Thursday, May 1, 2008


26.2 miles and I did it! I ran my first marathon...the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 27.

My parents went with me to the race. We drove down the day before to just hang out and relax before race day. I got to visit the OKC memorial, which is very nice. Below, you can see the reflection pond. And below that, the bronze chairs for each person that died in the bombing. Some of the chairs are represent the children that died. It was sad, but very moving.

Race day is here and I am ready! Here I am, nice and warm in our hotel 5:30 am.
We walked from our hotel to the start line. Only a few blocks. It was lightly raining and a little over 40 degrees. Not to mention, winds gusting to 20 mph.
Everyone trying to stay warm before the starting gun goes off...
Getting ready to start....packed in with thousands of others. Only about 2,000 people ran the full marathon, but we ran with the half-marathon and marathon relay runners...added up to a very large group of people. Bigger than any Wichita race I have run in! I think our group plus the 5k group totalled about 16,000 runners.
The starting gun went off at 6:30 am. From where I started back in the pack, it took me 4 minutes to get to the starting line. We had electronic chips tied to our shoes that recorded when we crossed the start line, and various points throughout the race. The joys of technology....we signed up to have my split-times texted to our phones, so my family knew how I was doing, even though they couldn't actually watch me.

The race was long. The beginning seemed to have a lot of hills. It was in the 40's with a strong wind at times. Luckily the rain had stopped. By mile 10 I was already contemplating when I may have to take some "walk-breaks". It wasn't the feeling I was hoping for so early in the race. By the second half, I had the wind to my back and the sun was coming out. This was a nice thing. I would stop every now and then to stretch and enjoy a water station. By the 20 mile mark I was very sore, but knew the end was in sight. I kept going....

Here I am headed to the finish line. It was nice to see mom and dad leaning on the rail cheering me on! I knew I had done it!

My official time: 4 hours, 56 minutes and 39 seconds.

My main goal was to finish....and to finish under 5 hours was a great feeling.

I shouldn't quit my day job quite yet, though. The winning woman finished in just over 3 hours. The average was around 4.5 hours.

I was exhausted and just wanted to sit after the race...but with that finishers medal around my neck, you couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

My recovery: getting there. My left knee has been very sore. I limped when I walked for the first couple of days. It feels better now to walk on, but I wouldn't think of running...even across the room at this point.

I plan on taking a couple weeks off....maybe do some swimming or biking. But I know I'll be back out there soon enough. And who knows....maybe another marathon is in my future...


Dave & Holly said...

You are AMAZING! There is no way I could even imagine doing such a thing. What a HUGE accomplishment. Way to go!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS!! I can't tell you how proud I am of you and how happy I am for you! The pictures are great! I have just gotten up to 4 (SLOOOOW) miles a day. It's coming along though. When you start back up, let me know we can do some runs together!

Congrats again!


Bill said...

Jill, Wow! You really look like you felt good at the end! I don't think I ever looked that fresh at the end of a marathon! Wish I could have been there to cheer you on. Oh well, maybe next time. Next goal is a triathalon, eh?