I have done a handful of half marathons and the last one I did, as I was running the race, I told myself, "DON'T RUN A MARATHON!" at that point in the race I was so sure that running a marathon would be crazy because I was so tired and I hadn't even finished 13 miles. It has always been something that I wanted to do but didn't think that I physically could. I am pretty sure my sister believed in me before I believed in myself.
It was three and a half months of training. Here is my training schedule and cheerleader section I had posted by my bed to make sure I stayed on track. It consisted of 5 days of running and long runs on Saturday. I was able to complete almost every day until my knee started getting upset with me. Thankfully with help from a PT and my amazing chiropractor I was able to keep it under control. Well, and a little help from KT Tape. Towards the end it was hard to stay on schedule. My body was feeling old and tired. But I am so glad I stuck to it.
The night before the race I was fairly nervous. I still wasn't sure I could actually finish a marathon. During training I got up to 22 miles but felt pretty done at that point. Plus you never know how your body is going to feel and react on race day.
Here is a selfie right before the race started. It was a beautiful morning. Just perfect!! As soon as I got to start running my nerves totally calmed down and I was so excited to be running.
The race didn't necessarily go how I dreamed it to go. But I got the time I was aiming for which was under 4 hours and most importantly I really enjoyed the whole experience. At times my body felt tired but most of all I felt very thankful for having the ability to run. It was a very spiritual experience and I am pretty sure I was praying for at least an hour total during the race.
What really spurred me on was seeing my friend cheering for me on at I-90. Which if you know the race then you understand how awful it can be. It totally boosted my spirits. Then around mile 25 I saw my dad, who I wasn't expecting to see. It totally got me teary eyed. Then right before the big climb to the finish I saw my husband, my three boys, my mom and my best friend cheering for me. I felt overwhelmed for how the Lord had blessed me and booked it up the hill.
Once I crossed the finish line it was kind of surreal. I guess since I didn't have anyone there right at the finish line it almost didn't feel like I had just ran a marathon. Almost 4 hours of running and then I stopped. It was over. I took another selfie since I wasn't sure what else to do but I wanted to have something to look back on after what was a huge accomplishment for me!!
I ran the marathon myself but it was a team effort to have the time to train. A huge thanks to Mark for allowing me to take up evenings and Saturdays to train, my Mother in Law who sacrificed many mornings so I could get my run in without children, my sister, Amanda and Tricia who kept me accountable for my long runs and who motivated me, and my mom who watched the kiddos on a whim when Mark needed to work on the house.
I really want to run another one! :)