On with the race...We went through our 2nd tunnel of the race which was right before a decent incline. For some reason running through the tunnel I felt great. I'm not sure it was because we were out of the elements or what because usually the tunnels kind of creep me out but it was playing in my favor this round. I was hoping to see Mel and Marlene before heading in, but no luck. We started the incline and then I decided to try for another bathroom break to see if I could find some kind of relief, but NOPE, NOTTA...nothing was going to make my stomach feel better. Just kept pushing up the hill until we got to the Aurora bridge. While running down at mile 18 I kept thinking about my runs on the Burke Gilman trail below this bridge and how on those runs I could hardly imagine what it would be like to be up there running my first marathon and here I was on top of the bridge doing it. The view is pretty amazing from this bridge. I saw Madison and other familiar faces that I had seen on the turn around before. It was our turn to turn around and head back. Kate looked at me and said "We are headed back to the finish line"...that was a great thought. I knew I was going to finish and with only 7 miles left it wasn't that far away. I was for sure feeling tired, but very determined. We made our way up the other side of the bridge and was excited when I saw the TNT gals, Hannah, Michele and Yvette! So easy to see in there green, shimmer skirts. Seeing your friends during the race is so nice. I have said that a few time, haven't I? I got a call from my dad right as we were coming up to the top of the bridge and they were ahead a little ways. Kept climbing the hill and I saw I guy walking up on the shoulder with a Rock'n'Roll Foil blanket, really buddy you finished and now you are walking and being all flashy with your stupid foil blanket...not what I wanted to see while I still had 6 miles to go. Keep you and foil blanket by the finish line please!!! RUDE. Maybe I was a little moody at that point. I took a gummy bear hoping it would help a little and it just made my stomach cramp more, not so great. We were coming up to the next band and I saw my Dad and step-mom Beth which was great. I gave them both
Here is a foggy pic! Sweaty phone camera I guess?
They ran with me for about a quarter of a mile. So glad we got this great picture of us. My dad and Beth were so excited. Beth kept saying what a great pace I had for being so many miles in...Glad I could impress them, but I wasn't going fast at all, just fast for someone who doesn't run much. That will always be a great memory being able to run with them for a few minutes during my first full marathon. SWEET! Onto the finish...
Got to go through the tunnel again and was sad to see the ambulance taking someone away...not a great sight, but a great reminder of how serious a marathon is and to never under estimate the distance and the toll it takes on your body. I was excited to come through the tunnel and to know that was it for the tunnels and we only had a little ways to go, 5 miles I think? One of the bands was already packing up, what...is everyone supposed to BQ or what...stick around for us slower folks will ya? No biggie, but don't make me feel any slower than I am. We were coming up on Qwest field and I had always wondered what I would feel like since I had to pass the finish line and go out and back. It was hard seeing the people turning the corner to finish and hearing all the cheers down below, but I was close...really close...only 4 more miles to go. I got to see Steph with her sweet Sony camera/video which was great. One of her pictures on her blog was not a great one of me, which is funny because I remember just smiling big time when I saw her. She is a ton of fun. Saw the turn around point up ahead but not before I saw Shelby coming up to mile 25 and she pointed at the 25 mile sign like "Look..I am almost there, almost done"...that was so exciting to see her just before her finish! Then I saw Madison again...see how much fun it is seeing all these friends on the course, new friends. Tried one more time at the bathrooms, but no use! Kate refilled my water bottle with a little gateroade and water to see if that would help. I just wanted to gulp the water, but knew that wasn't a great idea. My stomach was feeling sick still and my body started to hurt a little. I also got chafing at mile 23 in the least desirable places, lovely. I was almost done so I tried not to think about it. One lady came up behind me and said "Are you going to do this again?", um really you are going to ask a first time marathoner that at mile 23...don't ever do that. That's like asking a mother giving birth while she is having an episitotomy if she is ready for another child! Those are words that should never be asked toward the end of a marathon. My comment was "Never say never" and I smiled. I was not hating the marathon at all, I was hating my stomach feeling sick, but not the marathon. I really thought that this could keep me from doing more marathons, but we will see...never say never. Time to turn around and take one more hill at Mile 24 and then it was time to get to the FINISH line. (tearing up) Coming into sight of Qwest field was amazing. I had done this short distance so many times and now I was closer than ever. Kate and I kept looking at each other and smiling...we knew what we were thinking and didn't have to say anything...it was happening. I got to see the Kansas City TNT gals one more time and then Steph right before I turned off the off-ramp! I was coming down the ramp and saw my support crew/paparazzi and classic Andrea style ( she never sees me, even when I am right in front of her...it's comical really) she didn't see me until I was right by her and then she came and gave me the biggest hug and was totally crying. She knew what a HUGE deal this was for me, so even though I wasn't crying (like I am now writing this) she was crying for me...it was so sweet...see below! And Megs and Bec were taking tons of pictures. They were AWESOME and captured some amazing moments.
I was done...almost done! Oh my gosh! My cousin spotted me on the viaduct as we were coming down...can you see me?
Can you see me...I am right behind the pink shirt. Kate is running next to me...
Here we are coming down...down to mile 26!
Me seeing my support crew...I love the next few pictures...they are so sweet!
I love this picture...just going into the chute....
As I turned this corner I couldn't believe how far the finish line was! My friend, Diana at Done the Run was right there when we entered the chute. (Race person was watching for shoe tags and almost pulled Kate off right before this picture, but we kept running) Diana followed us down (outside of the chute) yelling my name...it was so funny! Thanks for all the cheers Diana! Then I saw my family. They were all lined up and cheering for me. I saw my mom, Loren, Cole, Max, Jason, Railene, Natalie, Chase and my dad and Beth. It was amazing being able to wave and see them as I was finishing. It was better than I ever could have orchestrated. SWEET, SWEET picture that will always be in my mind of them lined up cheering with smiles on their faces as I crossed the FINISH line!
Seeing my family for the first time at the finish! Priceless...My brother did a great job getting these shots!
Finishing my FIRST marathon. A dream realized!
June 26, 2010
*Tomorrows post: Post race Pictures and thoughts!