First and foremost, I shattered my goal of a sub-4 hour finish with my time of 3:42:12 . I was really pleased.

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My best guess was that I would come in somewhere between 3:45:00 and 3:55:00.  ( My projection from my last article was 3:39:00 - but I wasn't that optimistic! ) I was really flying at the halfway point around 1:40, then inevitably slowed down towards the end.

Grinding through The Wall

I started getting cramps in the lower quads around mile 22, despite all my preparation.  I knew that there was nothing that would improve the situation so I just hammered it out.  At one point I stopped at a hydration station and tried to stretch a hamstring, but then the other one cramped and it was excruciating. I started screaming and drew some concerned looks from people. After that I just kept moving, running with the cramping until about the last two miles when I had to walk a little.

I couldn't have done any better, but at the same time I feel like I could do better.  Having to slow down towards the end was a bummer, and cut into what could have been an even more amazing finish.   The secrets of preparing and executing a faster marathon are still beyond me, and I'm alright with that.

Not only did I beat Oprah, but I also outran Ryan Reynolds, Edward Norton, and even George W Bush.   I never thought I would beat Bush!

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Looking pretty good for the finish line. Photo by my mom.

It is also important to give credit to Nichole, who was very supportive throughout my training and on race day.  Doing this much running, it is hard to keep enough calories in the house and have enough energy to prepare nutritious meals.   There were many nights that Nichole was the reason I kept eating like a champion.

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