I got my medal, food, and finisher shirt and set off on the slow walk out to the car.
After an ice bath and hot shower at the hotel, I put on my compression socks and comfy clothes and we headed north. We stopped and grabbed lunch on the way and managed to make it back to Norman in time to pick the pups up at the kennel.
I was ready to call it a night by 6 pm, but managed to stay up until about 8:30. I really wanted to watch the Oscar's but had to set the DVR instead.
What an insane day. My legs are definitely feeling it today, but more on that later. I'm drinking a celebratory glass of wine and I'm gonna call it a night.