a break from regular blogging…
on January 30, 2011, i finished my first marathon. it took a bit longer than i thought i would, but my goal was to finish with 2 legs, 2 arms, and a smile. it was definitely harder than i thought it would be and
running finishing 26 miles, 385 yards was one of the proudest moments of my life.
waking up at 3.30am was also quite difficult. after constantly checking the weather radar, i debated taking a rain jacket or not. in the end, i didn’t wind up wearing a jacket which turned out great because it was so warm (about 70 degrees.) after eating my traditional pre race toast with almond butter and jam with a mug of black tea, my dear roommate generously woke up at 5am to drive us to the start line.
the GRB was really well organized for the marathon, half marathon, and 5K. inside, there were many, many port-o-potties (very much appreicated by this runner) and well organized bag drops, water, and even scales to weigh yourself (for hydration purposes.) after lingering and more debate on taking or not taking a rain jacket, we headed outside for the corrals. my wave started at 7.10 am and after the national anthem and a bang, 22,000 people were off!
i was lucky to have a bunch of studiomates willing to wake up early on a drizzly sunday morning to cheer me on. the runner tracking worked out really well and everyone was able to make it to our predetermined cheering spots (including myself.)
the marathon course was really wonderful.
the course started in downtown, went up through the heights, down studemont/montrose, around rice university, through west university, up to the galleria, and back to downtown through memorial park and allen parkway. a good deal of the course had great spectators and i have never received so many offers of high fives, orange slices, beer, and cheers at any race.
as for the actual race, i felt really great for the first 10 miles. unfortunately, my knee started to hurt a bit around the half way point and i think that impacted my overall time. i was fueling regularly with shot blox and gu so i never really hit “the wall.” mentally, miles 19 to 23 were really tough. but because i knew that people were waiting for me, i could really push myself. in the end, i walked though the water stations which really saved me in the end.
however, 2 miles from the end, i decided to just keep running until i hit the finish line. according to the race stats, i passed 71 people in the last 1.4 miles! too bad i couldn’t access that energy earlier, but i think that end of race desperation really fueled that sprint to the end, finishing in 4.46.57.
after crossing the finish line, i have never felt such elation. and then shortly, the pain and overwhelming tiredness. i couldn’t believe (and still can’t) that i was a marathoner! training and finishing a marathon was so rewarding and i really encourage other people who have any marathoning ambition to start training. it was quite difficult to balance studio, other classes, blogging, and training last semester but i really really wanted this race. and as cheesy as it sounds, running has opened me up to knowing what i am capable of accomplishing and i want other people to experience the same feeling.
and a special thanks to everyone who came out to watch and cheer and making me feel so very loved on a drizzly sunday morning. and a great thanks for my boyfriend who not only supported my training and listened to me talk on and on about running but also ran his first marathon also (3.23.10!) i hope we have many more marathons in the future…
ps: photos by ed!