Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Finished!


Today I ran my first marathon ever!
My goal was to finish in under 4 hours and I did it! My official time was 3:59.04. I had heard and read many horror stories about the disasters that many runners face during their first marathon. Needless to say there were many different terrible scenarios running through my mind during the first half of the race about what was facing me in the second half. But the shutting down of body functions, cramping, extreme terrible pain never really came!

Mile 1!

Mile 26!
I felt really good through the first 20 or so but then the course turned into quite the challenge. The race was advertised as a flat, scenic run. It was relatively flat, minus a few big hills around miles 11-12 and then the last 6-7 miles were very hilly and on very uneven trails. The focus became less on running fast and more on just staying on my feet. They did not lie about the scenic views, however. It was BEAUTIFUL. We were on top of some cliffs that overlooked the Pacific Ocean and we really could not have asked for more perfect weather.

Scenic Ocean Views!

Another more mental challenge I had to tackle was my GPS (runkeeper app) was relatively different than their mile markers. I was consistently 0.30-0.50 miles ahead of their mile markers, so my app would tell me I has farther along than the course mile markers. It then hit my that my average pace wouldn't match the official clock, so I had to do a bit of mental math throughout the race. I suppose this was a much needed distraction from the muscle pain in my legs.

My mom and amazing boyfriend were their to support me and acted as my "support team." They were there to hand me full bottles of water when my fuel belt was empty. Not to mention the 250+ pictures that were taken between the two of them.

HUGE Shout out to my AMAZING support crew!
I would not have been able to do it without them!
I also made two new friends on the course. I met them around mile 6 and they were hoping for a similar pace and time as me. We ran together for a long time and eventually I pulled ahead a little. When I hit the "mountain," Simon caught back up to me and we finished the race together. I think it definitely helped to have people to run with and push each other. Its amazing how easy it is to make friends with and bond with complete strangers when you're going through something as unique and almost crazy as running 26.2 miles. I hope I run into them again at more northern California races!

New Friends!
It really was a lot of fun and a great experience. I'm already in the process of picking out a spring marathon and figuring out how to improve my time to qualify for Boston 2015!

All smiles! Ready for the next one?!?!