I ended up not listening to music--although I downloaded some Girl Talk and I think it's going to be very fun to listen to on training runs. I got lots of good suggestions and am looking forward to using the playlist later. I just couldn't bear to not listen to the crowds and the footsteps of the runners and the energy of the race. Running a marathon seems like it would be a very individual activity--but it's not. It's a group effort. You chat with the people running along side you and connect with people you won't see again. It's such a neat experience.
One of the most fun things about running a marathon is reading all the funny signs people make. Here are a few of my favorite signs from the day:
- "Kanye says, Imma let you finish"
- "The End Is Near" at mile 20 with a man dressed as the Grim Reaper, somberly ringing a cowbell
- "You are LEGEN-wait for it-DARY"
- "That's not sweat, that's your fat cells crying"
So, I did pretty well. I ran 4:06:58, which is my slowest time. But I did have a baby 6 months ago, so I'm pretty happy. I initially wanted to run under 4:30... then closer to 4:15... then at the starting line I convinced myself that I could run under 4:00. I get weirdly competitive with myself. I couldn't run under 4--but I am thrilled with how I did. I ran pretty even miles--I didn't slow down too much at the end. And it was fun!
Considering how lightly I trained, I am still optimistic that I can qualify for Boston in the next two races (under 3:40:59). I think I will either run Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh or Virginia Beach in the spring, then if I don't qualify, either Chicago, NYC, or Philadelphia in the fall... or something else. And if I don't qualify again, I'm going to get Finley a sister.
And now the pictures. Thanks Dad, for being the photographer and for watching me run. It meant so much to me.
Waiting for the shuttles before the race... we were supposed to get there 2 hours early. I made it to the start 2 minutes early. WHOOPS. Good thing I wasn't taking it too seriously or I would have been a stressball.
Running the race... I was lucky I got to see my family three times, Kate, John and Margaret twice, and Kara for thirteen miles. Thanks so much to everyone who supported me!
After the race... I really needed to sit for awhile. And my legs HURT today.
My daddy and I on the metro home.