Warning...this is going to be long. Skim if you wish.
No pictures yet b/c I left my adapter at home. I will get them posted tomorrow though.
We did the marathon early start at 6am b/c we knew it would take us 6 hours or more. The regular start is t 8am. So we woke up at 3:45am, took a quick shower to wake up then ate my usual pre-long run meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. J got up at 4:05 and showered then we got Chloe up at 4:15. She was a trooper from the beginning and did SO WELL all day long. We left Jessica's house at 4:35 and headed to meet the rest of the crew then caravaned to Little Rock and got to the start line about 5:40. Took some pics and got ready to go. Started at 6am. It was still dark of course. We went slow and steady the whole way. My knee bothered me just slightly in the first 4 miles and then it never bothered me again.
A hilarious event happened at about mile 3. We were in LR around Alltel Arena and at various points J, Jessica's husband, Julie's husband, Chloe and the rest of the Phit-N-Phat crew would show up at corners to cheer us on. Well, at this one corner it was still dark and there was a cop there and so Jessica's husband told the cop that they were there to watch cheer their wives on b/c they were running the marathon. Well, for some reason he also mentioned to the cop that they had gotten biscuits so after we passed them and they cheered for us as we were going past the cop he announced on his loud speaker "Your husbands are eating biscuits!". We DIED LAUGHING!! It was hilarious and something we will never forget.
ok, so we keep going and just running our steady pace, we finally get to mile 6 which and I am thinking "SWEET", we only have 20 miles left. HA ! Well, since I had run 20 miles before I knew I could do 20 miles so I tried to forget about the 6 I had already done.
I forgot to mention that the weather was PERFECT!!! Cloudy all day, we never saw the sun. Started out in the high 40's and ended up in the low 60's I think. There was a slight breeze, just enough to keep us cooled off. I never got really hot. It was perfect! The prayers about the weather worked for sure.
So we are going along and I remember hitting mile 10 and thinking "only 16 more miles", we have GOT THIS!! I never doubted that I could do it but of course I was unsure what I would feel like at milie 21, 22 and so on. So we just keeping plugging along and the time actually goes by faster than it seems.
I would tear up here and there just thinking about what I was doing and how far I have come and what I was about to accomplish. I mean, I AM A MARATHON RUNNER NOW, seriously, I can't believe I can say that about myself.
So we get to the hardest part which is just past the half way mark and this is where the hills come on. Now, I am used to hills b/c where I live we have a lot of them so this really didn't phase me, it got slightly tougher in a few spots but not enough to waiver any of us. We just kept pushing along and going slow and steady.
Again, our husbands and Groupies as we called them would magically appear on a corner and that was AWESOME!! To have this kind of support, well you just can't beat it and there is no way you ever felt like you wouldn't make it b/c if you did then they would tell you other wise. They were so encouraging and just amazing. It was so awesome for them to share in this journey with us.
We just keep going and going and going and we finally hit mile 20 and I am thinking WOW, we made it this far and only 6.2 miles left. I was feeling really good. So we just kept plugging along and I loved seeing those mile markers, #21, #22, #23. When we got to 23. We kept telling ourselves only a 5K left, we just have 3.2 miles until we are done. Well those last 3.2 miles actually went by rather fast I thought. I remember seeing 24 and then 25! Wow, we had to stop and take a picture at mile 25 b/c I knew when we saw 26 we would want to keep on trucking.
So we get close to mile 26 and we can hear the crowd at the finish line. It is roaring it seems. I think you could tell that we were first timers b/c we were all just smiling from ear to ear. We were trying to take it all in. These people on the sidelines are cheering for you and routing for you and telling you that you are almost there, you can see the finish line you are trying to find your friends and family and take it all in. THIS was the most AWESOME MOMENT EVER when you see the finish line you here the cheers and you can tell they sincerely are routing for you. You figure they are either runners themselves OR they have supported a runner and they know what all goes into the training.
So all 4 of us grab hands and we are hollering and smiling and raising up our arms and we cross that finish line and words can't express the joy and triumph you feel b/c you KNOW YOU DID IT!! You just completed what you have worked for months to do.
This is the most mentally and physically challenging thing I have ever done in my life and I wouldn't have traded it for the world. It was worth every 5:30 AM run and every Saturday that I spent running anywhere from 6 miles to 20 miles. It was ALL WORTH IT!!!
As the week goes on I will share some pictures and some thank yous and I hope I can give you the link to view some video of us before / during / and after the race.