OK now I have time to actually talk about this whole marathon thing. To read about the day leading up to the big run click HERE
First let me say that it was AMAZING, hard, horrible, incredible, life altering... it was everything rolled into one.
Im still waiting for some pics that Nicole took so there will be a part 3 :) Her wonderful husband rented a bike and surprised us at various parts of the race and took great pics. And Im hoping for a crossing the finish line pic ... it wont be pretty but wow do I want to see it.
Ok from the beginning -
I woke up at 545 so that I was ready to go down when my husband went for his 7am half marathon start. OMG was it WINDY and cold... I was almost in tears. I hadnt trained in bad weather. But I reminded myself it could be raining and put a smile on my face pronto. I went down and cheered on the beginning of the half. I teared up on the sideline listening to the antham and watching my husband start off - I am so incredibly proud of him. First half - 2h and 6 min. He isnt a distance runner. He is amazing.
Then it was off to meet up with Nicole and head to our start - hit the port-a potties and attempt to stay warm until closer to the start. At 815 they started counting down the corrals - we were in number 4. The 4:30 pacer group was right in front of us - the 5h pacer right behind us. My goal was to finish by 5:30.
Miles 1-11 FLEW... for my first half last October I was struggling at mile 9... not this time... I felt awesome. Around mile 7 we went into a reserves base and the men and women that protect our country were on the sidelines cheering us on... it was amazing. We hit the half way point at 2h 24min... 15 min faster than my half marathon in Oct.
Mile 15 was hard for me - we were going full force into the wind. It was a LONG straight way - I hate straight areas. I wanted to stop. My mind started to take over - that Im not a marathon runner. I dont deserve to say I am. My back hurt. My stupid skirt was proving to not be a good idea since the shorts underneith would NOT stay still and my legs were rubbing. I was done and I was pissed at myself because you arent supposed to hit the wall that fast. Then Nicole did what she does first - she 1st told me I could do it, I could push through, I deserved it, then she chatted and got my mind off things. By mile 17 I was good. Around that time we were in this desolate boring tree filled area with NO spectators. It sucked. It was also around miles 17-20 that Nicole hit her wall and I was so incredibly thankful to be there for her - to do what she would have done for me. To refocus her and get us through it - together. Its amazing what running can do to a friendship :) Without her I would have never thought about doing this in the first place. Just a year ago we met for the first time and ran 8 laps around the school track and it SUCKED. Look at us now!
Mile 20 we both agreed it was time to take a much needed stretch break - to get all the stressors out of our head and push to the end. Push strong and hard. We ran from that point forward without complaint - even though my legs were screaming, my knees hurt so bad and my right hip/lower back was saying please stop - none of those thoughts were verbalized and made real - we just pushed forward.
At 25.5-26 we hit the board walk. You could see the finish line. I could see my wonderful husband. Then I gave it all I could to go as fast as I could to the finish. I finished at 5hours and 8 min. As I crossed the finish line tears were streaming down my face. I felt amazing. I felt like I could accomplish ANYTHING. I felt like a marathoner! I AM A RUNNER! I may not have a runners body but damn it Im a runner!!!
After I finished crying - the smiling started and didnt stop!
We enjoyed the giveaways, the tent, the people then headed for some lunch and PIGGED out! Followed by a very much needed nap - then the soreness hit. OMG the soreness! I was napping on my back and tried to just bend my legs to roll over - nope they wouldnt bend. It felt like someone beat my knees with a bat. My abs hurt. My ribs hurt. But we still HAD to go out and celebrate!!!
Favorite things about the VB shamrock marathon
1. VERY well organized
2. Love heading to the beach
3. Flat course
Things that werent quite my favorite...
1. I think its a marathon vs half marathon thing since my husband had the opposite thoughts... not a ton of talking in the marathon. No fun chatting, no meeting tons of new people and sharing experiences... like I said dh said the half had a ton of that.
2. Not a lot of spectators - I thrive off of the encouragement of spectators and was a bit disappointed.
Things I learned -
1. Great idea to bring my own gu... it made the run so much better! Every 5 miles is my need.
2. Actually run in your planned run outfit - yes the skirt is very comfortable walking around... but not running - it sucked! Im still raw.
3. Sunblock... even in march. Even if not to sunny. I was very sunburned afterwards. My arms are now peeling.
Yes its 2 days out now. Yes Im still sore and not ready for another run just yet. But yes... Im looking for my next marathon! I joined the 1% of the population and I plan on sticking around :) Im thinking NYC...
More pics to come - stay tuned!