Ok, this will be a little different blog posting..... I will recap my first marathon from the morning until the day after. So, this will be a great deal of words to read..... instead of pictures.
On my last training run, I had an unusual sense of sadness. I had so much fun training for the big upcoming day!!! Yes, for 4 months... I ran, and ran, and ran, and ran..... ok, you get the picture. But, really, every weekend, I would meet with a group of runners to run at the early hours of the morning. Some of these people I hardly knew at the beginning, but soon became my friends. Although it seemed like a feat to roll out of bed at 4:30 in order to make the 6am run, I had the time of my life running with these people! I know I will continue to run with them, but for some reason, It was just a bit sad knowing that the training ended..... is the weird to have such a feeling? Does every one feel this way at one time or another? Or was it because it was training for my first ever marathon? Perhaps!
Anyway... on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 (a date to forever stay in my head), I woke up at 5am. I rolled out of bed and ate my traditional breakfast before a long run that included a bagel, topped with lots of peanut butter and banana.
After breakfast, I jumped into the shower only to get awake! So, it was short. Then, I started to get ready. I put on my running clothes and vaseline all those areas that tend to get chaffed...... pretty much, I was covered in the stuff! LOL!
I then got my SPIbelt together with pinning my GU to the belt itself with safety pins. This is genius! I got the idea from one of the runners in the Sunday morning group, Elizabeth. Man, this is AWESOME!!! You don't feel it bounce, and you can tear off each GU easily without missing a step while running!!! Totally AWESOME!!! I ABSOLUTELY recommend every runner trying this!!! There is no fumbling through pockets or pouches attached to the belt to get a GU which is normally sweaty and hard to tear open!!
About 6:25am, I made my way down stairs to meet up with the other runners. I was suppose to slow jog a mile just to get warmed up... well, this didn't happen! See, when I started, I had just taken off my arm warmers and must have hit a button on my Garmin that switched the main screen to Pace, time, pace! UGH!!! Noooooooooooo! Are you freakin kidding me? this close to the start? Trust me, I had the mouth of a sailor when this happened! I was frantic! See, I never use the Garmin for anything but Distance, time, and pace! My whole entire training was simply to get miles under my feet in order to make the distance for my first marathon! I asked my friends if they knew how to fix, but they didn't know. I was shaking! I was trembling inside like never before! Not nerves, but wondering how the heck was I going to control pace myself with a malfunctioning Garmin. Therefore, I ran around the starting line literally asking every stranger that I found to see if they knew how to help...... one girl said she thought she could fix it..... but, it ended up being put on laps, time,and pace. I though, ok, this should work. No, I couldn't keep up with distance, but atleast I would have the pace..... right? Well, when I got to mile 17, my Garmin said I had completed the mile 0.17 miles prior to the actual mile marker. I was like, what? Then, I thought, OMG it is on laps, maybe this is a setting for track work. I remember the running group talking about adjusting their watches for track work in order to get exact distance or something like that.... my Garmin continued to mark lap 0.17 miles ahead mile marker and toward the end almost 0.25miles prior to mile marker! I knew the 4 hour pace was ahead of me, but had no idea if the 4:30:00 pacer had passed. I knew I hadn't seen the 5 hour pacer, but in some strange way, i felt he was on my heels. But, I had no freaking clue because I had a GARMIN that was not helping me at all!!! UGH!!! At mile 17, I took my phone out and decided to take a selfie and post to Facebook to relieve some frustration, it was like a distraction. A volunteer yelled to me, texting during a marathon? As, I passed, I said, "no, updating Facebook." I could hear him behind me yell, "Facebooking and running a marathon, I have seen it all." LOL! Hey, I was still running, not walking....I was hoping that what I was typing was making sense because I really could read what I was typing...... HA! HA! I did this 2-3 times more during the last miles. I later found out the the mile markers were OFF!!!! It was't my watch acting up!! Good grief. The miscalculated distance was messing with my mind! And, that far in to the marathon, it isn't as easy to do math in your head to figure out where you are time wise on the course. I started way back at the start, didn't pay attention to exact time when I crossed the start chip mat, so, looking at the time on my watch would not be exact. If I had known my exact start time, I would't have gotten so stressed at the last few miles.
Therefore, since the laps were correct on my watch come to find out... here is the break down of the run:
26.2 miles at 4:30:39 (10:20 overall pace
Mile 2- 9:22
Mile 3- 9:10
Mile 4- 9:18 (started to take GU- squeezed a bit in my mouth every quarter mile- I can't simply stomach squeezing all in my mouth at one time. I finished it up by mile 5)
Mile 5- 9:23
Mile 6- 9:20
mile 7- 9:23(Started to have urge to pee)
Mile 8- 10:11 (took pee break)
Mile 9- 9:13 (started on 2nd GU)
mile 10- 9:30
mile 11- 9:27
mile 12- 9:20
Mile 13- 9:33
mile 14-10:10 (started on 3rd GU and 2nd pee break-perhaps I might have over hydrated... but I was terrified to get dehydrated =)
mile 15- 9:36
mile 16 - 9:40
mile 17- 9:50 (becoming frustrated with mile markers off and garmin not on right setting- decided to Facebook)
mile 18- 9:50 (Orange slice---"real" food during running had been something I hadn't ever done, but it was refreshing and seemed to help!)
mile 19- 10:26
mile 20- 10:46 (4th GU)
mile 21- 10:59 (mile 21 was not fun! I was more frustrated with the Garmin issue and the mile markers noted to being 0..25 miles off, although I was blaming my garmin at this time because I didn't know other people noticed mile markers off
mile 22- 12:08 (actually ate half a banana provided on course-again never had "real food" during running. This worked out great!!!! Will consider in future training)
mile 23- 11:45 (I was starting to see people cramping up... looked very painful. I started to think in my head that I sure hope I didn't start to cramp)
mile 24- 12:26 (started 5th GU)
mile 25- 12:50 (mile 25, I really considered walking the rest of the way in..... and that is when I saw a volunteer in a wheelchair that had the lower extremities amputated.... he said to me, "you are doing great! You are almost at the end!!" This gave me an added push to keeping going.... walk only short distance and then jog)
mile 26- 12:33
Just before the finish line, I hear my name.... it is my friend Brandy that ran the half marathon. Then, as I passed her, I hear my name again, I look to my right and I can't believe my eyes, but I see fellow Valdosta runners that made the trip to Albany that morning just to see those of us running cross the finish line!!!!! I had no idea that they would be there!!! I high-fived Sandy! Or so I think I did.... it was a blur... I might have healed my hand out and thought I hit-fived her... LOL! Mind does crazy things at 26.2 miles...LOL
And, there I was at 26.2 crossing the finish line......and what happens, my hat blows off!!! And, i turn to get it, and then realize, you need to get across the finish line, forget the hat!!!!!! My friend videoed the finish and this cracks me up each time I play the video. I posted the video to my face book page My Time Runner Girl. I was again surprised after the finish line when I heard my named called and it was my previous boss and also my dear friend at the finish line!!! I had no idea she was coming!!!! She is AMAZING!!!! She was heading to Orlando afterwards to pick someone up at the airport, but made the trip first to Albany. How awesome is that?!?!
I hung around the finish for a while waiting everyone to come in, took pictures, and then made it back to the hotel. Made a few phone calls, took a shower, packed, and headed home. The entire was home, I just could not believe that I really did it!!! Yes, I covered 26.2 miles and I am now a MARATHONER!!!!!
I was shocked that I felt pretty good considering that I ran 26.2. I didn't experience cramps and I was not sick on my stomach. I was only feeling tightness in my Quad muscles. I really felt great!!!! I did get home, ate dinner with my family, and at 7pm I though I would lay down for a couple of hours only to sleep the entire night and wake up at 8am the next morning!!! LOL!!!!! Even the day after, I felt good! Just tight Quads!
It is true what they say, "Run a marathon, and you will never be the same person!" I can't explain this really, but it is so true! You learn more about the person you are and then person that you want to become with the hours of training and then the actual race day! It is the best experience and I am so glad that I was blessed enough to have experienced it!!!!! Yes, I just might consider running another marathon...... but definitely not within a years time :)
And, there you have it, the race cap! :)
**have you ran a marathon? Did it change you forever? Do tell.......
**Have you stopped to pee on a race course? Text and run? Facebook and run? Surely, I am not the only crazy one.....