Around mile 18 is when Beth started to not feel too well. The constant incline of the hills was starting to wear her out pretty good. Unlike the parts of Houston where we used to run, Oklahoma actually has hills. And we trained on the hills to an extent. But looking back now, our training prepared us for the hills about as well as 10 minutes of studying before the BAR Exam would help you. Hardly at all.
We slowed down considerably from Mile 18 on. Beth even took a bathroom break in one of the bazillion porta potties they had on the course.
Around Mile 19 is when I got a severe cramp on the right side of my stomach. It lasted for nearly a mile and it kept me from being able to take full breaths. And just when I thought it was gone, it came back again.
Luckily the cramp was gone just in time for us to see the following sign:
And it felt like we were hitting a wall. At this point, all I kept thinking about was that we only had a 10K left. A 10K is nothing. Beth and I can run a 10K without breaking a sweat or even breathing hard. I kind of forgot to realize that running a 10K after running 20 miles is a little bit tougher.
Miles 21-25 are kind of a blur. Beth and I felt horrible. Running down the hills became very difficult. I didn’t feel like I was even running at that point. It felt more like a fast walk although we were running 9-10 minute miles. I’ve never gotten a leg cramp before while running, but my calves nearly brought me to a complete stop while going down a hill. The Mile 25 marker was this sign:
And after looking at it, I really thought that my life may hit its end before the marathon did.
Luckily though we pushed through Mile 25, even going up one last hill of death before finally coming to Mile 26 and seeing this sign:
After passing Mile 26, we knew we had made it. We were in the middle of all the spectators cheering and we looked over and saw Beth’s Mom cheering for us.
Next thing you know, we were crossing the finish line of our first marathon. And if we hadn’t been so miserable, we may have actually enjoyed it. Beth and I got our medals and took a finish line picture.
We finished the marathon in 3:49:11 officially although my Garmin watch had us finishing one second sooner.
Here's a breakdown of all the finishers of the marathon.
Here’s our overall stats: