The Marathon Report

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.
Completed marathon! #shirleyruns  #illinoismarathon
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 Bandit
A Short Term Race Bandit
My daughter and her friends cheered me on at mile 20. When I gave them a high five, she declared that I was "all sweaty and gross". To which I thought, "Well honey, that's what happens after 20 miles in this heat and unrelenting sun."
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:
#seenonmyrun #shirleyruns
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.
Me and the Professors

Amy at love made my home  – (April 29, 2014 at 8:12 AM)  

Massive Congratulations and Well Done and all good things!!!!!!!!! You did amazingly, and what great supporters you had too! I'm so pleased that it went well and that you achieved your goal - now, go and have a well deserved sit down and a rest! xx

Unknown  – (April 30, 2014 at 1:05 PM)  

Sounds like it was a great fun time! Glad you made it through with only sweat & tiredness! Congratulations!!

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