I can sum up my first marathon experience in a few words - blazing hot (the temperatures and the sun), and happy with my race time.
The weather was perfect if you were a spectator - 55 degF at the start, but by the time I finished, it was 80 degrees. No wind and no clouds, so it was brutal for the runners who had trained in sub zero temperatures, snow, ice and wind. I feel lucky that I didn't experience leg cramping this year - I got them last year under slightly cooler conditions and that was not fun. So, given the race conditions, I am very pleased with my time of 4:24, average pace of 10:04. I was targeting a 10 minute pace and wasn't too far off.
I forgot to turn off the Garmin immediately after crossing the finish line, I was so relieved to be done with it all, so the time here is a bit longer, but close enough.
Highlights of the race - seeing my friend, Jill, her boys and my son at mile 7 and then again at mile 16. At mile 16, my son met me in the road and ran with me for a couple hundred yards, declaring "this marathon thing is really easy!" The runners around me got a kick out of that.
|A Short Term Race Bandit|
I also saw friend Shelly at miles 16, 18 and 21, friend Lisa just past mile 20. She had her Great Dane, Bella, with her and a sign that read "Run or my dog will chase you". Of course, most runners asked if Bella would give them a ride instead.
At the mile 19 water stop, I was caught totally by surprise:
I know this woman through Instagram (I don't even know her name, just her handle!) but I recognized her immediately, squealed, and gave her a hug. I started back on the road, and then realized I had to capture the moment. I backtracked had her pose and snapped the photo. Her thoughtfulness gave me great encouragement at the right time.
Other random sights along the course - it's normal to see people handing out jelly beans, water and hard candy, but some of the more unusual offerings included bacon, pancakes and beer. I passed up the first opportunity for some beer, and immediately regretted it, so when I came upon some a second time, I partook. Hey, you can't take this stuff too seriously.
Finally, a shot of me and The Professors, at the beginning of the race. These guys are the best.