Monday, September 2, 2013

A Full Marathon

Alright, just to warn you, this will be long.  I'm going to start at the beginning and give a full recap of the race and the experience.

Friday morning Hubs and I woke up and got out the door pretty early.  We had a 6 1/2 drive ahead of us, and the drive is beautiful so we stopped a lot along the way.

After a few pit stops we made it to our hotel at about 4:30 and they had a sign for ME!!  (And all the other marathoners)

brother/sister team!
Hubby started to get ready for his 5k that night.  At about 6 we headed over to the expo and the 5k.  And he got 2nd in his age group! Woohoo!  The expo was small, but good, we got all the snacks, gatorade, and fruit we could fit in a bag :)  Of course I took a lot!  At this point, I wasn't even nervous about the marathon yet, which usually before a big race my stomach is in knots!  After grabbing some spaghetti and 6 breadsticks from a local pasta place, we went back to the hotel and carb-loaded :) And, I got everything ready for the big day!

At 5:30, my alarm was supposed to go off, but I got up at 5:23.  Took a nice bath (yes, I'm still like a child and would prefer to take a bath over a shower)  and got ready for the race.  I met my brother down at breakfast at 6.  I brought along my own oats and brown sugar because I didn't know if the hotel would have old fashioned oats.  Sidenote:  I'm only high-maintenance before a big race.

After breakfast we were all on our way!!!  We got super-awesome-extraclose parking spots because we got there pretty early!  It was 59 degrees, but very humid.

Talking and stretching before the race
The race had only about 450 marathoners so it wasn't hard to line up at the start.  The plan was to start pretty slow and maintain that pace and if we could pick it up at 20 and beyond we would pick it up.  We stuck together and talked the first half and it went by fairly quickly.  13.1-2:16.  The full was just the half marathon course twice, so the 2nd time around was really nice because we knew where the hills were, where the trails were, and the best part... where the declines were :)  The 2nd half, I'll be honest, if it weren't for my brother I would've walked A LOT!  But, he kept me going!  We walked through the aid stations and at one point (about mile 16) I thought I was going to throw up, so I took a gu and immediately I felt better,  I said to my bro "that gu helped right away, maybe it's just in my head"  he said "it doesn't matter, as long as you feel good now!"  The 2nd half was just mentally tough for me.  That's a long time to run!

half way point and my brother's precious family :)

This is about mile 24.5-  I love that we have the same stride here... and the same pained look :)
I had never run past 18 miles so when we hit that distance, I was pretty proud.  My brother said when we hit 20 it's going to get really hard and we are just going to have to dig deep.  We did dig deep!  At about mile 23 or 24 we just kept encouraging each other that we were almost there, and to keep going!  This is when I started to get really tired and I kept thinking that a marathon should just be 24 miles and I would feel so much better! :)  Besides feeling sick at one point, my brother and I felt pretty good through the whole race!  Hubs saw us at mile 24 and took some pictures and ran with us for a minute.  At 25 we saw my brother's family.  His girls made him a sign and it was precious!  Right after mile 25 there is a HUGE hill.  We knew it was coming because we already ran up it once, and we said we would walk up the hill because at that point us running or walking up the hill would probably be the same pace :)  After that we knew the finish was close, but it seemed to take FOREVER to get to!!  We finally saw it, grabbed each others hands and finished (and my 3 year old niece ran across the finish line with us!!)  We finished at 4:45.  Very proud!

Almost there!

It was a wonderful experience and something that I will never, ever forget.  Just running a marathon is an incredible feat.  But to be able to do it with my brother was an unbelievable experience.  We both agreed that this will probably be the only one we will do, and we'll just stick to half's.   26.2 is a LONG distance to run.  But now I can say that I've done it!  And you better believe this went on my car right after!



  1. Congrats on your first marathon! Awesome job!! I bet you do another one... ;-)

  2. Reading this just makes me want to start a blog so we can be blog friends! Great job!! I am looking forward to my first full in March!

  3. :) you are too sweet! Thanks for reading! Good luck with your marathon!!! You will have a blast!!