I awoke at 5:30am, taped up my foot, donned my running gear and Heroes singlet, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and headed out the door to corral 8. When I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised and bombarded with friends and family, and it made my heart happy. We took the obligatory we-are-about-to-run-a-marathon pictures, and then Allie and I settled into line and said a prayer. We were nervous, excited, anxious, pumped, and had absolutely no idea what the next 26.2 miles held for us.
Allie and I ran pretty steadily the first several miles. Once we got past the crowds on Beale and the precious children at the St. Jude campus, we turned on our headphones and buckled down, probably a bit too fast. At mile 8, Allie was having an uncharacteristically hard time and encouraged (well, more like forced) me to forge ahead on my own. I unwillingly continued on solo. And on and on and on. I watched wistfully as the half marathoners broke away, but still I trekked on.
I ran roughly 8 miles by my lonesome, determined to finish this race if it was the last thing I did. By some stroke of sheer luck, I caught up to my boys around mile 15, which turned out to be my saving grace. Gaining a running buddy at this point was crucial. Wade continued ahead with me, which made the rest of the run so much more pleasant. And I use the word pleasant loosely here, as running nonstop for 18 miles isn’t the most comfortable thing one can do. Up until mile 18, I ran solidly, but from there, we started walking through the water stops. Not that I’m complaining, as things (such as putting one foot in front of the other) were getting pretty tough at this point.
They say that running a marathon really comprises two separate races: the first 20 miles, and then the last 6. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but now that I have endured it, I understand. Oooh, do I understand. With that being said…check back tomorrow for my rundown on the final 6 miles!