I did it!
I completed my first full Marathon- that's 26.2miles! This all took place at the Salt Lake City Marathon!I want to share all the details, because this is something I never want to forget, so here goes-I flew into SLC on Friday afternoon. My kids & hubby stayed back in Yuma. It was going to be easier for everyone this way, though I would have loved to have had them there, I knew it was best for my family/kids to do this trip on my own.After arriving in Utah & checking into my hotel, I headed out into the big city (YUP, SLC is now considered BIG, to me), to pick up my race packet, which consisted of my bib, t-shirt and a Powerade, and the Health and Fitness Expo.
|I was excited with the colors! I need a RED tech shirt!|
The Health and Fitness expo was very small, and only took me a few minutes to walk through. I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more to see and do at the expo. But nonetheless I was in the BIG CITY so I headed out to go window shopping and get my feet some pampering with a Pedi!
After my pampering I went and met up with my parents, sister and nephews. They were all here to support me! I was so excited they had made the trip to be with me. None of them have been able to see me run before, so we were all excited for the big event!
Saturday morning I woke up around 5am. I needed to get to the starting line at 6:15am. There was two times you could start, 6:15 or 7:00. Since I'm used to waking up early, and I knew I'd be out in the sun, I choose the earlier time. I wanted to get this done asap!I started running and knew the most important thing would be for me to keep my pace. If I could keep my pace, then hopefully I wouldn't hit the big old dreaded "runners wall". I have to admit, I was really scared to know what it was going to be like once I crossed over the 20 mile mark. This was uncharted territory for me...never before had I ran past 20 miles!
My first 13 miles were cake. It was like a walk in the park- however this "park" did have a lot more hills than I would have liked. Also I felt out of breath after each hill, probably due to the much higher elevation in SLC, compared to Yuma, Arizona. The scenery was absolutely beautiful! I really LOVE Utah this time of year. The weather is warming up, but you still have the snowcapped mountains in the background. The course started us in the Mountains, at the University of Utah. Then it ran to Cottonwood Heights before turning around back to downtown Salt Lake City. I felt my body start to get weak around mile 17, which was earlier than I thought it would happen. But I kept going "Just Keep Running", I told myself at least a million times, and prayed for the best. I had to take one potty break around mile 20. I was actually excited that I had to take a break- LOL, a good excuse to stop for a minute....Then it was back to running!
I made sure I stayed hydrated during my run. I brought my own Powerade but I also made sure to take advantage of the "Pit Stops" at every mile or so. Staying hydrated really helps prevent me from getting nausea at the end of a long run. The "Pit Stops" offered us water or Powerade as well as Gu during the run. I choked a total of 3 of the Gu's down during the 26.2 miles...I usually have no problem eating these during my runs, but my body just didn't want Gu this day. I was actually really hungry, and probably would have preferred a Cheeseburger!
I trained for this Marathon basically all by myself. So I was prepared to being alone during the Marathon. Since I started the race early, I literally was a lone for about 60% of the race. There however were spectators along the course, there to cheer on their loved ones. But what is so great, is that they also cheer on those runners they don't know. It really helped having even strangers there, clapping for me along the course, and telling me "good job". I also had my Nike+ in my ear the whole time, so I heard "cheers" from all my friends and family that were cheering me on via Facebook! It is amazing how those little Cheers help keep you going!
The last mile was of course the hardest part. Not only because at this point I had been running for 3 hours, 51 minutes, but it was UPHILL!!! Luckily not the steepest hill I'd ever ran, but by far the HARDEST hill I had ever ran. This hill HURT! The last .2 miles was more of a downward slope, so I was able to pick up my speed a little and finish feeling great! I knew my family was there at the finish line waiting for me, and right before I crossed the finish line I heard my name- and there was my Sister and Mom cheering me on! Everyone else around them were clapping and excited for all the finishers! THIS was an amazing feeling!
My LEGS were so tired! But everything else felt fine, I wasn't out of breath or didn't feel anything except that my legs were tired. I usually sweat buckets when I run or workout at all for that matter, but I didn't really sweat too much, in fact, most people just were complimenting me on how I didn't even "look" like I had just ran a Marathon- and to think, I didn't even wear make-up to this race!
After receiving my finishers metal, I grabbed me some food to refuel- this is my favorite part of a race! I love seeing what food awaits the finishers. Some races have amazing food- and I think SLC didn't disappoint. Waiting for us was water, Powerade, Creamies, Chocolate Milk, Apples and Bananas. I took one of everything!
Though I was racing to finish, I am proud of my time. My official time was 4:02:05!
I got to relax and stretch out my muscles a little before we all decided to go to Gateway to grab some lunch at Jason's Deli. We then walked back to our hotel which was about 4 miles away. It's crazy to think that I didn't need a taxi cab ride back, but walking actually felt really good, and I knew to keep moving would most likely help with the soreness.
After a quick shower and a little make-up I was ready to continue my time in Utah with my family.
I also was able to see two of my very best friends from Utah while I was there. It's so nice and refreshing to be with friends you've known for years!
I flew back to Arizona today, and I felt like I got rewarded again and again as I made my way back home. First, I got to upgrade to fly first class for only $45! Usually it's way too much to even consider it. Second, I had an hour to spare so I was walking around the airport and guess what I found- Cafe' Rio- one of my all time favorite places to eat! So I went and tried their breakfast burrito. I was having such good luck, I thought not too much more could have made this trip better!
I woke up this morning, not too sore. Though sitting down and standing up does take a little more time than I'd like, overall I feel great. I did get some pretty good chafing though! I look like I got beat up by my sports bra! Next time, I'll later myself down with some "sports stick" to prevent this from happening!
I feel like I should be running again soon- if nothing more than to loosen things up!
Now I need to decide what my next goal should be, what is next on my list to be checked off!?!?