Here I am..medal-less because I was immediately wheeled to the med tent to get warm. Trying to smile but mentally and physically spent. I left it all out there and although I missed my 3:05 goal, I met the goal of staying positive and fighting til the end. The wind picked up almost immediately off the start and the conditions just got worse and worse. It was far from ideal but I never once let the excuses creep in throughout the first 20 miles. I just repeated “conditions are tough but you are tougher”. Despite the weather, I felt so strong, the pace felt smooth and I was laser focused. I diddd start off a little too fast so I altered the race plan a bit. Rolling hills started around mile 20 and that’s when the legs were really starting to fatigue...but then again, that’s what happens in a marathon so I pulled out the “mind over muscle” mantra. My legs were doing everything they could and I owed it to them to get my mind under control. I saw a couple girls in the distance so I focused on reeling them in. By mile 23, I passed both girls. Around 23.5 we came out by the water and that’s when we got the worst of it. The wind and rain were just insane. I didn’t feel cold all race but at this point, my legs felt frozen. Putting one foot in front of the other was all I focused on. I knew that the potential sub 3:05 time was slipping and I tried to hold on to the fastest pace I had and just kept chasing people down. Everyone was falling so it was just a matter of trying to fall less. I’ve never not kicked toward the finish line but when I saw that finish, my legs couldn’t respond. There is no doubt that I’m bummed but that was also HANDS DOWN the hardest and most impressive thing I’ve ever done. When everything around you is knocking you down (literally) yet you’re remaining strong AF...that’s huge. I am so much stronger because of yesterday. I am still in disbelief with how I ran the first 21 miles of the race. Yes, a marathon is 26.2 and it’s your job to run the WHOLE thing smart and well. But right now I’m choosing to focus on my progress and potential. 3:07:42 (PR) & 7th female!