After brunch, we went to the expo so Miss ChicRunner could pick up her race packet and see some of the expo before our blogger meetup. Before we knew it, it was meetup time. I've been fortunate to meet two of the ROHOs before but it was awesome to finally meet Maritza, Tara and Kristin! I also got to meet Amanda, Maddy and the 4 Feet Running Crew, Nik and Dan!
Saturday evening, we spent out with Mr. Pi's college friend and his little sister (who I went to college with). His sister was in town from DC, trying for a BQ. (Just to end the suspense, she BQ'd with time to spare, she even beat Mr. Pi!!) We went out in search of pasta but ended up with pizza. Eh, it's carbs right? I headed back to the hotel early so I could braid ChicRunner's hair and get settled. I hadn't seen much of my best friend Kristen and her hubby so I was hoping to see them back at the hotel too. Saturday night I got about the normal amount of sleep, in and out, up to pee twice. All in all, not to shabby for the day before a marathon!
Sunday morning, my iPhone woke us up bright and early 4:05 am! I started the coffee pot and the routine of bodygliding every possible point of friction. By 5:00am we were off to the start line. Here is Kristen, Danica and I with the "lucky banana" waiting in the port-o-potty line. Where we ran into the ROHOs! Couldn't believe it, out of all the thousands of people there we saw them. It was great to get good luck hugs from them.
Here is the whole crew, Mr. K, Kristen, me and Mr. Pi. All smiling after 26.2! I am so proud of Kristen. She and I have been best friends since elementary school and it was amazing for me to be there for her first marathon! Way to go Kristen!
Sunday night Mr. Pi and I had dinner with Maddy, Nik and Dan. It was a great way to spend our last night in SD. I hope I make it out to Florida for a Disney race with Maddy sometime and next summer we'll be on the east coast and maybe we can squeeze in a run with Nik and Dan.
Post race reflections: I am really proud of myself for pushing through a tough race and finishing with a new PR! 26.2 miles is a long way. I think my body is ready for a rest period, I've been in marathon training mode for over a year now. 3 marathons in 365 days is small peanuts for some but for me it was a HUGE accomplishment. I'm ready to do some cross training and maybe try a TRI. I wouldn't say my marathon career is over but I'm not even going to think about it for at least 6-9 months. I'd like to set a new 5k and 1/2 PR in 2009 (I haven't run a 5k since '07). I'd also like to try out the 10k distance. I'm all about having fun and working on improving my speed at shorter distances before I tackle another marathon.
I want to give a BIG shout out to everyone that cheered me on through twitter, this blog, email or text. Special thanks to JM for helping me through that rough patch. Uber special thanks to Mr. Pi for always being my biggest cheerleader and inspiring me to keep running.