My First Marathon, 50 State Half Marathon Challenge, and More!

Good morning world!  Since the last time I published, so much has happened and I am feeling quite optimistic about the year to come.  Let’s start with the quick stats of 2015:

Total races:  6

  • 10 Ks: 2
  • Half marathons: 2
  • Marathons: 1
  • 12 miler: 1

 

That’s right folks!  I ran my first ever marathon in Philadelphia.  My official time was 4:26:32.   I spent the entire fall training, thanks to my mentor and coach Becca, who took the time to make me a 16 week training schedule.  The schedule included sprints, tempo runs, easy runs and long runs.  Sometimes I threw in hill runs to have it in the books.  Naturally, I was nervous.  When I completed my first 20 miler I was ecstatic but also thought, “How the HELL am I going to run another 6.2 miles?!”  My fellow runners, I promise you that this is all natural… but you will get through it.  Originally, I only had one twenty mile run on my training schedule, but I knew I would need one more for confidence, so I worked it in, with appropriate taper each time to ward off injury.

The race: exhilarating.  And cold.  The race started off cold and windy and I felt like my hands were going to freeze right off!  However, by mile 4 I had a nice thaw going, and my confidence was growing.  There were so many spectators to keep me motivated (and of course, a great playlist made by yours truly).  The first 13.1 miles went fairly smoothly, and I loved knowing that I was stronger than I ever had felt before.  Miles 16-20 were challenging because  I was starting to feel a little tired, but I kept with the 4:30 running group for a while.  At mile 21 I broke off and sped up my pace a bit.  This was aided by the lovely gentleman who offered me a beer (which I gladly took a few sips of).  At mile 23 I remember feeling tired, but also SO excited that I was almost done.  Some people had started walking and I remember thinking, “but why?  You have come so close!  Finish strong!”.  I wanted to high-five everyone.  The best mile for me was mile 25.  This was probably because one of my coworkers had told me it would be- it’s the final push.  I sprinted (at least in my mind) that last 1.2 miles (yes, Becca, I guess the sprint workouts did pay off, even though I complained about them the whole time).  I was smiling, exciting, loving every minute of that last mile.  Crossing the finish line was an emotional adventure- I was laughing but wanted to cry all at once.  So many memories flooded my system.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the runner’s high.

IMG_3032

 

Recovery: After the race I was sore for a week.  It probably didn’t help that my weak self slipped on my stairs and fell straight on my ass.  The glory lasted about as long.  Before running this race I thought I would never sign up for a marathon again.  Training, after all, is the hardest part.  But now I know, I have no boundaries.  I will likely run a second marathon this year!  I’m so excited.

In the interim, I signed up for the 50 states half marathon club.  So far I have three states.  On New Year’s Day, I signed up for my fourth state, Virginia.  I will be running the Yuengling Half Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 20th.  It’s nice to have a motivator to get me through the cold winter.  In fact, I just completed a five mile run in 20 degree weather (this New England girl is getting soft since moving to Maryland).    It felt glorious and strong.  The water is always beautiful, even when it’s cold.

So I will leave you with these updates, for now. I have many others, in my professional and personal life, but that will have to wait another day.

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