Before I even go into all of the craziness of today I have to announce that I officially made my charity goal. I raised OVER $500 for Denver Metro Partners! Thanks to all of those who so generously donated. I was especially moved by my uncle, Bryan, who made an extra generous donation this weekend and put me at the $500 mark.
I woke up this morning at 4:30 and headed straight to the kitchen to make my regular breakfast. Seriously, who eats eggs and bacon instead of bagels before a marathon? This girl, that's who. I wanted to give myself time to stretch and wake up, plus I had dreams all night that I was late and missed the race. When I signed up for this race I saw that it had a 6:00 am start time and was excited that it would be before the sun came out. Colorado is seriously ALWAYS so sunny. Except for this week. Monday it snowed a little but they were predicting 77 degree weather for today. It's been raining non stop for 4 days now and when I left this morning it was only 38 with a light drizzle. I decided to stick with my original outfit but put on an old zip hoodie and a cheap pair of gloves. Amazingly, the race started at City Park which is my go to run spot. It was so close to my apartment that I was able to walk to the race!
When I got there I downed half a banana and met up with my client Meredith. She's ran several marathons in the past but today she was doing a half. She has been such a great (down to earth, no sugarcoating) inspiration to me!
The course started out together but split at mile 2. We ran past my favorite bar, my favorite cupcake shoppe, and even past my apartment- then we split and I was glad to see the sea of people lighten up. Right around mile 3 a guy I had been running near came up on me and verified that I was running the marathon and not the relay. He told me, "You're going to be my pacer." What a great compliment. Unfortunately this was probably a mistake because I went faster than I probably should have. On the plus side it was nice to have someone to chat with.
Ashley jumped in with me at mile 9. She was impressed with my time so far and at first we thought I might get my sub 4. I realized by 14 that wasn't going to happen today, and was fine with that. It was cold and wet and my tight hip flexors HURT. She coached me the whole way, "Get it Girl", "good job!", "You're doing great." She also asked bystanders "Doesn't she look awesome?!" And informed people that it was my first race so they would keep me pumped up. She got my water, ripped open my Gu, and handed out high fives. As we ran past a shiny store window she told me, "Look in this window when we get up to it. Look at yourself, YOU ARE RUNNING A MARATHON." I'll admit it, I got choked up. She was right. This is something I never have had on my bucket list because I never thought it was an attainable goal. It is only because of her constant coaching that I jumped in with both feet and signed up.
She left me around 21ish and I realized there was no way I was going to make it without a porta potty stop. Because it was cold I wasn't sweating as much and had to pee back at like mile 11. I saw one that was vacant and ran as fast as I could to it. I figured I didn't want to have to get to the end and have to pee before even smiling for a picture. I felt SO much better after, and was able to pick up my pace a little. In no better timing because then I ran into some friends.
First was at the top of a BIG hill, Adam, Rachel, Megan, and Chelsie from church. They all had posters, which was way fun. Here is Adam's which is super hilarious if you know me very well.
Then came Michelle from the salon with her dog Riley. Just as I was thinking, "Michelle lives around here," there she was. At 24 was Julianne. She had to go to work so she promised she would be on the course. Screw race photos, I have my own personal photog.
Those last 5 sucked. My hips hurt. My butt hurt. I wanted to quit. At one point my Garmin freaked out and told me I was running 6 minute miles which was obvi a lie so it kind of screwed with my distance. I thought I had less than a mile when I realized I had more like a mile and a half. That sucked. But I kept running.. I just kept thinking about how great it would feel to cross the finish. Then I saw Meredith, who ran with me for a few minutes. We ran past a big group of SF girls, it was so amazing to see them cheering me on.
Just past the finish line I saw my mom and Victoria. Throughout all of my training I have waited for that moment to finish and see my mom. I am so grateful she was able to be there for me today!
Today when I entered City Park, I was full of nervousness, doubt, insecurity. But I left that all on Colfax and became a marathoner.
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