*So I may have waited a little too long to write up this recap, but better late than never!
I like to organize my recaps by before, during, and after to compare expectations vs results 🙂
Choosing a Race
The race I selected was chosen based mainly on the date and location. This was the first inaugural marathon in my town, so location was perfect! I was already running pieces of the course every day. I feel like running local races shows support for how much I love this community. The date was important to me for mental organization. I had all summer, with only two other responsibilities, to train. AND the date was after the first week of fall semester, aka syllabus week, aka not real school. This allowed me to organize my priorities to being 1) complete a marathon, then afterwards, the semester would start and my schoolwork would return to my first priority.
Tapering isn’t as hard for me as some people claim. I mean, yes, I love running, but being forced to relax, eat, and stretch for one week doesn’t upset me. Especially after running so regularly for the prior four months. I didn’t talk about the race with anyone but my coach and parents during these days because I wanted to prevent pre-race jitters from taking over. I hadn’t seen a lot of friends all summer so they didn’t know that I’d been waking up at 5:40 am to run for 3 hours throughout the summer. My parents came up to visit to cheer me on for the race so I got to hang out with them a little saturday, then tried to sleep and relax that night in preparation. For breakfast, I woke up early to eat half a clif bar because I know my stomach can’t handle a full meal before running. I gathered all my things, and walked over to the start line where my parents met me! I loved seeing all the other marathoners that live in my area coming together, it’s a pretty small town, especially in the summer, and I love seeing other people that are ‘crazy’ like me.
The race started from the spot where the 5ks usually start here which was funny to be in the same spot, but be running 23.1 miles further than the last time! Of course the start was way too energetic and everyone went out fast! I knew that I need my first mile to be 11 mins because me and my coach had discussed this several times, but I was worried that would leave me alone! I did find some men that (eavesdropping) sounded like they wanted to stay around 11 for the first couple miles as well and I latched on to them. I am positive they noticed. I ended up leaving them at the first water station around 3 miles when they stopped to drink and I was like ‘I WILL NOT WALK THIS ENTIRE RACE’ (in my head of course). About a mile later when we crossed a major road (park ave) a group of people were cheering us on and an old lady shouted my number cheering me on! I LOVED IT! Here we passed through cow fields, then back onto a bike path, alongside a highway, yatta, yattta, until the next water station where my parents were waiting. This was probably mile 9 (?) and I said hi to them and ‘that curve had no signs I got a little worried’ before heading up what I had failed to realize until this very moment was a huge hill. Coming back at the half way point were my parents again, my mom jogged beside me because I refused to walk at all and told me how awesome I was. That was nice and I felt awesome at that point. Mile 16 was were I started feeling not awesome. Around 17 we went up a nice hill and I thought.. why I am doing this.. Moving ahead to mile 21 was were I started to hit hard. I finally walked a little at this point. It was getting super hot out (86 degrees F when I finished). When I got to the golf course (where I had run a million times before) my parents were there again and I walked a little more. And then: the sun came out. The sun came out hard. And I was not happy. I was basically wimpering. I hate running in the heat and the sun (hence training runs at 5:40 am). I was pissed off and told myself that as long as I finish with a combination of running & walking from that point that would be sufficient. My dad joined me for the last 2.5 miles (he runs) and thank god he did because I almost passed out 2-3 times (literally I grabbed him). I couldn’t force myself to drink any more gatorade and the water at the last aid station was warm at this point. BUT I PULLED THROUGH AND FINISHED around 5:20. (I don’t even know the official time because who cares)
I walked in circles for a while to get my heart rate and breath back which took a suuper long time. I got water and took off my shoes and walked barefoot. I was walking slowly and limped so we sat down and my dad went to get the car and pick us up. Yes I live only 1.2 miles from where I was sitting waiting for a ride. Back at my apartment, my parents went to grab me pounds of ice to ice bathe while I showered. They had to head out because they live a while away and I got into the ice bath. I just laid around in compression socks and did who knows what the rest of the day until I went over to my friend’s to get ready for our other friend’s 21st birthday party. My friend, A, kept telling everyone “She ran a marathon today” which felt nice, since its surreal to me. Coincidentally we had off from school the following day and I got to rest up! From that night to about 2 days later I couldn’t walk down stairs like a normal person.. I ended up getting a 45 minute massage as a gift to myself for achieving what I never dreamed I could. It was my first massage and totally worth it.