Praise God I survived the 26.2 and felt pretty darn good! I was getting worried on Saturday when it was hailing, snowing, raining during my packet pick-up and we were getting word from friends that West Point was having a blizzard. Thankfully, the weather cleared Sunday morning, and although the start of the race was chilly, I ended up finishing with sunshine in my trusty shorts and tank. Although my goal was 4:20 I finished in 4:30:12 but felt strong most of the time. I took my time stretching, walking through food and water stations, switching out socks, kissing my children, etc. And, who did I think of in my weakest moments? The Ethiopian fuel carriers! Yes, my legs hurt and I got a little nauseous around mile 16, but there was an end to my race and I had people handing me water, food, and cheering for me. Let alone, I was in a safe environment with other runners packed in next to me doing the exact same thing. I'm so thankful God gave me the courage to run a marathon again-- to run it 30 min faster, to feel stronger, to gain a new perspective.
The best part of the weekend, though, was staying with our friends, Adam & Rachel (who we hadn't seen in a few years) and meeting their daughter, Tess. What an amazing family these guys are! Not only did they spend Sunday morning with Riley and the kids chasing me around the course, they watched our 4 kids so Riley could track me down at the finish line. I really enjoyed getting to know Rachel more (she was usually deployed during our time in NC) and conversing over stay-at-home parent issues with Adam since he got out of the Army a year ago and is taking care of Tess. It was like we hadn't missed a beat with each other even though so much time had passed. I do have to admit, that I didn't recognize Adam right away since he's gone all Grizzly Adams.