||Upset about chip time issue*, but still excited
||Left Craig when he started run/walk
||Tried to keep the first few “walkers” that were ahead of me in sight
||Tried to stay ahead of a couple of chatty walkers behind me – every few hundred yards I would hear them gaining and pickup my pace to stay ahead
||Passed by chatty women – joined Craig when he passed me – decided if I can’t beat the run/walkers I should join them…
||Enjoyed Craig’s company – I don’t think the difference between our walk and our “run” is as really that big at all
||Because we started an hour early as “walkers” – the first water station was between 6 and 7 – a high school football team was there to greet us – which was very cool. One of the guys said as we passed them “you’re almost done!” which was NOT very cool… LOL…
||Just as we could see the Mile 8 flag – the first of the Runners passed us – they were 44 mins into their run, we were an hour and 44 mins into ours…
||Still high spirits, the sun was now up, we were getting passed more often now by runners
||My side started to hurt – I didn’t expect that since I don’t usually have an issue with my side. Craig pulled ahead of me – I didn’t want to slow him down, so I was glad he did. Most people think of mile 10 as a Milestone – but all I could think was “WOW, we still have 16 miles to go!”
||My side was still hurting and I got a cramp in my right calf. We were climbing a bit here which was part of it but a month prior I climbed 1200 feet in 26 miles without any cramping so I was concerned that this would become an issue. Craig was still only a few hundred yards ahead of me.
||Cramping in my calf had gotten worse. My foot was pulling up involuntarily due to the cramp and I really slowed down here trying to get relief. Craig hadn’t really pulled much further ahead – I wondered if he was having issues as well.
||I saw Craig cross the time mat at the 13 mile flag about a half mile ahead of me. The climb here was huge – much more of a climb than I expected. My side wasn’t hurting anymore but the cramp in my calf was still there and my right knee started making this terrible clicking sound
||I never saw Craig again after mile 13. I walked most of mile 14 trying to work out my right calf and concerned about my left knee… I did stop to take a few pictures of the amazing view – we were up in the mountain looking down at what I believe was Glacier Lake.
||I started to worry about my time – I wasn’t able to get back to a run without my left knee making this terrible clicking sound (accompanied by pain). On the bright side my calf cramp seemed to be gone except when I tried to run. Mostly a shuffle kind of jog going on at this point.On the bright side, I got to see just how supportive the running community can be – every time I got past I got a thumbs up with a “you can do it”, “you’re doing great”, “you can make it”… It made me smile.
||I believe this is when I came up to the Grand Piano complete with a guy in a full tuxedo playing it! The song was a bit to slow classical for me – but I enjoyed the unique support they were offering. Here is where I started running the numbers instead of the course – If I could do 18 min miles the rest of the way I would finish under 7 hours… for half a mile I actually considered that an option… then my left knee explained to me that I should be more realistic and just hope for the best…
||I thought about Jen Bass and her family – I found out the day before that they had a personal tragedy this week… I know her from World Harvest, so naturally when I thought of her, I also thought of many other WHC friends – Like Gena Bohl – she was one of my inspirations to run a marathon.
To Jen – my prayers
To Gena – my thanks
||We are completely out of the mountain now, the river is no longer in sight either, but there is what we called a ditch growing up, beside the street, and it was flowing with water in a way that looked like it was permanently full of water. Growing up, the ditch in front of our house only looked that way after a heavy rain.I’m not sure I was following any discernible running pattern here – mostly I was just trying to keep moving. I knew I wouldn’t finish on time if I walked the whole way and even when I “ran” it was hard to be faster than a 20min mile.
||I believe this is when I first noticed the aid workers on bikes. There were a few in at the half way point, but now it seemed like they were patrolling in half mile routes, encouraging runners and asking anyone that looked like they were having trouble if they were ok. I got asked a lot… LOL
||“10k left!” – yes, I did yell it out loud. I did the math in my head and I knew I was going to come in somewhere north of 7 hours but unless I slowed down to over 23 min miles I would be south of the 7:30:00 deadline.I called Stephanie to let her know where I was and how I was doing – I got her voice mail (shocker)…
Somewhere during mile 20 I was passed by a slow runner who actually slowed down beside me long enough to say “OH, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I never get to pass anyone!”…
Believe it or not – I actually didn’t mind. “You earned it – you’re doing great!” was my reply – both out loud and in my head.
Yeah, right! I wanted to push her down, but only for a second… hehehe
||The course was through neighborhoods now – the running field was so spread out that the last few miles I was alone for long spells and when I did see a runner it was only briefly as they passed me.
There was a lot of support from the locals – people just sitting outside their homes, clapping and cheering. At one house there was an unmanned table with gummy bears (most likely it wasn’t unmanned an hour or two before). The sign on the table read “Gummy Bears for the runners” – I didn’t feel I qualified… 🙂
||I knew both of the last miles were over 20 mins – I actively tried to shuffle faster although nothing that would be confused as a run occurred.
At one of the aid stations a lady was handing out fruit – grapes and orange slices. I almost hugged her! Those were the best tasting grapes I have ever eaten! After the handful of fruit, I was handed a water, a cup of poweraid, and believe it or not, a cup with gummy bears. I felt like I was at a buffet!
||Just a 5k left! I knew that all I needed to do was continue moving and I was going to finish but part of me was disappointed with my time. I ate terrible for most of the month before the race and I had gained 15 pounds during the same time frame.
||Most of the next few miles was spent shuffling my feet, continuing to move to the finish.
||The 25 mile flag was long – my watch was reading 25.2 miles when I passed it. I couldn’t help myself from the wishful thinking that the flag was wrong and I really did only have a mile left…
||There is where I started noticing the chalk writing on the road – “Go Lynn Go!” and “You can do it Anne!”. There were a few non-specific words of encouragement like “almost done!” and “your beer is just ahead!”
An aid worker cycled up beside me, “how are you doing?”
“Great!” I replied. I was in good spirits despite being slow, but I couldn’t help but ask, “am I the last one?”
“Not even close!” she replied.
I got excited that I wasn’t last but I also realized that many of the people behind me likely started with the runners at 6am, so they were actually an hour ahead of me on the clock. Before I could even let that sink in, she added, “There are like 20 people left!”
That was not quite the encouragement I was hoping for – but I really was in good spirits – and started searching my phone for the “right” song to finish the marathon to.
||I can see the finish line – I’m excited! I couldn’t decide between Bruno Mars’ The Lazy Song and LMFOA’s Rock Party Anthem – I finally landed on Rock Party Anthem. “Everyday I’m shufflin” was the line that won me over…
“That’s Dale Sackrider from Glendale Arizona!” shouted an announcer – people cheered, a few even yelled “Go Dale!” I thought, Yeah, lets finish strong! So I started to sprint… then my knee actually yelled in an audible voice, HELL NO!
Ok, back to my shuffle…
“How was it Dale?” from the announcer
“Awesome!” I yell back with two thumbs up! Awesome…
At that moment, I didn’t care about my time, I didn’t care about my pain, I finished 26.2 miles…