I finally freaking did it and ran my first marathon as part of my birthday run/bike etc. As usual, it was hot as blazes so I had to start at 5:00am. Highlights include:
1. The sun coming up while running past Clydesdale Park on Grant's Trail, quickly followed by four utterly forgettable miles of running through South County on Union/Morganford
2. Running along Broadway, having a low moment and then turning a corner and seeing the Arch.
3. Handing over sweat soaked dollar bills to gas station attendants in exchange for water and Red Bull. I told them to keep the change each time, but I doubt that 47 cents is ever enough to make up for currency covered in back sweat.
4. Running by Imbev: I love the smell of beer brewing, EXCEPT at 7:30 in the morning after two and a half hours of running.
5. Getting to the Arch, walking down the steps, walking UP the steps, getting off the phone with Laura and saying to myself, "only 7 more miles to go"
6. Finally getting to a place where I felt the pain that everyone talks about, making peace with it, deciding to start pushing IN to the pain then suddenly having my left calf cramp up so bad I had to walk/run the rest of the way.
7. Laura driving up to meet me during the last two miles while I was forced to walk because of my calf and me telling her that I couldn't stop to talk.
8. Final mile and a half, Prince's "Seven" coming on in my iPod and suddenly feeling good about the world.
9. Running the last bit up Brookings Drive, seeing Laura and Freddy playing on the grass, getting a huge boost and then having my left calf completely seize up with fifty yards to go to the stairs.
10. My calf finally letting up and me bounding up the stairs while I made loud "hoaaa, hoooaaa" noises at the top of my lungs
I feel emboldened to do another one. I'm sore today, but not debilitated. I wish that I'd done more long runs, that it was less hot and that I had had several thousand people cheering me on instead of one guy giving me a honk and a fist pump at mile 17. I have no knee or ankle pain and can't complain about a thing.
Laura and Freddy
Friends and family
Prince and the Revolution
Now, if you will all excuse me, I have to go and eat the contents of my kitchen.