Monday, March 19, 2012

I am a Marathon Runner!!

The day has come and the training has been done, and I can now call myself a Marathon Runner!! On Sunday March 18th I ran in the Georgia Marathon and some how picked the hillliest marathon to be a first one! Along with be hilly it was the warmest marathon I may (hopefully) ever run. I usually like warm weather to run in, but this was almost to warm for me! Going into I knew I had to hydrate and so it started all week, but on Saturday it was water overload. I ran this race with Stefanie, a friend a met here in Helena as part of the Helena Endurance Running Group (HERG's) that was formed last July. She has helped me and pushed me to be able to say that I want to run a marathon, rather then I never want to run a marathon.
Stefanie & Me early before take off
We drove into Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, and started by going to the expo.
Georgia Expo
It was a huge expo, and a bit crowded! But it was fun seeing so many fun things. We entered a few race drawing, but no emails yet, so I guess no free race entry. But did come away with some Yurbuds , which I do look forward to using!

Race Day Gear
Onto the rest of the night, after dinner we went back to the room to try and sleep. We each have our own routines, she is a morning person me more of a night person. So I took my shower and laid out my clothes for the morning. Stefanie likes to get up, have coffee and prep in the am, me I sleep until I have to get up! Except this time, I got up earlier then normal..nerves?! We headed out to our Corral at about 6:40, just in time for the 7am start time. 
In the corral, is when I really realized....holy shit I am about to run 26.2 miles!! What was I thinking!?!?! The music was playing and it was good pumped up music, which helped calm the nerves and pump me up some! I held back the emotions to cry, figured it would not be good to have a break down before the race!! 
So 7am came and the corrals ahead started moving and so did we! then under the start line and we were off! 

So little thing I was told before this race, it was my first marathon....Don't worry about your time, its your first so of course it will be a PR and you will have others to do! Well, how can you not want to have a goal time! you have trained for months!!! So I did have a goal time it was 4:30.

Temps for the race
Back to the race....we started out by weaving and getting into open space. And I was feeling great!! (mind you I have been struggling with my IT Band for the last 4-5 weeks) so I was thrilled that there was no pain, and no discomfort! We were at a great pace, right on target for that time I was not supposed to have. We were being smart walk/jog through water stops and drinking water and gatorade.  So smart to be drinking that at mile 14 i had to go! but happy I had to because it meant I was not getting dehyradted! Because by this time it was in the 70's! Still feeling great, even with the blisters starting, but I ignored them! And the hills really were not that bad (yet)! But by mile 15-16 I noticed starting to get really tight, my right knee didn't like bending any more, but i was determined to keep going and push through. Then the hill of 18-19 appeared and my knee really started saying curse words to me, and it started to crumble. I had to start walking up the hill, and then it was almost impossible to run down the hill. I was starting to have a little melt down, words were flying out of my mouth and the tears almost started flowing. I was so pissed that this was happening! All this training and this stupid IT band is going to show its evil head, when I thought it had disappeared! But obviously it was not all the way healed! But Stefanie just kept me going! "Lets see how far we can go, lets get to the next water stop" With out her I could have easily curled up on the side of road! I am so thankful she was there!! So she kept me going, we were walking, jogging, & running the last 7 miles! But I made it. I think we did eventually run the last 2 miles, and when the signs for 3/4 mile to go, then 1/2 mile to go, and 1/4 mile to emotions starting going out of control. I am really going to do this! 
All worth it!!
And then the finish line!!! 

I had made it!! Something that I never said would do!! I DID IT!!
Pain and all! 

More to come on this event in later posts!

Friday, March 16, 2012

2 days to go.....

It is the Friday before the Georgia Marathon!! I will be able to say after Sunday, "I am a Marathon Runner!!" I am getting nervous, excited, anxious, and a bit scared! But I feel that I am ready! Well, I have to be....
I am going to go out and have fun and enjoy the entire experience. Because you only get to experience your 1st marathon once!! 
Hopefully at the end I wont be saying 26.2 is crazy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Final long run in the books...

Saturday was my last long run before the crazy adventure I signed up for, the Georgia Marathon. This has been a fun adventure training for it, and meeting great new friends along with getting the miles in! I still can't not believe that in 6 days I can call myself a marathon runner. Words that I never thought would come out of my mouth.
The last month has been somewhat of a challenge...stupid IT Band!! but I have been working very hard on the stretches, exercises, ice, and of course the foam roller! But it has been working...this past Saturday was the first run in a long time that I did not feel the need to curl up in a ball and cry on the side of the road! So it must be working! Let's hope this feeling continues through out the rest of this week and into Sunday (race day)!
Me & Stef after Mercedes trial run
I also have been very lucky through this adventure to have found a great running partner! & now friend!! Now our schedules are totally different, but we have been able to get most of all our long runs ins on Saturday's together. I can say that without meeting her, I would not be on this road trip this weekend to run 26.2!

So this week will be one to relax (at least try) and keep mentally preparing myself for Sunday! As many have told me, I have the training in now its just time to get out there and do!

Finishing 26.2 will be Epic!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

10 day countdown....

So it is getting close! Just 10 days and I can call myself a marathon runner! Who knew I would ever say those words! I know for a fact and have been quoted say I will NEVER run a marathon! And here I sit 10 days away from doing it!
I am getting a bit nervous! But I am just going to keep mentally telling myself I can do it I can so it! And hopefully as day 0 arrives I won't be as scared and nervous as I am now!
I am an over planner, it just who I am! So I am currently working on race day options and outfits!
I have the new shoes, it was time for a new pair and a week or so before the marathon seemed like a perfect time to start a new pair! Now to decided on race day attire. I might be thinking skirt. Ran in one yesterday and it was great!
Ah the decisions to make!

Friday, March 2, 2012

What I learned on long lonely run

Today was a lonely long run. At first I thought I had 17 miles to run and had mapped out a route for that, but then checked my schedule and realized it was only going to be 15!! Whoo Hoo! And when I got to mile 11 I was happy it was only going to be 15. I started early, 5am. As I had to be back no later then 8am. The husband and I are going to Gatlinburg for a weekend getaway to see friends from Michigan! The first part of the run felt great, and I was learning a few things from this run. Which I will explain later. But for some reason after mile 10 things seem to go down hill, and I'm not talking about the actually hills ( they were more uphills then down).
My IT band is still not back to normal, but had been feeling better this week. At least until mile 10. And that was when I stopped for Gatorade and it just tight, super tight! My knee no longer wanted to bend the right way. Frustration!!!! But I kept moving, slower then I wanted to, but kept moving. I took a few extra breaks, tried to stretch out (with fail), walked some. But I did finally get to mile 15! And the last mile was the worse, it was an uphill battle the entire way!! And yes I walked it, but it was better then crawling!

What I learned on my lonely long run:
~it's much nicer to have conversation with people then your self.
~I need to learn how to pace better, seemed to be all over the place during the 1st part when I felt good.
~I need a new playlist
~never run on Roy Drive again!
~it's really easy to want to quit when alone, but I didn't allow myself to do so.
~I had a bunch of great hashtag sayings but forgot them all by the time I got home. The pain had ended.

No it was not the greatest run, and hopefully that was the one bad run everyone seems to have in training. I didn't really enjoy being alone, but I will have to do it again. I know it will make me a stronger and better runner.

Only 2 weeks till the Georgia Marathon! Wow still can't believe it!!!