As you guys know, I had been dreading and excited about this race, all at the same time. My 2 longest runs had only been 18 miles, and both of those I fell apart at mile 15.
So, I wasn't really sure what to expect.
Friday afternoon Tammy and I drove 2.5 hours to Indy to the expo and packet pickup. Tammy had been planning to come along just to cheer me on. But, being the crazy runner that she is, she decided to sign up for the marathon when we got there! This would be her 3rd marathon, but she had done no training, as she hadn't been planning on even running it. (The furthest she had ran recently was 13.1)
I was secretly hoping she would do it. :)
Karen. I've been following her blog for quite awhile, and was so excited to finally meet her. She was running the marathon on Saturday, and then running a half in Illinois on Sunday!
|Holding the awesome sign Tammy made me|
I had already prepaid for parking, which was wonderful. I will always do that from now on! It was so nice not to stress about finding parking, I already had a place reserved.
As we're making our way to the pacer, I see my friend Sierra. I had met her on IG, and then a few weeks later in person at a half marathon. She was considering doing a full, so I convinced her to sign up for Indy, knowing she could do it. We had a lot of the same struggles during training, so it was nice to get encouragement from each other throughout the 16 weeks.
We stayed with the 6 hour pacer until we lost him after a few miles somehow, not sure how.
|This guy juggled deflated footballs the whole marathon!|
|This lady had to be in her late 70's, and ran the marathon! That will be me someday.|
|Best beer I've ever had, and some twizzlers|
|And this is the point of no return, around mile 8|
So I kept doing my run/walk (not any certain schedule) until around mile 20. I ran through mile 15, 16, 17, 18, 19- feeling excellent! Of course I was starting to get tired, but nothing like how I felt during my training runs.
I think it was around mile 20 when I started doing mostly walking. I maybe ran 30 seconds each mile. Terrible, I know. I just couldn't run anymore. I felt ok, mentally I was good, I just couldn't run anymore!
During this time the 6 hour pacer passed me. Until then I was still hoping to get a sub 6.
One thing I did that I've never done is download some motivational speeches to my iPod. It was 4 different 5 minute speeches. It's basically a drill sergeant YELLING at you, telling you how strong you are, the only thing holding you back is yourself, no excuses, you can do this. In order to join the 1%, you have to do things the 99% wouldn't do. Are you willing to go the extra mile to grab your dreams, to reach your goal? YOU are in charge, push yourself. Push hard now, relax later. If you believe it's possible, you can achieve the impossible . Make it happen!!
IT WAS AMAZING, you guys. I highly recommend that!! I can't tell you how much oomph that gave me. Can't even tell you.
The next 6 miles went slow, but great. Finally I get to mile 25 and give my ALL the last 1.2 miles. Which wasn't much to give.
But, it is what it is. This was definitely my toughest training and race ever. I feel like I fought for every single minute, every single mile- and I did it. That makes me incredibly happy.
I wanted to switch to the half so many times, I can't tell you how GLAD I am that I didn't. Switching to the half would've been easy, I didn't know if I could do hard anymore. Now I know I can. Victory is sweet!
Tammy came in a few minutes after me, she had found something for her migraine at a medical tent, and was all better. This girl ran a marathon totally unprepared and she rocked it!
But honestly, I didn't even have an appetite for a few hours.
This race was amazing. Nice, flat course, weather in the 50's- absolutely perfect. Wonderful volunteers, lots of water/gatorade stops, candy, oranges, beer along the course (from the spectators). This was one of the best races I've ever ran.
You know how usually while running a marathon, you say "never again!!" I actually didn't say that once.
I knew I had already signed up for the Carmel Marathon in April, so I decided I'm going to do that and do better!! I'm going to get off this 25 lbs. I put on, and I'm going to push myself harder than ever, and I'm going to kill my next marathon!
As for Sierra, she ran a great marathon, coming in 10 minutes before me. My friend Nikky, who I did a training run with, ran her first marathon too and got a sub 5. These girls inspire me so much. Knowing the blood, sweat and tears that got them there, and they did it. They are so strong!
I cannot express how thankful I am for all of you. The texts, the messages, all of the encouragement, pushed me on. Thank you, my friends, with all of my heart.
I am the lucky one!