That's right ladies and gents, I completed my first marathon on Sunday, January 15th!!
Now, like I've said in the past, I used to HATE running. I mean, hate with a capital H-A-T-E. Ever since I surprised myself with my first half marathon about a year ago, I thought "hey what else can I do to surprise myself?" So I took a big leap and signed up for a FULL marathon. Let me be clear and honest: it wasn't that easy. For the past three months I've gone back and forth questioning myself on whether I can even do it or not. I cried to Vic like a little baby because I didn't think I would be able to run for such a long distance and I just didn't want to set myself up for failure. The day finally came and I ran the whole thing! I had to stop about 3 times to stretch, and once to cry, and finished with a time of 4:46! When I crossed that finished line I. WAS. PUMPED!
I would have jumped up and down in excitement but my legs weren't up to the task, so instead I received my medal, put up a big 'thumbs up', and smiled for the camera:) I was overwhelmed with pride and accomplishment. After all the hard work, it was a great feeling.
My emotions during those 4 hours and 46 minutes were like a rollercoaster. Before the race even started I got tears in my eyes just purely out of self doubt, but I couldn't turn back now. The gun went off, adrenalin was going, and my prayers began. This might sound weird, but the first 3 hours went by pretty fast, surprisingly. The crowds were great along the way and I was in disbelief and excitement that I had been running for so long. Now I'm not saying it was a piece of cake for those 3 hours. I definitely had to talk myself up a couple times. Some knee pain would kick in and I would have to focus on stuff along the way to get my mind off of it. It wasn't until mile 21 or 22 that I hit my wall. I was mentally drained and all I wanted was to cross the finish line. I had 4 miles to go and some might say, "c'mon, 4 miles. That's nothing compared to what you've already done!" I say: "Wrong!" When you've been running for 3+ hours, those last 4 miles seem like another 20. I stepped aside on the curb to stretch and the tears just exploded out of my eyes. I don't really know why I started crying but I know I wasn't the only one. I think at this point I was just so mentally drained and there was no other way to get out my emotion other than to have a good ol' cry. It was then my friend and endurance coach, Brian Diaz, showed up and helped me regain my confidence and encouraged me to get back in it. Talk about perfect timing! Soon after my sister, Kim, and good friend, Lori Layton, jumped in and ran the next mile with me. We got to mile 24 and Vic helped me with the last 2.
Mile 24! 2 to go!
To have all that support towards the end of the race meant the world. I have to give a big shout out to the Lululemon peeps and my Bayou City CrossFit friends and family for cheering me on. You guys have no idea how much you helped me dig deep for that last little bit of motivation I needed to make it to the finish line:)
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Thumbs up at mile 15
Pushing through mile 18
Six miles to go!