The first 3 miles were great, I had a good pace, my legs felt good. I knew that there were going to be a couple of people to watch for along the course - Rob's cousin Mike being the first one. He was a race marshal around the 3.5 mile mark - there he was on the side of the road! I yelled his name and he cheered and took a picture of me as I ran by! It was so great to see him - he is definitely one of my running mentors. Then just a short mile and a half up the road I knew Mike's wife Mary was going to be around as a race marshal as well. I saw her on the right side of the road - I yelled her name, she jumped up and down and cheered - the BEST shot in the arm for me at that point in the race. My legs were getting tired - it was a little hillier than I had remembered! She is another one of my running mentors - whether she realizes it or not (come to think of it, I should probably tell her!). I knew my family was going to be on Summit and Dale St., which I had figured out was about the 8.25 mile mark so I was looking forward to seeing them the ENTIRE race!
After I passed Mary I quickly recalled that there was a decent hill coming up as made our way to Summit Ave. I fondly recalled this hill from the Get In Gear race in May. This was the first moment of the first half of the race where I really wanted to walk - my left hip was tight and screaming at me and I was tempted to just pull off to the side and rest. But, as I looked up the hill and straight in to the sunshine - I could hear the crowd, they were yelling, clapping and cheering for everyone as we ran by. If not for that group of people I may have very well started to walk - which would have been fine, but I really didn't want to at that moment.
The next thing I knew we were turning the corner and Summit Ave was in my sights. I had ran this part of the course on a practice run several weeks prior so I knew what to expect for the remainder of the race. Again, the crowds and support going up Summit were awesome - there were several cheer zones, which I am sure during the marathon were even bigger! There were two large Powerade and water stops - I took these two opportunities to slow down to a quick walking pace, trying to give my legs a little bit of a break. I was keeping an average mile pace of 9:23 but once I hit mile 6 and 7 I could feel myself slowing down and my leg getting tighter. But, I knew I only had a mile left to get to my family - to be able to see my girls, my mom, my dad, my in laws, and my husband!
I stuck to the left side of the road knowing they would be on the north side of Summit Ave. As I came up the hill, I could hear "there she is, I see her" and then the cowbell that started immediately after! My mom had spotted me and I had spotted them. I could feel my energy spike and I was so excited to see them and know that I was that much closer to the finish line! As I ran by them, the girls were clapping - I yelled a quick "happy anniversary" to my hubby and kept on my way. I had a time to make!
After I passed them, I looked up the road and saw a familiar person on the course. There she was about a 100 feet ahead of me - JEN! I started yelling her name and sprinted a little bit to catch up to her. My running partner, the one that had met me early in the morning to get our miles in and to get our gym time in all summer long. We were going to run the last mile and a half in to the finish together. We were both in a little pain but we were so close - it was time to finish this! Jen knows I like to pour on some steam right at the end so she wasn't shocked when with a quarter of a mile left I pulled away a little bit. I could see the finish line - I could hear all of the people yelling as we ran that last .25 miles down John Ireland Blvd and all I could think was "legs don't fail me now" - "keep going, you are almost there" - "come on, just get to the line"! I crossed that finish line and I was so happy - it was actually really hard to avoid shedding a couple of tears. I looked down at my Garmin and saw 1:35 on my watch. I had done it - I wanted to finish under 1:40 and according to my watch I had done that. (and according to official results it was 1:35:02!!)
It was a whirlwind after we crossed the finish line - medals, blankets, food, finisher shirts - OH MY!
Here are a couple of shots from post race celebrating!
|Jen and I after the finish!|
|Melissa and I with Zoe|