^see video above- goes through entire marathon course.
I would recommend the ING race to anyone! It was an awesome event. EXTREMELY well organized. There were hydration stations every 1-1.5 miles. My time was officially 2:40:35 BUT I took 10 minutes in mile 3 to wait in line for the bathroom (let's just say 10 minutes). The course had a good mix of both uphill and downhill stretches and went through all the best parts of the city! Also, the fan support was superb! April and Cliff came out and cheered me on around mile 6 or so, which was so great! I tackled April, not-so-gracefully tripping on the curb while doing so. It was an overall great experience. I feel so much more motivated about running now! (this may be due to lots and lots of endorphins!)
2 things which I did for this race which I would recommend to any runner going into a long distance:
1. popped 4 advil before the race.
2. took water and powerade at each water station, walking while I drank.
There are so many things that I enjoy about running. It's therapeutic. It keeps me in shape. It is a good mental challenge (when I'm only halfway up the hill and out of breath and my muscles are burning, it's a great challenge to keep myself moving forward to the top). It is a great way to connect with other people. I've made numerous new friends through running.
And...call me crazy, but to me, running is sometimes about a battle between good and evil. Evil tells me to quit when I'm out of breath or tired. Good tells me to push through the pain and keep moving forward until I've finished the course. Running is not always fun. I don't run because it's fun. I run because it's good.
I've been reading this book by John Piper for the past month or so, and the last chapter I finished talked about seeing the Glory of God through our senses. I pray that running is not an idol in my life but instead become an avenue through which I might see His glory more than the day before.
I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The
sun was shining outside and through the crack at
the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From
where I stood that beam of light, with the specks
of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in
the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black.
I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it.
Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my
eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture
vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no
beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny
at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the
branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd
million miles away, the sun. Looking along the
beam, and looking at the beam are very different
1 Corinthians 6:19-20