Wow, that was hard. Who had the brilliant idea of running a marathon yet again? Well, all said and done, it was not that bad I guess. I am pretty sure if you had asked me at mile 22 if I were ever doing this again, you probably would have gotten a not so friendly hand gesture. :)
Laura and I left her house at 4:50 am to meet up with her friends that were running the half marathon. We picked them up and I drove us to downtown St. Louis. The most amazing thing ever happened...I parallel parked! I cannot believe it. I have not even attempted this since my drivers test when I was 16. Let's just say I did not pass that portion. From that moment on I vowed that I would never live in an area where I had to parallel park. I could not have done it without my friend Laura reminding me that you had to pull up parallel to the car in front of you or without my reverse sensors. Those things are a must for this 4'10 girl!
Back to the race. They have got to start doing a wave start. There are way too many half marathoners not to. It is too crowded for the first few miles. I started off great. It was a little warm though. By the half way mark I had added on an additional .08 from weaving to get around half marathoners. I was actually glad that the half marathoners broke away. The course has rolling hills, but they are not as big as the hills I train on, so that is a huge plus. The one thing I was not prepared to deal with was the heat! It ended up being 80 degrees by the time I finished. I have not run in this kind of heat all year.
I was on pace for an under four hour marathon until mile 18 or 19. The four hour pace group passed me around mile 16, but I noticed the pacer was going too fast, plus I started a minute or two after him. I started getting the most awful leg cramps around mile 18. I had never had anything like it before. I would have to stop and walk and then run again. It was horrible. I felt like I was going to fall everytime I got a cramp. It was so weird. I had no idea they were from the heat until I spoke to a nice older gentleman who told me he had the same thing going on. He told me he was drinking three cups of fluids at the aid stations but it was still not enough. I figured that since he was twice my size, my stragegy of drinking two cups should do the drink for little me. I couldn't possibly drink anymore or I would make myself sick.
When I did not have a leg cramp and was able to run, I was keeping the pace under nine minute miles. It was the walking that was killing me. I guess this is what disappointments me the most, I was still able to run a decent pace. I think it was around mile 22 when I decided I was not running another marathon. I then realized that I had already registered for Chicago. I thought okay, I will run Chicago. Then, I realized that I am in for NYC next year. Okay, I will run that too, and that is it, I thought.
I crossed the finish line in 4:10:35. I measured the course long on my Garmin as 26.39. I think it is odd that I added mileage after the half marathoners split away. I did not think I did any weaving after they broke away. I was so glad it was over. I always forget about how hard the last few miles are. I guess I keep thinking the faster I get the easier it will get, but it is all tough.
I do not think I will run this marathon again. It is not my husband's favorite for spectating and if my number one fan is not happy, then neither am I.
I took Monday off or work to recover and hang out with Kya. My thighs finally feel better today. I have been cursing the fact that we live in a two story house and our bedroom is upstairs, but it is all better now. I will have a few photos to upload as soon as I get them from my camera.
Happy Hump Day!