They say it’s best to start a race with a fresh pair of legs. Well after 8 days off everything due to a cold, I’m not sure mine could get any fresher!
Either way, I started Marathon morning with the mindset that I was going to do this race and finish!
I got excited when bestie Maria showed up at the start line to amp me up! And of course “the superstar” pose happened as it usually does with us!
Then it was time to start!
I started off steady and kept at that comfortable pace for quite awhile. My legs felt good, my lungs felt good…everything was good!
They snuck in a few big hills early on, but surprisingly I trudged through them. Taking a few walking breaks here and there, but I still kept great time!
There were surprise visitors around every corner of my run.
I heard bells, yelling, and honking and saw bestie, her auntie Ingrid, and a car full of people cheering me on as they drove on past. They were the cheer-mobile! And they were all over that race course cheering me on.
I was still feeling good around mile 9 when I saw my parents, brother and grandparents up ahead.
I stopped for a quick photo and Gatorade break as I thanked my peeps for coming out and cheering me on!
I felt on top of the world at this point.
I said goodbye and got back to running.
It wasn’t long until I heard my name yet again and spotted three of my sorority sisters cheering me on. I stopped again for hugs and encouragement and was quickly on my way.
Thanks Jessica, Amy & Brooke for the surprise!
I flew through the downhill, and waved to hubby on the way down. He was peppered throughout the race too and was such an amazing support during the race.
My goal was to hit 5 miles per hour, and by the 3rd hour I was still on track for my goal. Though once I hit mile 15 my body started to slow down and everything started to hurt.
Lucky for me another surprise was waiting for me at Mile 17! All of sudden Cambry appeared out from nowhere running next to me. It.was.awesome!
I told her she was my running angel, because at that point the racers were so spread out I was pretty much running alone, it was getting hot, and my body was telling me to call it quits.
Cambry just kept pumping me up with jams and reminding me that I could do this! Destination 26.2 baby!
On our way through the greenbelt we spotted my friend Nicole who wished us well as we quickly zipped on past.
We kept powering through and knew my parents would be waiting for me up at mile 20 for another boost of motivation.
To my surprise there was a whole group of my friends & family and these amazingly HILARIOUS signs.
Oh my gawsh…I think I might have peed a little when I saw these.
Back story on the poop signs: We all hear about those elite marathoners who will run through their bathroom breaks. Well they were joking around with me obviously.
I’m not that hardcore that I would poop myself and keep running, but it’s funny to think about it. And their signs sure made my day!
After that great laugh, we kept pushing toward the finish. Even though I was slowing down I was still on track to meet my goal of 5.5 hours, but I was going to have to pick it up.
I wish I could say that I picked it up, but my body was slowing down even more. And every step became more excruciating. My new goal at this point was to just finish.
We crept up on mile 25 to find ourselves having an impromptu blogger meet-up.
Cynthia had found us on the race course after running the half-marathon and came to run us in. Their support at this time was amazing!
And then I ran into Bryon (our TNT mentor) and TNT Coach Brad! They coached me all last summer for my first marathon, and seeing them gave me that last little bit of energy I needed to keep going.
Please note that hubby was also waiting for me at mile 25 too just like he was at my first marathon and also ran next me with my bloggies. 🙂
Seeing mile 26 was the best feeling ever. I knew the point 2 was doable.
I tried to pick up the pace a little and just focus on a strong finish.
I rounded the corner and sprinted to that finish line.
I didn’t even care that my finishing time was 5 hrs 52 minutes (which is similarly close to my first marathon time and a bit off from my goal).
I was so happy to hold that medal and call myself a marathoner for the second time ever.
A huge thank you goes out to all my supporters on the race course. There were so many people along the route, literally around every corner that I was overwhelmed with joy and inspired to keep on going (even when it hurt).
I have never felt so loved and so motivated in my life. THANK YOU!!
As I always say, no long run is complete without a “natural ice bath”.
So I made way to the Parkcenter Pond which is mostly known for its distgustingness but I didn’t even care at this point.
I needed somewhat cold water on my aching body. That and a PBR beer which they were giving out seemed to do the trick.
I would say that I was still rather proud of myself for the race I ran on Sunday. Considering I was battling a cold the days leading up, is pretty impressive.
I am still a little bit bummed I didn’t meet my goal, which I know was in my reach and is totally doable.
To say there is another marathon in future is hard to say, but having such a strong first half inspires me to keep the option open.
This race was one of the most amazing races I have ever ran. Not because it was a marathon, and not because it was my best race (which it obviously was not), but because of all the love and support. I couldn’t have done it without all of you. So thank you!
Happy Running! And just a side note…I’m still hobbling around in pain, it may be a few more days until I strap on those running shoes again. Until then I will bask in the glory of another Destination 26.2 accomplished! WOOO YEAH!