Monday, November 18, 2013
My First 26.2!!
The morning started off EARLY 4:30am EARLY to be exact. I rolls over and told the hubbs I wanted to sleep in and didn't wanna run. Mainly because I was tired and it was so freaking early. I knew I couldn't do that I had to run, not only would I be letting others down if I didn't but most important I'd be letting myself down. I some how managed to pull myself out of bed and got ready. I knew once I got up and moving I would be fine. We left the hotel about 5:45am to make it down to the start line by about 6am. I wanted to make sure I was early enough to find my spot in the corral and not be rushed. The hubbs dropped me off with two of his buddies he works with that were also running the Full. I hung out with them for the morning while the hubbs went and got breakfast at Waffle House and then back to the hotel for a nap. About 6:40am we turned in our bag with our jackets and I made my way just about to the front of the start line to fine Kelly and say hello to her before the race started. We were in completely different corral numbers based on our finish time. We weren't sure if we'd see each other pre-race just because of the amount of people and craziness that was going to be going on. It def. gave me that extra little bit of boost that I needed getting a good luck hug from her. 7am rolled around and corral 1 started, then corral 2, 3, 4, 5, and finally corral 19 which was me. At 7:24am I crossed the start line to my very first Marathon, I literally had tears in my eyes with excitement that I was actually doing this. I couldn't believe it, I had been training for this day for the last 5 months and it was finally here. I started off running the first half mile with a Pacer, I did this with my first half marathon and I really enjoyed it. That however didn't last long, I left her and the rest of the group shortly after we started. Her pace plan was good for her and others if you trained the way she ran but I didn't. She ran 0.40 miles and then she would walk 0.10 miles and then run 0.40 miles and walk 0.10 miles ect. They planned to do this the entire race. To me that was just did not make sense for me to stick with them. I trained to run the entire race and I knew I could, there was no reason I couldn't. Leaving and getting ahead of them I was guaranteed to come in under my goal time, with the idea that nothing happened and I was able to stick with it. The race was the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon Series, it was the 3rd year that city had hosted the race. The Bands SUCKED big time, the course wasn't bad at all it was 98% flat which was a huge plus for me because I trained in one of the most hilliest cities in South Carolina. I'm strong on hills and can push through to the top no problem but 26.2 miles of flat is gravy in most cases. Around mile 16 my right knee started giving me a lot of trouble. I had the same pain 2 weeks prior to race weekend but it had gone away. I was literally almost in tears running through that stretch of the race. I texted Kelly as I was running and told her I was hurting, she asked what and were and I told her. She asked me what mile I was at and I told her. She reminded me I just had 10 miles to go and to pouch through. She told me to stop at the next Medic Station to see if they could do anything and I did. It was a quick 45 second stop for Tylenol and some biofreeze spray and I was back on my way. The porta potties that were just around the corner were completely empty so I stopped for a quick potty break that literally lasted 15 seconds and I was back on the road. I some how broke off one of the ear buds to my head phones but I was doing good. I was pretty sure that pace group was still behind me because I didn't see them ahead of me at all and I was only out of sight for literally 15 seconds. I pushed along and managed to keep going, thinking of how proud I was of myself for getting this far. Only 1% of the population can say that they've ran a Marathon and I was going to be in that 1%. Around mile 18 or 19 the pace group caught up with me but I was still going strong and doing good. I stuck with them through mile 22 or so doing their run 0.40 walk 0.10 run 0.40 walk 0.10 but it eventually got to be to much and I just continued to run ahead as I did before. At one point the pace group passed me, I was still running but my pace had slowed down a bit. I knew if I was going to finish the race I needed to keep my head in the game and not worry about trying to stick up with them. I had / still had a goal finish time that I was going for but at this point I just wanted to finish. I swore I'd never do this again. I had planned to run a marathon before I was 30, it was on my 30 b4 30 list. As I was running a sweet girl started talking to me and clicked right away, we continued to talk a little exchanging conversations. At one point as we were heading back on the home stretch I was having a hard time and though I wasn't going to be able to make it. She asked if I was ok and I told her yes I just was ready to be done. She encouraged me and kept me going, gave me some great advice and told me she was sticking with me till the end that we were going to finish together. At about mile 22 I asked her, her name Ali it was. I'll never forget her, we talked, laughed even struggled a bit but we sucked it up and pushed on. I told her about my Mamaw being in the hospital, she told me about how she came to run the Sav. RnR. It was also her first full marathon, and she said probably her last. lol. At mile 24 I texted Kelly and told her I had "2 freaking miles left". I pushed in and dug deep and gave it all I had to get to the finish line. Ali and I still going strong together, we passed about 6 or 7 photographer on those last couple of miles and totally cheesed it up. Just pass the 26 mile marker I heard Kelly yelling my name as she was running towards me along the side. We had tears in our eyes, I yelled back at her, I was SOOO EXCITED to see her. She ran along my side, I introduced her to Ali and she told us we were almost there. I asked her if she had seen the hubbs if he was at the finish and she said yes he was there waiting. I couldn't wait for him to see me complete my first marathon. Literally right around the corner she said. We entered the finished lane and I told Ali to come on…..we sprinted to the finish line, I don't know how I still had any energy in me but I pulled it out and did it. I didn't know it till after the fact but Kelly was running along the right side videoing as I crossed the finish line. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, I had just ran a Marathon, 26.2 freaking miles and I did it proudly. My goal finish time was 5 hours and 30 minutes, I came in just 8 minutes and 34 seconds over my goal time. A bit disappointed in myself because I though if I wouldn't have walked those 2 half mile stretches at one point I could have made it right at 5 hours and 30 minutes. I crossed the finish line was handed my metal and a bottle of water. I felt like I was going to throw up right there I stopped looking all around me to find a place were there wasn't any people were I could throw up. This man on the side lines yelled and said keep moving, I wanted to tell him to shut the heck up but I didn't. I gathered myself and looked up just as I did I saw the hubbs walking down to were I was. I gave him the biggest sweatiest hug ever, almost in tears I was so happy. I did it I finished and he was there to see me do it and it was our 6 Year Wedding Anniversary what a better way to spend the day!!! Kelly came around and gave me the biggest hug ever. She and her friend Cynthia had ran the half so they finished a while ago and had already gone back to their hotel showered and changed. Lucky Dogs. Kelly had a Monogrammed pullover made for me for a Marathon Finishers gift. It was so cute, I love it. She tied it around my waste and we of course had to take a few pictures documenting one of the best days ever. The four of us headed out to lunch downtown before we headed on back to Cola. Not that I just ran 26.2 miles but I had to walk half a mile to a place for us to eat. I guess it was better than walking back to the car, and driving around some were right. I'll never forget my First Marathon experience, I said towards the end of the race to Ali I was never going to do this again and she said that same thing but now after the experience and recovering and seeing that I am bigger and strong than I let me mind know, I know I really could do it again and I just may. Running is my therapy and I couldn't imagine not doing it. Although half marathons seem so much more manageable running a full is something not many people can say they've ever done. I have to thank my new sweet friend Ali for helping me and getting to the finish line with me. I know she needed me just as much as I needed her, we exchanged numbers and bf's at the end and plan to run another race together at some point. Here are a few of the pictures from my big day. I still haven't decided which ones I'm going to purchase from the ones the race people took but once I do and get them I'll be sure to share. But until them I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.