Whew! I did it. My first marathon has come and gone and I survived to tell you all about it!
All I can say is I am not that surprised Philippides died at the end. But maybe if someone gave him a glass of champagne when he finished it would would have been a different story. I know it helped me!
Okay, here we go…My morning started at 3:45 when my alarm went off. It felt just like any other long run morning (minus the extra-early wake up call). I didn’t get nervous until I work Aaron up at 4:30. That’s when I knew this wasn’t just a normal long run. Aaron drove me to Bridgette’s hotel where we caught the official race buses to the start – about 45 minutes away. We were prepared for rain because that’s what was predicted. We were pleasantly surprised with amazing weather. We ditched our toss sweats before the race even started. 1 mile in we tossed our mittens and at the first chance we handed our arm warmers to our spectators.
The race started right on time and I was in shock that this day had actually come. One way or another, I was running a marathon. Bridgette and I ran together for the first 15 or so miles. It was so nice to have her with me. This was her 4th marathon and she has been my guiding light through the training process. She is faster than me, but due to injuries, she was holding back and just enjoying the ride.
We saw Bridgette’s sister in law at mile 8.5 and then saw Aaron and Cash at mile 10. It was so great to see familiar faces!
Everything was already hurting. I was surprised that the outside of my left knee was hurting. Throughout training my knee pain was on the inside of my right knee and only came after long runs. I figured out that my left IT band was tightening up as the pain crept up and down my leg – especially when we hit the hills.
Around mile 15 I started to fall back a bit. I knew we had gone out a little fast for me, but when the adrenaline gets to you you sometimes just have to roll the dice and go for it.
Once I was on my own it hit me that I WAS RUNNING A MARATHON! And that’s when I started to get emotional. I cried off an on from mile 17-21. Just for a few seconds at a time. Not for particularly happy reasons or sad reasons – I was just emotional in general. I was so happy to have friends and family along the course. They had signs and were so full of spirit and encouragement. And my friend Kelsey got some good photos at mile 17.5, too!
Looks like a finish shot, but too bad I had 9 more miles to go!
I thought miles 22-26.2 would be the hardest since that was uncharted territory for me, but my body went into autopilot and everything kind of went numb and I just chugged along. As I reached the final few blocks, my body forgot all about the first 26 miles and I picked up the pace and finished strong. Official time – 4:37:38. I was so happy to finish, the time really didn’t mean anything to me. And, hey – I PRed!!!
I wasn’t going to do the whole arms in the air finish, but I finished a marathon!!! I was happy that it was easy to find Aaron and Bridgette and Christa after the race. We celebrated with some bubbly before heading home for an ice bath, shower and party time!
Look at a couple of the great signs my friends made!
I am definitely not ready to sign up for another marathon, but I am excited to do some shorter races next year. The marathon made me appreciate the half marathon distance so much more! 🙂 Never say never (I always said I never wanted to do ONE full marathon), but I’m not too sure.
I am super proud of myself and accomplished something today that very few people do. It is something I never would have thought imaginable a few years ago and continue to be amazed by what my body can do. Tomorrow I am taking the day off work, eating whatever I want, drinking some wine and getting a massage in the afternoon. I think I deserve it all!