A recap of my FIRST MARATHON EVER! Thoughts on the race, running in general, and plans for what’s next.
*written immediately post race…I am now back recovering well and feeling amazing!
WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN?! Seriously that is my only thought in writing this post. I am writing this on the way home from the race actually and since I have 5 hours of driving ahead of me (well, being a passenger thanks to my amazing mom!), I figured there’s no better time to write-up a post about my first marathon than while it’s fresh in my mind and body!
How do I feel you may ask? Well in all honesty…incredible. Like I could have kept going. Like I had fuel left in the tank. Elated. Grateful for the fellow 21 year-old first time marathoner I ran with for most of the race (hey Tori!). Thankful to my mother for coming with me and being at the finish line.
Sunday, November 13th was truly one of the best days of my life. I ran the Harrisburg Marathon in Harrisburg, PA in 3:12:28, came in as third woman overall, and qualified for the Boston Marathon all in my first ever marathon. For once in my life, I can say I am proud of myself. It’s not often that I’ve been able to say, but I can honestly say that I know what pride in oneself and my accomplishment feels like now. It’s not even the time or the placing that I am proud of. It’s how amazing I felt all throughout and after, how I really dedicated myself to proper training and nutrition, and how I set my mind to something and accomplished it with more success than I ever thought possible of myself.
I am not a running blogger so I am not going to do one of those mile by mile recaps, but I do want to share a few thoughts I had during and about the race …
- The course was BEAUTIFUL. Right along the water the whole time, over bridges, on trails, thru cool city streets. It was more amazing than I could ask for my first marathon.
- I am so happy with the way I fueled before the race and during it. I ate over 4000 calories the day before and the electrolyte drinks and squeeze packs I used during the race kept my energy up throughout.
- I met the most amazing girl around mile 5. Her name was Tori and we were running at a similar pace so I just decided to stick with her. We chatted the whole time. Turned out she was my age and this was her first marathon as well. She really got me thru the race. I ended up pulling away from her for the last 4 miles, but I truly can credit her for keeping me strong and challenging my self. Needless, to say we gave each other a big hug afterwards! 🙂
- Tori and I chatted and cheered on other runners the WHOLE WAY. Everyone we passed gotta ‘great job’ or ‘you got this’. It felt so empowering to encourage our fellow runners and spread a little positivity on the course.
- I am so humbled by the running community. There were so many incredible athletes (and people in general) running this race and I felt so honored to be surrounded by them.
- I cried during mile 2. I don’t know what came over me. I just felt so much happiness right in that moment (and really throughout the entire race).
- I just kept saying to myself “this is amazing, this is so beautiful.” and I meant it every time.
- I smiled from mile 1 all the way to the finish line. Literally had a smile on my face the whole race. That’s the accomplishment I am most proud of.
- I lost my prescription sunglasses the day before the marathon (before we left to drive up…womp womp.) so I had to wear my mom’s HUGE aviators for the race. I looked like such a dork but they worked and I’m so happy I had them because the sun was SUPER bright!
- The people of Harrisburg ROCK! So many people came out to line the course and cheer us runners on. It was so nice hearing them and seeing them the whole time! So many awesome signs and positive attitudes.
- Some of my fave signs included: one from a family that said ‘Relief Runner‘ and pointed to their little 3-year-old child, one from a group of enthusiastic spectators that said ‘Smile! You paid for this!’, and another that said ‘Smile, I’m drinking a beer!‘….laughing the whole way!
- Speaking of the people of Harrisburg, the course was so well-marked and the volunteers did an amazing job with directing us and keeping us safe. BIG thank you to them!
- I am so appreciative of the support from all my friends and family during this whole process…including ALL OF YOU. You seriously motivated me all the way thru and I owe my success to your continued love and encouragement. You’d never imagine what a few kinds words or a nice sentiment can do for someone’s mindset and outlook on life in general.
- I can officially cross RUN A MARATHON off of my bucket list. 😉
And with that, I am off to try to nap the rest of this ride away! More mac and cheese awaits when I get home. 😉 I’ve already devoured my post-race Chipotle feast and literally haven’t stopped refueling since I got in the car. No shame in taking care of the bod, ya know?!
So, will I run a marathon again? YOU BET I WILL!!! Especially if they all can feel as good as this one. Hoping my next will be Phoenix in January and then hopefully Boston at some point. But as always I’ll leave things up in the air. I just want to stay healthy and uninjured. That’s all I can ask for as a runner!
Stay healthy and happy, friends! Enjoy your day! 🙂
What’s one thing you’re proud of yourself for accomplishing lately?
What have you crossed off of your bucket list?
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