The fear of:
I did it!
And I did it with a smile on my face!
I knew right from the get go that there were three of us competing for the honor of finishing last. Unfortunately, I got a tremendous burst of energy for the first 9 miles and ran those miles faster than I have ever run in recent history. As I was running, I was thinking, Mary, slow down, you are going to pay for this later in the race - but I felt FABULOUS! I knew that I would slow down after 9 miles, but I thought I would slow down, not virtually stop!
By the time I finished, I was moaning I was in so much pain. My calves felt like two hard as rock knots of pain. My hips were screaming. I could feel the hooks from my bra digging into my back (and I have a GREAT sports bra), I could feel chafing under my arms. I could feel stress on my toenails. And, I felt like I was going to vomit. And maybe pass out. And I couldn't help but wonder how on earth I can do a marathon if I am dying during a half. I will have to reappraise this after I recover from this race.
The race finished at a restaurant where they had burgers and brats - a few of my favorite things - and I couldn't even eat. I got to my car miraculously, and stopped on my way home at the kwickee mart and got some Powerade and saltines. yummmy.
Here is what was wonderful about the race.
1. the first 9 miles were great! The course is great, and the day is perfect for running.
2. the people were fabulous.
3. the volunteers stayed to man the aid stations even though I was running alone... last.
4. the volunteers kept the finish chute open past the 3 hour limit (I finished in 3:08)
5. Rosemarie - she stuck with me for the last couple of miles and that really, really helped.
6. My friend Donna who encouraged me to do this race and treated me like I just won a world record!
The kindness of strangers is always a revelation to me. Thank you to all the nice volunteers and all of the nice runners - who are at every race... not just this one. I know some of you are reading this right now. Thank you
Now I am going to go soak and then take a nap!