So today I lost my virginity. It was quite exciting since everyone in my family was there watching and cheering me on. I mean, they were able to set a spectator record of catching me in the act 9 times.
Yes, I ran my first marathon. And it turns out that while I was able to hustle my booty to a 3:33:42 finish (YAY BQ!), my family and friends proved to be total and complete rock stars by seeing me off at the start, finding me in the finish and cheering me on at 7 different places along the way.
They. Are. Amazing.
The day started out with a not so promising forecast of rain and 20-30 mph winds. Hooray! I anxiously stood in my corral wondering if I was ridiculous for putting myself with the 3:35 pacing group.
“Yes,” I told myself, “I am insane and this will never work.” Along came 5 other women who were all trying to BQ. Many of them had missed by just minutes over the past year. I was the only newbie…but we decided…
Not on our watch.
We were spot on (and a little ahead) for the first 12 miles (which was good because two of us had to speed up to account for a pee break). We headed into mile 20 convinced the last 6k was going to be doable.
Mile 20– Great
Mile 21 – Notsomuch. My family asked how I was, “I’m so tired I said” on video (Dad has that somewhere). They decided I need encouragement at 22.
Mile 22 – Tired, but hanging in there. My sister reminded me that I’ve had a baby across the entire course. I yelled back, “I had two!” and got my second wind.
Mile 23 – Great
Mile 24 – I looked at my running partner and said, “I think I’m going to throw up now I just need to walk.” She grabbed my wrist and told me it wasn’t happening. My pacer somehow persuaded me that when I got to Mile 25 I’d be fine.
Mile 25 – Pacer didn’t lie. Great mile – Sub 8
Mile 26 – Ran into Memorial Stadium and dashed across the 50 yard line to a crowd of cheers. The announcer yells, “Sheila McDaniel just qualified for Boston.” Of all the people they chose to announce as we crossed…I got to be the lucky one. My dad had it on video and it’s pretty awesome – even if the wind blocked out my name on the video – we got to hear it!
Mile 27 – Lots of hugs as our entire group qualified. I then found my entourage and promptly burst into tears.
Age Div: 12/128
Overall: 258 / 1890