My happy before picture :)
I must admit right off the bat, this full marathon was one of the most difficult things I have done in my life. With that said, I finished with a good time of 4 hours and 33 min (just 3 minutes over my goal time). The 6:00 am start was absolutely wonderful, perfect temperature, sun wasn't up yet and 1200 other crazy folks to run along side. I met up with Jesse for the first time at mile 5. He was out ready to snap pictures and cheer me on. I was pretty excited to see him and was feeling great at that point. He was able to meet up with me again at mile 8 for more high fives and cheering and I was still feeling great. By mile 8 I had passed the 4 hour 15 minute pacer group and knew I'd finish in under my goal time of 4 hrs 30 minutes! Confidence and a beautiful sunrise are wonderful things :)
I was able to stay ahead of the 4:15 pacer until it became absolutely necessary that I hit a port-a-potty at mile 14. All of that hydration had to go somewhere. Jesse had taken off to go and pick up the rest of my cheering crew (Brooklynn, Irelyn and Nommie) and met up with me again at mile 17.
At this point I was still able to bust out a smile for my two favorite little ladies but my legs were getting pretty tired. Only 9.2 miles to go. I had kept up a good pace at that point and still hoping to finish around 4 hrs 20 min. I was now aiming to stay ahead of the 4:30 pacer as my confidence was lacking just a little.
When I met up with Jesse, Nommie and the girls at mile 22 I was a lot less confident, feeling less smiley and really hurting. But once again, I was very happy to see my cheering section. The picture below is an example of how the rest of the race went. Run for about one mile, walk and yell at myself for more walking, then run again!
It was very emotional as I crossed the finish line, realizing what I had just accomplished. I was also incredibly thankful for all of the donations that totaled $700 to Seattle Childrens Hospital in honor of our little Irelyn. These days I rarely think about all that she went through her first seven weeks of life but the last mile of this marathon that was all I thought about. She has completed our family, makes us laugh daily and taught us to appreciate our relationships not our possessions.
So happy to be done with that bucket list item!!