26.2 Miles Is A Long Way to Run!

My First Marathon is in the Books!

I completed my first marathon in Columbus, Ohio on October 15, 2017!  I feel blessed and fulfilled with my accomplishment.  I finished in 4 hours, 31 minutes, and 3 seconds. My goal was to finish at 4 hours and 30 minutes, so right in line my goal!  The weather was warm and humid, but only a brief several minute drizzle  late in the race.

The starting line. I was in the last Corral of the race – waiting at the back of the pack for my chance to start!

My months of training served me well, not only in my physical stamina but also in conquering my mental game as well.  26.2 miles is a long time to be inside of your head.  The first 13.1 miles was crowded with half-marathoners, thousands of welcome distractions from my discomfort.

The second half was much less crowded, and was truly a mental challenge, not just for my increasing pain and fatigue but also questioning my goal and my ability to carry out the race.  Due to challenges of working full time and fitting in training for a marathon, I had only completed a 17 mile long run in my training.

Can you feel the race day excitement?

As I got past the 17 mile marker, I rejoiced at my success but also wondered if I could make it 9 more miles to the finish line.  I concentrated my energy on pushing these negative thoughts aside.  I consciously replaced these thoughts with the reminder the cumulative fatigue I had endured with my training.  I would repeat to myself “You’re good.  You’ve got this.”  (Sometimes I would whisper it to myself as well.)   The 50-60+miles of running a week increased my endurance and ability to withstand the challenge. The crowds of fans and volunteers were also amazing and full of positive talk to keep me going.

My Number One Fan

My husband was the most wonderful support for me during the race.  He was my companion and chauffeur, and my #1 cheerleader. But more importantly, he was supportive and understanding during my hours of training for the 5 months leading up to the race.  Running 40-50+ miles a week takes a lot of time and commitment for the athlete, but is also trying to the athlete’s loved ones.  Several hours spent running means less time for your loved ones and other pursuits.  My husband’s support behind the scenes was invaluable and necessary for my success with my running hobby.

Enjoying my pre-race dinner with my husband, Matt. Yummy Adriatico’s meal. Nothing beats a fresh sicilian style pizza!

Rest and Recovery

I am currently in my 2 week period of rest and recovery, with a leisurely and enjoyable return to running.  I am catching up on much needed sleep and quality time with my family.  I am reminiscing about the hours I devoted to not just the race itself but also the 20 weeks leading up to the race.   I am so happy that my first marathon experience was a success!

My two beautiful children – two smiling reminders of why my life is full of joy and happiness!

My next running goal will be this spring: The Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6, 2018!