**I am so sorry this is late! But after the long drive home and getting right back to work my time was limited. Thanks for being patient and still following along. ❤
Where to begin? First off, if you’ve been following my #MarathonMonday journey, then you know I was training to run a Boston qualifying time (3:35:00) but I ran 11 minutes shy. And I’m thrilled! Why? Let’s kick our feet up, have a cup of joe, and chat shall we…hold on tight. This may be a long one…
This time around we drove down the night before the expo so we could enjoy the experience more than we did at Savanna and we had a blast!! This was hands down the best I’ve been to; complete with plenty of swag, food, games, and prizes. I won a hat and a tee from Brooks. Woot!
The St.Jude exhibit was my favorite part…we listened to the short three minute video and I may or may have not teared up. Just knowing I was a small part in helping is truly humbling. Collectively we Heros raised over TWO MILLION dollars.
My flat racer model. I ended up wearing a new sparkly head band instead of the hat since it ended up being sunny and no rain. I picked it up at the expo from Sparkly Soul. No slip. No headache. Worked like a charm! And it was the St. Jude colors. ❤
After the expo we enjoyed a lunch at the library’s courtyard that the sister-in-law prepped. Seriously I couldn’t have asked for a better set of in-law! They took such good care of us feeding us and I enjoyed their company so much. We did our fair share of walking around the expo and town so we called it a day, headed home, and enjoyed spaghetti dinner and ice-cream. Seriously, the ice-cream is the killer race day secret. Then, we all went to bed early. And for once, I slept so good on race eve! That never happens.
Remember how terrified I was about potential thunderstorms?! Well, the weather turned out beautiful! Cool and cloudy to start, but quickly escalated to warm and humid…
We had no issues with parking. As long as you leave early enough like about an hour ahead, you should make it through traffic fine. We parked at LP field with plenty of potty time.
As a St. Jude hero we got access to indoor bathrooms. Score! No porta potty line wait. Highlight of my day.
But MAN getting into the corral?! That was a trick. We were packed like sardines I think I’d definitely get there way earlier next time.
I picked the wrong course to BQ. I was stuck for the first few miles trying to weave in and out of people. I kept getting ran over and cut off! Most people were super nice, but there is always that handful of folks who just don’t give a darn. The terrain consisted of rolling hills. If I wasn’t going down I was running up. Trees. Ponds. Neighborhoods. A Park. Downtown scene. A beautiful mixture of it all. But dang, too many tangents! There were five or six turns within the first mile. Seriously? I think having so many hills and turns kept the course interesting and made the time fly by, but if I want to run my fasted time I don’t think I’ll be running this course again. But, I will for sure run it again for experience!
Tons of crowd support. I think Nashville has had the greatest local crowd support that I have seen to date.
Plenty of aid stations. I grabbed water or Gatorade at every stop. And as the heat rose I started grabbing two cups of Gatorade. I’m a seriously salty sweater and I was pouring the better second half of the race. No GI issues this race though, hooray! Oh, and I partook of an orange slice. Best idea ever. It was like manna from heaven. My hydration and nutrition were spot on this race. I’m finally getting the hang of that.
After the marathoners split around mile 11 I got very lonely. I was quite ahead of the crowd but not fast enough to link up either with the faster crowd.
There was also quiet portion through the park which was peaceful but very lonely. So miles 12-26 were me trying to woman up. I met a few cool people but some were faster or slower and I just ran my own race holding a pace I knew I could manage. I was holding on to a steady 8:00-8:05/min per mile pace until the heat and humidity really rose uncomfortably for me. I re-evaluated my pace because personally I do not race well in those condition. My heart rate really skyrockets. Oh, and then there’s the whole thing were the marathon finished uphill… really?! So I decided at that point that a solid sub-4:00 and that would be okay in my books…
At the finish they had Gatorade, PowerBars, fruit, and water. I usually feel like puking post marathon so I opted for an apple and water.
So how can I be so “thrilled” that I missed my BQ goal by 11 minutes? Simple, I ran a strong race that I had trained hard for in conditions that were not in my favor. I ran for a higher purpose by raising money for St. Jude, and for all those who I knew were cheering me on at home. Could I have pushed harder? I don’t think so. Not without completely destroying myself. If I was an elite I’m sure I would have risked it all. But I am first a mom, wife, and friend.
My priorities are and always will be to run strong, healthy, and safe. Even if I do race too “safe” I can say that I’ve run 4 marathons and not once been injured. I’d rather run too safe than to risk hurting my body for future running. My long term goal is to run until I’m all old and wrinkly!
I worked ridiculously hard during this training season and I refuse to beat myself up over things I can not control, like heat and humidity. I will celebrate things like:
- I can now more efficiently run hills
- I have increased my long run pace
- My legs, lungs, core, and upper body have grown in strength
I also accomplished more this year than just running, like passing my Personal Trainer test!
I work extremely hard to balance life at home, work, family, friends, blogging, and volunteer time. I feel like I do my best to be a positive influence and I am proud of this.
And then there’s the obvious reason I’m thrilled, I finally ran a sub-4 hour marathon! Who wouldn’t be happy with an 18 minute PR?! I’m not the fastest chick on the block and it takes so much freaking effort for me to run faster. And it takes so much work to run a fast marathon. I’m not what you would call a natural. But I am proof that you can accomplish anything if you want it bad enough and are willing to put in the work.
All this may sound like rambling and I sure hope you can get something out of this. But if nothing else,
Be proud of who you are, what you do, and all you accomplish. Even if it ends up being your “B” goal.
Besides, I’ve read it takes years to train for and peak at your race distance. There’s always another marathon…
Running a marathon is inherently both a proud and humbling moment. Regardless of pace or place. The marathoners spirit can not be broken…
Post marathon we checked out the local concert, danced a little, and grabbed some food catered by Chilis for the St. Jude Heros where I picked up another medal. That was a surprise! Went home, cleaned up, napped, and got ready for date night!
We grabbed burgers at a small shack that were mouthwatering good!! Martina McBride was AWESOME. And then we had ice-cream. No pics of the concert cause my iphone stinks. Seriously. I need to invest in a real camera!
My heart and my belly were happy. The only thing missing was my kid. He opted to stay back home with the g-parents due to baseball games…which were rained out anyway. 😦 I told him I would never race without him again! I missed my little booger!
As far as recovery, I was able to walk without limping and squat the next day. Ha! That tells me I trained hard and that my body is getting stronger…
So what’s next? Oh, I’ve got plans. You know, type A over here with five-thousand calendars and “to-do” lists. But, I’ll save that for another blog post. 😉