I'm so relieved to have the marathon behind me. It's an accomplishment I've strived for the past two summers. Even though I didn't reach my time goal, I'm extremely happy and satisfied to have finished in a reasonable time. I ended up at 4.11:48. Not too shabby considering I walked roughly a half mile or so because the weather reached an unreal 90 degrees. Nothing could've prepared me for an obstacle like that, not even 18 weeks of continuous training handed down by experts. During the race people were falling out, stopping frequently to ponder whether or not to continue with the fight. It seemed like a bad dream.
The first 8 miles went as perfect as I could have predicted. I was on pace for running the first 10k in under 50 minutes, and was feeling great! Then something unexpected happened to me. I hit a wall. I couldn't believe it! I was at mile 9 and felt like it should've been mile 18. Mentally and physically I pushed and pulled my fragile emotions back and forth. Telling myself to push on and get myself back into a good groove. The groove never came. I had to trek on without much energy and rely on the training (goo packs as well). Surely I expected to struggle a little in my last few miles but this was rediculous! On two different occasions both my quad and hamstring cramped up on me. Luckily I was able to recover after stretching my legs out. The last two miles came to me like a mirage. If it wasn't for the wonderful crowds I don't think I could've finished. After I made my last stride I heard my name called out overhead. Relief and joy overwhelmed me.
On Sunday, over 300 people were rushed to city hospitals and one man passed away. It could have been a lot worse though. City and marathon officials cancelled the race 3 and a half hours after the start. Many people continued to run, others stopped running all together. My sister was one of the runners that continued on. She finished only 15 minutes behind me. Looking back I don't think I'll run another marathon. While it was a good experience, it's painful to think about running 26.2 miles again. I'd rather focus on running the shorter races like the half-marathon, 10 and 5ks. With that being said, I'll never regret accomplishing something Lance Armstrong said was the toughest thing he's ever done.