Friday night I packed and prepped for the weekend away. We stayed in for dinner then watched "Wall Street Money Never Sleeps."
Saturday morning we left town at 9am. We grabbed a sandwich in Kirkwood before meeting my cousin and her new baby girl. Then we drove downtown to get my race packet and check into our hotel. We met our friends for a pasta dinner then got in bed early.
Sunday morning I got up at 4:45 to eat breakfast and drink a strong cup of coffee. We walked to the start line and I found my running buddies. The sun was rising over the Arch and the weather was perfect. The start gun went off about 7:05 am and we were off. Miles 1-5 were great! We ran through Soulard and the Anheuser brewery. I was feeling great and excited to be running strong.
|Before the race|
About halfway through mile 6 I started to slow down and decided to eat some Hammer Gel (running fuel). We took our first walking break when we reached the next water station. Miles 7 and 8 were completely uphill. They seemed to last endlessly. When we ran through SLU campus the spectators cheered us on and it helped push us forward.
|Waving at our cheering section|
I got a second wind during mile 9. I pushed forward alone and only stopped a few times to drink water. When I hit mile 11 everything went downhill. The sun was blazing hot at this point and the hills were tough. It took everything to keep moving forward. The finish line was in sight and I kept repeating my mantra, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
|Pushing hard to the finish line|
Finally I reached the end and hobbled through the finish area. I gulped some water and kept walking. My legs have never hurt so bad. But I had finished strong and it felt great!
|We did it!|
Afterwards we returned to our hotel to stretch and shower. I couldn't believe it was all over. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet then walked over to the arch to explore. It was a great end to a wonderful experience!