26.2 miles of Austin, from central to south to north and everywhere between, today was a great day for running. At 7am today I went for my last long run of the Distance Challenge with around 12,000 of my friends. There were plenty of 'ups' and a few 'downs' - both mentally, physically, and of course on the actual race route..:) A quick recap...
Mile 0 - Caitlin's dropping me off, and I realize at 5:30am that I forgot my gloves. She proceeds to find some white women's cotton gloves in her purse and with a grin I accept my fate.
Mile 4 - I dropped both of gel flasks (little bottles full of energy gel that attach to the belt I wear around my waste, aka the bat belt) in the middle of the road while adjusting my fuel belt. I notice one directly on the ground in front of me then I look to my surprise and I'm missing my other flask. To my luck a sweet smiling young runner comes whipping up to me with it in hand saying. I thanks Jesus and keep moving.
Mile 14 - I get a weird pain in my foot that I've never felt before. I break to the left try to stretch in a frantic hurry, I continue and it hurts no even more. I say prayer, try to shift my footing, and keep going.
Mile 20 something - Man this must be a marathon! This is when you have to get your mind right, stay on target and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I feel a bit winded but not enough to slow me down too much.
Mile 26 - 26.2 - I see the end in sight I just crossed the capital and the turn for work around 8th and congress. I see some familiar faces and instead of the death march I muster all I have left and go for it. Sprinting to the finish I hear plenty of whoops and hollers, a 'way to finish strong' and then I hear the announcer call my name as I cross the finish line with my hands in the air.
Details: Overall time -- 3:34:59 / Pace: 8:13
That's all folks! I did it! I finished my second marathon in the past 12 months, setting a new PR and finally completed the Austin Distance Challenge!
I want to thank everyone who helped me get here, including but not limited to God, my wife, my family, friends, and co-workers. During the past 5 months, I've had to make a lot of personal sacrifice to enjoy this selfish activity. I want to let everyone know that I appreciated all your support and really have missed the late night Fridays, the countless happy hours, plenty of concerts / shows, and some dates with my wife. I plan on getting back into the groove again, but I like this new lifestyle too much to let it go. It's given me another reason to live and learn, and the satisfaction of making it through the Distance Challenge is one goal I will never forget. So, thank you again everyone for getting me here and always supporting me.
And if you've read this far, I'm sure you're wondering what's next?... Or at least I hope you are..:) Well, as for training, the next event I hope to concur will be my first Ultramarathon (anything that's beyond the 26.2 distance), the Rocky Hill Ranch 50K Ultra-trail run on April 15th 2007. Wish me luck!