Ladies and Gentlemen, Yes, I Am. I made it, I did it, I ran it. I Am a Marathoner.
The first gift from heavens above was NO RAIN and a sunny day. Cold though: 37F / 2.7C.
I was there, calm (!) and on time, with only 4 non-continuous hours of sleep, and 3 layers of clothes (upper and lower), 2 pair of gloves and 2 ear-bands. Accompanied my son's girl friend, Shelly, to the start line for the half (45 min before the marathon). Then went to Memorial Stadium to walk to keep myself warm. At 8:05 am the Star Spangled Banner sang by a beautiful voice. We started at 8:15.
First miles were ok, going through a very familiar shopping area, downtown Seattle. Then my beloved Mariners and SeaHawks Stadiums. At mile 4.5 we entered in the floating bridge (see both pictures below), it was awesome, Lake Washington was gorgeous. Fast runners were already coming back (they were between mile 7 and 8), hi5 to a guy with a funny Zorro mask.
Turned around in Mercer Island and in mile 8 (end of the bridge) my legs felt heavy. I think was the cold temperature. I was keeping a pace barely under 13 min/mile. My heart rate monitor broke or didn't work at all, so I could not rely in my HR to keep a steady pace. Then, in front of me the next 13 miles that I know by heart as I have run them so many times. I felt very confident. By mile 11, hi5 to Zorro again who was coming back.
By mile 13.1, Seward Park, (little promontory on my aerial picture above) I registered 2:53 so I still was in my training pace.
Around mile 17 I've slowed down to around 14 min/mile, but I was ok. Then at mile 20.5 came Galer where the elevation went from 50 ft to 200 ft in less than half a block, but I knew it well, I've done before. I ran it, as I ran Madison, a slight upward slope of half a mile. At mile 21 I took my disposable super thick sweatshirt and 3rd layer of pants off. I knew I was going to make it when I saw the clock showing 4hr 50min. I was really happy.
Downhill by the Arboretum and then another upward slope: Interlaken. Entered in a park that I've never run before and seemed endless. I didn't see anybody and I was wondering if I was in the Marathon route (I knew I was).
Mile 23: the crowd cheering with very loud music. I was in good shape. I put everything I had, well, almost everything. I wanted a triumphant finish.
Mile 24: I re-encountered a guy (Ezell) for 4th time and told him "Hey, look who is here... we are going to make it". He said: "Yes, I am celebrating already". "Me too, let's go, let's finish good", I answered, and he said "you go ahead, I'll catch up with you". I told him, "you will".
Mile 25: I was telling to myself: I made it... I made it... I thought of Ryan Hall's last mile in his wonderful Olympic Trials. Then Broad St.: a hill. I ran uphill, a cop told me, "look at you, running up hill".
Mile 26: Grabbed my phone and called my beautiful daughter: "Your Sprint services do not include International Calls". Then called my adorable husband, he answered: "Congratulations", I told him "I'm not done yet, but I will be in a couple of minutes".
And then, the most marvelous 0.2 miles. I sprinted them like if I was going to beat a world record, getting into Memorial Stadium at about 7.5 min/mile. The lady at the microphone said: "Here comes Lizzie and in very good shape". The cameramen were certainly impressed. I was running with all I had and I with a big smile and raising my arms, I crossed the finish line. Got my beautiful medal with these words from an organizer: "What a way to make the finish line."
I had my triumphant finish. My time was 5:54:37 (13:33 min/mile).
Thanks God for being alive, thanks Alejandra for bringing me back to running, thanks hubby for your constant support.
I love you All.
PS: Ezell did not catch up with me!
And I found out that Zorro made the news in a Seattle's paper!!!