I’ll start on Friday. That was the packet pick-up/race expo and it was a little crazy. The expo was at Fox Valley Tech, where I go to school. I got there a about 10 minutes early and had to stand in line outside before it opened. When they let us inside, getting your packet didn’t take much time. The expo itself was a little confusing the way it was set up. I only bought my new 26.2 magnet and a t-shirt. The official race shirt was handed out AFTER the race.
Saturday I laid around the house and didn’t really do anything. Rested my legs. That night I went over to Ryan’s and he made me spaghetti. I was getting nervous and I just wanted to run the race already! My parents had scouted out a place to watch me and Ryan was also going to be at the finish line.
Sunday morning came and I was REALLY ready to go. However, despite the weather I had been running in all summer, it decided to be about 30 degrees. Hello?! So I ended up wearing a long sleeve shirt and capris. I know some people hate running in capris, but I really enjoy running in them! My mom brought me to the start and I told her I would see her in 4 hours!
The race started right at 7:00 a.m. and the marathon and half marathon started together and then split at mile 2. I was feeling really good at the beginning. I tried to start off slowly. Because it was cold, I took water at every other aid station and alternated water and gatorade. That worked out really well the whole race. I used the bathroom at mile 12, but only because there wasn’t a line.
My parents were at mile 9 and they were a welcome face. There wasn’t a lot of crowd support, but enough to keep you going.
I was at the halfway point at 2:09:31, which is about 4 minutes faster than my half-marathon time! Now I really want to run another half!
I don’t really remember a lot of the middle miles. It was mostly just me and my thoughts. “Keep going!” “Enjoy yourself!” “You only get one first marathon!”
My upper thigh really started hurting about mile 18. I wanted to walk, but I did not want to walk. It was a little internal struggle. I kept trucking along and knew I was halfway done. Then I started to get familiar with the route and I kept focusing on that. Counting down the miles and knowing what was waiting for me at the finish: my parents and Ryan and my medal.
We ran passed the hospital where I went to when I had dehydration in February and I felt so lucky to be able to run this marathon. I knew I had to finish strong. I only had 2miles left. After running over the bridge by the Neenah public library, it was the part of the marathon route that I had pictured so many times during my runs. I had ran that road when I lived in Neenah and now it was the finish to the race.
Ryan found me when I ran passed the park and I said, “I’m almost done!” And he said, “You are and you’re doing great!” I kept going and only had a half mile left at that point. Just through the park and to the finish. He met me again right by the finish and wanted me to run faster! I could barely run my legs were so tired! He was yelling, “You can pass those people ahead of you! I know you can!” I picked up the pace and did pass them and finished. I got my medal and warming blanket and went to find him and my parents.
My time was 4:22:23 and I was more than satisfied with that time! I wasn’t really hungry, but I did have half a banana.
Once I was home, Ryan and I looked at the results and I was pretty much average in every aspect of the race: age group, females, overall, finishing time.
I can’t wait to run another marathon. It was hard at some points, but I had a really fun time. And of course I want to beat my time 🙂