Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From the finish line to home

Once I crossed the finish line I was very business like about getting through the rest of the finisher's chute. I got my timing chip removed, picked up my medal, my finishers shirt, my Carl's Jr. Chesseburger (yes, you read that right-- just after your medal you get a cheese burger-- Carl's Jr. is one of the race sponsors) grabbed some food, and then stood staring back at the course. I had no idea where the rest of my group was by this point. I was fairly certain that all of the DRC runners had finished their races by this point, which likely just left myself, Danielle, Becky, and James somewhere on the course. I was dying to know how everyone was surviving and was really hoping to see them at the finish line, but I didn't have any idea if they had finished 20 minutes ahead of me, or would be another 20 minutes behind me.
What was most frustrating was I didn't have much time to try and figure it out. While the bus trip with DRC was great, the timing definitely caused some post-race anxiety for us slower full marathoners. I had wrapped up at the finish line a little after noon. If I hurried (which seemed impossible) I was hoping I'd have enough time to make the 6 block walk back to our hotel, pack, and shower before checkout time at 1pm. Geez! This was more time pressure then I felt on the race course! Suddenly I'd gone from just being happy to have finished this marathon to what felt like an all out timed race to the hotel.

Not that I had any past precident to compare this too- but had this been the case I think I would have set a new PR. I made it back to the hotel, packed, and showered--- and managed to walk out of my room at 1pm on the dot. Check in time at the bus was 1:30-- so I grabbed some food in the hotel lobby cafe and for the first time had a chance to sit for a moment since my finish.

DRC runners filled up the lobby, all looking exhausted, and most of them walking funny. For the first time I found James-- who had finished a while after me. I was so glad to see him and so proud of him for finishing his first marathon under such horrible conditions. He told me he had heard Danielle and Becky finished as well-- which was great to know. I couldn't wait for all of us to get together and compare survival stories about the last few miles.

The bus ride home was pretty mellow. I slept, tried to get in on a few trivia games, and finally arrived back in Dallas around 6pm.

No comments: