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My very first marathon, done! Wait, what, I waited all this time to do that, and it’s done. Okay, time to sign up for another!

Here’s how it went down… Friday night, I went to the Expo, you can read about it here.

Saturday I spent all day watching the boyfriend do a bicycle race, or crit for those of you who know the lingo. I volunteered at the checkin table after he was done racing. Once I got home, I cooked myself some tortellini with some pasta sauce, nothing to crazy. I assembled my race bag, including all the extra clothes because down here in Virginia Beach you never know what type of weather you are going to get. Layed out everything I would wear and I went to bed around 8pm.

Sunday morning! The day I’ve been waiting my entire life for..it was finally here. I was sure I was not going to allow the clock to win this one. I was not going to be late to the start line by over sleeping or getting held up in traffic. Sooo I ensured the boyfriend that we needed to leave the house around 7am, that the race was at 8:30am. I had two banana english muffins with pumpkin butter on them, my normal cup of coffee, and we left the house.

Brandon would bike this event, and meet me at certain mile markers which we had mapped out throughout the entire race. I was ready with my iPod and iPhone, and everything else that I could think of. We arrived at the oceanfront at 7:30am, with plenty of time to spare. It was really windy and staying warm was a difficult task. I found myself in the atrium of a hotel near the start line until the last 15-20 minutes before the race began. I had a plan of what I was going to do throughout the race, and was sure that my music would last the entire 8 hours that I would take to complete my first marathon… untrained. The race started promptly at 8:30, the first two waves would go and then myself.

The first 3 miles would fly by, and I was amazed how quickly I warmed up. I took my hat, gloves off immediately, and put them in my jacket for safe keepings.  Between  miles 4-5 I would meet three amazing women, named Diane, Maggie, and Diane. They were my saving grace. I turned down my music on my ipod, took of my jacket, and we became quickly acquainted as we jogged through the forts for the race. Through the first fort there were hundreds of military out in their gear cheering us on, high fives, and lots of encouragement. We were out, of there and back on the road to head up the bridge again, this time I was not looking forward to the bridge, I wanted to roll down it… I wanted to swim through the water instead of climb that bridge. I surely did not train for this at all.

Once we were over the bridge, it was smooth sailing. I ran my first half marathon in a personal record time of 2:11! I had no idea at the time of course, I was listening to my body, my watch every 45ish minutes to consume another gel, and carrying on a conversation with my new friends from PA.  Around mile 15 Maggie, and Diane left us, and the other Diane stuck around with me which I will be forever grateful for. Through out the race, Brandon would find me and offer his water bottle that wasn’t Gatorade or water but instead something much better, electrolytes. Between mile 16-18, after I had realized this is the furthest I have ever run in my entire being, my left leg muscles began to cramp.  A slow walk, then a run, and a walk followed by stretching would continue on for about a solid mile. Was this the wall they were speaking of?! Because it surely hurt like I ran into a wall! This part of the race was beautiful, it was down Shore Drive in between tall trees which would shelter us from the harsh winds.

We would turn off of this road and turn into Fort Story where I would really hit the wall. I became cold, tired, upset, and had to mentally talk myself back into the race… numerous times. This part of the race was the hardest, it was cold, extremely windy since we are only hundreds of feet off of the beach, and it was quiet. There was no raving fans, no crowds, no houses, no one on bikes, just me the marathon, and other people around me fighting the same conditions, oh and the two water stops. I finally made it out of fort story, and was so ready to be done. I could actually picture myself finishing this race now. It was more of a possibility now after I suffered through that portion than it was the first 16 miles! Brandon was waiting for me as we exited the fort, and he took some awful pictures.

We were at mile 22 something. I knew I could run 4 miles… I run that easily around my neighborhood weekly! This is something I had to prep myself for. I was still fighting the cramps in my left leg, but I wanted more than ever to finish! As Diane and I would wind down the street headed back to the oceanfront, the crowds grew larger, and the spirits were high. For the first time in the day I looked at my watch and knew that I could actually achieve my goal of running a 5 hour marathon. One of the worst/best things about running in the town you know, you know the landmarks, and exactly how far it is until you are done. We finally hit the boardwalk, and I could see King Neptune in the distance, but for the first time in forever, I could not sprint to the finish line, and even though I just ran 26 miles…. that point two was killing me. I finally made it. I made it to the finish line and I saw Brandon running around on the side which just elated my spirits! Diane and I high-fived as we crossed the finish lined exhausted. We got out medals, banana’s, water, pretzels ( I was most happy about the salt here), and our finisher hat’s and beach towel’s…  and we were able to get a picture together before we headed out of the finisher shoot.

As I exited the finish line, Brandon and his parents were there. And I couldn’t be happier to have all of them there for the support and love. The first thing I did was take my shoes off, my feet were swollen and hot! (My feet swell, so I run with locklaces so that I can loosen my shoes throughout the race without taking much time.) The next thing to happen was to put my finisher’s hat on, and take a picture with Brandon.  Oh boy, I wish someone had told me my hat was messed up looking. There were plenty of pictures taken, and my legs were in extreme pain at this time. The finish line party was on the beach, and walking down the steps and through the sand took a while…

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Beach to Battleship 140.6

Beach to Battleship 140.6October 17th, 2015
Time to take on the biggest physical and mental challenge !

Mileage 2015

Running 2015
(does not include treadmill)

Miles this Month: 12
Miles this Year: 88.5

Cycling

Miles this Month: 120
Miles this Year: 381.2

Swimming

0.0

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