“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My first Marathon Recap

This is a novel. Just warning you.
Let me give you a little pre-race recap first...
Friday I felt great.
Until I had a bowl of chili for lunch.  Who does that the day before a marathon!? I seriously wasn't thinking AT ALL about the marathon the next day.  About an hour after I ate I started to have some stomach issues. I never have stomach issues..ever. eva.   I don't get stomach bugs, food poisoning, and I can literally put ANYTHING in my mouth and I won't get sick. I don't even have a gag reflex. Apparently marathons upset my stomach.  J told me I must be sub-consciously nervous. Whatever. 
Friday night I went to bed a 7pm. I woke up the next morning at 5am and felt great...still had an upset stomach. It stayed upset up until I got to the start line.

I ate my usual prerace b-fast, oatmeal and a banana. Chugged a few glasses of water and got dressed.  The weather was supposed to be mid 50's with rain moving in around 11:30am...I could handle that.
My friend Angie and her daughter Kelsee(babysitter) got to the house at 6am.  I gave Kelsee some instructions for BP and then J, Angie, LP, MP, and I all headed towards Huntsville.
We got there around 7am..I'll spare you the details of my 5 pre-race bathroom breaks.
I met up with my friend Kelly who was running too.  She handed me a little gift box and told me not to open it until I finished. I have such thoughtful friends...I am horrible when it comes to sentimental stuff(maybe a goal for 2011...be more sentimental)
me and Kelly
Her goal was to run 4:15-4:30 so we were going to start out together..she is the one who planted the idea in my head to do a marathon in the first place.  She had more confidence in me than I had in myself. Everyone needs friends like that!
We all headed to the start line at 7:50am
My biggest concern at this point was whether or not to wear an ear warmer.  If you haven't noticed  I have HUGE sticky-outey ears.  When you have ears that stick out, they get cold easily. Even when it's not that cold I wear an ear warmer to keep the wind from catching my ears and slowing me down giving me an ear ache.
I didn't want to get too hot though so I decided against it...a good decision, but I have to warn you ears in pictures may be larger than they appear. ;)
one last pic before starting
I'll spare you the tedious detail of the mile by mile.....mostly because my memory isn't that great when it comes to recalling every mile.  I am amazed at the recall of some marathon runners...for instance Mel at Tall Mom on the Run , she can give an account of a marathon mile by mile in detail...auh-mazing....

Here are my splits:
mile 1-9:18
mile 2-9:08
mile 3-8:53  this is where I passed the 4:15 pacer and was pretty confident I had 4:15 in the bag(looking back it was absolutely premature confidence...mile 3 ...really?..)
mile 4-9:09
mile 6-9:34
This is where I saw my family and friend Angie!  It was so overwhelming to see them cheering. It melted my heart...
I was still feeling really good at this point. I was taking water or Gatorade at every aid station(about every 2.5 miles)
mile 7-9:14
mile 8-9:30
mile 9-9:25- I started to feel like I had to go pee....but my body felt so good that I didn't want to stop..I decided that if I got to mile 13 and still had to I would stop.
mile 10-9:39
mile 11-9:37
mile 12 -9:48
mile 13-9:59- I didn't have to pee anymore, but my groin muscle was starting to cramp up, so I walked through and aid station and stretched for a few seconds.

Ok, this shot is to show you how I was given my new nickname "porkchop"  See my pink socks...they have a cute "little" heart on them.  Only because my calves are so big it looked more like a butterflied porkchop....My running friend now lovingly refer to me as "porkchop"....could be worse...:)

mile 14-9:25
mile 15-9:19
mile 16-9:30
mile 17-9:40-This is where the 4:15 pacer passed me...I caught up to her for a little bit but she was running too fast for me.
mile 18-9:06
mile 19-9:37
mile 20-9:31
mile 21-9:49
mile 22-10:12-  This is when I hit it....the dreaded "W" word.   The WALL....
I could not get my legs to move any faster.  I knew at this point I had 4:15 in the bag but I also knew that if I could maintain a 9:15 I could make a 4:10....I don't know what happened, but this is also where it became a mental race. I had never encountered this on any of my long training runs.  I was on the edge of tears. 
At 22.5 I saw my family again...THANK GOD!!!
ok so I wasn't on the edge of tears...I may have shed a few.  2010 has turned me into a HUGE baby!!!

I wish I could take awesome pictures while I'm running like EMZ does HERE...but instead  I look like this:
I was pretty miserable here...

My friend Angie jumped in here and gave me a bottle of water.  I took another GU and drank half the bottle of water.  I told Angie to run in front of me so maybe it would help pull me along.  She knew I was struggling and kept asking me how I was doing.  I was feeling pretty crabby.....
Angie ran the next 3.5 miles with me.  I remember few details from those miles...my mind felt foggy.  I do remember at mile 25 my friend Lisa, who was calling time at the 25 mile split, yelling "Go April!!" on her megaphone.  That was a nice little boost.

mile 23-10:06
mile 24-10:28
mile 25-10:22
mile 26-10:20
mile .45-4:24

Garmin Distance 26.45   Garmin Time 4:14:26
Official Chip Time : 4:14:16

My first thought when I crossed the finish line was...I would totally do this again...  In fact, I'm planning another one in February!

And a little of this... I didn't throw up but I sure felt like I could....Marathons do a number on my stomach! GEEEZ!  Thanks J for catching it all on camera.

 This was at the awesome post race "snack" room.  They had hot soup and sandwiches and all kinds of goodies.

LP was mad cause we told him to put his moon pie down for a picture....LOL!

So there it is folks.. I'm still processing the whole experience. I can honestly say that I enjoyed the whole process.  I was feeling kind of down the next day.  I need goals to work towards and I didn't have any set.   I have focused the last 4 months on this marathon.  So yesterday I decided to do this:

I have some more thoughts about the marathon that  I have been milling around in my head...but I will share those with you later...
Thank you for your encouragement on my marathon journey!

Grace and peace,


Emz said...

You rocked it!

YOU are rockin' that skirt too! ;)

And again, that finish line photo I would blow up to a size 16" X 20" photo and glue to my wall.

photo [waving & SMILING]
every person
in America

Morgan said...

I agree with Emz! Excellent pic and what a race recap! You really had a most excellent race and totally rocked that skirt! Totally jealous! Love it!

Kayla said...

Great recap and congrats on a great race!!! I agree that finish line picture is an AWESOME picture!

Melissa said...

Yay!! I had similar thoughts during my marathon...would totally do it again but mentally, don't know if I want to do it again that soon.

However, I will be at Mercedes running the 1st 13.1 loop :)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

I am really not sure how I remember things, I probably just make it up really..

FYI I make those socks look CRAZY as well, although porkchop never came to mind.

HUGS AND CONGRATS!! That is an amazing Marathon time...the struggle is all part of the GLORY..

Welcome to the club..

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Great report. And February? Wow, that's just around the corner. How exciting!

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

Congratulations April! What an awesome time for a first Mary! I loved the photos where you were smiling during the marathon. And yes, seeing family cheering for you during the course is like taking 10 shots of GU intravenously! =)

ajh said...

Great race report! You signed up for another so soon. You are motivated!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Congrats on finishing your first marathon and finishing with a great time, too! And you're already signed up for another?! That's great!

Jen said...

Great job... so awesome! I was crying with you.... just reading it.

Aimee said...

Great race report! Congrats again on your marathon! You did awesome! :)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Great report!!! I love those last two photos. YOu look sooo happy. Congrats on an awesome job.

Welcome to the other side. Glad to hear you'll be a repeat member!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

way to go!!!! chili before a race though you are totally crazy

you had an amazing first marathon which is always sooo exciting

Glenn Jones said...

Outstanding first marathon effort! The good news is they get easier after this one because now you know what to expect.


Mary said...

Great recap!! You ROCK, congrats and here's to a new year!! Be blessed!! Mary

Julie D. said...

WOw. what great pictures!! congratulations on a great race!

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