The training is completed, nutrition is what it should be, mentally I was ready, I was lucky and got enough sleep. All of these things led up to the climax of doing my first full marathon, and everything was in place when I woke the morning of December 6th, 2009. My alarm went off at 4:15 and I was out of bed ready to run, after eating breakfast, cleaning up to look pretty for pictures, and driving 20 minutes to West Palm Beach.
It was a cool morning, for South Florida, at around 65 degrees. Perfect running weather. I was a little nervous, but overall felt OK…until I arrived at the parking garage and saw all of the other runners getting ready for the big race. That is when I actually felt the butterflies in my stomach, and had to force myself to calm down. It was still dark, yet there were hundreds of people around and you could feel the excitement in the air. There were long lines at the port-o-potties, and some small lines at the baggage check station. On the loud speaker they were announcing the beginning of the bike race as I started to do my pre-race stretching.
The race start was uneventfully with two columns of runners lined up with their respective pace groups, waiting for the “GO” signal. I was lined up between the 4:00 and 4:15 pace groups, still not 100% sure of which one I would run with. I decided that I would run the first mile or two and then inventory how I felt prior to making the commitment. Many were talking amongst themselves to relieve some of the tension as we waited.