If you saw my finishing time, 5:03:21, you probably figured out that things didn't go the way I had planned :) God had another plan and it was to teach me perseverance...but not the way I would have liked! To be completely honest, I was initially disappointed in myself. I was so mad that I didn't beat the time I got in my first marathon. But then I remembered the reason I was there. I was running for all of the kids at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Their stories are so inspiring. That, along with the cheers of my family and supporters (and God, of course!), helped me to cross that finish line. How could I be disappointed?! Here's my marathon story (I'll apologize early for some of the picture quality):
Me pre-race with the wicked city lights:
I may look comfortable, but it's frickin' freezin' out there! Here's a pic of the start line near 3rd and Broad:
Waiting to start was not fun. It was so cold...I was anxious...and my hips were hurting from being so cold! So I impatiently waited for this moment:
My chance to cross the start line!!! This was it...I was about to go on my longest running journey since my previous marathon in 2005. The first 3 miles were exciting...lots of supporters. Then we arrived in Bexley, where lots and lots of peeps were waiting to cheer us on. This is where my friends Lindsay and Jenny intended to see me run but they must have just missed me! It felt great knowing that they were going to be there to support me, so I didn't mind that I didn't see them. They were there in spirit! Then we headed back down Broad towards German Village and around Schiller Park. I saw lots of places I would have LOVED to stop and eat or grab coffee...but I had work to do! After this, we made our way back to High St. towards downtown where the 1/2 marathoners were getting ready to finish and where I had two things on my mind:
1) sneaking to the finish with the 1/2 marathoners
2) figuring out where I could use the bathroom! Yay for Port-O-Potties!
Now comes the second half of what felt like hell. At the halfway point, I still felt ok. Yes, I just finished a half marathon, but I was rockin' it. We made our way through the Short North...the place I will always remember as having the least amount of supporters. It actually kinda shocked me. I thought this area would be packed...especially since we had past the halfway point and were going for the long haul.
Now we were heading towards The Shoe. Here I am running through (the audience was in the student section):
Jimmy, his mom, step mom, and step sister were there to support me. Joan, Jimmy's step mom, made this sign:
It was awesome to see! It was after The Shoe (around miles 17 and 18) that things went to crap. That hip pain I had been blogging about the last few weeks of training...it came back to haunt me. It was accompanied by this insanely intense left foot pain...both of which worsened as the race went on. Fortunately, being a PT, I know when my body needs to stop or take it easy, and my body was telling me to slow down. At that point in the race, I began to walk periodically. As the miles went on, the pain grew more intense. I seriously have never felt this pain while running before...not even during my first marathon. I just wanted to cry...and did. When I began to get emotional, my breathing was out of whack. I began to hyperventilate. At that moment, I was doing some major praying. I did NOT want to quit...I was only 6 miles away!
These were the hardest and most intense 6 miles of my life. I did more walking than running. The pain was insane. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I would disappoint a lot of people if I quit (that is probably false but it was my thought at the time). It was all a mental game at this point. I had to know that God would get me through this insane experience. We finally made our way through Upper Arlington, Grandview, and Victorian Village...and then I knew this was in my very near future:
THE FINISH LINE!!!
I had never been so happy to see a finish line in my entire life! It seriously took EVERYTHING in my power to run the last 1/4 mile so I wasn't embarrassed to walk through the finish. I only wish someone had noticed my pain so that I could have been carried through!
I have no regrets about the decision to do this despite the many ups and downs with my training and the race itself. I am SO thankful for the support of my family and friends through this process. Especially my boo for dealing with my training. I said to myself that I would never do a full marathon again but a guy during the race said, "I said the same thing 4 or 5 marathons ago!" That testimony scares me! I don't foresee one in the near future...for now I'll stick with races 13.1 miles or less :) Here's my physical reward for my race:
Thanks again to everyone who supported me!