I was extremely bummed before the marathon started because I realized that I would be running the whole thing by myself. Yes, my mom still ran the half marathon with her friend Karen, but I didn't run the same pace as them so I knew I probably wouldn't see them after we crossed the starting line. Around mile 9 an older man asked me if I was running the full and I said yes so he asked if it would be okay if we ran together. It was his first marathon too and he knew that if he didn't stay at my pace then he would probably try to run too fast and end up crawling through the finish line. We didn't stay together the whole time, but we always ended up running into each other and running together for a little while. He was extremely nice and it helped me stay motivated.
Around mile 17, I started feeling a lot of pain in my left knee. At the beginning, it wasn't anything that I couldn't handle, but it gradually got worse and worse. By mile 19, I had to stop running and almost fell to my knees because it hurt so bad. It was so tight that I could barely bend it to walk. I limped on it for a while and then pushed myself to a fast power walk to warm it back up. After walking for a while, I convinced myself to start running again. I realized that it hurt less to run on it than it did to walk. I tried to tell myself, just keep running.....only 7 more miles to go. At mile 21, I was in so much pain that I stopped at the medical tent to see if they could help. At this point, I was bawling pretty hard due to the excruciating pain. The lady at the tent said there was nothing that she could do other than call the people to come pick me up and take me to the finish line where someone could examine it. I looked at her, told her I was at mile 21 and there was NO WAY that I wasn't going to finish. She suggested I put some Biofreeze on it and maybe it would go numb for the rest of the race. It helped for a little bit, but not long. A mile later I ran by my family/fan section. They were hooping and hollering and cheering me on. As I got closer to them, they realized that I was crying. I could tell they were all concerned and wanted me to stop and explain what was wrong. I pointed to my knee and told them that if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start back up again. From mile 22 to the finish line I did a combination of walking and running. I ran as long as I possibly could and then walked for a bit. Over the course of the marathon I stopped 3 times to go pee. I really only had to wait in line for the Port-a-Potty once. After the race, I was extremely cold. I could not stop shaking and chattering my teeth until I got home and took a hot, hot bath. I iced my knee and took some Ibuprofen. That helped quite a bit, but I'm still walking around with a limp and it hurts really really bad. I woke up this morning moaning and groaning because it hurts to bend it at all. Thankfully I have today off work and I'm planning on getting a massage!
My final time was 5 hours, 31 minutes, and 46 seconds. That equals a 12 minute and 40 second mile pace. I wasn't shooting for a particular time. I figured it'd be somewhere around a 12 minute pace. I'm just thankful that I was able to run across the finish line! It completely amazes me how fast some people ran it yesterday. The female winner completed the marathon in 3 hrs, 5 mins, and 14 secs. She was 24 years old from Stillwater, OK. I believe it was her 1st or 2nd marathon....AMAZING!
I can honestly say that right now I have no intention of ever running another marathon. I just don't think my knees are cut out for that. I'm pretty sure they were ruined years ago in volleyball. I will however probably run a few half marathons. I do not regret running the marathon at all! Had my knee not hurt, I would have felt so good about it. I could have toughened out the weather. It is the biggest accomplishment I've ever made and now I can say I've done it. Mark one thing off my bucket list!! I'm also glad I was able to run in honor of the 168 victims who died in the Murrah Building bombing. While we were waiting for the race to start, I turned on my IPod and the first song that came on was "Light a Candle" by Point of Grace. I truly believe that it was a sign from God to remind me that I wasn't only doing this for myself, but for everyone affected by the OKC bombing. It was really cool!
I wish I had some great pictures of me crossing the finish line smiling and holding my hands up, but truth be told, I don't. All I have are really embarrassing pictures of me crying and in pain. Although they are embarrassing, I still want to share them. Like I said earlier, there's no sugar coating to this post.
Here I come. Mile 22
Taking deep breaths
And here comes the tears.....
Pointing to my knee and boo-hooing to my family, haha. At least I can laugh at them now.
Trying to give my family a smile and a wave before passing them.
Last, but definitely not least, I want to thank my friends and family that were there supporting me. I'd also like to thank those that couldn't make it, but still encouraged me along the way. Thanks to my mom, dad, brother, Aaron, Allison & Ryan, Allison E, Brad, Steph, Colby, Terri, Parker, and Zach. You guys did a fantastic job cheering me on and you were huge troopers for standing out in the awful weather. I'm sure you were 3X as cold as I was. Every time I passed by each of you it gave me a boost of energy and confidence to finish the race! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Check out this link to see a fun video of a couple who got married while running the race! So sweet!