Hello, sorry it has been a while since I wrote, not much going on with my training during the taper weeks. But on Saturday, I ran and finished the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon in 2 hours and 55 minutes. It was a beautiful but incredibly windy day. I felt like I was running into the wind most of the time, my eyes watered and my lungs burned some of the time. And as I had heard, some of the hills were brutal. But I really thought of all my family and friends who had encouraged me and that truly helped me keep going.
We walked over to the starting area, I got into my wave and waiting to cross the starting line. I saw my family right before I started and it was fantastic. I was worried about my first couple of miles and my right calf that had been hurting for a week or so. I wore an Icy Hot Patch on and it seemed to really help. I got through my first couple of miles with no problems. I ran through parts of Baltimore I had never been before. The best part of it was that there were people all along the course, they were out cheering us along. Kids were out in the street wanting to high five you, it was fantastic! It really helped and made me smile.
I had bought a long sleeve shirt to wear under my running shirt, I was worried about the cold and I thought if I got hot, I could just pull up my sleeves. Well around mile 7, I looked at my hands and my fingers were SO incredibly swollen, my rings hurt. I couldn't figure out what was going on, I had water at all the water stations and I had just had a cup of Gatorade. I thought maybe something was wrong with my sodium. I tried moving them more and putting them over my head. I was wearing an armband for my Ipod, but both my hands were swollen. And I was starting to wonder if I should look for a medic or something. I mean, they were that swollen. Then a lightbulb went off in my head, that maybe my sleeves that I had pulled up was to tight and that was the problem. Sure enough, once I pulled them down, the swelling started going down. Funny now, not so funny at mile 7.
We ran around a lake, that was very pretty and helped to keep things interesting. As we got closer to the finish line, more and more people were out cheering. In one neighborhood, they were handing out beer for the "last hill" of the course. People were handing out gummy bears. It was very festive!!
Around mile 11, I started getting really tired, I ate some of my Chomps, and that picked me up a bit, I also grabbed a banana at one of the water stations. That helped some too. I tried to channel my "inner Kenyan," like my friend Andrea said to me. And I kept trudging along. I kept running and in the distance, Camden Yards and the giant Coke sign appeared, so I knew I was close. But I was really struggling. As I approached and got about a half mile (maybe not even that far) away from the finish line, I heard my girls, Seth, my Dad, Randy and Charlie cheering me on. And that is what I really, really needed. It perked me up so much that I picked up my pace and smiled the rest of the way! Apparently, Sarah was sad that I "didn't even stop." The crowds got bigger as I crossed the finished line and they were cheering everyone on.
Crossing the finish line was a pretty incredible moment! I sort of wished my family had been there, but was also glad that they were further away to help me get through the last little leg of it. The clock said 3:14 and I was kind of disappointed that I had finished in over 3 hours, even though I promised myself that I just really wanted to finish it, I really wanted to finish in under 3 hours. I had hoped for 2:30, but would have been glad for under 3. When I got home, I checked the website and my chip time said 2 hours 55 minutes, I was so thrilled!!! Since I was in the last wave to start, it took me that long to get to the start line!
I met up with my family and we all took the train back to our house for stew. I wasn't sore, I wasn't tired, but I knew that was coming. I actually had an amazing amount of energy and I think I was even talking faster than I usually do. It was a lovely afternoon.
Thank you all for your incredible support and encouragement over the past few months!! I have been truly overwhelmed!!! I couldn't have done it without all of you, so thank you, thank you,, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!