Well. On Saturday, I ran my LAST marathon. It turned out to be both a tortuous and wonderful experience!
Leanna and I have trained for the last few months for this marathon. It was my 5th official and her first. We were joined by Stacee and two of her friends, Doug and Tracy. We all started out together. My original goal was to run the marathon in 4 hours and 28 minutes. That would be a PR (personal record) for me, and I felt like Leanna, Stacee, and I could do that. But towards the end of our training, I was tired, and I had my doubts! Just before the race began Stacee stated that she felt sure we could do a 4:25. Alright! I was ready!
Around mile 5, Doug and I were chatting away about Disney World, and I think we must have picked up the pace a little bit. I figured Leanna, Stacy, and Tracy were right behind us. At the next water stop, I walked the length of it and drank water, while Doug continued running. I looked behind and didn't see Leanna…..I looked ahead and didn't see Doug. I panicked a little bit. Then I sped up, hoping to catch up with Doug. I looked and looked for him, but never saw him. I looked behind periodically for Leanna and Stacee, but to no avail. I turned back to look every now and then when we turned a corner…..I kept on scanning the runners ahead of me…..but I never saw any of my group!
By mile 10, I gave up finding them, and resigned myself to running the marathon alone! There were people calling out the time at every mile marker, and I could tell that I had a pretty good pace. Hmmmmm, I thought…...maybe I can run a PR and really, really be done with running marathons and also be happy with my time. I decided that if I had to run this race alone, I was determined to push myself and post a good finish time.
So I kept on running and running and running, and I thought the race would never end! At mile 18, I began to get a little crazy, and by mile 20 I was really crazy. It was cold. The wind was blowing. I was ready to be done. But I kept on running. At times I was having a conversation with myself like Rapunzel from Tangled when she first escapes the castle. "I'm going to die!…..Best. Day. Ever……..Why am I doing this?……I am going to be so happy with my finish time……I'm going to die!….I can't wait to tell Jimmy about my race…..and so it went.
I really about lost my mind. Miles 23-26 were the worst. I walked a little bit between water stops, but walking actually was more painful than running at this point. My pace was slowing, but I was determined by this point to finish under 4:20. Near the finish line I saw four of my children and some dear friends (It's another story why Jimmy and Julie were not there), and I was encouraged to smile and keep going.
And then the finish line. Woo! Hoo!
The clock said 4:19:06, but, my official finish time was 4:18:30! I was soooo happy!
And then I crashed. It was miserable. Three people asked me if I needed the medical tent. Ha! I just needed for my whole body to stop hurting. It took me about an hour to recover. I got a massage and ate some post-race food.
Then I loaded up the kids, we had some lunch and then we went to Target.
After shopping for a while we drove three hours home. I was exhausted.
But I am so happy with my marathon time!
And that was the last. marathon. ever.