Well, I did it. With lots of help from my intercessors, supporters, Der Chasers, and my dear wife, I was able to complete the St. Jude Marathon. It was really, really hard. I knew that I wasn't in good enough shape to tackle 26.2 miles this time. But, just remembering who I was running for--the St. Jude kids, Mrs. B, Joe, Josh, Zach, Kaitlin, Deb, Tricia, Wes, and Lisa--drove me on when I just didn't think I could take another step.
When I checked in at the expo, I had a little trouble with race numbers and timing chips. I ended up having to change my number once and my chips twice. I am not sure they never quite got the bugs worked out. As a result, they warned me that I might need to keep track of my own split times. Alas, I am such a klutz with my pace watch that I completely missed several of them along the way. But, I got into a pretty good zone--sticking to what I think was close to 10:00-10:30 splits through the first half and 8:30-9:00 through most of the second half until about mile 22 or 23. That's when I totally fell apart. From there on I was just doing a zombie-lunge to the end.
I finished at 4:04.25.
The weather was perfect. It was cool, breezy, and overcast most of the day. In addition, the race was incredibly well-run. There were water stops, PowerAde tables, pace clocks, and porta-potties every single mile. And there were great crowds and cheer stations all along the way.
I don't know that I've ever hurt so much! Everywhere! Even my skin hurts! But, I am so gratified to have finished it. I have so much to be thankful for. I am so grateful to all who contributed to St. Jude and to all who prayed me to the finish.
The next challenge: to see if I can walk to Rendezvous! I've got some BBQ to eat.