First off, I have to thank my neighbors. Between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:30 pm on Friday, I was home for a total of 45 minutes to let the dogs out and vacuum (I hate being gone that long, but it does happen every once in a while). While home, I saw my neighbors, and in chatting with them, I realized that dinner probably wouldn't happen until about 10:00 pm, so they did something really nice. While I was at my last appointment of the evening, they texted me that they had made pasta (meat free for Friday), and if I wanted some they would have some warmed and waiting for Hans and me when we got home. Bless them!
Anyway, even with dinner being made, bed time happened later than I would have liked (about 11:30). Still, though, I'd had worse nights, and figured that 5.5 hours of sleep is better than 4.5 hours of sleep. I fell asleep quickly and slept well...until 4:00 a.m. Apparently I was excited and nervous, because I couldn't fall back to sleep at all. I told Hans I kind of felt like I did on our wedding day. I quickly made breakfast and got dressed, and then I paced until it was time to leave (I call that warming up).
|All dressed and ready to run.|
|In my running stance.|
|We're all ready to run|
What came next was a very long wait. I had about an hour before my wave started, and I was antsy. With 42,000 people in the race plus spectators (totaling a little over 80,000 people at the race), it was a little crowded, and warm-ups were limited. I was scared of missing my wave, so at about 9:00 I left Dad and Hans, and I went to stand with my group. Of course, this means I didn't even have anyone to talk to, but luckily I'm friendly, so I made it work.
|Waiting not-so-patiently for the race to begin.|
|Dad's telling me about some stretches I should do while enjoying a cup of coffee.|
|Here I am at the start. I'm very, very happy!|
After that there was just a lot of running. The rain had stopped, but the clouds hadn't left, so the weather was kind of perfect; cool without too much sun. At the halfway point, I saw Mom cheering exuberantly for me. This had not originally been planned, but parking was easier at the halfway, and having her there was awesome. I really felt that I had someone to run towards the whole way. I loved it!
Around mile 5, I started to feel tired. I thought briefly about walking, but I knew I could do this. At mile 6, with just .2 miles left to go, I tried going really fast. I weaved in and out of people, and I could have continued that awesome pace except for one thing...the dreaded side stitch. My stomach had been a bit off all day (probably due to nerves), and I'd been battling a mild stitch through most of the race. With the increased speed, I forgot to monitor my breathing. That stitch hurt so bad that I almost had to stop and walk (or cry). Instead, I slowed my pace back down, let out a grunt (cause that's what real runners do), and continued on.
Two blocks from the finish, I picked that pace back up. I felt awesome. I felt like I was flying. I never saw Dad and Hans waiting for me, but at some point I heard Dad's whistle...a cheer that I heard many times in my swimming career. I was kind of expecting it, really hoping for it, and super-happy to hear it.
|It's a small picture, but I'm the one in the blue. Hopefully a video will come later.|
My final time? That's the best part. My final time was 64:17. My latest goal was for under 66 minutes, and I beat that! Oh, and do you remember how my trainer had set a goal for me to catch up to them and run with them. Well...they finished in 73:??. I never even saw them as I ran past!!
Afterward, I enjoyed hugs and cheers from friends and family. I came home and happily jumped into the hot shower. Then Mom took Hans, Jess (who had come out even though she was sick), and me out to lunch, and I enjoyed a big burger and a milkshake. When we came home, I climbed into bed for a great nap.
Today has been a very good day. I'm so thrilled at my accomplishment!!!! My next 10k will be under an hour!