Well, readers, the day has come and I have conquered. I finished with an official time of 4:46, which is only 17 minutes slower than Oprah. I’d like to point out that Oprah didn’t have a sprained ankle, a hurricane, and Oprah had a personal trainer.
I ran almost the entire race with the girls, which buoyed my spirits and pushed me to run, not walk, the ENTIRE 26.2 miles. That’s right. No potty breaks, no walking through the water stations, just 4 hours and 45 minutes of RUNNING. Even I didn’t see that coming.
The first 13 miles seemed like a breeze. There were lots of great motivators: a blind runner and his guides, wheelchair athletes, lots of funny signs, a great crowd, ect. The last 13 miles were a bit more challenging. After about 20 miles, we defected from the crowd and made our way over the 14th street bridge. Let me tell you, this bridge was horrible. Shawna listened to me curse the bridge for about 4 agonizing miles. Seriously, guys, I was hurting by this time. And there was no end in sight and no crowd support.
By the time we got to the end of the bridge, we were met with music and cheering fans once again and my spirits were lifted until about mile 22. I’m not going to lie, mile 22-25 felt like an eternity. This was about the only time I really felt like giving up. Hey, there’s no shame in running 22 miles, amiright?? My knees hurt, my feet were in agony, I had run out of things to say to Shawna, I had really “hit the wall”. It was mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting.
Somewhere after mile 25, Shawna and I found Coach T and she ran almost the entire way to the finish line with us. I cannot explain where this burst of energy came from, but after the 26 mile marker, we were surrounded by marines in fatigues and I got a lump in my throat that pushed me all the way to the red arch.
The moment I crossed the finish line, I felt my body give out on me. I could barely walk to the medal station. When the marine put a medal around my neck and saluted me, I just about lost it. I had given 100% of myself to this race, and my tank was completely empty. There was not one part of my body that didn’t hurt. Shawna and I limped over to the bag drop off area where we reunited with Marci and found Will. I think Kara was only a minute behind us, but in the madness, I never saw her again.
Currently I am sitting on my couch drinking beer and watching bridezillas. Will has retreated to the bedroom because the stench of icy hot is pretty intense.
I’d like to thank a bunch of people who helped make this possible. First and foremost, I’d like to thank Will, for 5 years of love and support, and for always believing that I can achieve my goals. I’d like to thank my mom for believing I could do it, and for worrying about my ankle and marathon career. I’d like to thank Grace and Sonya for rallying me at mile 22, and Marie for showing up at the crack of dawn to see me off. I’d like to thank Tiffany and Jordan for cheering for me at the Capitol, and especially for driving me home. Seriously, I was about to be Barney Stinson on the metro. You are awesome. I’d like to thank Coach T for talking me through my many mental breakdowns and for answering all my emails, regardless of their ridiculousness. Finally, I’d like to thank the brave men and women of the United States Marine Corps. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you for all your support today, and for all that you do each and every day. Semper Fi.