We headed down to the beach on Friday with some of our best friends and Leah in tow. The pre-race jitters were approaching as we got closer and closer. We headed straight for the expo so I could pick up my race packet...then we headed to our hotel. I had to get up pretty early the next day...race time was at 6:30am so we ate dinner and then it was time for bed. I woke up the next day pretty pumped. My adrenaline was high and I was ready to go! Adam and I met my Dad and Suzanne at the start where we got warmed up.
Adam and I before the start.
Juicin' up :)
I'm probably thinking, "are you sure about this...?"
Last hug before the gun.
The gun went off at precisely 6:30am for the runners to start. The first couple of miles were great. The info I'm about to share with you might be TMI for some of you, so if you don't want to hear it, skip to the next paragraph. There were portajons starting at mile 1 and let me tell you the lines were longer than you could imagine. If you wanted anywhere near a good time, you were not standing in a line. So, at about mile 2 I had to make a pit stop (it was all the nerves). So I quickly ran behind a bush and was back on the course in no time. My Dad always said, "you're not really a true marathon-er if you've never ducked behind a bush". So...I guess I'm a true marathon-er!
Anyways, miles 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were going great! Adam and the crew (Suzanne, Sarah, Jeremy, and Leah) were all waiting for us at about mile 8 for some much needed support and fuel. We saw them and stopped to grab some gatorade and kisses from Leah. Let me tell you, seeing them was like a dream come true!
We were off again. Can I just take a minute and say how proud I was of my husband? He was the best supporter ever! Everytime I saw him he had a gatorade and a water in one hand and a banana in the other. Great job baby.
So miles 9, 10, and 11 were good. We were coming up on mile 12 and passed the point where the half-marathon-ers turned off to finish and the crazy ones kept going. That was pretty brutal for me...physically and mentally. But we kept truckin on. The next time we met up with the crew was at mile 16. Adam had everything ready for my Dad and I...it was kind of like a buffet now that I think about it! Bananas, Gatorade, water, body glide...what more could you need? Sarah was Leah's 2nd mom that day. She was great and I love her.
And we were off again. Whenever you leave your support group along the race (especially a marathon) it kills you mentally! But I just kept counting down the miles until we saw them again.
Miles 16 and 17 were hard. The wind was killer, but luckily I had my Dad to draft behind some of the way. The scenery was beautiful...we saw the sun rising over the horizon of the water which took my mind off things for a while and saw some beautiful houses along the way. I loved that it was such a flat course, but didn't need all that wind. Mile 18 came up on us and my Dad started to get some minor cramps. He always told me during our training that he would get me to a certain point and then tell me to go on so he wouldn't hinder my potential. (Lots of life lessons to learn there...another post for another time).
So at mile 18, I was on my own.
I knew the next time I would see the crew would be at mile 23 so I was anxiously counting down every mile in anticipation of the next. Miles 19, 20, 21, and 22 were vicious. This was the point where everyone around me slowed to an exhausted walk. This was mentally draining as well. Seeing everyone around me walking and lustfully longing after that same thought...draining. I knew I had to keep going. One more mile until I saw them.
Here I am...mile 23. There they are. My amazing husband ready to give me whatever I needed. It was literally like a mirage. Is this for real? Were they really there? Did I really only have 3.2 miles to go?
Hard stuff. My Dad showed up about 8 minutes behind me.
To anyone who has ever run a marathon before you will know exactly what I'm about to say. Running the last three miles was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Yes, even harder than birthing a 9 lb. baby. Absolutely brutal, atrocious, horrific, dreadful, awful, horrendous and any other synonym you can think of for bad. But, I got through them (barely). Another side note: if you are a spectator (especially at a marathon)...do not EVER say, "you're almost there", "the worst is behind you", "you've only got a little more", or anything of that matter to a runner whose got more than 400 yards to finish. Please and Thank you.
So, there...I did it. I finished my very first marathon. It took me a whopping 4 hourse and 41 minutes. Pretty good for my first one, I would say.
Coming thru the finish.
No comment needed.
Hug from my little.
My main man.
Tired is an understatement.
Watching my Dad come in was a proud moment for me. He did great! Finished in under 5 hours.
PaPa with Leah.
Right about this time, the negative caloric intake, lack of hydration, exhaustion, and heat were kicking in.
I could not have done any of this without this man. He is an amazing role model for me and I have promised him that when I turn 60 years old, I have to run a marathon with my daughter. I promise, Dad.
I have to say, I have loved every last minute of this process. My dad always told me that the training was the hardest part of running a marathon and it is true. I am proud to say that I ran my first marathon with my Dad beside me from start (3 milers) to finish (20 milers). I love you dad and I am so proud to say that I ran my first marathon with you!