So, I ran a marathon! I know I didn't post anything about my plans to run it or any of my training -- most likely because I was worried if I announced it, I might chicken-out and then feel like a failure. So, I just waited until after I actually did it (about a month after to be exact!) to let the blog world know.
Three other friends of mine from church and I registered for the New Jersey Marathon back in January and trained for about 4 months to get ready for it. Originally, I was hoping this would be a great way to keep a rigid work-out routine and stay on track through the winter (which it totally was!) but it turned out to be much more than that. We trained long and hard through some serious winter weather and there were many days when I didn't think I could push my body another inch. Having taken up running just in the last 2 years or so, I had never done something so athletically extreme before. But to have this goal in mind and slowly start to achieve it, long run after long run... it felt so amazing to actually accomplish it.
Leslie, Carol, Heather, me
The actual conditions on the day of the marathon were pretty horrible. It was one of the hottest days of the spring we had up to that point and the race didn't actually start until 9am. It was SO hot by the time we even started! But I tried my best to stay hydrated and actually felt really good through the half-way point. I stayed with the 4:30 pace group up until around mile 18, where I totally hit a wall. Since I had only done one 20-miler through my training, this was definitely the point where things could totally fall apart. But all I kept thinking was that I had trained way too long and way too hard to quit at that point. Jon stayed home with the boys, so they weren't there to cheer me on -- which I could've totally used at that point, but I took a walk-break and kept plugging along. I eventually caught up with on of the girls I had been training with, which was nice for the company. We ended up motivating each other to finish and we crossed the finish line together.
Carol and I coming up on the finish line... finally!
As horrible as the conditions were and as horrible as I felt afterward... it was still such a great feeling of accomplishment. I had a pretty rough recovery. I kinda couldn't walk for like 3 days! But then the 'marathon amnesia' kicked in and I actually started considering doing it again (the whole experience was hauntingly similar to childbirth)!
I'm really glad I did it and I'm also glad it's over! It's been really nice to get back to a more regular workout routine and not be totally exhausted after my weekend long runs. I've been running some other shorter races, which has been really fun and I'm even contemplating a triatholon... so, we'll see!
the t-shirt we bought at the expo...
emphasis on 'kinda'!