My first marathon

January 18, 2010 § 7 Comments

288.59 miles covered. 48 hours of running. 19 weeks of training. It all paid off!

I have officially completed my first marathon in 4:26:57. My goal was to run it in 4:30 and no more than 4:40, so I’m pretty happy with my efforts!

The weather was pretty cold the morning of the race, but walking around and taking in the experience of being there among the other runners kept my mind off of it. There were so many racers! It was definitely a sight to see. As Jake and I camped out near my corral, we watched runners of all ages prepare for the task ahead. It was great!

All geared up and ready to go.

As the start time drew closer, I felt my nerves building up more and more. I kept trying to tell myself there’s nothing to be nervous about. I was doing this for me, not to win the race, but what I was about to do was a challenge I’ve never encountered before. As I said good-bye to Jake and made my way into the corral, it all came together. All those months of training, all the injuries, all the hard work, all the sacrifices…it all came down to this one day. My emotions started to get the best of me and I seriously thought I was going to cry a little. Not tears of sadness or fear, but of happiness and relief. I made it this far and was about to accomplish a life goal. My “marathon with a meaning” was finally here and I felt thankful that I am healthy and ready to take on this challenge.

After seeing my personal cheering section at the start line, I felt excited and ready. I made sure my excitement didn’t get the best of me and I kept my pace steady to help reserve my energy for the miles to come. I felt great. My knee wasn’t really bothering me, my energy was at a great level and I felt strong. Mile after mile went by and I still felt good. Seeing my husband and family along the run really helped! Each time I saw them I felt re-energized and continued to keep my pace. As I crossed the half  marathon mark (13.1. miles), I was elated! I had beat my best half marathon time by more than 2 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy, but I knew I was only half way done with the race and I needed to stay focused. Taking in my energy gels throughout the course and drinking water when I needed it definitely helped keep me on track to finish within my goal time. I kept my spirits high and kept running, mile by mile.

By mile 20, I was still feeling good. I hadn’t hit “the wall” yet, which was a relief for me, but I could feel myself running

I finished my first marathon!

out of steam. Only 6 miles to go. I can do this. Miles 22 through 26 were a struggle. It was getting warmer outside, my energy was fading and my legs were getting tired. I remember telling myself to “dig for it”. I needed to dig deep and find the energy and the will to keep my pace up (as much as possible) and finish strong. The last mile was really tough. Each tenth of a mile seemed to take forever and I kept searching for the finish line. That’s when I saw my personal trainer. He had run the marathon and finished well before me, but he was there waiting for me to cheer me on at the end. He handed me some balloons to carry as my “torch” across the finish and I took off with them. I tried with all my might to speed up, without getting sick, and I did it! I crossed the line feeling great! I was so tired, but I hardly noticed at first. All I could think about was that I finished and beat my goal time! What an amazing feeling. It’s almost indescribable, but I’m sure we have all had experiences in our lives that we look back on and are proud to say “I did that!”

Thank you to everyone who supported me through my training. You helped make this an amazing experience for me that I will never forget.

So, what’s next? Maybe the Mud Run in San Diego, another 1/2 marathon later this year? I don’t know yet, but I do know that I’ll be keeping up with my running. I’m also going to keep up with my blog…with a few minor adjustments, so stay tuned for new posts!

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