[ Mile 22 -- delirium had hit. Hard. And p.s. I'm not afraid to post pictures of me looking like a cat out of a dryer. Enjoy; it's on me. ]
[ Mile 19 -- I got to run with my boyfriend for a minute. He literally thought he was in the race. ]
RACE MORNING: Freezing. The three of us tried keeping warm as the first runners crossed the starting line. There were live bands, fireworks, and suddenly I became excited to run 26.2 miles.
MILES 1-6: The first six miles passed so quickly. When I saw that we'd hit mile six, it felt like we'd been running for 15 minutes. I started thinking I was born for this. These feelings quickly slipped away around mile eight when I decided I didn't want to run anymore. People say this all the time but it is 100% true: IT'S ALL IN YOUR MIND. At mile eight my legs felt heavy all the sudden and I just started having thoughts of sitting/laying/crawling/walking...anything but running. This is when I got a text from Tod saying they were waiting for us at mile 13. So I kept moving.
MILE 13: Tod, Kevin and my two boys were cheering for us. It was such a huge lift. However, people who are NOT participating in a marathon should never utter words like, "Look, you only have 13 more miles to go!" because guess what? THAT IS A LONG WAYS TO RUN. Good intentions, good intentions.
MILES 11-19: Steady climb up Decatur then Hacienda. This (for me) was the hardest stretch of the race. The uphill was not steep but it just made everything seem a little harder than usual. I knew at mile 19 we'd get to turn around and head for the finish line so I kept going. Tod and the boys were at mile 19 so we dumped all our jackets/gloves on them and headed back toward the strip.
MILE 20: My hands were freezing so I found a pair of gloves someone threw on the side of the road and put them on. Shamelessly put them on and felt like a genius wearing someone else's sick, snaggly gloves.
MILES 20-26.2: People warned us about these last six miles. That we'd hit walls. That they were the worst. That it was all mental at that point. All these things were true. Before the race I read an article that suggested dedicating each of those last six miles to people you care about. You spend the entire mile thinking of them -- memories/how they've influenced you, etc... I did that. And it saved me. I had flashbacks of my dad teaching me how to rollerskate (I'm totally serious). I remembered the time my boyfriend broke up with me in high school so my mom took me shopping for a new dress. I thought of my three siblings and our vacations, holidays and even hard times together. I dedicated a mile to my best friend Alana. We have been through it all -- from preschool to present. I recalled the birth of both Lennon and Larry and then how they're growing up right in front of me everyday. Mile 26 was dedicated to Tod and I really lost it. I thought back to 1999 when I first met him at Ricks College library where I worked. He'd lost his disk and convinced me to break into my boss' office to look for it. I thought of the four years spent as good friends then the night he took me on our first date. I remembered his teary proposal and even tearier (real word?) wedding day. I remembered him holding two newborn boys, two years apart, and then I remembered his hug at mile 19 when he told me (good intentions), "Only have SEVEN miles left! SO EASY!" By the time we were running towards the finish line I had tears running down my face. It was probably a mixture of gratitude, shock, and temporary insanity.
[Angela, me and Amy after the race.]
POST RACE: I baked for a week and ate a solid diet of total crap. I walked down my stairs backwards for three days and iced my aching ankle and knees. I experienced what I call postmarathondepression where I started wondering what to do with my extra time. I called Amy and we discussed half ironman races and how no way will we EVER do one except maybe we will this summer. . . .