|Pre-race with my biggest cheerleaders|
I set out to do 5 and 5 intervals and I had pretty much ditched that idea at mile 1. The course had a lot more hills than I remember and to conserve energy, I walked the hills. When I tried to come up with a plan, I couldn't stick to it. Chubby Hubby and the boys met me 3 times along the course to check on me and to cheer me on. It was a welcomed sight. At the expo, I grabbed a pace band for a 6 hour finish and tried to hit the times indicated. I did well doing a walk run combo until I hit mile 22.
The Last 4 Miles:
At mile 22, I met up with a lady that started chatting with me. I was starting to struggle getting my legs to move faster so I walked with her. It was her first marathon and she was also struggling. I slowed my walking pace to stay with her because truthfully, misery love company.
Then I heard my name shouted from the sidelines. My friends Tana and Marc jumped out on the course and handed us a Gatorade. They had been parked on Summit Avenue cheering on runners and handing out bananas and oranges. Little did I know, this chance encounter would change the outcome of my marathon.
Tana and Marc followed us down Summit Avenue offering some much needed encouragement. We we passed mile 24 a race official announced that "The Bus" was right behind us. The bus is what you have to board if you are not on track to finish in 6 hours. The lost my composure at this point. I started running and I ended up ditching the girl I was walking with. Tana turned into a Drill Sargent at this point and started SCREAMING at me....."GET YOUR ASS MOVING!!!" I had felt defeated at this point and had nothing left in the tank. She picked out focus points to run to which only ended up being a block at the very most. All I kept thinking was, I have come 24 F***ing miles only to be picked up by the SAG wagon. Tana screamed louder and drowned muffled the negative voices. Somehow I kept going and at mile 26 my friend Kelli (who finished almost 2 hours ahead of me....she did AMAZING!), jumped in and started screaming at me from the other side. With their
|At the finish line with Marc and Tana. I think I owe these two a cocktail.|
|Kelli and I at the finish. I also owe my finish to her.|
Simple. I didn't give up.