Still waiting on official time, but Garmin says 3:57 and I the official clock said 3:58 when I ran under it (and I didn't start right at the front). SUB FOUR BABY!
That is an 18 minute PR, and my third marathon in under four and a half months.
I had to really concentrate and work hard the entire race to keep my pace where it needed to be to get my sub-four. I did have to make two quick porta-potty stops (lost four minutes) but I had factored that in to my pacing because I knew I would need a pit stop or two.
I did not walk at all. I ran the whole thing.
NO WALL. I got faster as I went. My first negative splits!
The weather was perfect. It sprinkled a little but temps were in the 50's and no sunshine. There was a KILLER hill from mile 24-25. Other than that the course was great.
I finished STRONG... raced two guys into the finish line and hit a pace of 3:51 in that final stretch. Crazy!
I felt good the whole way, although everything was tired and threatening to cramp the last half of a mile. But there was no way I was slowing down then. :)
I saw Josh, the kids and my parents at mile 23 and that was WONDERFUL.
I enjoyed the smaller race and didn't miss the IPOD at all. From now on I won't be racing with music. I am able to concentrate better without it I think.
I cried at the end. I didn't cry at the end of my first or second marathon, but I have worked really hard for this and was just way emotional that I had actually done it.
So yeah, it was tough. I had to work hard the entire race, and focus on my form and pace the entire race, and keep away the negative, tired thoughts for 26.2 miles, but it was SO worth it.
3:57. Yee haw! I will give a real recap soon. For now I need food and a shower and to enjoy my awesome family.
(this post was written from the UNcomfort of a tub filled with oh so cold water and ICE). :)