I did not sleep well two nights before the marathon, tossing and turning, so I was worried that the next night would be a repeat. But, I was too worn out from the night before that I actually slept very well.
I rose at 5am refreshed, got dressed, kissed the hubby goodbye, hopped in the car, and headed to my sister in-law’s house. We were meeting with another friend there, Brenda, who drove us up to Columbus. Brenda (a previous BQ) was running in the ½ and Teri was trying to BQ.
The MiT group (about 200 of us) met at the Renaissance hotel and headed over together to Broad street (the starting line). They had a pick-up truck waiting for us there. We tossed all our stuff in there so we could pick it back up at the finish line.
The day before I made the decision to run with the 5:30 pace group. I didn’t want to kill myself and if I had the strength I wanted to pull away from them around mile 22. The 5:30 pace group was all the way at the end of the runner’s pack. The nice thing about being at the end of the lineup is that the bathroom lines are less busy. 🙂 With the bathroom business out of the way I headed to the pace leader. There were about 10 other runners milling around. The hubby snuck up on me to give me a big hug and kiss before they (he and his brother) headed to their designated spot. Helicopters flew overhead, then the horn went off signaling the start of the race. And we were off…well…sort off…it took us over 8 minutes to actually make it to the starting line! And then we were off.
The pace leader, Maneesha (I think was her name), followed the run walk method. Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute. The first 6 miles flew by fast, we all chatted like little kids, all excited. We shared stories, dedicated miles to friends and relatives. Each mile marker we would cross we’d holler “1,2,3 5:30 rocks”…at mile 6 I saw my friend Kay and her boyfriend cheering me on…yay!
At mile 10 I saw the hubby, brother in law, his brother and sister in law, their daughter, and two friends. All cheering me on. The hubby had a sign. I asked how Teri was doing and was told it didn’t look good…bummer. 😦
Orange tank top, black shorts, under the left turn arrow in the road.
Mile 10 to 13 were a blurr, we chatted, shared stories, etc. I saw the hubby and gang again. He gave me a banana and we switched out two bottles. And off we were again. At that time there were only 4 of us left who hung with the pace leader. Everyone else dropped back. I saw my father in-law at mile 16. He was holding up a sign my 7 year old made the night before at their house. I about cried. That pictures is going in my gym once it is done!
I saw my running friend Janice on her bike. She was going to run Teri from mile 10 to mile 18. I asked her how Teri was doing and it did not look good.
Around that time my right foot, pinky toe started to hurt pretty bad. I could tell there was a blister in the works. My left foot was already in pain, under the ball of the foot, but luckily that had not started until mile 8. I was pleasantly surprised however that my right leg was not hurting at all and there was not a peep from my knees.
Mile 18 is where the race actually began. It was just about all uphill for the next 3 miles. The pace group pulled away from me and I had to take more walk breaks. I managed to run walk through the uphill part and passed an MiTer. She then passed me and we played that back and forth game for about a mile. Coming onto OSU campus I started a conversation. Her name was Pru. During the last 5 miles Pru became my hero. She pulled me, but she made sure she didn’t push me. It was her second marathon this year and she was way behind her time. So she decided to make the best of it and help me to the finish line. She didn’t put that into words, but rather her actions made it clear.
My stomach was a mess, all that GU made it very upset. I had only been chugging water the last few miles, but that didn’t help. I was suppose to GU at mile 20, but had put it off. At mile 22 I was only able to take one “drag” of that stuff and tossed it to the ground. I’d rather be “undernourished” then puke up all I had taken in the last few hours. During that time we did a lot of run walking…Pru’d say “to the traffic light” I’d say “Yes” and we’d start running. Then I’d say “to the parked car” and she’d say “Of course!”.
Pru asked me if I was alright and ready to run in the last 4 10th of a mile. I said yes and off we went. Then I saw my husband, Teri, Brenda and all others…it was so good to see them cheer me on, just what I needed and finally we made it to the last turn and down to the finish line.
I was hoping that it would hit me that I finished the race, but I am still waiting for the moment. Maybe it’s coming to me bits and pieces at a time, like today (Monday) as I am sitting in a restaurant having lunch with my husband. I was like “I can finally buy that 26.2 sticker!!!” I got a bit choked up (no, not because of the food), but that moment passed.
After finishing the race I was like “never again, I am never running an other marathon…E V E R”. Now, almost 24 hours later I am ready to tackle the ugly hill at mile 18. This year it might have kicked my butt, but next year I plan on returning the favor!
The next big race is the Indianapolis 500 ½ Marathon in May ’08! I am sooo looking forward to it!