Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I finished!!!!!

Well, it's over. I've climbed that mountain and saw what was on the other side. What a great experience! My time was 4:26 something, I can't remember the seconds right now. I was shooting for 4:30, so I met my time and saved a bit off at the end. I have to say that I might have been able to do better if I wouldn't have been sick! I had a cold for the week before and felt just terrible on Saturday, but Sunday morning I woke up feeling better. I am so happy that it wasn't really raining or snowing at the start. I did learn that it is difficult to cough while running, it kinda hurts my abs.

I don't have a real good mile by mile race report, because honestly I don't remember the first three miles or so. After the start the next thing I knew it it was about 5 miles. I do remember thinking that it felt pretty easy. I was worried about my breathing, because of the cough and all. I remember my legs feeling tired and I was worried about that because of being sick, but once I took my gel I felt better.

I did see my cousin Laurie and Patrick at the start. They were holding a sign that said "Aunt Carrie", which I saw right away because there are not that many Carrie's spelled the same way. That was great. I also heard my husband yell for me, but I didn't see him. It was very exciting the first few miles, even though it's kind of a blur. I was messing with my watch because I mixed up the settings and it was beeping when it wasn't supposed to and not beeping when I wanted it too, so I just let it go and figured I might not have great split times, but I'll know the overall time as I go.

I took my first gel at 3 miles and then took gatorade or water at pretty much every water stop. I probably didn't need that much, but that's what I did for the 1/2, so that was my plan for the full, I think it worked out good. I then decided to take a gel at 3, 8, 13, and then the one they gave us at 18. I didn't take any more after that, even though my original plan was for another one around mile 23, which now that I'm looking back on it, it might have helped because that was right when I really began to feel it. Mentally though I just couldn't take another get, I didn't even stop to drink the last 4 miles or so, I was afraid to walk for fear that I wouldn't run again.

I heard from my cousin around mile 5 on my cell phone, she kinda told me where they would be, but I didn't see them again. The next few miles were my favorite of the race, what an awesome city! This was my biggest surprise of the day, how much I really enjoyed seeing the city like this. I love this city! Running through all the neighborhoods and seeing all the people, what a great experience!

After running on the north end of the city we came back into the downtown area and there were people everywhere still. It was great to run through the city like that again. I guess this was right around the half, which my time was something like 2:12 at the 1/2 and I thought to myself that that was slower than the 1/2 I ran in August, but okay, it's windy, I'm sick, it's cold and I'm supposed to be pacing myself a little and in the 1/2 I was all out by this time. So on I went.

We came into the south end of the race just after the 1/2. If I had one suggestion for the race directors it would probably be start south and go north, only because the spectators were not there as much south, but it could have been the weather and time it took me to get to that point. Anyway, there's not much to look at there either.

I was scheduled to meet up with my family in Chinatown, which is somewhere in mile 21. I had my cell phone, so I was calling them back and forth to let them know right when I was coming. It was awesome to see them there, I gave everyone a hug and also gave my husband my fleece that I had been wearing and took off again, I was a little scared to stand still too long for fear that I wouldn't be able to start again. Chinatown was very cool and we also ran through the mexican village, which was also very cool. After I left my family I turned a corner and there was the wind, and I wished I wouldn't have given my fleece to them. After about mile 23 it was all mental. My miles slowed down about 45 seconds and I didn't stop at any of the water stops the rest of the race, I just kept going.

I remember about mile 24 a lady stepped in next to me and we ran together for awhile, until the hill. Then I saw the 800 meter sign and then I knew what was next, the hill. I'm soooo glad I knew it was coming to help me prepare mentally that that was really the last thing I had to get through and then it would be time to see the finish line. We got close to the top of the hill and I saw 400 meter sign and then around the corner and there it was, the finish. I kept it together pretty well, just focused on the finish line and looked around a little at all the people. It was an awesome feeling to cross that finish line. I hit my watch and it said 4:26 something and I was happy with that.

They put the mylar blanket around me and I got my medal. I walked around a bit and got some water and gatorade and a banana. I then went over to get my picture taken and then headed out of the runners area to find my family.

I first found my husband and just collapsed on him. I tried to put my pants back on, and that was a funny site, I'm sure. I couldn't lift my legs they were so sore and stiff. After I finally got the pants put back on we made our way over to the R section so I could see the boy's and the rest. We got over there, and the boy's ran up and gave me a big hug and I was so excited to see them, i just want them to remember this, and maybe use this someday to know that they can do the hard things in life, just put yourself into it and do it (I sound like a commercial).

My friend Joe was there too and his family. Joe ran the marathon too, he finished in 3:04!!!! It was a PR for him, I was thrilled for him. We stood around and took pictures and I was FREEZING! It was so cold after you stopped running. My parents surprised me with a marathon jacket, which I've only really taken off to sleep since the marathon. I love it. Well, that's it, my race report. I'm sure I'll have other reflections coming along soon. This report itself took about a week to write, I've been kinda busy with school since this thing ended.

4:26:37, definitely a time I can live with!


At 8:28 AM, Blogger Wobbly*Bits said...

VERY inspiring! I'm sorry I just found this now, but my love of running didn't start until after the Chicago Marathon. Maybe I saw you, haha. I watch the marathon every year. I live right by mile 5 and 10 when you come back around.

GREAT job! That's a fabulous time. I'd love to run a marathon someday!

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