We made our way to the start line. There was a lot of people - but in comparison to larger marathons - there were "only" 2000 marathoners. I found the pace group I wanted to start with. They sent the elites off, the wheelchair racers, and then the gun went off for our race. We actually were able to start running a lot sooner than I had anticipated - usually its more of a shuffle when there are that many people! I crossed the start mat and hit "Start" on the Garmin. I was off - I was running my first marathon!
Miles 1-6: (9:59, 10:27, 9:59, 10:23, 10:56, 9:36)
Miles 7-12: (10:02, 11:10, 10:31, 9:47, 10:47, 11:48)
|Water - Mile 19!|
As I came through the water stop around the mile 19 area I could hear my name and cheering. All along the course the supporters were great but this was different. As I rounded the corner I see my friends and family! Husband, mom, Melissa, Travis, Troy and Jill - all yelling and cheering - it was AMAZING! I stopped briefly (asking Missy and Troy how the half went) and then I was back on my way - I did still have 7 miles. The last thing I heard as I ran away was Travis yell - "See you at the finish" - it gave me goose bumps. I was going to finish this marathon - and they were all going to be there to see it!
This set of miles were tough - I am not going to lie. There was some walking that happened outside of my water stop walks. But I never once stopped moving. I don't equate walking to failing so I was okay with the breaks - but I didn't want to become "okay" with it to the point that it really slowed me down. They are not kidding when they say the last 6.2 miles of a marathon are the hardest - and I really think it was more mental than anything. My body was tired, but my legs weren't done, they had 6 more miles in them.
Miles 23-25: (11:58, 11:02, 11:36)
Mile 23 I discovered my 4:45 pace group again - they had caught up to me! I tried not to get too down on myself for having been caught because realistically this was a good finish time for me. So, I made a deal with myself - you finish with these people, and at the end you sprint your ass off and make sure you get that sub 4:45 time. The last few miles were loooong. But the support on these miles were incredible. I am sure it was written on most of our faces that we were done and the supporters responded accordingly. I thanked them all - the "way to go", "you are almost there", "nice skirt" - whatever it was - THANK YOU! It kept me moving - not always very quickly as you can my mile splits suffered the last 6 miles, but I was moving in a forward direction.
Mile 26 and .2: (10:55, 9:07)
As we came around the corner and were able to see the FargoDome I was not sure if I was going to be able to contain my emotion. We ran past this huge big screen out on the street - as I saw myself run by it started to get real that I was about to finish my first marathon and I was going to be on two feet doing it!
The .2 in to the finish area seemed to go on forever! As I came upon the straight away before the curve in to the dome I heard them - my crew! I looked over and there they were (all but my mom, she was in the dome) yelling and cheering again! It was all I could do to not break down in tears at that very moment - I had to take a deep breath in because I could feel the tears already.
|Fighting back the tears!|
They waved me by and I turned the corner in to the dome. I started down the decline in to the FargoDome - there were some folks that I had to jump and jive around but I made it in to the dome. The moment I crossed over the garage threshold I could hear the people in the stands screaming, cheering on the runners. At that moment I turned it on and started sprinting to the finish. I was so focused on getting there as fast as I could I forgot to look up and see myself on the big jumbotron inside the dome. I looked up at the clock and saw the 4:46 tick off - and I knew that I had done it (based on how long it took me to get across the start line) - I had to be under the 4:45 mark.
|Sprint to the finish|
As I came across the finish - I just melted. One of the volunteers came over to check on me, I told him I was fine, just emotional. The tears started instantly and I could barely contain myself long enough to get my medal. I walked up to the volunteer with the medals, crying, he was very gracious and congratulated me. I made my way over to the food area. There was a line up of chocolate milk (two, please), cookies, pizza (nasty), soup, fruit, and beer. I opted for a banana, couple things of chocolate milk, and a cookie. Pizza did not sound nor look good to me at that point.
As I made my way through I saw Rob on the other side of the barrier. I walked over and hugged him and instantly started bawling. It felt so good to be done and on the other side of this race. His hug felt amazing and solidified everything I had worked for the last 18 weeks. Missy came in to the runner's area and helped me make my way out of there and found everyone else.
My official marathon finishing time - 4:44:38. BOOM! I have so much more to say and things I learned. But this is already mega long! I will be back later this week with more! Enjoy some pics!
|Relaxing? Post Race|