I have always said, and still maintain, that running that many miles is absolutely crazy. After we finished our half marathon last fall, we basically looked at each other and said, "We can totally do a full!"
So we signed up for one.
Then the training was pretty terrible. Training for your first marathon over the winter is challenging because you end up running long distances on a treadmill or outside in the freezing weather and then something ends up pulled, torn, etc...There were also illnesses to contend with, and not to mention our two kiddos. So needless to say we did not stick to our training plan very well. We did manage to get one 20 mile run in, and it didn't go too terrible.
Despite both having tweeked ankles and my husband falling down the stairs two days before our race, we went ahead with the run and beat our goal pace by 3 minutes!! (Originally I had wanted to run the race under 4:30, but from about week 4 on we knew that wasn't going to happen. We changed our goal to 5 hours. Then when we picked up our packets, we saw there was a 4:50 pacer, so that became our goal)
Here's a run down of how the race went for me (My husband said he hurt basically the whole time and in my opinion is seemed the worst part was the beginning for him - just speaking from how it came off);
Mile 1; Excitement, but then I saw a sweet girl with a "go mommy!" sign that made me think of how proud she must be of her mom and how hard that mom must of worked, and then it made me think of how hard I've worked and how I'm trying to be a good example for my kids.... which made me actually a bit emotional inside and I couldn't believe I felt a tear in my eye!
Mile 2; settling in, going smoothly, that last mile was SLOW! But we wanted to start slow because it sets up a better last half if you don't go out to fast. Hubby needed to stop and stretch, his ankle was hurting.
Mile 3; rain drops sprinkling down, sky looks very bad....greaaaattttttt
When we split from the half marathon there was a guy directing runners and he said, "to the right, hurts a little, to the left, hurts a lot" I LOL'd and said, "true true!"
Mile 4; a bit of a break in rain, my husband needed a porta potty stop, lost our pacer
Mile 5; picked up speed to catch our pacer, rain was pouring at this point. I was pretty mad about it
Mile 6; sprinkles, hills, puddles, grumpy at the weather but chugging along physically
Mile 7; TORRENTIAL DOWN POUR, thunder, lightening....yeah this is DUMB and INSANE but by God we're doing it
Mile 8; GU stop! I grabbed a chocolate flavor and cared only minutely that GU isn't clean...it was SPECTACULAR. The consistency is perfect and it tasted awesome. Definitely needed that pick me up during the miserable storm
Mile 9; decided that at least the storm is propelling us on, because who wants to WALK in the rain?? Get done sooner, get out of the rain sooner, just keep running! But we did heed the warnings to not let the rain make us run "too" fast, so we kept our pace right between the pacers.
Mile 10; Just as I asked my husband if he thought we had another hour or so in the rain...the sky cleared a tiny bit and the rain stopped! It was a miracle, haha. The wind was still around and so trees were still spitting water and the ground was disgusting, but my posture improved so much since now I was able to run standing up.
Mile 11; we are doing this! We were in a groove at this point. Walked up a short steep hill and didn't feel bad at all
Mile 12; we made it through the part of the course I was most worried about--the first 12 with the most hills and the rain had stopped, I was happy for sure! My husband was hurting pretty bad though. Walked through an aid station, stretched.
Mile 13; Feeling pretty cheery through the first half. Our time was right around 2:25 which was almost 20 minutes slower than our half marathon race time, but again, that was the plan, slow and steady to finish.
Mile 14; Neither of us are feeling to great. Since the rain had stopped, we had nothing to distract us from our hurting bodies.
Mile 15; walked some on the bridge, my smart husband brought a sample pack of biofreeze to rub on his ankle and he let me have some for my super aching knees -- I was SO surprised at the difference it made. Instantaneously my knees were rejuvenated. This was totally what we needed.
Mile 16; at the park and split for the trail.
Miles 17-19; Sticking pretty close with our pacer, watching those who had already made the turn run past us was a great distraction. We chatted some through the next few miles. Walked up a few steep inclines...stopped and stretched once
Miles 20-21; heading back to and through the park, stopped to stretch a bit, not feeling awesome, belly hurting but at 21.5 we saw the kids and my sister and soon to be brother in law! it was so great to see them!! I gave G a huge hug and sweet J got a kiss. They waved and it was perfect timing.
Miles 22-23; this was my "wall" but thankfully my husband was there to help me get through it. I didn't stop...obviously, and even at one point my hubby asked if I wanted to walk and I barked out a "no!" because I knew I wouldn't start back again
Mile 24; when we hit this point, I knew we'd finish and I had worked through the mental exhaustion of the previous few miles. My husband even said he was "excited" at this point, which propelled me even more because he's not an excitable person! We walked through the last aid station ready to smash the finish.
Mile 25; holy s$%* we are DOING THIS! We were passing people left and right at this point. This was our fastest mile. I think that speaks volumes to our training and our racing mentality. You can't start out too crazy, there has to be something left in the tank to finish strong...and we did that. I looked at a lot of the times on the results and we were some of the only people who had slower pace times at 13.1 and 18.5 miles than we did over all...because our back 8 was faster than our first 18 miles.... pretty proud of our finish
|booking it buddy!|
Mile 26; this course has an incline to get to the finish, and I knew that because I had run the route, and I had prepared us for that....we rocked it (painfully, but still). My husband was a bit behind me, I slowed a tiny bit for him to catch me because I wanted to finish together
Mile 26.2; We both ran to the finish, what felt like a sprint was probably not, but we were going faster than the whole race and people were cheering...and the MC was shouting out encouraging things and said how impressed he was with our neck and neck finish. My husband ended up edging me out by 6 thousandths of a second! I'm totally proud of him, but he was apologizing because he "beat me." I don't see it like that though :-)
|just finished...ya it was rough but so proud!|
So there you have it! When I sit here and think about it, I can't believe we really did it!
|forgot to stop my watch until about a minute after we finished|