Marathon…. Check

I made it! I’m still alive. Sunday was marathon day and I did it! My parents and Wes spent all morning driving all over town watching me on the marathon track. They were able to get to mile 3, mile 15, and mile 22.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was to see them on those miles later on in the course.

Marathons are hard.  I knew that going in, but I really had no idea what to expect. Everyone kept talking about “the wall” and how the last 6 miles are done in pain, etc. Since I never ran more than 20 miles in my training, I didn’t know what exactly to expect with my body. And, I really had no idea what this “wall” thing was all about.

I’m happy to say I still have no clue what “the wall” is.  I didn’t hit it. Or at least to my knowledge I didn’t hit it. Yes, Mile 17 really started to suck, but then things picked up again in Mile 18 and 19.  I started taking walking breaks at Mile 18 and my time did decrease significantly.  But, I was able to do a walk/run method that worked for me.  I told myself I could walk 1 minute to 1.5 minutes for every 5 minutes that I ran.  Some of the time I stuck to that, while other times, I just didn’t feel the need to walk.

At the half marathon mark, I was set up to run the full marathon in about 4:02. I definitely started much too fast and I will work on that for my next marathon (yes, that’s right, next marathon).  I knew I definitely wanted to finish under 4:30, but wanted even more to finish right around 4:15. Well, I ended up running the 26.2 in 4:14:40, and 26.32 in 4:15:35. My garmin was very handy throughout the whole race. I ended up running a little over a tenth of a mile more than I should have, but for a 26.2 mile race, I don’t think that is bad.  So, all in all, here are my takeaways

1. Wear more layers than you think you will need. You never know how long you are going to have to stand out in the cold. I didn’t cross the start line until 8:45, while the marathon was supposed to start at 8. So cold!!

2. Bring more “goo” or race snacks than you think you will need. I had goo stashed all over me and used up every single one that I brought with me.

3. It really is about mental attitude. You can train and train and train, but if your heads not in it, then it doesn’t matter.  I tried to stay positive through the whole race and I think that helped me fight back the wall.

4. Don’t stress out if you miss a long run.  Life happens

5.  Be proud of what you are doing and know that a marathon really is a big deal. 

6. Remember in the middle of it all, when you are beginning to second guess the whole marathon idea, lots of people probably wish they could be doing what you are doing, but can’t. Be thankful for the ability to run. 

7. Start slow and pray!!

There are lots of other things, but those were some of the things that really stood out in my mind.  I also had a great support crew, including my parents, Wes, and some great friends that came to support me at the end. It really meant the world to me to have them there. 🙂

 I’m already thinking about what I want my next race to be.  The half marathon is still my favorite distance, so I might sign up for one of those and try to PR.  🙂 I’ve scanned the Run on calendar for fun races in the next few months and have found a few I am interested in.  Yay running!

My four-legged fan club, Lizzie and Polly

Wes helping me get through mile 22

It’s over!!! Yay 🙂

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