Jakeb and I woke up around 4:30am, got ready and took off from League City to Kingwood at 5:30. It was chilly outside but the temperature was good for running a marathon. We got to the park around 6:30 and picked up our race packets and chips. Jon Walk was there to act as race announcer and we talked to him a little while. He gave me a shirt I had left behind a couple of years ago when we ran the Texas Independence Relay with him. I was amazed he had it and had forgot I even had that shirt.
We sat in the car to stay warm until exactly 7:11 – that is when Jakeb said we should get out and stretch. After stretching well we made our way to the starting line and listened to the race instructions. Waverly Walk sang the national anthem and then we were off.
Jakeb and I ran a little more than a mile together. I knew I could not maintain the pace we were running. Jakeb was feeling good so I dropped back a little as he took off. He was in sight for a couple of miles more and then I lost him.
The race is four loops. I thought I would hate running four circles but it was really not too bad. I got a Garmin Forerunner 110 for Christmas and I used it to watch my mile splits and try not to get too crazy with the pace. I felt really good all day.
Near the end of the third lap I passed Jakeb as he was heading back out for his last lap. He had started to cramp and was slowing down. I took some S-caps at the turn, smiled at Andrea taking video of me (walking) and headed back out. I caught Jakeb about a mile out and gave him some ibuprofen I was carrying.
The last lap was easier than what I have experienced at the end of other marathons. I was tired but I was not struggling with pain. I still tried to run sensible but knew I was close to a marathon PR so I pushed as much as I dared. At what I thought was about a mile left I ran a little harder. I heard Jon Walk’s voice and cow bells in the distance and knew the finish was near. Anna was standing next to the trail and ran ahead of me to tell Andrea to get the camera ready. I crossed the line in a chip time of 3:52:16 (my marathon PR).