It's the one year anniversary of the Austin marathon! One year ago today, I ran for four hours, thirteen minutes, and thirty seconds over a distance of 26.2 miles.
Yikes. I'm shuddering thinking about that right now - seriously, think about how long that is! You could watch two movies, have four clients, or sleep half the night in that time. But for some reason, when you're running, it feels different.
Our friend Scott flew in from Missouri to run with us. We drove down to Austin the day before, amidst crazy thunderstorms. I remember getting on Weather.Com to check how long the storms were going to last, and they had RED BOXES around the hours we were driving down. But the weatherman kept promising it would clear up by late Saturday night, so we hoped for the best.
On Saturday, we carb-loaded at an amazing Italian restaurant, Romeo's. We also went to a bar where Dan and Scott claimed they were carb-loading with beer....hmm...not sure that counts but whatever! Then we went to bed early in preparation for the big day.
We woke up at 5:00am, stretched, ate our Clif Bars, and walked outside. Surprise! It was no longer raining and in fact almost felt warm. We waited in line forever to use the PortAPotties one last time before the race, and actually missed the starting gun! But since our pace group was not exactly first in line, we were ready in plenty of time.
All three of us ran the first ten miles together, but then Dan split off to finish off the half-marathon. Scott and I ran the rest of the way, and Dan promised to meet us at the 23-mile-marker to finish out the last few miles with us. Scott and I chatted, listened to the bands playing, and snacked on treats such as Oreos covered in peanut butter, oranges, and M&M's. (These were all handed out by random volunteers on the side of the road, but we weren't picky - they tasted good!) I do remember Scott forcing me to eat GelPaks when I honestly thought I was going to throw up. And I also remember him making me drink PowerAde when I only wanted water. And the water I wanted? Oh, he dumped that on my head. Around twenty miles, I really started getting tired but according to Scott, I was past the point of being allowed to stop and walk. So we ran on. Finally, we hit the 23 mile marker and Dan showed up with the camera.
Here we are running. See how soaked I am? Yeah...there is all the water Scott dumped over my head at every station!
This was where it got funny. Our race numbers also had our names on them, so people could cheer for us individually. Well, when Dan showed up and began running again (after taking a break of approximately two hours), everyone started cheering for him. "Go Dan! Looking great, Dan! Wow, Dan, you're doing great!" Oh I was so mad. But then Dan and Scott ran ahead of me and started telling the crowd, "Cheer for Kristi! It's her first marathon!" SO THEY DID! And it was awesome!
The three of us ran all the way to the finish line. And yes, just in case you think it was easy or something, there was a point where the two of them literally pushed me because I was crying and wanted to start walking. Scott promised I would thank them later - and he was right. Oh, and the next week or so, I couldn't move. I couldn't sit down, stand up, go up or down stairs - I couldn't even step up or down from a curb naturally! But it was worth it. Here is one final picture of the day, the three of us in front of the Austin Capitol Building: