Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sub 30 - Second Attempt

Friday June 15th Flag Day 5k in Amherst NH.

I told NO one that this race was another attempt at a sub 30. A part of me was nervous about another defeat, and a part of me wanted the out of "nope, didn't try".

This is the first race in a while that I headed off to solo without a clue where I was going and no idea if I would know anyone once I got there. Due to that, my introvert anxiety was on high alert before I left and I swear I delayed leaving the house 3 times for 1 more bathroom trip.

Setting my GPS I headed off to parts unknown. Well, not entirely unknown I'd been to that very location for a fourth of July parade a few years back, but I was a passenger, my husband did the driving and we ended up parking over a mile from the green and walking. Speaking of parking, that was the one thing I was nervous about, where and since it was a small town, would it be obvious. I was right to be nervous, but since I got there early I pulled up behind another car and hoped for the best.

Checking in went smoothly and I got to walk around a bit. I bought a bunch of raffle tickets, less to win awesome items(more on that later) and more to support the Moving Wall.

I may have found the introverts trick to meeting people at races, dress silly. I felt extremely awkward but I wore a patriotic tutu and thus people stopped to say hi and compliment my outfit. I ended up having a nice conversation with another runner.

As more runners showed up, I bumped into another She Runs This Town member and a few Gate City Striders. I chatted with a woman around my mothers age in a Naval uniform. Her stories were different than my mothers stories from the Navy. My mother was an officer, she was enlisted. She talked about how the men treated them like ladies and were careful about their language around the women. She was a photographer but just printed other people photographs. In contrast, my mother's stories involve improving staffing numbers at her station, and arranging honor guards for funerals as it was Vietnam Era. The only policy she's ever mentioned that applied to women was that at the time you could not be pregnant and in the military. Pregnancy was an automatic discharge.

As we started to line up under the fire truck ladder and flag for the anthem, my stomach screamed at me to EAT. I'd left my clif blocks in my car, which was now too far away to claim with moments before the race starting. The volunteers gave out little flags for us to wag for a picture and run with if we wanted to. I did.

Can you find me? Photo credit: Race 
The race was a nice course and oddly well shaded.  My less than perfect hydration for the day and hunger led to me fighting side stitches the first mile. Some focused pressure and breathing seemed to help ease it. I pushed onward. Just like with the marathon I felt like I was playing interval tag with a couple of other runners. Interval tag is where myself and other runners take alternating walk breaks and end up repeatedly passing each other.

I can not tell you how happy I was for the water stop, or that the water stop was at the top of a short steep hill.  Woohoo an excuse to walk. The problem was, this was the half way point and I knew a sub 30 was still possible if I didn't give up. I also contemplated the days of being in the back of the pack and not really caring about time. But here I was pushing for a sub 30 and it was still within reach. Somewhere after the mile 2 marker I saw unicorns. Yes seriously, two women in unicorn costumes with a decorated car cheering on runners. That gave me a boost of speed and I pushed it another quarter mile, before I started to struggle again.

Pushing my way to the finish Photo Credit: Race

As I closed in on the end of the race, I realized while I wasn't going to get my sub 30, I was going to get a new personal record. With that in mind I dug deep and ran the last 0.1 miles to finish in 30:32!

It took me a bit of walking to be able to grab water and drink after that. I cheered on a bunch of finishers and high fived a little girl who rode in a stroller the whole race while I'm guessing her grandfather ran. Eventually I chatted with the PTs at the event and signed up for roller kneading of my legs.  Later, my name was called on the loud speaker, which was just to check in with the organizer as I always request a 2nd medal to mail to Kelsie.

Since I bought a lot of raffle tickets I hung out to see if I won. I was well rewarded for my donation. I won a Her Tribe Athletics tank top and the only hard part was deciding which one to get. I also won TWO entries into the Santa Shuffle, so now I need to figure out who to bring.




The face you make when you miss your
goal but still get a PR. photo credit: race

Monday, June 25, 2018

I can (still) run 10 miles

The Gate City Marathon was a month ago and since then I haven't run any long distance runs. I've been mostly focusing speed.

Sunday morning I made plans with a friend to attempt 10 miles. He's training for Ghost Train, an ultra marathon so all miles are good. I honestly was not sure how it would go or if I would be successful but I also knew he would make sure I was successful even if I had to walk the last 2 miles.


I have stopped with my pre-run snack since the last time I had it, my digestive system revolted sending me on a dash to the port-o-potties. No thank you, I'd like to avoid that again. I don't know if it was my pre-run snack or the volume of junk food I ate the night before but either way it's made me scared of food. I need to try my pre-run snack again, but when I'm running at home and have easy quick access to a clean bathroom.

The Epic hills were between 3 & 4.
Due to this, while I was awake an hour before we were to meet, I had only consumed 2 glasses of water. As we started out, I was already hungry. Thankfully we started with more walking than usual, which was a nice warm up.  Quickly once we started running legs were sore, so I took one of my electrolyte pills, and continued on. Sore legs early into running is a new thing to me, but I have been pushing speed. Plus last week, I donated blood on Monday, ran track workout on Wednesday evening, ran at 5am Thursday morning and went to a baseball game that evening which resulting in many flights of stadium stairs, then Friday morning I ran at 5am again. I did rest on Saturday, if hardcore house cleaning counts as rest. I likely didn't help myself out by having some scotch Saturday night, but it was really good.

Eventually on the run I started snacking on my clif bloks, while I had a few gus with me, I just wasn't feeling like I wanted that much nutrition at once.

My friend had a plan to run out to Browning Rd and then back. Browning is a well know hill here in Nashua. Local runners training for the Mt Washington race will go there to do hill repeats.If I recall Browning is a half mile long hill. My mini van complains when I've driven up it. After that we wandered through a few more streets, found more hills and I introduced my friend to an amusing intersection here in Nashua that I can only guess was done to slow down drivers and prevent accidents. The goal of this run was not rolling hills, but that is what happened. My friend told me about the new Chelmsford Rail trail and how flat it is. If I had access to a teleporter, I would have requested a transfer, I was super done with hills after 5 miles. I just looked at them and declared We're walking the hill. My friend didn't seem to mind. When we were not walking I think we were going a 10 -10:30 pace which is a faster run pace for intervals than my interval run pace before the marathon.

It got humid out, so a little after halfway I opted to join the Sports Bra Squad and remove my shirt. The rest of the run was a lot more comfortable, plus I was starting to run out of water and hoping cooling off would minimize sweating. As we were getting close to the parking lot, we were both starving, but my friend insisted we loop the parking lot so that my watch registered all 10 miles.

In the end with all the walking my pace averaged out to 13:41, with my fasted split being 11:55 and slowest 16:10(which was the monster hill). I'm happy with this. Now I know I can run 10 miles still. Marathon training starts in July.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Miles for Meghan

I'm not sure how to begin this blog, so here it is, I've begun.

On Friday night when I got home from the flag day 5k, I checked Facebook and saw the news about one of my Skirt Sisters, another Skirt Sports Ambassador, had been involved in a horrid tragedy.

News:

Mom, kids shot point-blank after Westminster road rage incident, affidavit says


It's a hard article to read, and honestly you've likely heard about it on your local new affiliate. 

I was in shock, sure I've heard horrific stories in the news, but never have they ever hit so close to my circle. I didn't even tell my husband that night, I just talked about my race and kept the horror to myself. 

Miles for Meghan
Saturday morning I told my husband.  I changed to run so that I could include that with our plans for the day. I did not intend to run on Saturday but I did 1 mile, relatively slowly for Meghan. I spent the late morning and mid day with my family, wondering a park and downtown Nashua. I shared the story on my instagram and fb page.

I checked for updates and plans to support Meghan and her family. I prayed for them, as she and her son struggled in the IUC and for her husband. 

On Monday I donated blood. I'm all for preventative medicine and making healthy choices, Meghan was as well, but somethings you can not control. In a crisis, one of the critical supplies needed is blood and it's not something we can manufacture in a lab. 


If you are like me, you may be wondering what can I do? Right now, these are the simple things you are do.

1) Donate to help the Bigelow family with expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/official-bigelow-family

At a local Red Cross blood drive.

2) Donate Blood. They are alive because of blood transfusions, if you are able, help make sure if anyone else is in dire need the supply is there. 

You may need to click on this picture to make it readable.
Colorado friends, there are specific drive going on with Bonfils Blood Center.

If you are anywhere else, the Red Cross has set up a virtual blood drive. If you do the instagram/facebook hashtag thing, use #Fight4Bigs 


Sub 30 - First Attempt

To celebrate my birthday, I attempted a sub 30 5k, or in non-runner language, I attempted to run 5 kilometers in under 30 minutes.

My first attempt I talked about a bit in my last post. I signed up for Hunger is the Pitts with my local chapter of She Runs This Town. I asked on the group if anyone would be willing to pace me for the race, and Nancy offered. I'd never met Nancy before but runners are awesome like that. We chatted a bit, I shared with her some of my previous run times.

The Monday before the race, the Gate City Striders Mine Falls series started. The weather was on the chilly side, so I opted to delay my plan of bringing my children to run that race. Instead I decided to challenge myself, without a pacer or a friend to chat with and distract me, could I run a fast 5k. Could I push myself to have my pace around 10 min miles?

With that race time of 31:41, I felt good. Evening races are not my thing, I know I run worse in the evening than in the morning. I was hungry during that race.

Now onto Sunday's Hunger is the Pitts race. This race benefited the NH Food Bank. Our chapter of SRTT had decided to coordinate our outfits. I was one of 30 or 40(maybe more I didn't count) women running in tutus. I got to the race early as I like to do because parking is the most stressful part of running for me. I was likely one of the first 10 people at the race that wasn't volunteering.

Once there, I did the next thing I always do at races, stand around awkwardly because my inner introvert doesn't know how to meet people. The area for pre/post race hanging out was fantastic, we were in the backyard of the Auburn Pitts restaurant. Had I known what this layout would be, I would have insisted the rest of the family come. The area would have been easy to let the boys run around while I'm out running. Plenty of picnic tables to sit at, shade to avoid the sun(and it was going to be a hot day), corn hole set up for playing, and all in a fenced in grassy area with no cars.

Nancy and I before race started. You can see how bright it already was out.

I met up with Nancy who had gone full on princess mode. Pink tutu, and tiara. Two of her friends were dressed the same. It was awesome! She had used glitter letters to add "PACER" to her tank top. We talked strategy, correction she shared her suggestions and strategy with me. It was getting close to the start so we headed over to do the big SRTT picture. I bumped into my good friend Robbie who was also celebrating her birthday. We chatted a bit, took a picture and finally lined up to run. At this point I was starting to get hungry, and the sun was starting to get hot.

Start. Nancy and I ran off, trying to navigate all the people at the start. One of the biggest things I'm getting used to with this pace is having to deal with other runners. The number of 12-14 min mile runners is sparse, sure they are there but they spread out, they take walk breaks. When I was running my 37 min 5ks, I rarely had to worry about runners around me, I could see them, but I wasn't running close to them.

The race started with a downhill and we did our best to keep with the planned pace, while letting other runners settle into their places in the pack. It didn't occur to me what starting the out and back race on a downhill would mean for the finish. We chatted and I was doing pretty good at this point. The race turned onto the rail trail and we got some shade for the next mile or so. The crushed rock path wasn't an issue for me, I'm used to Mine Falls. I was beginning to struggle at this point though. Soon the path narrowed and we had to go single file to make room for the runners coming toward us. It was great to see Nancy's friend run by us looking like she was barely trying, but it also made running difficult as I needed to pay more attention to footing and speed. Nancy told me to focus on her and I tried my best. As we got close to the turn around, I needed a quick walk break and we needed to walk the turn around that was a tiny side path that went up and down, uneven footing, and then back to single file running. I was struggling more and more at this point. Nancy and I talked and that helped distract me but I was starting to have trouble talking and running. I could still breathe.

Breathing, we had a great discussion, or more her speaking encouraging informative words while I listened. I was able to breathe, but according to my heart rate monitor I was up around 190-195 beat per minute. She talked about lactic acid threshold and that 5ks should hurt, they are a different race than a marathon. All of this lead to much research the day or two after the race.

Remember how I said the race started on a downhill, when we hit the pavement again we had some breathing room to run, I'd slowed down too much, or taken too many walk breaks my 2nd mile was too slow to succeed at the sub 30 without really digging deep and pushing out an amazingly fast 3rd mile.  Just as I wondered if it was possible, we hit the hill, now going up it. I walked more and more, I was hot, I was thirsty, and my legs hurt.  This was all new to me. I walked more than I should, I remember the moment I knew it wasn't going to happen. I looked at my watch and saw it click over to 30 minutes. I looked up and saw what I thought was the turn for the finish line. I was wrong, it was people directing traffic and cheering, I had more to go. Nancy was encouraging me as I walked more and more. My heart rate was not coming down. As we got to the end, I started running, faster now and we crossed at 31:14. Better than Monday. We talked a few moments and even though I missed the goal I still felt good. I was able to get some finishing photos of Robbie, and the three of us posed for pictures.

Nancy and I finishing the race.

After Robbie and I hit the food line and I was able to get a burger. Normally I avoid all post race food and while burgers are safe, if the grill is also cooking cheeseburgers, then I assume cross contamination happens. The cheese was available in the condiment area, it was not added on the grill, the burgers were safe!  Yay! I was hungry and not hungry as I was still calming down from running. I did get to surprise Robbie by sticking a birthday candle in her burger and singing Happy Birthday to her. My birthday was the day before and it was her birthday on race day.  We chatted for a while, relaxed and eventually we headed off our separate ways to go home.

Nancy, Robbie and I post race.

I may have missed my goal time, and Nancy pointed out in perfect running conditions I would have succeeded, faster runners that day were missing their usual finish times by 1-2 minutes. I missed mine by 75 seconds. In all honestly, the course was not a good on for a PR, between the single file running, ankle risking turn around and ending on an uphill. Even with that in mind, I'd run it again, but not for time and I'd bring the family to run/walk or just hang out. I had a fantastic time, made a new friend and spent time with a friend I've known for decades.

The Thursday after this race was the Hollis Fast 5k. I suspected if I ran that I'd get my sub 30, but I want my sub 30 on a standard 5k course, not a course designed for it. I opted out of the Thursday night race early in the week and it was a good thing, as Thursday was a LONG day in the office and I was exhausted by the end.

My next attempt was on Friday June 15th for a small town Flag Day 5k to raise money for the Moving Wall.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Shoot for the Moon


This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission for purchases made through the links in this post. These types of links are indicated by an *. 

I promised my husband no more marathons unless I could find a way to do it without disappearing from the family. If I run the Baystate Marathon, I'll get one of the first Mill Cities Doubles jackets. 

Enter in the book Run Less Run Faster* from Runner’s World. As I read through it I realized, this plan could work. I’m already trained up for a marathon, and mostly recovered. I could do this.

Track Workout last week.
If you recall the weekend before I ran my marathon, I had an unexpected pace increase (a huge one!) and now I’m a few weeks post marathon, the speed is still there, or mostly there.

Run Less Run Faster has a bunch of tables to predict times and set goals. When I look at my fastest 5k time, I am looking at a marathon prediction of 5 hours! That seems insane to me. My first marathon was 6 hours and 5 mins. I was aiming for less than 6 hours and I’ve been informed that missing it by 5 minutes with the temperatures that day was amazing.

When I break down my goal paces, I’ll be looking at 11:27 for the actual marathon, around 12:27 for long runs and as fast as 10:12 for week day training. A part of me thinks trying for it is insane, but another part of me think, no I can do it. I can run fast. The only thing that will stop me is me. 

If I train for 5 hours, and end up with 5 hr and 30 mins, I'll still be super proud of that accomplishment. 

I wasn't trying for any speed goals with Hampton Half and ended up with a huge PR.

Do I shoot the moon and go for a 5 hour marathon?

Flat Johanna for Sunday's Race. 
This weekend I turn Forty One, to celebrate I'm running a 5k with my local She Runs This Town chapter. One of the women has offered to pace me and help push me to a sub 30 minute 5k!! It's going to be hard, but I know I can absolutely do it.  

Since it's my birthday Saturday, if you were thinking of a gift, here is my amazon wish list for running items. 



Thursday, May 31, 2018

Marathon In Pictures

The written story of my first marathon, Gate City in Nashua can be read here. Since I wrote a short story rather than a brief blog post, here is the picture book version. All official race photos are from Game Face Media, who did a fantastic job with race photos.

With Robbie and Randy of the 2020 Vision Quest Team before race.


Video of Race Start. You can see me around 1:35

Official race photo at beginning, I didn't know the photographer was there.

Transition zone fro 1st or 2nd loop.  I was feeling strong, but a bit warm. 

I think this was loop 2
Near the end of Loop 2, a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador was cheering and snapped this picture.
Loop 4, Things were NOT going well. I was running in Mine Falls and wishing a water stop to be sooner. I snapped this to pretending everything was OK
At the start of this bridge there was the most amazing water stop, but I knew it wasn't enough, they thankfully warned me about the photographer on the other side so I pulled out my smiles. 
Taking a break from running and with no other runners around, I decided to have some fun. You can see in my eyes how I was struggling. 
One of my BRF offered to run Loop 5 with me. This is was my cry for help. 
The finishing chute. BRF had sent me down solo, and insisted I run. I was so excited to know this trial was over. Photo Credit Robbie Walton
And I got a medal. I honestly don't recall much going on at this point. Photo credit Robbie Walton 
The next day was a busy day at the office, I should have rested. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Gate City Marathon

On May 20th I finished my first marathon, Gate City in Nashua, NH. I started training for it in January.

If you would like to read the history leading up to it, here are the posts about my training.

Marathon Plans and Progress
Training: The Dull Part, Oh Wait a Half!
Week 9: Quick Update with Pictures
Marathon Training Progress: Mistakes were Made
Marathon Taper
Marathon Spectating
Less than a Week Until Marathon

Onto the Marathon!

Saturday

I volunteered to help hand out race swag packs, runner number bibs, and chat with other the runners. Then I set out my outfit for the next day, and like a kid at Christmas tried to get some sleep.



Sunday

The 5am alarm went off too soon for my tastes. I did not want to get up, but I was also wide awake. Since I had everything set out, getting dressed after showering was easy. I ate my pre-race snack of dry oats, almond butter and chocolate chips and drank a few glasses of water. My husband dropped me off at downtown around 6:15 am, just in time for the Gate City Striders(GCS) picture.

After that I found one of my BRF (Best Running Friend), she gets an abbreviation as she will be back again in this story. She was working the check in desk, gave her a hug and then headed off to the 2020 Vision Quest tent. The next 40 mins were a bit of a blur between people, bathroom break and making final decisions on what to carry. I realized pretty quickly I was not in need of my jacket, it wasn't cold at all.

Stepping into the corral I headed to the back since I'm slow, though I decided to not hit the very back this time. I found another running friend and we chatted while we waited. A few words, the anthem was sang and we were off headed north on Main St. My friend is a bit faster and so we separated quickly to run our own races.

The Gate City Marathon is 5 Loops in Nashua. Loop 1 is repeated for Loop 3. You can review the course here if you are curious. Last year I ran loop 3 for The 2020 Vision Quest Relay Team, and I had done a few group runs that used much of loop 2. Loop 4 goes through Mine Falls, which I run often, but not of the trails I generally use. Loop 5 covers my common route into downtown while running, along with the roads I drive to get to south Nashua for my Meals on Wheels route.

Loop 1

I felt great at the start, I was ready, I had my plan and I knew I needed to keep my pace slower than I felt I could run. The last few times I'd run I was running 2-3 minutes a mile(mm) faster than I did in my previous training and I knew if I did that in the beginning I'd burn out before the end. I'd set my watch to the run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute intervals and made sure I followed that plan.
As the pack of runners moved up the hill everyone started to filter to their position, and thin out. Most of the runners around me were running the half marathon. Around Hills Ferry I realized I was trading intervals with a runner from the Greater Lowell Road Runners, we kept switching back and forth which of us was in front, I think she was running 1:1 intervals. Somewhere on this loop I got ahead of her, but I'm not sure when I realized we were not trading places on the course. Around Greely Park I saw my friend I started with about 50 yards ahead, but in a race, 50 yards is an amazing amount of distance and he quickly disappeared. By the time I got to the second water stop I was beginning to question my decision to not carry water in the heat, but I was still doing well. As I headed to the transition area, I was feeling really good and  knew the next time I ran that road I'd be over half done.  1 loop done!

As I was running I started composing a fantastic article about running and chiropractic care. I had all these ideas, that I have since lost many of. I'm hoping as I get back out and run soon, they return to me.

Said hello to a few people, smiled and pictures were taken, then off I went to run loop 2.

Loop 2

The heat was starting to get to me, though the running was still going well. I trained for distance and knew anything under 10 miles is generally just an issue of time to run, not ability. I was pacing myself well. I did begin to realize that wait for a water stop was going to ruin me. 2 miles between stops is perfectly fine, but as a slower runner this meant 24-35 mins between access to water. I saw a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador for a quick picture. I knew I was doing very well for time, and lucky that because I was going to need those minutes on the second half of the course. At the second water stop I had to pause they didn't have a cup with water ready, only cups with gatorade. I was taking electrolyte pills so I didn't need that. I was more annoyed than I should have been that I had to wait for them to dump a cup and fill it with water and ask for more than 1 pump from the water jug. I waited and drank the slightly gatorade tasting water. I could still see runners in front of and behind me, but they were half marathoners, so I knew they were about to disappear and I'd be alone.

Some where along this route I remembered I promised myself I would get a 26.2 tattoo if I ever ran a marathon. That was back when a 10k was a BIG deal, so I spent sometime thinking about locations and designs, before realizing I am not an artist and should just start looking at fonts.

At transition I begged a fellow GCS member at the elite table for a bottle of water. She had one and this may be the big reason I finished the race. As a note the GCS had a special table for all the GCS runners, and we got treated like elites for this race. I was able to store some fuel there. This may be the first and last time I'm considered an elite runner.

Oh I forgot to mention every time a runner went through the transition area they got a cold wet sponge. Can I just tell you how lovely those sponges were? They were the most amazing gift to receive.

Loop 3

Early on in loop 3 the half marathoners split off. At that point I was more or less alone on the course, aside from passing the wonderful people who had volunteered to be on the course directing runners. I've been there it can be exciting as the bulk of the runners go by, but after that it gets boring. On this loop I crossed the halfway point and had a moment were I realized, if I was running the half marathon I would be done and with a PR no less, but no I had to go for a full marathon, so onwards I ran sipping from my lovely, lovely water bottle.

I stopped in Greely park to use the porto potty. I figured if I had an empty bladder it would be easier to drink more water. My precious water bottle was empty by the second water stop and I asked them to throw it away, this was a mistake, I should have re-filled it.

Sometime on the route near canal st, I saw a pair of runners for a short time before they disappeared ahead of me. This is also when the struggle bus started to hit hard, I was at mile 16 or so. I knew I could do 20, I trusted my training. I took longer walk breaks, I said very bad words to my garmin watch everytime it told me to run, but I kept moving forward. Finishing no longer seemed a definite at this point.

I hit transition, more sponges, saw my BRF and told her I was struggling. She gave me a hug, told me if I needed she would run the last loop with me, smacked me on the butt and sent me down the shoot to loop 4.

Loop 4

This loop headed into Mine Falls. I was hopeful that some shade would be available. I did not realize how far I would run before I entered the trails or how far apart the water stops would get as started to slow down. Early on in the route I was able to get a hug from a friend and some encouragement. I said hello to every dog I met, and I kept moving forward, much more walking than running at this point. Sometime around mile 20 I put my face in my hands and started to cry, I just couldn't do it, was it really worth it. I sent several messages to BRF. I talked to the clouds and asked them where was the rain I was promised. Thunderstorms would have been great, if I was lucky they'd call the race and my DNF wouldn't be my fault.

I did my best to smile for the cameras, even if I felt miserable. I can't wait for the pictures to become available.

This loop felt as if it went on forever. I made a mistake on the rail trail and moved on to the road, so I had to back track a few feet to get back on course.

This loop also had the most new roads for my Run Nashua goal.

As I saw city hall I knew I was close to having company.

Loop 5

As I entered the area I saw friends and most importantly I saw my husband. He wisely let the boys hang out with Grandma and Grandpa. A quick kiss and then I joined up with my BRF to finish this insanity that I started. She handed me a bottle of water and we were off onto the last loop.

I know we walked most of the loop and she told me I was going to run over that finish line. I remember needing to take many breaks to stretch. I'm very glad I saved all those minutes in the beginning because I was going to need them if I wanted my time goal.

My BRF told me knock knock jokes, offered to sing, listened to me whine and kept pushing me forward. She also carried the water bottle because I kept handing it back to her. She kept me on the inside so I didn't fall into traffic.

She informed me that she couldn't believe I was making her run (ok, we walked) Fifield, and I promised she could make me run Browning as pay back. We joked that I could have picked a cooler day to run a marathon and I commented on how this was very much like my first half marathon. She promised me cold wet towels at the end, I ran for the towels. (Side note: They ran out of towels before I finished.)

As we turned onto Main I knew two things, I was going to finish, and I was not going to make my under 6 hour goal. As we got closer we saw the friend I started with now on traffic duty, then I saw family friends walking to downtown, they stopped to video and cheer. Then as I crossed a street very close to the end, all the cars started honking. I was back to running and the finish line was in sight.

I had done it, I finished with a smile! My husband was there, along with my in laws and many of my friends to congratulate me. This story has come to a quick and sudden ending, but that's how my marathon was.  It was long, involved, and then it ended.  So here I sit, staring at the wall of text that was my marathon adventure, and I feel like there should be more here.  Well, they warned me that there would be post marathon blues.  They weren't wrong.