Monday, January 19, 2015

26.2 Toots of my own Horn

So....I ran the Chevron Houston Marathon yesterday.
In a moment of weakness last spring, I put my name in the lottery (I'm not fast enough to just "get in") and my name got picked. I found out in June I got in, and I've been training since August. 
I'm not going to bore you with a play-by-play, but here's the gist of my day:
 I teared up when I crossed the starting line (I crossed around 23 minutes after the gun).  I think I was proud I was doing it, scared to be doing it, happy I was able to do it, and thinking of all the work that had gone in to it. I was also scared that maybe I wouldn't finish. The Houston Marathon has a time limit. If you don't finish in 6 hours they take you off the course, and you don't get the medal, t-shirt, or glass. (No t-shirt!)
Starting line selfie

I ran the whole time until mile 20. (I stopped each time to give my "cheering section" hugs, and I also walked through all the Gatorade/water station). 
If you're trying to read my hand it says "One day you will not be able to do this. Today is not that day."
I also stopped to see one of my former students. He's in a band called, Brent and Kate, and they were playing around mile 7. (There's entertainment all along the route.) I ran up to give him a hug and he announced over the microphone that I was his 7th grade science teacher.
Saying "hi" to my cheering section at mile 15.
Not as smiley.
I finished in 5:04:54 which is an overall 11:26 pace.
That means I ran 26.2 miles at an average of 5.25 miles an hour. I'm good with that.
Right after I got my medal...about to go get my t-shirt!
So here's my take away:
1. The Houston Marathon is an amazing race. It's the nicest race I've ever been in. Snacks, tons to drink, lots of police, aid stations (which I've never seen on a course), and according to the news...250,000 spectators to cheer.
2. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.
3. I will never run another marathon by myself. If somebody (who is a non-runner, not somebody fast who would just leave me at the starting line) wanted me to do it with them, I would. But that's the only way I'd ever do it again.
4. My entire body hurts.
Most importantly, there are some special thank yous that I must give out:
-Thank you Lord that the day was gorgeous, my body is/was healthy, and most of all...that I didn't have to use any of the port-a-potties!
-Thank you Jason for organizing 3 kids and 3 grandparents to come cheer me on. I know how hard it was with all the street closures.  It really made me happy to have you all there.
Jason even brought the bikes and he and the boys rode their bikes to Kyle's teacher's house (she came out to see me too) because they couldn't get there with the car.
It was a lot of work and I really appreciate it.
  (Here we are at 5:15 in the morning as we are about to leave for Jason to drop me off. You can see he has his trusty street closures map in his hand.)
-Thank you Granny Sherry for babysitting when I needed to run, driving my parents around race day, making sure the kids were fed yesterday after the soreness set in, and for entertaining them today while I recover.
-Thank you to my parents who left in the middle of the night to be at the race. Thank you also for telling every person you've come in contact with this last month that I was running the Houston marathon.
-Thank you Allison (and Geoff and Gwen) for letting my family take over your home so they could have a prime spot to see me run by. It was great seeing y'all!
-Thank you to my boys who made the cutest signs. As you can see, Reed has a little more faith in my running ability than JR.

- And, of course, thank you so much to Caroline.  Caroline had the worst job of all since she's had to listen to me talk about running this thing since June.  As we all know, nobody wants to listen to other people's work-out stories. Thank you so much for your encouragement and listening ear!

So that's it.  I can officially say I've run a marathon.

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