The cold ate me up immediately so I started to run to the start line. I tried to keep in mind that I needed to start out slower than usual to maintain negative splits. I found my running partner just over the bridge and he jumped in with me. We hit the first 13 miles fabulously. Granted our pace was way faster than he had planned out (because, yes he did print me out a splits sheet, what a guy!). But we were holding well enough, between 9:20-9:40 that we just let it rip.
Downtown was such a rush! Everyone was so energetic! Lesson learned from last year: put your name on your bib, people cheer for you and it makes you feel great! We managed to Gangum Style every mile marker along the way (although I was extremely limited in energy in the last few miles for this) And if you don't know what I'm talking about...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZmkU5Pg1sw
ANYWAYS! I had a ton of fun in boys town, where I met up with one of my friends and she jumped in with me. I was running positive splits all the way up to mile 14. I made it just fine without my ipod because there were so many people calling out my name and yelling for my organization that it was the motivation I needed to keep me going. Mile 14 through 20 were decent. And actually I ended up taking off 16 minutes from my 20 miler time when I ran the Newton Ready to Run three weeks prior. Stoked!
Miles 21-26 were the hardest. I don't care what anyone else says, the last 10k sucks! There was no adrenaline rush and my pace dropped significantly. The only thing that kept me going was my PR hopes and the fact that I swore I would not walk in this marathon at all! My running partner did an amazing job keeping me going....or at least watching him speed up in front of me kept me pushing.
Somehow I mustered up the strength to pick up my pace and run towards the finish line. The crowd roared and I pushed closer. Crossing was the best feeling I had all day :) But I hated that everyone was starting to bunch up! I couldn't stop walking because slowing was already having my legs go weak and I was weeebles-wobbles all over the place. I made my way through the crowds to pick up water, food, my metal and some beer before plopping down next to a fence to recover.