The first 10 km or so took us down by our house and around the boathouse and then north along the river. Tim and the kids came to cheer us on as we jogged by about 8 am.
Our friend Crystal (ironwoman extraordinaire) was running the half marathon and spotted Finnegan and Keira before we came by shortly afterwards.
Finnegan and Keira "surprised" us at River Landing.
Margie cheered us on over by the Vimy Memorial. The weather was cool but the rain held off for the race, so the race conditions were actually really good, considering the downpour we had the day before. I think this is a beautiful shot of us jogging along the river, framed by the trees, with the University bridge in the background.
What troupers and great support!
If we got too cold they would provide jackets or mittens, then when we got too warm we would give them our stuff to carry!
Most movements after the halfway point just plain hurt but we kept on plodding. I would have waves of going for a couple km when it would feel as though I was getting into a groove of sorts and then other times each step was painful...that was usually when Chris would say "you're not smiling" and I'd make a grimace and just keep going.
Off we go across the Circle Drive bridge to head to the east side. The course over by the University was pretty chilly but we kept on plodding.....
Finally heading into the last few km...by this time is was just a matter of trying to keep the legs moving, one foot in front of the next! I found whenever we stopped for water and shot blok breaks and walked, it was very hard to start up again. My knees in particular would just scream, "what were you thinking!" So we tried to keep jogging as much as possible.
Unfortunately, with all the water breaks (along with all the hydration from the day before!) it meant a lot of "pit stops" for me as well. Fortunately there were plenty of port-a-potties along the route. We figured if I hadn't needed to stop so often we probably could have shaved about half an hour off our time! But when you gotta go....
Earlier Chris had said that people tend to run marathons in three stages, first with their head, then with their body and finally with their hearts.
At the 32 km mark (which had been the longest run I had done to date), Chris motivated me in saying that those first 32 km had been for me and now the last 10 km to the finish were going to be for Alivia.
I gave it everything I had heading into the homestretch and to the finish line!
Janet came out too to cheer us on with Margie. She was out on street near the finish and when I saw her cheering I just about lost it with tears and so had to run by without even looking at her or I would have been a blubbery mess before even crossing the finish line!
Fiver hours later here I am blasting across the finish line! Well...maybe not blasting but running as fast as I possibly could (and most of that was up a little hill) using up every little bit of energy that might still be left in me! As you can see the mobile cheering section followed me all the way!
Here's Chris coming across the finish line just shortly after me. His motivation, positive attitude and good humor kept me plodding for most of the race with a smile on my face.
They wrapped us in plastic sheets after the race, which I have say did the trick at keeping the heat in until I was able to change into some warmer, dry clothes.
Chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk are always great after a race!
Great support from both family and friends is the only way I managed to stick with the training and accomplish the marathon. It was a tremendous experience and it has certainly gotten me into the habit of running and wanting to improve, but I don't have any ambitions to improve upon my 5:11:26! Next year, I will participate in the Great Strides Walk to help with fundraising for CF and hope to do the Spin Off Spadina Triathlon for fun!