Just after mile 22 was another water stop. I drank three cups of Powerade. Really. I thought to myself, “I’m going to regret this when I throw up”.
I headed into Crystal City. The place was hoppin’! Music, tons of spectators, tons of offerings of vaseline and twizzlers and various things. I got my last Gu in and just focused on keeping moving. And suddenly, I started feeling better. I couldn’t move fast because my legs were exhausted and my toes hurt, but I actually enjoyed those miles. Arlington had special mile markers for all the miles in VA, so it was cool to get to see them all. I was able to “run” almost the entire loop back to the water stop. I couldn’t go terribly fast as it was a tight area and many people were walking. I actually added almost a tenth of a mile to my distance by dodging people, even though I tried to cut the corners as close as I could each time we turned. I drank another three cups of powerade just before mile 24 and kept on going. (Surprisingly, I neither got sick, needed to pee, nor felt like my belly was full of liquid, so I guess I needed it.) My cramps were gone and I think I’d hit the runner’s high LOL (either that or the glycogen in my brain was depleted and I was loopy.)
I hit the 40k mark at about 4:34 and knew I could easily do the last 1.5 ish by the five hour point. I dug deep and ran that entire last bit. I turned up the hill and powered up it (I must have looked really funny because my muscles were all so tight that I was practically running in a crouch LOL). As I passed the 26 mile point and saw the finish line, I gave everything I had to finishing up. I sprinted to the finish line (if you can call a 10:48 pace a sprint LOL) and crossed the line with the clock showing 4:56:27 (my chip time was 4:50:14).
As I crossed the line, I thought to myself “I f&%king rock! I’m a marathoner!”
My next thought: “And I never have to do this again!”