Good Evening!! In case you haven't heard yet...I was amazing! Actually, I wasn't that fantastic, although I finished with flourish and I'm still alive and I never stopped running (if you don't count the quick bathroom break and the side-splitting cramp at none other than mile 9)! I finished in 2:26:20 or something like that. Crossing the finish line was absolutely amazing. The GF finished in 2:32:00 with bells on! That's just 6 minutes behind me when she was just hoping to finish in 3 hours. Shattered that goal, as usual.
Here's how it all went down: we woke at 4:30 (not that we slept well anyway), then got ready and walked to the shuttle buses about just over half a mile from our hotel. I was already worried as the bus driver drove so far away from the end point...I thought she missed her turnoff! We had about an hour to go pee (twice) and check our bags to be retrieved at the finish. Then we said our goodbye's and headed to our corrals. Julie was up in #11, I was in #21, and the GF was in #23 (which is probably the only reason she finished behind me!). It took about half an hour to even get to the starting line, at which point I really had to pee! But we were off! About 1 mile into it, I felt great, although I had to pee and all the Port-O's I came upon had only 2 bathrooms with about 6 people in line. At about 2.5, I couldn't take it any longer and had to pee, so I found a spot that had 8 bathrooms with about 6 people in line and pulled over! After about 3 minutes I was back on the road. Throughout the next 5 miles there were some uphills (steep) and some downhills (mile 6 was amazing), but other than a tad bit of slowness for the uphills, I held a pretty good pace. Around mile 8, my foot started hurting as if I'd broken all those little bones on the top of my foot, but since I've been running with that problem for 3 months, I figured I could sustain the pain for 5 more miles. Then came mile 9. Happened just as I said...although on this course we just happened to be going through the I-90 tunnel! I'm pretty sure a runner came speeding out of nowhere and stuck a knife in my stomach. That's not really what happened, but I was ready to say my last words and just die there in the tunnel. I tried putting my hands over my head and I ran with an awkward gait. Finally I saw daylight up ahead and grabbed a cup of the power drink and walked for about 10 paces just so I wouldn't spill, and I got this whole new energy with hopes of finishing with a bit more gusto. I also had visions of the GF sprinting past me, which seemed all the more possible when the 2:22 pace lady came jogging by. I stayed with her for about half a mile and finally decided to let her beat me! It seemed like it only took her about 5 footsteps before she was out of sight way up ahead of me and I that's when I knew my foot and my cramp had slowed me down more than I expected. By this time I was past mile 10 and 11 was in sight. I knew I only had to push for 2 more miles, so I tried to steady myself and dig in. At some point a lady on top of a roof threw me a bottle of water, the stretch from 12 to 13 seemed like 3 miles long, and then there it was...looming in the distance...the finish line!! I'm not one of those crazies that increases their speed at the end to get a better time, I just move my legs as fast as they'll go (and it wasn't very fast at this point)! But then there I was, arms hoisted into the air in accomplishment, a big smile on my face, my shirt completely soaked through with sweat, and I crossed the finish line to cheers of someone else's name!! I kept repeating to myself "I did it!" I had a quick thought to my granny above, and then I got really light-headed and had to refocus my eyes as I searched the crowd for my GF. And there she was, as beautiful as ever, and I approached her, gave her a giant hug, and we both shed a few tears for the fact that she just finished her first half-marathon ever. I tried to tell her not to finish so fast because if she ever runs another one, she's gonna have to get faster (although I proudly finished slower than my other 2 times!). But she's a beast, so I have no control over that! So, all in all, it was a great race and we're all alive. In case you're wondering, Julie from my office finished in 1:55:11. She's pretty cool herself (and a hell of a lot faster than me)!
Now, as much as I complain about hurting my foot and my side, I'm looking forward to undertaking this feat again in December. I'll keep you posted, especially since you have no choice! Otherwise, I'd like to thank you all for all your support during this undertaking and sitting through each one of my blogs. I look forward to reviewing the past few months and giving you all a recap of my Full journey.
Tonight, just relax and have a cocktail (or soda) for me! Love you!