Alison and I were ready to go, dancing our way up to the start line with thousands of people around us. But in all of that both of us noticed how much clothing was just cast aside, and both of us thinking, "will they come back for that? That's a really NICE sweatshirt!" haha. Anyways it only took us about 10 minutes to get to the start line, which in my opinion is really good. We took off and there were soooooo many people around us on both sides.
For the first few miles Alison and I were riling up the crowds, yelling at them that we couldn't hear them and they would cheer louder :) It was such an adrenaline rush to be going past all of these people, thinking how everything I had done so far had led up to this point! Which would explain how the first 6 miles or so felt so good! Alison was a great running partner for this though, my biggest problem running is pacing myself, I battled with it throughout my training, so when I got too far ahead and noticed she was behind me I'd pull back. I took in my first Gaterade "GU" around mile 6 (about an hour into the run) and man it packed a punch! Miles 7-13 were GREAT! I actually wish I would have slowed a bit bc it would come back to bite me later! But running those miles through Lincoln Park, Boys Town, it was PHENOMENAL!!!!
Around mile 14 I saw the first person I knew, the lovely Shauna!!! She hugged me and I took off again. I remember that is when it got hard. My stomach was starting to hurt and I was thinking it was because of the "GU" or not drinking enough water, so I drank more but as I was swallowing it down I was worried about the ratio of water to salt in my body, especially since it was so hot. I stopped somewhere around mile 15 to stretch it out bc my legs and knees were killing me! After I got up I felt a little better, lower body wise, but my stomach still killed, honestly all I wanted to do was puke, get it out and keep going! Alison and I touched base again around mile 16 but she was doing a little better than I was at that point so we ran together for a little while and then I told her to keep going bc her pace was faster than mine.
Finally around mile 17 I gave in and stopped at the med tent. I asked them for salt bc I felt like I was gonna puke. The lady had asked me if I had had any gaterade and I said no. (True story: I HATE drinking gaterade during a race, the one time I did for my first half marathon, after I finished I just projectile vomited gaterade afterward. So basically it left a bad taste in my mouth, literally!) But the lady at the med tent was like you NEED to drink some gaterade. So I sat there for a minute or two and drank the cup, slowly. The guy next to me was an older gentleman and he asked if I was ok, what a sweet guy! I told him I was just felt sick. He had his shoe off and was taping up his foot. Told me he had had a problem with his achilles for a while now so he was expecting this, but that he was going to try and finish. He asked me if I was going to finish and I told him it was a definite (I had to make it to China town to see my family!!!) After that moment we had I got up, wished him luck, and kept on my way.
I have to admit, miles 18-20 were ROUGH! I was on off walk/run and was totally in my head about finishing. But i kept going, and a good thing I did because around mile 20 I got some relief! Mrs. Ulery jumped in with me and it helped! A few blocks in i spotted Asia, who also jumped in with me (despite being in jeans and boots haha) They got me through probably 3 miles almost. We got through parts of Chinatown before Mrs. U pulled back. Asia ran a little farther with me until I ran into my family! What a warm welcome! Hugs and encouragement all around. Everyone jogged with me a little bit and it was enough of a boost to keep me going. I ran through miles 22 and 23. Mile 24 I ran into my family again, and it was GREAT! My grandma spotted me right away and actually ran over to me! She ran with me for a while and I couldn't have been happier, I mean my grandma ran in the marathon with me!!!! I finished off mile 24 and was determined to push through 25.
One more mile. ONE MORE MILE!!!! I put on my Jock Jams mix and picked up my pace. I was gonna finish strong, no walking! Just before I got to Roosevelt though I ran into Izzy and she jogged with me for about a minute before they kicked her out. "See you at the finish," she says. "I'll be there". The last leg of the race was the hardest, up the hill on Roosevelt, but god damn i PUSHED! There were so many people around me and I was in the moment. I got up the beast of a hill and the finish line was in sight! A new song comes on, "Ladies and Gentlemen, let's get ready to rumble!!!!" I start to pick up my pace and there are tons of people around me. I ran to the left side and started interacting with the crowd. "I can't hear you!!!! It's right there, the finish is right there!!!!!" Everyone started yelling and I took off. Closer, closer, sooo close!!!! "Look at her go, look at her go, she's gonna go ALLLLLL THE WAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!"
DAMN FINISHING FELT SOOOOO GOOOOOOODDDDDD!!!!!