Done. Crushed it.

Okay, so I didn’t really crush it. If you saw me limping around these past few days, it would be immediately clear that the Fargo Marathon crushed me, not the other way around. I have this Quasimoto sort of lurch and grunt thing going on and I think I’m going to lose a toenail.

But here is how I finished, before the pain and ache set in.

But I did do pretty good, based on my own standards, which are a scant 2 hours short of Olympic standards.

The day was predicted to be hot, thunder storming, and windy. Instead, I got near perfect marathon weather. 55 degrees at the start, 57 degrees at the finish. Overcast and slightly windy, the kind of breeze that feels good, not the kind you battle against (at least not mosts of the time, in the last few miles it was pretty strongly against us).

I started out with the 4:15 pace group and figured I would fall back eventually. My goal was 4:20. Around mile 7, I got in front of the group and hung about two blocks in front until mile 23/24 when they caught and passed me. I didn’t hit the ‘wall’ until mile 25, which is great considering I hit it at mile 20 last October. That’s when I started fading and lost the pace group from sight.

I had, again, the best support/fan team on the course. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, Henry and Maggie caught me twice. Tom’s brother caught me three or four times. Tom rode a bike and showed up all over the place. All of them cheered, carried water, and encouraged me.

By the end, I was feeling dizzy and like my legs were filled with lead and all I could think was, “don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop.” I guess Tom was at mile 25.5 cheering and screaming (he caught it on video) but I didn’t acknowledge him and have absolutely no recollection of him being there or hearing my name.

I crossed the finish line and there was Tom. I was smiling and trembling and babbling. I couldn’t stop shaking, my entire body was going so crazy I could barely hold my chocolate milk. I also couldn’t stop panting, it was probably the closest I’ve come to hyperventilating. Tom half-carried me up the stairs and walked me to the bathroom. I told him if I didn’t come out in 10 minutes, he would need to come in after me. I would either be stuck to the toilet seat or passed out on the floor. Thankfully, for him, me, and the other women, I made it out.

I ran with my name on the front and Djibouti on the back, though not on my booty. I needed access to the pocket back there.

Back at Tom’s brother’s house, the entire family lined up and clapped and cheered when I came home.

And here are the stats:
*4:17:25
*a 22-minute PR (personal record), almost one minute/mile faster
*beat my goal by 2:35

I feel like I put it all out there, didn’t hold anything back, took some risks, prepared well, and am satisfied. That isn’t how I felt after the Twin Cities Marathon last fall. So even though my legs are cramping, my toenails ache, even my pecs and back muscles are sore and weak, I have awkward chafing spots, and I can barely move, I feel good.