Wooohoooo!!! I finished my first marathon in an official chip time of 3:41:41.
Splits according to my Garmin Forerunner 50 (uses the footpod), which logged 26.56 miles (clearly off).
7:41, 7:46, 8:01, 8:06, 8:10, 7:49, 7:55, 8:11, 7:55, 7:47, 7:47, 7:59, 7:51, 7:52, 7:39, 7:59, 7:59, 8:19, 8:17, 8:55, 8:45, 9:10, 9:16, 9:24, 9:45, 10:27, 5:12 (last .56 miles).
As you can see, I started fading around mile 17. And for the last 2.5 miles, I had nothing left in the tank. Possibly due to the fact that I was short 1 gu package (could have used one at the 3:15 mark). I had taken a gu at 1:00, 1:45, and 2:30, but forgot to bring an extra gu (I brought 1, and used 2 from the aid stations). I should have just asked for another gu at the last aid station that was giving them out! Arghhh...
My original goal was to run 8-minute miles, hoping to "bank" minutes in the first half, knowing that I would probably fade in the final miles. Early on, I also decided to attack all uphill portions to use them as momentum builders rather than momentum killers. The mantra that I recited to myself over and over, was "easy, light, smooth, and fast", from the book, Born to Run. I also kept telling myself that the real race will begin after the half, and then at the 20 mile mark, which was uncharted territory for me.
At mile 15/16, things started to hurt a little more, but I was looking forward to seeing my little 2 year old at mile 19. I stutter stepped in for a kiss on the run, which gave me a boost for at least a few more miles. Then my left hamstring started to cramp, and I was afraid that if I kept up my pace, I would end up limping (worse than walking). It went away, and resurfaced once or twice more, but it never stopped me.
The last 1.5 miles seemed to go on forever. This is basically where I bonked. There just wasn't anything left. And I had to keep telling myself to keep moving. With about 100 feet to go, I made my last move, a quick sprint to the end, to catch one last unsuspecting runner. I recieved my medal and was just relieved that it was over. I am a proud to call myself an official marathoner.