Miles 23 – 26.2

24 through almost 26

Finally I saw the turn!  After that Mile Marker 24 passed without much fanfare.  That is crazy.  How do you get to 24 and not realize it?  Brain dead!  Feet, ok?  Legs, ok?  Had something in my shoe.  Tried to stop and take it off and thought I would fall over (seriously!).  Ok, it can’t bug me that much for 2 miles, keep going.   Photos guys.  Smile/wave (eyes closed or down in every one.  Worthless)

As we went back into the residential area I knew there were turns but I was pretty sad to realize after 24 we were heading due north.  Bummer!  But, wait are those ORANGES?  There had been bananas, Gu, pretzels.  OMG, earlier I took a cup (a cup, who eats a CUP?) and ate 2.  It took me 10 minutes to get my mouth wet again.  There had been sponges (?) because I saw them all over the road.  I had carried my rag the ENTIRE distance (and washed it and kept it, so silly) so I dunked it in cold water at one point.  But never had I seen an orange.  I was GIDDY.

Something I had tried during training and was DIFFERENT and NEW.  So exciting, these little things.  Thank you people of Water Stop 24.something.  That was *awesome*.

Turned the next corner east.  There was the hill.  I ran to a pre-identified-as-I-ran spot and then walked.  Screw the hills.  WHY are there hills?  But wait! At the end of the hill?  The Mile Marker for 25.  TWENTY-FIVE.  Twenty-Freaking-Five-Miles.  I could have cried.  I didn’t.  I just knew I wanted it DONE.  And my watch said 25.20-something.  That had irked me for miles.  Unless you cut every corner (impossible w/crowds) you will run long.  But I was almost a quarter mile long!

Right turn and we’re headed south.  I knew we had to get back over to Broadway so there were 2 more turns at least left.  The crowds started getting a little bit bigger.  People who had run the half or the relays had walked back to this point (OMG) and were waiting for people.  More people were calling out my name.  Running was a little easier only because it was ALMOST OVER.  But wait, is that the sun?  Are you kidding me?  Could it be more steamy and hot?  I must get done….

The last two turns and the finish!

One more turn east and I could almost see the turn on Broadway.  OMG, that means it’s the FINISH!.

Turned onto Broadway.  First thought: it’s too far away.  I can’t run all of that! (it was about a 1/3 of a mile).  But I can’t walk.  Who walks at the end?  How can I run that far?  All that being said, I ran the last .44 of a mile at a 9:42 pace.  That was my fastest pace of the marathon (full pace report in a future post).   Apparently I wanted it to be OVER.

Randomly you hit a mat before the clock finish/mat area.

Chris and Cindi made it back in time and documented my finish!

Getting closer (name calling mat)

and closer!

Quickly I figured out that that gave the guy at the finish your name.  Since there aren’t a TON of people finishing at the same time, it was pretty easy to have them read names out loud.  How awesome is that?   You get your name announced out loud at a major race!?!

Next up: the finish

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