Less than 1% of the people in the world can say that they have completed a marathon.
I did get a fairly good night’s rest last night. I normally don’t sleep at all before a big run. I even woke up before the alarm went off.
I ate my oatmeal, bagel and coffee. I had everything laid out and showered the night before.
We drove downtown St. Louis very early and it was still very dark. They were already barricading the streets when we were trying to find parking.
I met up with some FB runner friends. We socialized and made pictures. It’s good to finally meet them after sharing running stories on FB for so long. 🙂
The weather was cool…just like I like it. I felt good and energetic. There were so many people there for the half, full and relay. I think something like 30,000 people were registered. The sun was coming in between the Gateway Arch which was incredibly beautiful.
We ran by Busch Stadium and I always get excited and chill bumps when I go by the home of my Cardinals. The first 10 miles went quickly and with no issues. The neighborhoods are beautiful and the leaves were golden and crimson. People were out in their neighborhoods cheering with their children holding signs and giving high fives.
At mile 9, I passed the kids house and Daniel and his family gave me and Popeye (Kevin) hugs and water. Sadie started crying wanting me to take her. I love those kids!
Kevin and I ran together until about mile 10 and our route split. He ran the half. After they split us off, I actually cried because there were fewer people where I was going and that road looked long and hard. It is better running with a lot of people. So the rest of the route was fairly lonely except for a few friends I made along the way.
I felt so good physically that I had to consciously slow my pace down because this was my first marathon and I just wanted to finish. I was afraid of going to fast and burning out. I took plenty of fuel (GU). I hydrated well on the run.
At mile 19 or so….my left knee felt like it was giving out. The pain got worse and I was basically shuffling my way through it. I have had minor knee pain but nothing like this. My knee felt like it was going to buckle. At that point, I felt strongly that I would not be able to finish. I ran through that pain and after about 3 miles of the pain either it quit or I just got immune to the pain.
It is true, no training prepares you for mile 20 on. I gained some energy in the last mile and finished strong like a runner!
Kevin, James, Allison, Daniel and Sadie all greeted me at the end. My son and Daniel were the first to get to me. I broke down crying in my sons arms. He told me he was proud of me. That might be the first time he has told me that. That made me pretty happy. Of course Daniel was proud for me and reminded me how he helped me by doing the squat challenge with me! 🙂
I did the big ugly cry when Kevin go to me. He had tears in his eyes. He has been my rock through all this training and bore the brunt of all my frustrations, complaining and crying.
I did it!!! I still can’t believe it. It’s over and I made it.
I hobbled to an early dinner with the kids. I had said before the marathon that if I finished, I wanted “Pi Pizza” for my recovery meal. That’s where we went. It’s so awesome, it shouldn’t be called a pizza. Kevin and I came back to the apartment. I showered, rolled out my legs and now I’m relaxing watching football.
We stayed in St. Louis tonight and heading back to Columbia tomorrow.
It was a good day. I’m exhausted and euphoric.
It was beautiful. It was hard. I thought a few times that I would not make it. I shed a few tears along the way. I was even crying when I ran over the finish line and the photograher must have caught it.
I am a marathoner.
“If you feel bad at 10 miles, you’re in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you’re normal. If you don’t feel bad at 26 miles, you’re abnormal.” – Rob de Castella