Took a picture in front of the fountains since we are in the city of fountains! Adam of Man Vs Food even said we are the Paris of the Midwest. And honestly, I do live in a GORGEOUS city which I saw most of today!
So I started WAY far back compared to where I was hoping to be. I sprinted to catch up with the 4 hour pacer. I was just totally zoned in felt amazing. My friend Cassie found me around mile 5? Somewhere on the Plaza and did a happy dance when we found each other. We proceeded to high five every cheering kid and just celebrated the whole stretch. This is where the spectators were thick. We only got to run till mile 8 where she had to split off since she doing the half. I was now out there alone. I took my first Honey Stinger then so consequently took a walk break. I have yet to figure out how to eat and run without getting a massive cramp. I then took a restroom break real quick. Then we proceeded down Ward Parkway and up into the gorgeous old houses. Here's the thing though, the crowd thins out and the hills get massive. You keep turning corners thinking this HAS to be the last hill. And you know what? It never was! They just kept getting bigger!
My uncle and my mom ran my second water bottle out to me around mile 14 and I took my second Stinger. At this point it was getting hot and even the 4:05 pacer had passed me, but I felt strong and just kept moving. I did walk a bit more starting after this, but nothing too crazy. The next stretch is a blur running parallel to the Trolley Trail and I really don't remember much until mile 20 when two things happen. My family switched out another bottle (which I wish I had filled with perfect water) and I chicked two hotties :), I took my final Stinger and began the last 10k still feeling amazing.
I began to slow down at this point probably because the HILLS started again! I knew I didn't have it in me to run up anymore of them so I began to walk them. I kept turning the corner and seeing BIGGER hills! Cruel Eladio Cruel you don't put hills in the last 10k, especially ones that big! Finally, I got to the Team in Training water stop where I saw some of my buddies who told me it was all downhill from there. :D I yelled that is exactly what I need to hear and began to pick it up. I felt great the whole run which I was shocked, I never really hit the wall. When you finish there is a darn incline before it levels off (Again what is the deal with the cruelty here?) I picked it up a bit and ended with a 4:06:31. I was THRILLED!! I knew 4 hours was a stretch, but my realistic goal was a 4:15 which I smashed. I also NEVER felt bad the whole race. I was smiley and energetic. I didn't come off my high until late Saturday night!
Digging deep for that final sprint!
What did I learn?
Make sure to add Perfect Water at mile 20 too. I really could have used that extra boost.
Banana Stingers trump chocolate for me.
Chafing sucks and it's always in painful places!
Hills at the end are a trend that needs to end... NOW
Positive thinking works REALLY well
Marathons are FUN
I am dying to do another and trying to decide if I can swing for Phoenix since I think White Rock is just a bit soon. I'm still super sore and am actually going to a massage today since my back is so stiff and I have to run a 5k tonight with Girls on Track.
I have absolutely NEVER had a better weekend in my life, and I am so sad to see it all end.