As I mentioned yesterday, I had an insane week leading up my all-important Dallas Marathon.
The first decent night's sleep I had was the evening before the Saturday expo. So it's no wonder I was in high spirits when we headed downtown to pick up our bib and race swag.
There's always swag at marathons. We restrained ourselves to the race-provided technical shirt, but browsed for a while and picked up some electrolyte pills (which proved to be fortuitous later).
What this race is going to need is more cowbell. (reference)
I decided to go BIG at the Dallas Marathon. After all, I was trained and feeling strong.
So on the race's banner wall, I wrote my goal. Kelly revised that goal a little...
Our friend Stacie took this photo and rejected it, because Kelly wasn't looking at the camera. But I like it, because he's looking at me. And the next day during the race, he did a lot of looking at - and encouraging - me while I struggled through a very tough race day.
The next morning we were up really early to fuel pre-race and take our obligatory group photo. Notice that we're all happy. This is obviously before we started running.
Downtown, we met up with our training group near the starting line. I love the Whinos - or as we called ourselves on race day, Tim and the Women.
Then I dashed over to say hey to my work colleagues who were running the race. Beck fielded a pretty strong group (not everyone was in this photo). Kelly and I were the only ones running the full, but there were several half marathoners and a marathon relay team.
So the race.
The weather was really nice at the start - chilly and overcast. Then it got misty. Then it got downpour-y.
I'm also not a fan of Gatorade and other electrolyte drinks. Instead, I use a product called sports beans that provide electrolyte replacement. That's all fine and good, unless the weather is humid and you sweat more without realizing it.
Somewhere around mile 9, I lost my step and my motivation. I lost everything - physically and mentally. Kelly thought I might have depleted my electrolytes and started forcing Gatorade and the aforementioned electrolyte pills down me.
He was right. That helped - a lot. However, the damage was already done.
I wasn't able to keep my 11 minute pace and I had very little energy. But my sweet husband cheered me on, fetched Gatorade, told me to "Suck it up, Buttercup," demanded a full three minutes of running before he'd allow any walking, told me that I couldn't "let that chick who said she was a Spurs fan" finish ahead of me, and even held my hand when we went up hills to make sure I kept running.
(He is awesome in general, but was especially so as a running partner.)
And because of Kelly, I not only finished and got my medal at the end - I still got that elusive PR.
I may not have gone under 5 hours, but I got really close - a 5:10. And technically, I'd tried three times to achieve a 5:15 marathon, so I felt like it was a huge win. Even though I felt terrible and needed to take a post-run nap. (After my post-run shower and eat-a-thon.)