Well, Sunday was the day. It was forecasted to be perfect weather: 47 degrees, 5-7 mph winds, temp rise to 53 at finish line. Bill got up and was ready to go after stretching and eating a light breakfast. We had our race numbers, nutrition, garbage bags, and a running bag ready to go. Thinking it may be a bit chilly, we also packed pants and a long sleeve shirt for the finish line. We headed down to Des Moines and were on our way!
We found the start line and the pacers. I figured we'd be around 2:10-2:15 finish and was excited to see a 2:10 pace group. It was a bit chilly start so a warm up lap around a couple blocks was very welcome. We did some more stretching in the skywalk, too. The garbage bags helped keep us warm. There were plenty of portapotties with plenty of people in line. I think it was nerves, but Bill wanted to get back in line about 10 min before shotgun. He quickly learned why we visited earlier. While finding our place in the line up, Bill found a few familiar faces and was excited to share his experience with them. We never did see them again, however.
The gun went off and of course it was slow-going to the starting mat, about 4 minutes. It was great to get running. Along the way I had mentally planned out the water stops and was briefing Bill on the method of how to pass through them. I think we did quite well getting through them and I was pleasantly surprised how many there were! Everyone always talks about how long and lonely Waterworks Park and around the lake is for the marathon. Yes, I can understand that seeing it now.
We had been following the 4:30 marathon pace group along with the 2:10 pacer. When the half and the full split, obviously the 4:30 pacer left as well. I kept looking for the 2:10 pace as we had left him within the first mile. We never did see the pacer again, but heard he finished around 2:12.
Around mile 4 Bill commented that his knees were starting to hurt. I thought uh-oh! This is going to be a long run and I knew I had to keep him going through the end. I figured the last few miles would be tough and I'd have to start talking a lot to distract him toward the end. I kept looking over at him to see how he was doing. For the most part he kept good form throughout so I knew he wasn't completely miserable.
I think it helped that he often ran part of the course during lunch at work. The part he was most familiar with was toward the end so he was able to talk about that between miles 9-12ish. I kept looking at my watch to be sure we weren't going to fast or too slow. There was a mile where he really slowed down, about a minute slower than usual. I thought he would walk, but he did keep going. I was about 10 steps in front of him and he wasn't moving up with me. I finally meandered through the crowd and met up with him again and he said he just needed a break.
As we ran by the street along the lake, we finally turned and went over a bridge. There was a lady sitting along the side of the bridge lying there with a few medical people assisting her. I don't think I have ever seen anyone so white and still conscious! I felt bad for her, but was glad there were knowledgeable people helping her.
Once we got through the lake area and back on the streets, it seemed to go slower. I just kept looking at my watch. I knew we were close, easily within a couple miles of the finish line. I wanted to speed up, but Bill kept hanging back a bit. We met up with another runner that we knew, but she dropped off when my phone rang - my mom, wondering how the run went. We had about a 1/2 mile left. We rounded the corner to the final stretch and I suggested to Bill that we try to pass a few people before we get there. He just looked at me and kept the same pace. Alrighty.
We crossed the finish line at 2:10:08. It was a great day! It was so much fun to cross that line with him. I asked Bill if he would do another one, "Yeah, I think I could do that."
today's mileage: 12+13.1 miles running
weekly mileage: 25 miles running
monthly mileage: 55 miles running
annual mileage: 505 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 928