On with the good stuff….
After a delicious carb filled breakfast at Cracker Barrel we headed to the 12 pm race information session, they had a 3 pm to but we chose the 12. The expo was in a large tent, not the biggest expo, but set up really well and nice! :)
All the workers were VERY friendly and they even had two maps(half and full marathon course) set up for us to see in more detail.
The man was VERY informative and answered questions well. Everyone was SO nice and very encouraging, the workers are probably some of the best I’ve ever dealt with and very welcoming.
Since the race was one loop ran twice, there was an aid station at EVERY mile with porta potties included. It was also a Boston Qualifying course and very flat with very little rolling hills here and there and the only real hill was going up to the bridge.
He also had to warn us, that there was 50 feet of metal mesh on the bridge that they could do nothing about and that we needed to pick our feet up or run on the side walk.
That night, we went to the pasta dinner at 7 pm. Frank shorter was the guest speaker, we had different kinds of pasta to choose from, a salad, bread, and banana pudding. Erin and I avoided sweets as much as possible leading up to the race for the 3 days and just focused on carbs, carbs, carbs. Now, for you all that don’t know who Frank Shorter is, he’s the last American to break the Olympic Marathon race in 1972(2 hrs and 12 mins) and no other American has beat it since. He was a super nice guy and even showed us a mini video of him in the 1972 marathon Olympics that was very inspiring.
The food was fabulous and they also gave away very cool door prizes. I also got to meet a chat with a couple of runners running their first full too.
The pasta dinner ended at 9 pm and we headed back to the hotel to get ready. I was a nervous wreck but was looking forward to using my new iphone armband and my headband that I also got from the expo. I also wore my favorite running leggings, Brooks Ghost 6, Balega thick socks, and my shirt I had made specially for the race that says, “Kayla Runs For”(front), “Team Maylin, Super Jake, and Teen Challenge”(back).
That morning, we had to get up 4:00 am and eat breakfast, the race started at 6:45 am. We bought oatmeal and bananas the night before so didn’t have to go downstairs to eat. I was already nervous and wished it would just go on and start at 5:45 am. I was pacing back and forth worried about the wall between miles 16-20. I packed 2 1/2 chomp packs and gu just in case and put them in my spibelt.
I also stuffed toilet paper in my little wrist zipper I got a while back.
They were also calling for rain. But, it was in the 50s outside that morning and felt chilly but not freezing, thankfully, and the rain wasn’t supposed to hit really till after the race.
We had to meet the trolley/buses at the shopping complex(at finish line) between 4:45 am and 6:15 am. We got there at 6:00 am and boarded.
We got there at 6:15 and jogged to the bathrooms as our mini warm up. But the time we got to the starting line, we had 10 mins left till they started the race.
I turned on my music(some Rocky Balboa themes in there ;) ) and the race started. We were off.
There was only 500 + marathoners and over 2,000 half marathoners(go figure). The course was just gorgeous! When I ran across the first bridge I looked out at the harbor and the view was just breath taking in the early morning overcast.
By mile 3, the next bridge, there was an ambulance already there to pick up a girl that hurt her leg really bad from where she tripped on the metal mesh that the leader originally warned us about. I decided to go onto the side walk for the next 2 times I had to run the bridge again. There was another guy down to but didn’t look like he was hurt.
They had mile marks set well and the people at the aid stations were fabulous and so friendly!
I hung out here and there with a couple of runners throughout the course.
At mile 11, the half marathoners cut off and the marathoners go on. I was still feeling good and making sure I stayed fueled and hit every aid station I could, I took in water and Gatorade mixed usually. I’d also check in with myself physically/mentally.
At mile 18, they had it in red numbers, my guess is for the wall.
I was determined to NOT HIT THAT WALL though. I did plenty of yoga the week of race and fueled well throughout the week. I also had motivating music, people, and runners helping me.
By mile 19, the top of my left foot started hurting and I had to stop for a second to do foot strength moves for it, which helped.
At mile 25, they handed out beer. Some aid stations had orange slices with twizzlers, a lot had GU, and one had a quarter of a banana, which I did take.
I was so happy to see mile 26 and was ahead, later, of the 4:30 pacer. My friends were there cheering my on and I was all smiles and feeling strong.
I finished at 4:29:18 and came in 6th place out of 24 in my age group. My goal was 4:30 OR less and I reached it and finished my marathon with a medal and an experience I will NEVER forget!
After that, Erin and I went and took ice baths that we signed up for at a chiropractor place. They had the hot tub filled up with 45 degree water and it felt SO good, hurt, but felt great!
Erin was 6-8 minutes away from qualifying for the Boston, but, with her Kara Goucher training, she PRed by 10 mins from her last marathon. She’s a beast and one of my top inspirations.
After we changed clothes, we went to Brixx and I had me a 10 inch vegan pizza. May I say, it was my first time there and it was so DANG GOOD!
I also got me a 26.2 marathon sticker made. :)
So all and all, I loved the marathon a lot more than I thought I would. It’s definitely an adrenaline rush and honestly, I highly HIGHLY recommend running one if you are just a half marathoner right now. I loved every minute, pain and all. :) This race, I highly recommend and wouldn’t mind running it again next year, half or full. It’s a perfect race for beginners, informative, on time, and very friendly and encouraging help! :)
Oh, and I’ve tried the new Cookies & Cream Quest Bar. DELICIOUS!
Until we meet again. Soon. Chow! :)