Christy and I ran the first few miles together. We chatted,
and posed for some cameras.
I remembered (again suddenly) that in my rush to get out the door I had forgotten to put anti-chafe cream on the MOST important spot. I hoped that by the time they were offering vaseline it would not be too late.
Thankfully, just a few miles in, volunteers were already handing it out at water stations.
No point in being shy right then; I was not going to risk 22 miles of chafing just to avoid momentary embarrassment.
When it comes to running, this is the least embarrassing of many possible mishaps in your derri-area.
If ya don't know, just ask one of your runner friends.
Christy soon pulled ahead as we moved into the 6 mile stretch of out and back beside the train tracks. The pirates were back again this year and one of them joined me for a bit.
Christy and I caught a glimpse of each other again at a turnaround point and waved like we had been apart for months.
For the rest of the race, it was me and my tunes. I focused on using my glutes and on my nutrition. I had really practiced when and how much to take during my training runs. I also started taking an extra cup of water because it was sunny and 80+ degrees out.
Last year I ran up the huge hill between Mile 16 and Mile 17 and it really took a lot out of me. This year I followed Bruk's advice to walk it.
It's an energy conservation thing.
I was so happy with that decision; I had plenty of pep in my step and almost felt refreshed once I got onto the bridge.
I started even thinking that maybe I could finish this race in 4:59:59.
But then I started lagging around Mile 20. I didn't hit the wall, I was just tired and would have preferred to no longer run.
But all of a sudden there were people with bananas and pretzels and candy corn! Oh my!
I scarfed down the banana,
sucked the salt off the pretzels,
and immediately regretted the candy corn.
I had a good hour left if I ran, and I did not want to spend any extra time on the course.
It was gut check time.
Run or walk. Do or die! Now or never!!
COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS!!!
So, I dug DEEP and ran my last 5 miles as fast as my body would allow (which was between 10:30 and 12:30 minutes per mile).
I just focused on moving forward, trying to trick my mind by pushing a little bit harder every time I wanted to stop.
And I passed a few people, apparently.
I responded to the encouraging spectators with weak waves of acknowledgement.
In the home stretch I saw TriGuy and mustered a real smile.
After the longest 0.2 miles in the history of EVER, I crossed the finish line!
So did another girl right behind me, with the ironic (?) name "Thug Lyfe" on her bib.
She is in almost every one of my finish line photos.
After I walked through the finish chute and collected my medal, my satchels, my rose, my finisher's jacket, and as much food as I could handle before feeling sick, I sat myself down on the corner and texted with Erika for a few minutes. She immediately let me know that I had PRed!
Then I got up and found TriGuy. As we were walking back to the hotel I stopped to get coffee. The barista told me she had just started running a couple of weeks ago, then another one came up and asked me if I had qualified for Boston.
And I laughed, and laughed.
Once we got back to our room I lay down for a bit, then wandered into the shower. I may or may not have done a little multitasking.
UPCOMING POSTS: MARATHON AFTERMATH, VOLUNTEERING AT BEAT THE BLERCH, TRYING OUT A BRA (seriously)