After an extremely warm week, the weather called for high of 65 and partly sunny for the race. My whole family and some friends purchased the "I run to stop MS" shirts to run with me during the race (and my mom, grandpa and grandma watching the race). I felt nervous as always, but I was glad to have my sister, husband and friend to run with me, I knew I could make it with them.
Although this is my third marathon, I knew that my prep was not nearly as on par as other years. I skipped many weekly runs due to the heat - I just could not get enough energy to force myself out in 85 degrees and high humidity, I literally melt. My lack of prep combined with my odd races the weeks before, made my nerves jump even more.
Morning of the race went well, saw many of my friends and family and we all got in line with out 'Team Julia - I run to stop MS' shirts. I felt loved and I always feed off of the energy of the 10,000 runners around me. The key for me in a marathon is to start out slow. I always want to get pulled with the crowd, but I have to remind myself - 26.2 miles to go, slow yourself down. I was hoping to average 12 min/mi this year for a PR of 5 hours, but you know how the best laid plans go...
Mile 1 10.44 (a little fast but mainly flat and easy)
Mile 2 10.57
Mile 3 11.08
Mile 4 & 5 21.33
Mile 6 11.06
Mile 7 11.21
Mile 8 11.30
Mile 9 10.58
Mile 10 13.08 (bathroom break)
Mile 11 12.19
Mile 12 11.31
Mile 13 13.12 (sister started to not feel well - I was still feeling strong at this point and after a pee break I was still hydrated
Mile 14 11.42
Mile 15 11.29
Mile 16 13.20 (at this point my sister was feeling really bad and asked me to go without her and Paul and I went on alone)
Mile 17 11.33
Mile 18 12.24
Mile 19 16.17 (felt really dehydrated and went to use the restroom, uh oh, somehow made a mistake with my drinking or body was not absorbing what I took in)
Mile 20 13.23 (slowing down, did not feel right and could not get a gel in without feeling like I was going to throw up - luckily my friend's Kim and Andy came out to cheer me on and get me moving for the next couple of miles.)
Mile 21 12.36 (moved to run 1 walk 1 - was still moving at a good clip but could tell body was not feeling right)
Mile 22 14.50 (took in electrolytes again, thought I was going to up chuck, sun came out and HR jumped up and I was sweating much more profusely. I was joined on the trek)
Mile 23 16.38 (could not run without stomach feeling horrid)
Mile 24 18.52 (walking, cramps, stomach problems and Paul was so supportive, was not sure I was going to make it)
Mile 25 20.49 (pissed, now the downhills were keeping me slow, I kept having to stop and stretch and leaned on Paul A LOT)
Mile 26 & .2 17.10 (I tried to jog some and at least jogged into the stadium)
Finish Time: 5:42:42
Not a PR but not my worst race either. I did not have nutrition dialed in and I did not train to my best ability but I finished. It was a very emotional finish, somehow all of the feelings of the past year came flooding back and as I took the step over the finish line, I thought about how this could be my last one and that many things are just unknown with this disease. I was so glad that I came around from from my low energy and on and off symptoms (even at the beginning of summer) to actually finishing the marathon. I was never once confident that it was going to just happen, but it did. Wow. So I have a lot of amazing pictures (I caried a camera the whole way and from good friends - thanks Kim) and I will post a blog with those pictures soon.
Thank you to everyone who supported me through this!