i did it!
i ran 26.2 miles.
i ran a freaking marathon.
a year ago, i swore i never would.
ready to #PMKI (pretty much kill it)
my goal was to finish with any time that started with a 4:–:–.
being my first marathon though, i pep-talked myself a lot in case that didn’t happen.
i still needed to be beyond happy i finished.
i had to mentally prepare myself that i had no idea if that was even feasible.
in my mind it was, but 26 miles is a long way for a lot of things to go wrong,
or your body just to shut down.
or the weather to work against you.
or a million other things.
my specific goal time was 4:45.
my actual time crossing the finish line was 4:54.
9 minutes off. not bad.
and i swear i’m dyslexic, so it works.
i consider it a success for 3 things:
i crossed the finish line.
i didn’t puke.
and i didn’t crap my pants.
the finishing within my goal was just the icing on the cake for me.
and now i have something to work from.
for next time.
yes, i said it.
my sister has already pegged me for running next year.
alright so as far as the race goes, here’s my story:
i start out every race with a quick prayer. every single race.
because i know i need something bigger than me
looking out for me,
and strengthening me.
Philippians 4:13 i can do all things thru Him who gives me strength.
i honestly was freaking out about the weather.
friday was NOT a typical duluth day.
duluth is never hot, still, and humid all in the same day.
it’s like the stars aligned. or al gore had his hand in something…
friday i was OCD about checking the weather.
i ended up with 3 weather apps on my phone.
mainly because the 2 i had were SO different forecasts.
so i got a third to let it decide which was correct.
we got to the start an hour, of course, before the race starts.
enough time to wait in the porta-potty line.
and then mentally question yourself 5 times whether you really DO need to pee again or if that’s just nerves.
both tonya and i were on the verge of all kinds of emotions that morning, anyways,
but the fighter jets flew over and we were both crying.
before the race even freaking starts.
we both yelled at each other “stop it! not yet!” haha.
the start of the race thru the first eh, 7,8 (i forget) miles
were sunny, warm, slightly muggy but a nice breeze that kept things cool.
tonya busted out her maiden voyage sports bra run.
i was proud of her for that.
my day will come.
back to the weather situation…
i was mostly nervous for if it got warmer, or stayed that temperature how
my body would deal 15 miles later.
well, by i know for sure by mile 12, it was clouding over.
the breeze picked up and it cooled off.
i am still thanking the Lord it did that instead of what the forecast was saying
(75º, sunny, humid… blah!)
going into this i thought the first half of the race would be the longest mentally.
it went super fast.
the first 10 miles flew by for me.
then at mile 12 i saw my first familiar faces.
first my best friend alex who i was staying with.
and then Ann and her awesome Carly Rae Jepsen inspired signage.
she ran with me for a long enough conversation for me to:
-cry. a little tad.
-tell her how i was feeling.
-get encouragement from her.
seriously she is a sweetheart and one of the most encouraging people i’ve met!
once i hit the half marathon check point i was convinced this was
the most amazing thing i’ve ever decided to do.
by mile 18 i decided this is the dumbest thing i’ve ever decided to do.
that was the first time i had to stop and stretch for a minute.
crampage. you know.
i thought my hammys were gonna rip out.
but, after i’d stop to stretch i’d be golden for a while.
mile 21 was one of the hardest for me.
i don’t know if it was a mental game because our longest training run was 20 miles.
or if that’s just how the cards landed that day.
then things got better as i just told myself it wouldn’t hurt any worse.
it really didn’t.
it’s true. it hurts to a point. then it just doesn’t hurt any worse.
but it still hurts.
mile 22 i think is where some moron stuck bacon in my face.
that was the LAST thing i wanted to eat.
i was not very patient and just remember snapping something like “get that OUT of my face. NOW”
by this point, i’m really getting exhausted, but i’m so close to the end that adrenaline really kicks in.
my saving grace happens.
i see Chris!!
he was stretching and i don’t think i really gave him an option.
i said “stick with me!” and just like that…
and TEAM BLAZE was formed.
right after finding Chris, he informed me that he was running with a ring in his pocket and he was
going to propose to his girlfriend at the finish line.
i got emotional.
not long after, we ran by the Mizuno tent and saw the VIP, the mayor of the expo himself, THE one and only, JOEY.
(how was that for dramatic?)
he ran with us for a few minutes as well.
honestly those few minutes of people running with me HELPED SO MUCH.
because for even 2 minutes, i get my mind off the pain.
mile 24 is where my parents and my best friend from college (meghann) were all waiting in the usual spot.
meghann ran in her flip flops with me for a few seconds!
she’s just hilarious.
and then i saw my parents where i thought i was going to have a massive emotional meltdown.
but then my dad started telling me how perfect these photos he was taking would be for facebook.
and i laughed instead.
like these, i guess?
seeing everyone at mile 24 really helped that mile go by pretty fast.
and those last 3-4 miles thru downtownish are always mentally the longest for me because of the familiarity and anticipation.
by the last mile we were pretty much doing a pretty steady run a half a mile, walk a minute dealio.
but team blaze rocked on thru to the finish.
the first few minutes not running were THE MOST painful minutes for me.
i stretched. lots.
kept moving, because it hurt more to stand still.
drank lots of chocolate milk.
and honestly within 15 minutes felt way better.
that night and day after, i felt minimal soreness.
i really don’t know what i did to get off that easy.
i even ran for a few minutes on the treadmill the day after.
yeah.my shoulders were the most sore the day after.
so there it is.
26.2 while i’m 26.
one of the most painful, yet rewarding experiences.
and as much work as it was, yes, i’d do it all again.
with 13 days to spare.
what else should i conquer in the next 10 days?
thanks y’all for joining me on this journey.
i appreciate EVERYONE’S support and encouragement.
next up: TCM Red, White + Boom Half marathon on the 4th!
yeah, i know.
i’m a little crazy.