Monday, October 15, 2012


marked the marathon off of the bucket list this weekend.
26.2 miles of running completed. didn't stop once. no walking. no stopping. i did it.
4 whole dang hours and 11 minutes later, i crossed the finish line and earned by gigantic medal & t-shirt that reads "marathon finisher".

 the night before the race i felt a lot like i did before an important basketball game in college. anxious, nervous, envisioning different circumstances in my head. if she goes over the screen vs. under the screen i do this vs. that was compared to if i feel like this at mile 10 or this at mile 20 i can slow down vs. speed up.the morning of the race i felt the same way. i couldn't believe the time was FINALLY here. 

some people know my goal was 4 hrs. but, then again how do you set a goal if you've never done something before? the other part of my goal was to run the entire 26.2 miles. no walking. no stopping to take a break. well, i accomplished half of that. no walking and no stopping minus the 4 hrs and 11 minute race. we can agree to disagree, but i think that's the most difficult part of running a marathon, or any race at that. anyone can 'run' a marathon if they stop and walk, or take breaks. the hard part is not stopping. in my opinion, you didn't run a half-marathon or run a marathon if you walked. like i said, we can agree to disagree, but not stopping is the mentally and physically toughest part of the race.

so, wanna know what running 26.2 miles is like? well, it's actually indescribable, but i'll do my best.

there are TONS of people. TONS. it's crowded and overwhelming at first.  i was used to this part since i had ran two 1/2 marathons before, so this didn't freak me out, but that's the way it all begins. Alli and i started out toward the front and had a good pace the first mile around 8:30.  legs were good, and all was well in the running world. we ran into bret around MILE 5 and tossed out our long-sleeves that we were wearing. shortly after that a old man in underwear length spandex passed us which gave us a good laugh.
we then ran into garrett, banks, my mom and dad at MILE 8. we were feeling really good and passed this mile marker at 1 hr 4 min. an 8 minute pace - very happy with that. 

at mile 9 we got our first water/gatorade, and took one gulp before throwing our cups to the side. it's a definite task trying to drink while running.
at mile 10 we shared a package of GU Chomps - watermelon - my fave.
we saw Amber, Pat right before the 13.1 marker, and Steve gave us a big high five at the exact 13.1 mark. we recorded our first half of the marathon at 1 hour 54 minutes. at this point i still thought it was a good possibility to finish under 4 hours, but what did i know, i hadn't ever run 26.2 miles before.

we headed back down the path we ran the first 3 miles on [down Douglas] from mile 14-17. around mile 14.5 we saw our whole gang - my mom, dad, steve, kathy, garrett, bret, mel, laney, banks, pat and amber. mom ran out on the street with 4 ibuprofen and water bottle, while alli got hers from her family.

side note: [ my diamond earring fell out while trying to adjust my headphones and i caught it mid-air, impressive right? tucked that into my belt the rest of the way ]

 they were cheering loud with encouraging words which is the best part of the race. everyone is so friendly and encouraging. no one wants to you to fail. everyone wants you to do your very best and ensures you that they are 100% behind you. it's a great feeling. in fact, it's seriously the reason i encourage you to train for something like a marathon. it will awaken you to kindness and encouragement.

speaking of kindness and encouragement - thank you to everyone [friends & family] for your support via email, phone, text.. all if it was so much appreciated! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

at mile 16.5 a young boy was handing out GU, grabbed a package and downed about 3/4 of it. it was tri-berry, and it tasted like pure pepto bismol. nasty. that was the closest i came to throwing up during the race.

around mile 18, Alli's legs were apparently feeling better than mine, as she stepped up her pace a bit. i decided to keep my pace, as i was feeling pretty comfortable and didn't want to overdo it and have to walk. 

saw the rents, g and banks again at mile 19, pat and amber at 19.5 and mel and  bret at 20. amber couldn't wait to hear my comparison about labor vs. marathons post-race, and i think at the 19.5 mile marker i told her "just for the record, natural labor is way worse".

and so the pain begins, at mile 20 i hit the wall. honestly, it wasn't a wall i couldn't get passed, obviously, but it was a wall. people ask what it feels like? Well, it feels something like doing a wall sit [correctly] for an hour. mile 20 - 26.2 took an hour to run and i felt as if i was doing a wall sit the entire time. basically shaking while running [ if that's possible ]. mile 22 was the toughest. at mile 23 one awesome guy had a keg of pabst blue ribbon on the street. i totally grabbed a BEER and chugged it. it was the best tasting beer i've ever had. the water, the gatorade and the gu were all luke warm. this beer, was ICE COLD. and it was delicious. 

as i downed my beer i passed a lady who was being strapped to a stretcher and had an ambulance waiting. to be honest, this freaked me out just a little. i was aware that i had been running for 3+ hours and it was quite warm, and i really hadn't downed a whole lot of liquids during the race.

i passed mile 23 [ part of this mile was through sand, really!?] and thought to myself. you are one 5k away from completing the marathon!  mile 24 seemed to be never-ending and once i saw the mile 25 marker i was overcome by pure joy. i was 1.2 miles away. i stepped up my speed just a bit as i was going to finish strong. i passed several people in the last mile, which helps the confidence. everyone was commenting on every runner "good job" "you're almost done" "nice work" "you got it, 458"

saw miss carly the last 300m and i picked up the pace a big over the bridge and finished out the last 200m of my first marathon with pure enjoyment. 

i did it.

i'm happy. i'm sore. but,  i'm not satisfied.

right? you'd think i would be. and it actually makes me mad that i'm not. the last few months of training have been hard, time-consuming and a bit of a headache, but overall, it's what i love to do. compete. i already want to do another one, and I'm really starting to think i'm crazy. it's the athlete inside of me that just needs to compete, practice and train for one specific goal.

 this is where i become too competitive. i won't stop marathoning until that 4 hr goal is met, which i honestly think i could easily do the second time around. i now, know what to expect throughout the race and i would train a little differently than i did this go-around.

and for the record, 17 hours of natural labor is MUCH MORE painful than running a marathon. it's really not too comparable.

well, bucket list. you are one item shorter.


  1. Awesome accomplishment and story-congratulations!! Great job!:)

  2. Congrats! You have WAY more determination than I do. I laughed out loud when you said you chugged a beer! And natural birth? Wow girl. You are amazing.