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Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Finished!!!

Well I did it! I finished my first full marathon yesterday! My sister and I got up at 4:00am, ate breakfast, got dressed and were out the door. There was a lot of traffic downtown so by the time we got parked, on the train to the start and checked out gear we had 30 seconds to get to the start.

My sister was doing the 1/2 so when the gun went off, we hugged and said good bye. I started off with my friends Teresa and Jim, both experienced marathoners. I stayed with them for the first couple of miles and decided to back off as the pace was too fast for me and my bum knees.

I felt great for the first 9 miles, then like clockwork, the right knee started to hurt at mile 10. I tried to stay positive. I found a grassy spot on the side of the road sat down and stretched it out. I don't know if it was the stretching or the little girl who told me that I was to pretty to be in the race, but the pain was relieved for a while.
I made it through the first 1/2 and thought it's all downhill from here. I started hitting the wall at mile 18, but got over it pretty quick. Then came mile 20. My legs started cramping so bad, I had to stop a guy standing in front of his house if he had any salt. He brought out a salt shaker and I thanked him and poured salt into my Gatorade. I had read in Runner's World that salt helps in cramping, and it did.

The last 6 miles were really hard. My longest training run to that point was 18 miles (due to my knee trouble). I struggled with leg cramps and sore knees the entire 6 miles. When I would stop and walk, my legs got stiffer and the pain got worse, go I had to keep moving as much as possible. Once I saw the Gateway (where the finish was) I prayed for strength. When I got to the corner, I saw Jim, Jen, Teresa and Bob cheering for me. Once I turned the corner, David and my sister were there cheering. When I got to the chute, David and my sister ran the last 100 yards with me through the finish! It was great!

After crying for about a minute I went right to the aid stations for ice packs!

David and I at the Finish!

Me and my sister sportin' our new "Bling"!

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