I did it!!!! I’m officially a marathoner! Sunday was an amazing day and we had a good time in Providence. This post is long. Brace yourself.
Let’s just start at the beginning with some food. Because it’s really all about the food, right? 😉
I was really concerned about eating this week and over the weekend. I wanted to eat enough but also not eat like total crap so I would feel good come race day. I sort of accomplished this.
Lunch on Saturday, we went to this amazing burger place but did not get burgers. I got a chicken sandwich and salad instead.
I had low hopes for this meal because, I mean, a burger just sounded so much better. But it was amazing. And so filling.
For dinner, everyone else wanted pasta to get our last bit of carbs in. I almost got pasta but wasn’t feeling it. I never get pasta at Italian places. I felt like a fatty getting pizza the night before the race, but it was my norm, so I went with it.
Did eat all of that as I was so full from lunch, but it went down well.
Then came the morning. I was seriously so nervous beforehand, but like pretending not to be. It was weird. I wanted to eat as much as I could beforehand so I didn’t end up losing steam on the course.
The hotel breakfast was actually really decent, maybe because they knew a bunch of runners were staying there. I had a blueberry bagel, raspberry yogurt, and just ate a small container of peanut butter. Wasn’t a lot calories wise, I guess, but I was still full from the night before and too nervous to eat anything else.
And then we got to the race!
It was very warm already, about 55 when we lined up and sunny. They played the National Anthem and then the race started right after that. It was pretty quick!
I’m going to do what I did from my 20-miler race and break it down by miles, because that’s how I remember what happened.
Miles 1-3: had to pee the whole time, from nerves and from what I drank at breakfast. I stopped at the first bathroom place at mile 2 and that helped a lot with the nerves. I wanted to run fast but was trying not to. It didn’t really work. I was already hot at this point and my calves were on fire because the first 3 miles were kind of uphill.
Miles 3-6: don’t really remember much going on here. There wasn’t a lot of water stops or anything. My friend Dylan had his and my dog and met us at a few mile markers. I saw Beans at mile 4 I think, gave him a kiss. That was nice 🙂
Miles 6-10: we started getting into a more windy course here. I found a “buddy” if you will, and stuck with her from here to maybe like mile 12 or something but then took a bathroom break and lost her. At mile 9, we started going through a neighbor hood and the course was clearly out-and-back but winding through different streets in the neighborhood. Kind of weird. I saw my friend Ashley at that point too, which was a nice encouragement.
Miles 10-13: by the time I got to the half point, I was feeling like I should only need to run 6 more miles or so to be done. I felt so out of it already. My halfway point time was 2:23. Very average for me. I thought that was a good sign because it meant I wasn’t overdoing it. But later I felt like I overdid it for the first half and didn’t have energy for the second half.
Miles 13-18: was still doing pretty good at this point. I was focusing on getting to mile 18 or 20 and then trying to ramp myself up for the last 6 miles.
Miles 18-20: This was my last little bit of real energy. I knew I had already made it to 20 miles before. I was confident I could get there. Miles 19-20 were basically awful though. I was with no one. And anyone who was around was walking. It started to get very very windy at this time too and didn’t let up until I finished. I think because this part was so unmotivating to me, it made 20-26 even harder.
Miles 20-23: I may have walked more than I ran in these few miles. It was easier to walk than to run because of the wind. I felt like I was walking when I was running because I was literally getting blown away. I had a hat on and I was holding it this whole time. I did not want to resort to walking, but it was seriously impossible. And I was not with a single other person who was actually running at that point.
I stopped to stretch at this point too. My hips were dying as well as my feet. At about the half point, I knew I was getting blisters bad and I just kept pounding on them. #ouch
Miles 23-25: Awful. Mile 23-24 was almost all uphill. This was also the windiest point of the race with nothing for protection. When I saw the sign for mile 24, I got excited because I was like, two more miles. I can do that. But at the same time knew they’d be the longest feeling 2 miles of my life. They were.
24 was finally a bit of downhill, so I ran for a while. I stopped for the last water stop and then had a hard time starting again. Everything hurt. But everyone who was around me was in the same boat. We were all trying, but the wind was terrible and we were all just done.
Mile 25 didn’t excite me much, even though I was close to the end. I talked myself into running the last full mile but it didn’t really happen.
Mile 26: After being pretty weak the last bit, seeing the 26 mile marker was pure joy. I immediately sprinted because I was so close. I slowed down a bit again but then sprinted at the finish. I was the only one who finished right then so someone on the loud-speaker was cheering me on for finishing strong.
I got handed a medal and then tried to find my people. It felt so bad to just stop but I was like barely walking at that point! I found them and we headed to food right away. I also got to see my husband and found out he finished (in 4:10).
I was so proud to know that because he was having knee issues and we were unsure if he would be able to finish.
My official time is 5:08 and change. Without my bathroom/GU/water breaks (where I stopped my Nike+ timer) , my time was 4:43 or so. I think it’s weird that there would be a 25 minute difference, but I did stop at every water station and had to wait in line to go to the bathroom for about 8 minutes once. So I guess it adds up.
Post race eats were nothing that special. I ate a lot on the course. I was told by a lot of other marathoners that it helps to eat everything they give you. So I did. I had 1 and 1/2 bananas, 3 GUs, a ton of water, and some gatorade. By the end of the race I was sooo full! I didn’t even want to eat because I felt like I’d been intaking stuff for 5 hours!
I settled for a hot dog and sweet potato fries and also had some nachos too. And a beer. I have a feeling I’ll be a lot hungrier today than I was yesterday.
I am so glad I went into this with no expectations really, other than finishing. My goals were: have fun, run the whole time, and finish. I did have fun. I did not run the whole time. But I did finish.
I walked a lot. As I said above. But literally everyone else was too. I don’t know what else I could have done. If the course was totally flat, yeah, I would have been able to run the whole thing. But I’m okay with it.
I kind of feel lame that it took me like 5 hours to run this. But at the same time, it was insanely windy, hilly, and hot. I was not super disappointed at the end or anything, though, so it’s all good. I just don’t want to answer the dreaded “What was your time?” question now.
There were some really funny signs on the course. Some said:
- May the course be with you (with a picture of Yoda)
- Smile if you peed a bit
- Punch here for power (I actually punched it)
- Humpty Dumpty had issues with walls too
- Chafe now… Brag rights forever.
- Run all the miles!
- What does the fox say? RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN…
- Way to go random stranger!
Seeing those and being cheered on by spectators really helped. I’m so thankful for that!
It was definitely an overall good experience for me. Hard, actually harder than I thought, painful, and long. But I did it. All my months of training came to this race and showed me that I can do it. And that confidence is not easy to come by.
I do not think I’ll be signing myself up for another marathon for a while, though. About halfway through the race, I was like yeah, I need to do this again. And then at the end I was like, I should sprint because this miiiight be the only time I ever do this. We’ll see…
Would I recommend a marathon to others? Absolutely. I know I didn’t make this sound super fun or like a walk in the park, and that’s because it’s not. Yes, this was hard. The hardest thing I have ever done! But it also been the most rewarding part of my life, and I think anyone who wants something to change their life forever should totally experience what a marathon gives you.
Thanks so much for cheering me on during training and all of this. The blog community has been so supportive and I really, really love that about you guys!
Now I am going to enjoy my day off with a massage and some Mexican! Have a great week, guys!