**I saw that I never actually hit "publish post" for this way back when I first wrote it- oops!**
I ran my very first marathon in Yakima, WA on 02 April 2011. Here are the highlights:
It was a gorgeous sunny day, a chilly 50 degrees, and a little windy (thanks, Yakima) but felt like great running weather. I was just glad that I'd sacrificed fashion and had invested in a nice pair of running sunglasses a few months ago. We stayed the night in Ellensburg, right by the starting line, and Dale woke up early to walk me to the start. That's me- right there in the black capris and jacket with the white hat. I was getting so nervous!
Getting fired up with a little Brittany Spears.
Getting lost in the pack.
Rounding the first turn, and then we were on a completely closed course following the river.
I felt awesome. I got to mile 14, took a bathroom break and tried to eat something. Looking back, I should have eaten a little earlier to get me through those middle miles. The theory behind my training plan (article read here, more info here) was training for the second half of the race and to teach me how to run on tired legs. I felt great and totally prepared, so if you're looking for a plan, I really REALLY liked this one and will probably stick with it for the rest of my life. I just had to keep telling myself, "You've trained for this. You're stronger than you think you are. You can do hard things." That mantra, and my music, are what got me through.
I felt really good and strong until about mile 22 when it started to go uphill and my body literally felt like it was shutting down. My goal was to not walk at all, but I could not will my legs to run. They felt so heavy! So I alternated- ran 1 minute and walked 30 seconds- until I got to the top of that hill (3 miles uphill, thank you very much) and once I got to the top, it was downhill to the end.
My awesome family waiting for me- little Mason.
Brighton and my sister, Kaylee. They made me some fabulous signs! I wonder if Chuck Norris has ever run a marathon? Maybe I've got him beat : )
Mason running up the hill.
Brighton, I don't know what she's doing.
Kaylee and Brighton with signage and cow bell.
Dale and Brighton.
There I am coming up the final mini hill, in the blue.
Do you know how much energy it takes to wave at the end of a marathon? I probably should have saved it to keep running...
Oh no! Double wave? What was I thinking? Oh yeah- I'm freakin' awesome!
Trying to focus and finish strong.
Final wave, and across the finish!
I got a pink rose, a medal, a space blanket and several glasses of water after that...
Dale asks me at this moment, "Are you ever going to run a marathon again?" to which I reply, "Well, not anytime soon..."
My goal was to finish under 4 hours, and I'd trained to keep about a 9 minute/mile average, and I finished in 3:53:18. That's an 8:55 average pace! I'm pretty proud of myself for maintaining that same speed over the entire race.
It was a smaller race with only 485 people- 301 of them being men, 184 women. I got 128th place overall, 28th place in the women, and 8th place in my division- 25-30 year old females. Oh, and I passed a whole bunch of men! (Not gonna lie, that made me feel really good.)
It was totally awesome and I'm so glad that I did it. I'd wanted to do one since I was in high school, so it felt really good to check it off my list- but don't worry, there will be plenty more marathons in my future!