I am now an official marathoner!!!! I successfully completed my first marathon this past Sunday and I did it under my goal time which was 5 hours. My finishing time was 4 hours and 54 minutes, whoo hooo. I will try not to be too scatterbrained in my race recap but since my brain was pretty scattered during the run (you try having organized thoughts for almost 5 hours straight while running!)
Weather Report: PERFECT!! The weather was great. It was a little cold in the morning but it quickly warmed up. Thanks to the time change it was really 8 am with it was 7 am (or however that time change stuff works). The high was around 64 degrees and most of the course was shaded so it felt wonderful. I don't know that I could have wished for better conditions to run in. I still managed to have some crazy tan lines from my clothes though. I hope they fade soon because they look weird when I'm in a bathing suit.
Mile One: Whoo hooo! I made sure to start out slowly even though I was excited by all of the cheering and people. The marathon and half-marathon people all started together so it was pretty crowded. The first quarter of a mile was up a hill, oh joy (many more of these to come) but the forth quarter of the mile was downhill so it made up for it. I saw a woman with an Obama/Biden sign taped to her back, I wanted to hug her but that would have been inappropriate, LOL.
Mile Two: Still feeling great, my knee isn't bothering me at all. I was worried about my knee being a problem but it wasn't for the whole race so that was great. They said the water stops would be every 2 miles but I haven't seen it so I get worried because I would like something to drink.
Mile Three:: I'm hot now so off goes the long sleeve shirt. It is kind of cool in the shade but I'd rather be a little cool than too hot. Finally the water station!
Mile Four: Moving along great, I am ahead of my pace which is good because I figure I will lose some time later on in the race especially when the big hills start coming. It is nice to see the people downtown cheering on the runners. One lady even had her little dog with her and was talking to the runners through her dog, "Fluffy says go!" in that weird voice that some people use to talk to their pets. Funny but also a bit strange.
Mile Five: YEAH!! Cheers for me...Amy, Christine and Kay are there and they are cheering me on! I needed that boost, I was starting to get a little tired. I give Amy my shirt and she gives me some Endurolite tablets, wonderful. Towards the end of the mile I find myself behind some guy who starts letting lose some very loud farts, EEEEEEWWWWW. I know he probably can't help it but dang, I was RIGHT behind him. This is motivation for me to pick it up a bit and get away from him.
Mile Six: Refuel and tablet time! I take two Endurolite tablets and eat one of my Gu packs. I still feel great and I am under my pace time.
Mile 7: Music!!! There is a huge speaker playing music - Eye of the Tiger is playing which is a great motivator. I'm now passing the vet school, it smells like cow poo...not the greatest smell but I can deal.
Mile 8: My running buddies cheer me on again! whoo hoo, another boost.
Mile 9: This is where the half-marathon people break off and turn around. These two ladies run past me and say, "we keep passing you every 3 minutes". Apparently they are doing the whole run 3 minutes/walk 1 minute thing that some people do. I think it is a good method but it IS annoying for the same people to pass you every 3 minutes.
Mile 10: I meet a nice man named Craig, this is his 2nd marathon and he loves sweets (random, I know). We talk for a while but he leaves me at the 10 mile water stop. The Husband and Parents are here!!! Yeah, I enjoy having them there to cheer me on, another boost!
Mile 11: HILL - the first really long, big hill but definitely not the last. I make it up without walking (barely)
Mile 12: I picked it up a bit to make up for how slowly I went up the last hill. I still feel really good. Time for another Gu pack and some Endurolite tablet.
Mile 13 & 14: Ups and downs, with not that many spectators. I feel good but not really enjoying how these hills are affecting me.
Mile 15: YEAH! Kiyanda is there to cheer me on! I needed that after that big @ss hill I just went up.
Mile 16-20: BRUTAL!!!!!! This was the WORST part of the race for several reasons. #1 - hills, hills and more hills #2 - almost NO spectators as this portion was through Umstead park, #3 - part of the surface was gravel which I hate to run on, #4 - did I mention HILLS???!!! I lost time on these miles because I had to walk more than I planned on. More Gu and Endurolite.
Mile 21: YEAH! The Husband and Parents again!! My mom and Chris ran with me about a quarter of a mile which was a huge boost and helped me get up this stupid hill (I had to walk some) I am told this is the last hill (I will later find out that this is not entirely true).
Mile 22: A little uphill (last hill my butt) but mainly flat/downhill, feeling a little better since being in the park. YEAH!! My running buddies again! They talked the police officer into turning on his siren to help cheer me on, I love them!
Mile 23: MUSIC!!! Passing by the speakers again and now Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is playing. I would like to note that I chose to follow the rules and NOT wear my ipod although I saw numerous others that had theirs on. That kinda pissed me off.
Mile 24: More Gu! I want to stop...every muscle in my body is hurting. My foot is cramping, I think I might start to cry. Why am I doing this?? I must have a mental disorder, who voluntarily puts themselves in this much pain?
Mile 25: Ok, I'm better! I got this! I am almost done, I'm am 2 miles away from completing something that most people can't even dream of doing. All of my hard work and training is paying off. I am not about to collapse, I will finish strong!
Mile 26: Whose bright idea was it to have a steep hill on the last mile of a marathon??? This is some bull, okay I have enough time that even if I walk up this hill I can still finish in under 5 hours so I think I will walk up this hill. Yeah, my mom is at the top of the hill! I wish she would have been able to run the entire race with me even though she probably would have been telling me to pick it up the whole time, LOL.
Mile 26.2: FINISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finished STRONG and with a smile on my face (I mean people WERE taking pictures so you know I had to smile for the camera). I almost started to hyper-ventilate at the end and I could feel the tears wanting to come out but I held them back. I didn't want to be a cry baby, LOL.
So there you go! A recap of my first marathon. I had a great time and can't wait for the next one. The next one will definitely be on a more flat course though!
Days after: It is now two days after the race and I am still have a little trouble walking normally. I took an ice bath the night of the race which helped some and I rested a lot the next day but I am still super sore. Hopefully this will fade soon......