We had to run up another ramp to the highway... slight incline, but at mile 23... it stunk. Many walked, I just tried to give it my same intensity. Bob and I had drove this part of the course, so I thought I knew what what left... but it was slightly different and that annoyed me too.
We ran for a little and then had to take an exit ramp down... nice long down hill, but at this point my quads were tights and my calf muscles were not pleased with the hill. I was out of water and Gatorade by now and there was no stop in sight. At the bottom of the hill I walked a little. And then I realized where I was. I realized that this was the over pass that E and I had walked through when we were trying to get to Charity Village that morning... I had THAT. MUCH. FURTHER. TO. GO.
When they say that those last miles were purely mental... that is the absolute truth. I felt defeated. I heard a spectator yell, only 2 miles left, so I started to run again - 2 miles, I could do that with my eyes closed! Then about a 1/2 mile later, I crossed the 24 mile marker - WHAT? I had 2.2 miles left.... that spectator was WRONG... and this is where I KNEW, my under 5 hour time was GONE! I started to walk again... and this was the silliest thing to do in hindsight as it was flat.... and I knew what to expect. This was the same path that we were corralled in that morning. But the finish line just felt so far away. MANY people were walking. MANY people were struggling. It felt good to fit in. NO ONE was talking to each other here... I think we were all digging deep.
I started to walk and run. It was so hard to get the energy to start running after walking, but I would. And then when I felt like I wasn't going to make it, I would stop to walk again... and then I would run because I knew... just knew I could do this. And as I looked at my Garmin, it was 4:49... and I had 1.2 miles left. I wasn't going to make under 5 hours... mentally defeated.... I walked more and more.
As I approached the hill to the finish line, I thought, "Okay, not under 5, but I am going to complete a marathon today.... even if I had to walk it in."
I started to feel strong again, adrenaline of finishing, so I started to run fast. I was remembering that if I use my arms, I WILL make it. It was hard to run fast, because it was crowded here with mostly walkers, I wanted to scream - OUT OF MY WAY.... but I didn't, I would say, "excuse me" very politely and they would look at me as I ran by. I was looking into the crowd and I did not see Lyle or the kids.... or Beth or Jen.... or even Cat and Craig. Were they there - FOCUS, JEN! I shouted at myself.
|Don't I looked focused here? Must be that TMB Endurance Band.|
I decided to run a little with my hands in the air and then focus on the next one... hoping that the shot was there.
I was done. The clock read 5:37... when I crossed, but my Garmin read: 26.66 miles in 5:04:37.
I was done. I got my cellophane (or whatever it was) wrap (which read, Marine Corps Marathon - so cool) and corralled to get my medal. I posed for the after race "professional shot"... and then....
probably the WORST part of the race would begin. Finding my family as runners were puking, collapsing, and being rushed away by medics around me. Not a good sign and COMPLETELY unorganized.... I remember calling Lyle on the phone and he started telling me where he was located. And I remember saying, "Seriously, I just ran 26.66 miles, you can COME. FIND. ME."
Yeah, I was over the race already...
(Pictures from today are from Beth... she was at the finish line, I just did not see her or Jen!)