A cup of coffee and a peanut butter sandwich later, the first of our little entourage arrived. Since Jax was going nuts thinking I was taking him out for a run, we decided to wait outside for the rest of the group. When I stepped outside, I realized it was pretty warm and humid (yuck!). I started rethinking my race plan.
Agent J and Dark Rye managed to find my house without getting lost in the dark. We got loaded up and headed into Dallas. After figuring out the parking and deciding what we were going to wear and carry with us, we headed into the convention center to wait... And wait... And wait...
Finally about 0730 we headed out to the start corrals. Since it was so warm out, I wasn't worried about getting chilled before the race ;)
While we were waiting, we bumped into some friends of friends who had also done Capitol to Coast. We chatted with them for a bit and heard another amazing transformation story about how diet and exercise made all the difference in her quality of life.
Right before the start...
Announcements finally started, National Anthem was song and the race was on. Except we still had a few minutes before we crossed the start line.
Or was it a costume?
Around mile 7, the race went past Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. There Agent J's beautiful wife and equally as lovely daughters were cheering on the runners. She snapped this picture of us...
Agent J hamming it up and me, well, I have yet to take a flattering race photo ;)
Quick bathroom break and we were off running again. It was about this point that we started hitting some rolling hills. After a bit *steeper* one Agent J told me to go on. He was having problems with his IT band and didn't want me to wait for him. So I started pushing for the 4:15 group- I could see the balloons in front of me.
I caught up to them, was feeling comfortable and continued to run my pace. Shortly after the halfway point, I got a text from my dad. It was just the bit of encouragement I needed at that point.
By the time I hit White Rock Lake, it felt like the humidity was starting to break. It was still overcast (thankfully!) and there was a decent breeze off the lake. It made for a comfortable run.
Around mile 15, the 4:15 group caught up to me (I had been walking through the water stops, haven't perfected drinking and running yet ;)). I stayed with them for the next few miles, but the pace leader was way to chipper for me.
At the Cliff Shot stop, I took a bit longer to down some Gu, water and oranges. It was here that I lost the 4:15 group. I was still feeling pretty good through the Dolly Parton hills... Although I didn't really feel like they were hills. Hmm. Maybe I'm stronger on a hilly course than a flat course.
Around mile 22, the outside of my right shin started tingling and shortly went numb. My foot felt like it was flopping up, which was a really odd feeling, so I walked to see if that helped. While it got the feeling back in my foot, it got to me mentally. I spent the next 3 miles convincing myself that I could in fact keep running and I didn't need to walk more than the through the water stops. A few more walking breaks than I wanted and a metal struggle to keep going...
Soon I saw the sign for mile 25 and I was determined to finish the race running, err, shuffling, or whatever it was that I was doing at that point. So I started and kept chanting one more step, one more step.
Somewhere in there my phone died and I lost the audio cues from my Runkeeper. By the time I turned the second to last corner, it didn't really matter. The energy from the crowd was amazing. The cheers, the clapping... It pulled me along and soon I was turning into the finish shoot. I looked up and saw 4:26 and change on the clock. I was happy. The *marathon curse* had been broken. I did not add 30 minutes onto my time. I had taken time off from my last marathon =)
I collected my medal, a reflective blanket and continued to weave my way through the finish area. Once back inside the convention center, I headed to the finisher area and grabbed my bag, my shirt and some food.
Into the family reunion area to use the complimentary phones and chargers to call Sarge and my dad to let them know I was done. A quick change into dry clothes and then sitting down to wait for the rest of the entourage to finish.
Once everyone had finished, we headed back to the parking lot and realized the cold front had moved in. It was actually colder after the race than it was before. I would have liked the cooler weather to start, but was glad we didn't have the wind =)
Those are some big balls...
The results page is pretty cool. The first one shows how I finished compared to everyone else, gender division and age division.
This one shows my average pace and when I finished who was around me.