Sunday, we woke up super early for the big day. Luckily, being from the East Coast, it didn’t feel that early for us. I had already laid out all my gear the night before. I use a lot of stuff when I run!!
We were both still kind of full from dinner since we ate kind of late so we had a light breakfast and headed out. Tiffany had gives us some of these amazing Paleo muffins she makes packed full of dried fruits, nuts, and stuff. I’ll see if I can get the recipe Again, no picture. We needed to go!
It was pretty cold in the morning and still dark when we got to downtown Saint Louis. I needed to use the bathroom so we stopped in a Starbucks and Rob ordered a Tall Triple Mocha. Yes, you read that right: Rob drank a mocha 45 minutes before our race. After that, we had to check our bag and find the girls. Picture time!
Finally the sun started coming up…
Kristen was running the half because she wasn’t able to train this summer. Rob, Tiffany, and I were all doing the full (as long as things went well for me with the ankle). Tiffany (Speedy Gonzales) was in corral 4 so she split off to start while the rest of us were back in corral 14.
We tried making sure we didn’t start off too fast but that never works anyway. Both of us had to pee again badly so we were basically running to find a port-a-potty. LoL. That is when we split off from Kristen while we stopped. Bladders empty, we could finally get on our way!
We had decided that we would take our time with this race, enjoying the scenery, stopping to take pictures if we wanted to. I also posted lots of pictures and GPS points to my trip on On The Road so check it out! It was just fun seeing the map of dots when I got back.
The city was absolutely beautiful. We were in love with the place from the minute we got to Saint Louis! The first half of the marathon went through the most beautiful parts, through downtown and then the area around the Botanical Garden. Rob and I have now added Saint Louis to places we wouldn’t mind living!
As for the race progress, I was doing pretty badly. My left knee and hip hurt after my 18 mile practice run a few weeks ago but it hurt after the run. This time, my left hip and knee hurt almost immediately along with my arch, beginning as early as mile 2. The ankle itself wasn’t even bothering me. I was pretty worried about the pain though and was seriously thinking about doing the half.
Knowing Rob was was with me helped a lot to keep going though. He was having such a good time, running in zig zags and such. He kept making sure I was on flat road (verses a slant) and that I was ok too. We were fueling well with water, Gatorade, and Gu. Rob even had a beer at mile 9! He is crazy sometimes. He seemed to be doing pretty well.
I messed up my Garmin at the start line though and didn’t have it set for 4:1 intervals for running/walking. We did some regular intervals but they just doing our own thing. I know we went out too fast in the beginning but I’m ok with that. Actually the first half wasn’t nearly as bad as the second! I knew it was going to get bad after mile 18 no matter what. I didn’t kill myself the first half though.
At the half/full split, we decided to keep going because we were determined to finish at this point. It got very lonely after the split since most people were doing the half and those doing the full were much faster than us! We still had a decent amount of people behind us though. We kept trudging along on the lonely road.
This half of the race wasn’t as interesting. We took some roads and highway ramps (that was cool) to Forest Park which is a huge park in the city that also has the zoo. There were some hills getting there and Rob and I were already declining physically. Also, it was an out and back so we could see all the people finishing on the other side of the street. We did pass Tiffany though which was exciting!
Finally, we reach the park and got excited, figuring there wasn’t much left but we were still only around mile 18. This is when things really went down hill! My hip had been hurting the whole race. My right toe had also been smashing into the front of my shoe and was really starting to hurt. Finally, around mile 19, Rob got 2 really bad cramps, one in each leg (but not in his taped calves!). The park was beautiful but we were in too much pain to enjoy it much. At least we had pretty things to look at while we walked/jogged.
The park seemed to last forever… It was really killing us!! We passed over a bridge over the other runners (the ones ahead and behind us) twice so we could see that we still had a ways to go but there were still runners behind us. We started doing a lot of walking the park but still threw in a decent amount of jogging on the downhill or flat parts.
We were never happier to leave such a beautiful park when we finally got to the highway section again. There were still about 5 miles left at this point though and we really started walking a lot. There were some nasty hills here and both of us were really hurting. Lots and lots of walking…
There were still some great people out there playing music and cheering us on. It was great whenever we got to people who were supportive. I am thankful that they were kind enough to wait for everyone, even the slow ones like me! Some bands in the park were already packing up.
Anyway, finally, Rob and I could see the arch again and hear the finish line music. Then, once we saw the barricades that guide you to the finish line, we picked up our pace to a very slow (painful) jog again for all the photo ops. One nice thing about finishing so far in the back was that they announced our names as we came up! I could see Tiffany and Kristen jumping and yelling for us too!
I almost cried at the end but was able to control myself. I mean, I really did finish a marathon! It might not have been pretty and my official time was 6:44:17 so it may have been one of the slowest marathons ever. LOL.
Afterwards, there wasn’t much going on and Kristen had to go pick up her son so we all said our goodbyes after a quick celebratory beer and headed home.
Back at the hotel, Rob and I took a dip in the hot tub and it was the best idea ever! It definitely seemed to help relieve some of the soreness. I wish I had one at home!!
Finally, we got ourselves together and out to dinner. We were hoping that a little walking would help at least a little bit. We ended up taking the recommendation of the concierge at the hotel and going to Kreis’ Steakhouse. It was a little fancy (and pricey) but we were fine in jeans and t-shirts. I got the fish special which Rob settled on the prime rib. We were both very happy with dinner! We treated it as our anniversary dinner (which is this Wednesday). We were both exhausted though and headed right back to the hotel for some needed sleep.
That’s pretty much it! We’re settled back at home with the
monsters who tore up the house kitties, happily resting our sore muscles. Saint Louis was such an awesome trip and I still can’t believe I’m a marathoner!