Now come on people. You can't have thought that I was going to be good and actually blog about the marathon within 24 hours of it happening. It would be totally uncharacteristic and then someone would have had a heart attack and died with surprise, and I just can't have that on my conscience. ;) But I will waste no more time. Drum roll please for my retelling of the marathon....
About a week ago Jared asked me what my goal for finishing was. I told him that I thought that I could finish in 4:15, but that I wanted him to be there at the 4 hour mark just in case I had a really good day and I finished faster. Because this is the last marathon I plan on running, Jared decided to try to motivate me to do my VERY best. So he told me that if I could finish in under 4 hours that he would treat me to a shopping trip. Ooooh shopping. Jared always knows how to get me. But 4 hours?! I didn't know....But Erin and Lori gave me a pep talk and I decided I was going to try.
The race started and things were going good. I felt good and my mile times were great. The canyon was beautiful and I was lovin' the run. After Erin and I split at about mile 5 I found a woman that was keeping just the right pace. I followed her for about 2 miles when she turned her head and I realized that it was A MAN with a beard down to his chest! Ummmm......yaaaaah.....As I got to the half point I was feeling good, it was starting to get hot, but I still felt good....until I hit the hill at mile 14. It just about killed me. I just kept thinking, "After all of the blasted hills we've run, it's killing me now?! For. The. Love." Thankfully at the top of the hill they had wet sponges, which was like manna from heaven for my roasting body. It felt DIVINE. I was feeling tired, but the cool water helped reenergize me. But the sun kept beating down. I kept thinking that if I could just get into the canyon I would find shade and find some extra energy. Unfortunately that was not to be. The canyon was beautful and SUNNY. The heat was starting to sap the energy with every step. By mile 20 my face was tingling and I could feel my pace slowing. I was having to take longer walk breaks. Grrrrrr....grrrrrrr....I want to make my goal!!! By about mile 22 I was starting to really struggle. Suddenly out of nowhere I had a new friend. A girl came up from behind me and said that she liked my pace and asked if she could run with me. Ummmm yaaaah! I'm dying here! We got to the mouth of the canyon and Jared was there! I was so thrilled. It gave me the extra push to keep moving. You'll notice that here I'm still smiling.
By mile 24 I just could barely move. Jackie (my new running friend) kept me going. She helped me push through the wall I was hitting hard. At mile 25 I could run no more, just in time to see Jared again. All I could say to him was that I wasn't going to make it. We got Grant and I knew I had to run the rest of the way since people were watching. 5 blocks have never seemed so long in my life.
As I got to 24th street I looked up and saw the clock. I expected to see 4:25 on the clock and so I was shocked when I saw 4:05. 4:05?! Move Amanda! Move! I was thrilled. It may not have been under 4:00, but it was so much closer than I thought I was going to be. The best part was having my family at the finish line cheering me on.
All in all I was very pleased with the race. I felt really good about my time and I realized how wonderful the running community is. Where else do you find a sport where everyone along the way is so supportive and encouraging? It just adds to my list of reasons why I heart running.