I figured it anything was going to go south, it was going to happen here (even though I was running East). Here in this zone that I had never been before.
Well I sorta was there. Once. But only to mile 21. After that I didnt know.
I knew ABOUT where mile 21.5 was but where I thought it was, it wasnt.
I was in a bit of pain. I was in a bad mental place. I kept trying to think. Think. Think. It was here that I started thinking of people. People I love. And those that I dont love too. Hey you pull inspiration where you can find it.
Sorta like throwing darts at a picture of a boyfriend who is no more. Yeah him. Oh and him too. And lets not forget the her's. There were a few of them.
I wondered "where are the Striders?" "How much farther can it be?" I dont remember alot of hoopla on this stretch before reaching Shepherd. I too remember the Clif Shot place and thought, big whoop. :o)
And then FINALLY I can see the water station, and I thought, oh thank God for the Striders. I had made it to 21.5.
Here is where I dont remember much at all. I remember passing Starbucks and seeing my car. I bet you know what I was thinking. Yeah, that. But I didnt have my keys. Good thing too.
After that I dont remember running till I got to Allen Parkway, and even now I wonder where that time went? Had I seen any people? Were there any bands? What? Where? When? How?
Had I just ran through "the wall?"
Had I been beamed up to Allen Parkway somehow? Then I realize that no, no I hadnt because if I had I wouldnt be hurting so much. I had definitely gotten there with my own two feet, and my own two very tired legs.
I was walking here. I asked a woman what time it was and she told me 11:50 I think it was, and I looked at the inside of my left forearm and next to 24 it said 5:11. That meant I had time. I had time to walk. And walk I did. Yeah I knew if I kept running I would have a shot at 5:20, but right then and there, 10 minutes just didnt seem all that damn important to me. What if I didnt walk and then something went wrong in mile 24 or 25?
As I walked down the first of the underpasses, I thought "you are gonna run up these two damn hills". I took deep breaths and then I ran up the first hill.
And I ran up the second one too. I then saw a water station somewhere in there. What I knew was to be the last water station. It was here that there was Christy. Jumping up and down and yelling my name. Oh my goodness I love you to death Christy. Seriously. She walked with me for a bit and asked me what I needed. I believe my response was M&M's. There were no M&M's. I really wanted M&M's.
The only other real thing I remember was the smell of beer. There was a lot of people trying to give you beer. I passed without flinching. And then there all by herself a woman with oranges. I took a piece of orange and I swear it was the best orange in my whole life.
It was time for me to close the door on this thing. I had 2 freaking miles to go by God and unless I was gonna drop dead there on Allen Parkway I was going to get there on time.
And I started running again....As I ran under I-45, the non-existent 5:30 pacer passed me, carrying his red, white and blue balloons. Oh THERE you are you sneaky little fart. I then realized I had stayed WELL ahead of that group even with my walking that 23rd mile.
I did good huh?
And as I entered downtown, following the man with the pretty balloons, I allowed myself to cry just a little bit...
to be continued...