After running a few errands I headed downtown to the expo with the girls. We spent a long while there looking at things and even getting fake eyelashes. I can honestly say that's a first for me at a race expo. Once we made it back home we headed over to Karrie's for our carb loading dinner that her husband so graciously prepared. I had my usual two beers with dinner and spent some time talking about our plans for Sunday during the race. We headed home at a reasonable hour and I proceeded to get everything ready for the morning so I wouldn't have to rush around. I turned in relatively early and slept okay.
|Carb Loading Dinner|
The alarm went off at oh-painful-early and I started to get ready for the day. I made my breakfast to take with me in the car and eat on the way downtown to the start line. It turned out that I was able to finish my breakfast at each of my neighbor's houses while I was waiting for them to come out to the car so we could be on our way. We arrived downtown with very little problems and found a good parking spot, took several pictures and walked towards the start line.
|26.2 and 13.1 ready to run|
|Running for a reason|
We did stop and use the porta potties on the way. As we walked to the corrals it started to pour rain on us. It stopped relatively quickly but may have made things worse because the humidity was crazy! The plan was to stay together as long as possible. Everything was going along great. We made it to the 6.5 mile water stop where my friends Missi and Dave were cheering us on and giving me new water bottles. It was at this water stop that we somehow lost Trisha. Chrindye and I trudged on together while Karrie and Kelly stuck together just a little ways behind us. It was incredibly hot and humid so we welcomed the rain when it came and then cursed it when it left and made it that much hotter. As we were running along Chrindye and I took a few minutes to remember the numerous angels we had with us that we were running for.
|When I was tired Angel Emily became my legs|
|Trisha, Chrindye, and myself near the turn around|
Just before mile 18 I started having stomach cramps and slowed to a walk for just a minute. Chrindye went on ahead of me and then we saw her family and porta potties which were both welcomed sights. I felt better after using the porta potty and the bonus was the Trisha caught back up with us at this point. As we rounded the turn to head back towards downtown I could feel my body temperature rising rapidly. I told Chrindye that I was going to have to walk because I didn't want a repeat of my 2010 Cleveland Marathon that ended in Metro's ER. I wasn't in an physical pain so having to stop to walk was frustrating but I knew it was the right thing to do at that time. Chrindye tried to walk but it was less painful for her to run so I sent her on her way. I ran/walked with Trisha for a short period of time and then I lost sight of her. I did my best to stay hydrated during those last 8 miles that I had to run/walk. At 20+ miles into the race I saw my co-worker on the sidewalk. It was like an angel had been sent to me. She and her husband jumped on the course and ran/walked a good mile with me. It was incredibly helpful and I thanked them repeatedly. Eventually I made my way towards the finish line. I saw my son and gave him a high five and then I saw my daughter and ran over to her at which point both she and my son finished the race with me. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to what was a tough race day in crazy weather conditions.
|Loved that the announcer complimented my daughter on her "You can't squat with us" tank|
|Best Finish Ever!|
After everyone finished the marathon, we headed to the beer tent (minus Trisha as she was feeling very ill and needed to get out of there) to enjoy the rewards of our labor. Although my time was my second slowest marathon finish ever I couldn't help but smile for the successes of my friends. They all completed their first marathon and are still considering toeing the line of another 26.2 mission. I told them I was all in as long as the marathon was in the fall when there is a better chance of cooler weather!
|Sweet Emily saw me through|
|26.2 Run and Done|
|18 of the 26.2 miles run together|
|Happy to be done|
|Slow and steady but I did it|
It was a wonderful day all around and a fantastic birthday that ended with a post-marathon celebration at Chrindye's house in honor of our marathon finish and my birthday!
|Proudly wearing our hard earned medals|
|We did it|
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!