Monday, October 13, 2008

I Finished!

Hooray! The marathon was yesterday and I did cross the finish line! Overall, it was a great experience. I was lined up in the middle of a huge mass of people, just waiting and nervously telling jokes before the start. After the gun went off, we started shuffling forward for about 15 minutes before we got to the start line and could start running. So crazy! I think the first few miles were my favorite part of the race--because everyone was freaking out excited that we were finally here, cheering for each other in the tunnels, and getting a bit emotional at all of the "18 WEEKS OF TRAINING!" signs. :) The first five miles went SO FAST. I didn't miss my music at all and it was really fun to run in the middle of the city. We headed north towards Lincoln Park and the temperature was really nice, though we were mostly in the shade. I alternated between gatorade and water at all the aid stations, and continued running on. Saw Katy at mile 10 which was really fun. And of course I taped my name to my shirt so thousands of people were screaming my name and cheering me on (what a boost). Mile 12 was a bit rough, I think because the first part went so fast and then I had to calm down and settle into the pace. Finished the half on pace for 4:18. By mile 16 it was really hot, and we were out of the shade into the full sun. I started walking through the aid stations, and really my legs were okay except for my knees. Saw that the Alert level was now Red (it had been yellow throughout the race) as the heat got stronger, and at around mile 20, the guy I had been following for a couple miles just collapsed in front of me, and we were all yelling for the police and the medics. I've never seen anything like that during a race (though it's pretty common) so for the next couple miles I took it slower, and had to repeat to myself that I wasn't going to die on the course. I started pounding bananas like it was my job to ward off cramps and had to will myself forward over miles 22-25. At mile 25, the crowd picked up again, and I was just looking for the right turn, which meant we were really close to the finish line. When we got to that turn, I was completely euphoric and started going faster, up the hill. We turned left at the top and could see the finish line. Was so surreal but I pounded the last 300 meters and finished 4:51:54. Not nearly as fast as I would have liked, but I finished. :) Feeling pretty okay today. I've been icing my knees but otherwise just a little sore in my quads. I think I'm done running for a while, but I can't help but think of my next race...anyone up for it? :)

Thanks friends for all your support...I really could not have done it without you! :)

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