I had a hard time falling asleep for the last several days before the marathon.. I am not quite sure why as I did not really feel nervous or excited about the race (at least not that could tell). My goal was to finish so it's not like I had to do my very best or that I was hoping to win so I don't think I had anything to be nervous about.
We got up pretty early to give us enough time to get to the AT&T Center and take the shuttle to the start line. Gill and I went for a quick 1/2+ jog before we left as a little warm up. We get to the AT&T Center and there were some pretty long lines to get onto the shuttles. When we left the AT&T center there had to have been 6 - 8 thousand people still waiting for the bus. I think that we waited for maybe 30 minutes or so and rode the bus for another 20 minutes. We had to walk quite a ways from where the bus dropped us off to get to the starting line. By the time we got up there they had already started the race. On the bus there were a bunch of people that were concerned about getting there after the start of the race, but to me it didn't really matter because your time is based on when you cross the starting line with the chip in your shoe.
While we were making the trek to the start line there were all kinds of people (both men and women) running off among the buildings along side the road to go to the bathroom. I had heard that people would do that during the race, but I was surprised they would need to do that before the race. It was crazy!!!
We got up to the start line area and checked in our gear bags and used the bathrooms. We still had plenty of time to find our corral group before they crossed the starting line. Since it was a cold morning people had worn extra clothes so that they could keep warm before and during the race. As we got closer to the starting line you could see that they had started to shed these clothes. Some of the clothes looked pretty nice too. We continued to see articles of clothes along the course, but mostly hat and gloves.
Our group finally made it to the front and after 30 seconds or so they released our corral and we were off....
I had started my FIRST marathon!!!!