Ha ha! I did it! I ran 13.1 miles without stopping. Many thanks to my friend Trisha who left me the Forest Gump voicemail the morning of the race that said, "Ruuuuun, Deeee-nnnna, Ruuuuuuunnnn!"
I'm disappointed in my pace, but happy at finishing. I think I went so slow because I was concerned about tiring and so kept telling myself to "pace yourself, pace yourself." Looking back, I wasn't winded at all during the run and could have run harder.
As it stands, I finished in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 12 seconds which is 9:52/mile. I finished 107th in my age group but have no idea what that means as I don't know how many women were entered in my age group (hopefully at least 108).
It was a "brisk" 25 degrees at 8 AM when we began. I was concerned about keeping warm and overdressed with 3 shirts where two would have been adequate. The amount of throw-away clothes on the race course was amazing. People just toss aside hats, gloves, shirts, and jackets as they warm up. The race committee collects all the toss-aways and presents a huge pile to the Salvation Army. I myself tossed away a pair of gloves at 5 miles and the socks I was wearing over my gloves at mile 12.
Lots of people stood on the sidelines or outside their homes, cheering us on. This gave me a huge mental boost. There was also a band at mile 3 and 10 and the beat really pumped runners up and kept us running.
I saw a guy running in a gorilla suit and people running in shorts and jog bra (brrr!). My favorite experience was when I was running behind a guy who was wearing a Santa hat. We passed a family on the side of the road and a 4-year-old boy raised two chubby fists in the air and yelled, "Run, Santa!"
I feel good. My left leg is throbbing but it always throbs after a run. Blair was here cheering me on and shot some video of me in the home stretch. I'll post pictures (assuming I don't look too horrid) once we return home.
I want to do it again next year, but train to run a 9-minute pace. I don't know if I'll ever get to marathon level. I think I could have hung in to mile 15 or 16 but that's a good 10+ miles short of the finish. A marathon involves a lot of mental dedication. My neighbor Royce pulled up with a hamstring in mile 5 and still toughed his way through to complete the full 26.2. Amazing.
So it's been a good weekend. The villa we're staying in is stunning and right on the beach. We went for a 4-mile run the day we got here and yes--I need to live in the million dollar mansions on the beach. I'll put Blair on that.
I want to say many heartfelt thanks to all of you who have encouraged me--either through posting on this blog, e-mailing me, or calling me. You all have been patient with my probably interesting-only-to-me running posts and knowing everyone was pulling for me really did make it easier to run. So, thank you. And you are hereby released from running duty until June/July of 2007 when we'll fire it up again.
It's 8:18 PM and my friends, I am off to bed. See you back home tomorrow.