First I must say I finished and I must acknowledge all the people who supported me along the way (you all know who you are!). I know I couldn't have done this without your help!
The weather was perfect and the first 10 miles were great, but then I started having a hamstring issue that slightly altered my gait. At the halfway point my hubby was there and I took some Tylenol and he massaged my hamstring which made it feel better, but it became obvious that my altered gait had put pressure on my other knee and it started bothering me later on in the race. I was hoping for a 6 hour finish - and at the halfway point I was on right on pace for that, but the last half was slower and I walked a majority of the last 9 miles. I did everything else right, my nutrition was spot on, my hydration was perfect - it's just sometimes on race days things are beyond your control. I kept my walk pace as quick as I could and kept chugging along even though I couldn't run any longer without pain. As I rounded that last corner I saw the finish line and something came over me that I still can't explain - I ran across the finish with no pain! I had pain again once I stopped, but for that brief moment it was like my body wanted me to have that experience of running across the finish line! I came in with a chip time of 6:34:24 and I am beyond thrilled with that! I will have some pictures to post, but I wanted to get at least something posted for now. It was a most amazing experience and there were times I just wanted to stop on the side of the trail and quit because I was upset I wasn't able to run, but then all my training would have been for nothing - I would have put in all the miles and not achieved my goal!
Today I'm sore, but I feel great - I'm a marathoner and nothing can ever take that away from me! When I crossed the line yesterday I told someone (don't even remember who) that I was never running another marathon again, but this morning once again I'm looking forward to CIM 2010 - my second marathon!!