Race Weekend Recap – The Race!

And the moment you’ve been waiting for – the recap of the race!

4:35am – Our alarm goes off. Pout a little due to epic migraine. Really?! Remember the lack of coffee from Friday. Feel stupid. Need caffeine. NOW.

5:00am – We start to eat breakfast – a big bowl of Honey Nut Chex, sliced banana and almond milk. I’ve had this every race morning. No need to change this up now! C makes coffee using host’s teeny one-cup-per-time pot. Asks if I want a cup. Give him look that means business.

6:00am – Change into race gear. Feel awesome.

Via Instagram

Via Instagram

6:20am – Leave our host’s home. Realize we were there less than 12 hours. Start sucking down a coconut water. Is warm. Want to gag.

6:30am – Arrive at race site. SO MANY PEOPLE! Getting more excited and nervous. Stroll into the University of Illinois Assembly Hall (where basketball is played). Sad because line to bathroom is HUGE. Decide to do gear check.

I really am not that top heavy.  Hubby has bad habit of pointing the phone downwards.

I really am not that top heavy. Hubby has bad habit of pointing the phone downwards.

6:40-ish am – Look for “specially designated FedEx trucks”. Am impressed with gear check organization. Staff of Illinois Marathon are amazing. Marathoners have their own gear check truck. Other two trucks are for half-marathoners and are separated by bib number. Nice work.

6:45am – Need to pee. NOW. Go into hotel. Sad to see women’s line is still HUGE. Suck it up and go into men’s room stall. Cover my eyes walking in and out as hubby leads me in and out. #sorrynotsorry

6:53ish am – Find my corral. Kiss hubby goodbye. Start chatting with random lady running the half marathon.

7:08am – Wave start, 4:00 hour pace group starts! WOOHOO!

*Recap now given in miles*

Miles 1-16 – Loved every second of this. Pace group leader was amazing and my body felt great. Chatted with other runners on my pace team. Truly thought I would crush Hubby’s marathon time at this point.

Mile 17-18 – Top of left foot started to cramp so bad that my strike was messed up. Almost fell a couple of times. Realized I needed to walk in order for it to stop. Still see pace team ahead of me. Still have a chance.

Miles 18-20 – Start to do the run/walk thing due to foot cramping. See pace team zoom ahead. Shucks. Huh, mile 19. This is the farthest I’ve ever moved my body at once. Feel strangely proud and realize I have 7.2 miles to go.

Mile 20 – The wall. The &*%^$#^ wall. Am PISSED. Decide to power walk. WILL NOT STOP MOVING FORWARD! WILL NOT STOP!

Mile 21 – Still power walking. Legs still feel like shit (sorry). Gladly take orange slices from friendly volunteers. Decide to power walk more. Flirt with the idea of quitting. Realize I am not a quitter and I would never be able to blog again. And that I couldn’t show up to school or home or anywhere because I talked up this marathon SO MUCH. Need to finish.

Mile 22 – Decide I am OK with walking the last 10K because I will finish this race. Legs are starting to feel a little better but continue to power walk. Don’t want to push it too much.

Mile 23 – Feel MUCH better. Hear someone say there are only 3.2 miles to go and this puts everything into perspective. Decide to run a song, walk a song (repeat). End up running until a little past mile 24.

Mile 24 – Running! Yay! But, decide to walk again until close to mile 25.

Mile 25 – Only 1.2 miles to go! Decide to run, albeit slowly. Will not walk into Memorial Stadium – am not that much of a wimp. Have never been so happy to see the outside of a football field in.my.LIFE.


Mile 26.15 – About to enter stadium. Energy that I didn’t know existed bubbled up as I saw the inside of the University of Illinois football field with spectators and runners lining the chute. Start SPRINTING. Hear hubby yell out that he loves me (awww!). Continue to SPRINT the last 50 yards. Hear announcers call out “Now that’s a strong finish!” Raise hands as I cross finish line. FEEL AWESOME.

Mile 26.25 – Fall to knees. Secretly thank running gods for letting me do this. Start to cry. And wheeze. Can’t breathe. Lady hands me medal. OHMYGOD. I JUST RAN A MARATHON. Hubby finds me. Starts taking me to medical tent. End up being able to breathe by taking it slow. Can’t stop saying, “I did it! I ran a marathon!” over and over.


Via Instagram

OK, I’ll write in full sentences again. My official time was 4:24:40. Let’s analyze the splits below (I told you I’m a nerd…):

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 6.34.32 PM

  • Miles 1-13.1 – For the first half, I was rocking it with the pace team. We were supposed to be on a 9:10 min/mi pace. I was feeling great.
  • Miles 1-20 – Even with some run/walking between miles 18-20, I was still on a really solid overall pace.
  • Miles 13.1-26.2 – This is actually not a terrible split due to the dreaded wall.
  • Miles 20-26.2 – We need to remember that I walked half of this and ran/walked the other half. So, am OK with this split.

Am I proud of my 4:25 marathon? YES. Do I wish it was faster? Well, yeah. Especially since the first 20 miles were at an overall solid pace. Will I do another marathon? YES. But, probably not until the fall of 2014. Currently, I’m looking into a bunch of fall half-marathons where I’ll work on speed later this summer. (I may or may not still be riding the marathon high, and I want to sign up for ALL THE RACES. ALL OF THEM!)

Frankly, I’m not looking forward to a week of total rest. I know I need it. My quads and hamstrings are begging for it. And, I’m not looking forward to another week (or two) after this week of not running, especially since it’s finally nice out. We’ll see how it goes.

Thanks for reading this novel of a recap. How did your last week of training go? Do you want to run a marathon? Ever? I would say you should. At least once.

Grab a button and join Jen and I’s party!

The Preppy Runner


PS: Linking up with Meghan and Kat!


35 thoughts on “Race Weekend Recap – The Race!

    • AWW! Thanks SJ! I am SO bummed we couldn’t meet up but it sounds like we had AWESOME races! We should talk about your Chicago trip in the fall soon!

  1. Great job sticking with this and not quitting! I have told myself the same “just keep moving forward” at a few races and it is so true. Marathon running is such a mental thing especially at those final miles, we need the mental strength more then our physical strength to push through πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Jen! I’m still in disbelief that this happened and have had to reread my own recap. I totally thought of all my blogging friends during miles 20-23. πŸ™‚

  2. Congratulations on the finish!! This was a great recap, I loved the realness of the play-by-play. I have not run a full marathon, but it’s posts like this that make me want to do it at last once. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Nikki! I tried to write down exactly what I was thinking. Which makes the lack of full sentences even more awesome. You totally SHOULD do a full! I may have whined A LOT during training, but the fact that it happened made it all worth it. I may have been checking out Twin Cities for the hubs for this fall… πŸ™‚

  3. YAY!!!! I am so impressed. First with your overall time. That’s so great! But also with your time considering that you basically walk/ran the last 10 miles. WOW! That is amazing. You did it! Congratulations on your marathon. Take the week off and enjoy it, lady! You earned it. Love the medal!

    • Thanks Amanda! And I am SO IMPRESSED with YOU! I’m about to head over to your neck of the blog-land woods to leave my two cents on your uber amazing race. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Jessica! I am seriously so pumped still. I highly recommend doing a marathon. For reals (as I say to the kids). Definitely a feeling of accomplishment. πŸ™‚ xoxo

    • Thanks! I may have brought the medal to work today to show my students. I also may have bragged for a good 7 minutes to each class. πŸ™‚

  4. Homegirl.. I think you are FABULOUS. Even if you had to walk some, who cares!! I know you wanted to do better for personal reasons, but you should be hella proud of your accomplishment (which obviously I know you are). I envy your determination and am so proud that you didn’t quit! Not many people can say they completed a MARATHON. I am only doing a half next month and am fearing I will have to walk some. So great job on kicking ass (sorry). Excited for you!

    • Ah! Thanks Tarole! I think you are pretty fab yourself (I may stalk your blog all.the.time). You are going to SO rock your half. If you ever find yourself in the great midwest, hit me up. πŸ™‚

  5. Congratulations! I love how you wrote this account by the important milestones. You came out with a great time still. I ahve never run a marathon but would love to be able to and do a time like yours! =)

    • Thanks Nomi! I tried to keep it “real” as much of the race is kind of blurring now. You totally CAN do a marathon! Do it! Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

  6. CONGRATS!!! I am so proud of you! We all get that little voice in our heads trying to talk us out of finishing, it takes a strong person so push that thought to the side and finish strong like you did! I LOVE that you are already talking number two! Enjoy your new bling!!

    • Thanks Allie! You (for seriously) have been a huge inspiration throughout this process. I am so excited to hear how your marathon #2 is going to go! Maybe marathon #2 will be in Ohio… πŸ™‚

  7. You did it!! Congrats! I’ve only done two marathons but the first was by far the hardest… those last 6 miles were soooo long. Way to push through and finish. Under 4:30 is awesome for your first marathon! Hope you’re not going too crazy as you rest up. πŸ™‚

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