Hello wall, my name is Kiersten
The first 15 miles of the marathon I felt great. I had to be there extra early because the half marathon my roommate was running started an hour earlier. So I sat in Starbucks, reading the NY Times, and munching my mini-wheats. I started with the 4:15 pace group, but it felt too slow. There were a couple other women who felt the same way, so we took off together. We ran a 9:15-9:30 pace and it felt easy. We ran through the military base and through a gauntlet of soliders. They were all hoo-raying and slapping us five. They we looped back through the center of Virgina Beach and ran down the board-walk. It was lined with people cheering. I felt like a rock-star. Then came mile 16. We headed back out of the downtown on a long straight run. It was now 10 am, and the sun was blistering. There was no shade, and we were away from the seabreeze. My poor body, acclimated to the cold after a winter of long runs in the slow and below zero temperatures started dying. At mile 18 I threw up, and then proceeded to continue to throw up and dry heave all the way to the finish. My muscles started seizing and I was dizzy. I realized I lost a goo. We still hadn't turned around and headed back towards the finish. I dropped down to running 5 minutes and walking 1. Then running 4, and then 3. Then I walked half a mile. I was still only at mile 20. My four hour marathon was gone. I felt terrible. So terrible I considered quitting. But deep down, I knew how mad at myself I would be. I could always walk to the finish. Except walking was taking FOREVER. So I started running again. 1 minute of walking, and 1 minute of running. I finished in 4:24. I collected my finishers medal, my hat, my shirt, a bottle of water, and a banana. I limped to the beach and collapsed crying. I couldn't get up. I couldn't take a sip of water or a bit of my banana without heaving. I didn't even get my free yingling. After an hour my wonderful friends drove the car as close to the finish, and I dragged myself to it, then concentrated on not throwing up in their backseat. When we got to the hotel, I fell onto the bed and slept for 2 hours. Finally 7 hours after finishing I managed to eat an Italian ice. This race broke me.