Well, I did it. I completed 26.2 miles and finished with a smile on my face. I have to say, everything from the moment I got to Omaha to race morning and even the race itself went pretty darn smooth…except having to sleep on the floor (Spot reaaaalllyyy didn’t want to share the bed). Small price to pay for a happy dog I suppose.
The night before I filled up on Noodles and Co…fantastic decision if I do say so myself and the morning of I was able to get a bagel and a banana for a little pre-race fuel. I seriously could not wait to start. I knew I had put in the training and although it may not be the fastest race I would ever run in my life, it would be the hardest race I would ever run. 26.2 miles is not for the faint at heart. You have to be strong. You have to tell your mind to ignore how your body feels and just keep moving along.
My overall goal was to complete the marathon. For me, that’s a huge accomplishment…I mean, for goodness sakes I was a 400m runner in college just over a year ago! My next goal was to be under 4 hours. That was the one I was really pushing for. I decided to stick with the 2 hour half marathon group for the first 6.5 miles of the race and then slowly inch my way up the pack. I knew I didn’t want to go out too hard or else I would be miserable…so I played mind games with myself. At mile 13 I was well ahead of my goal pace and was able to meet up with Ky and my two pups! It was so nice to see them 🙂
From then on I just kept moving…step by step I was getting closer to the finish line. Ky and the pups ran miles 22-24 with me…which was helpful. Right around there is when it started getting really hard. Mind over matter I kept telling myself. Just a couple more miles and you can say you accomplished your goal.
About 15 minutes later and I had reached the finish line…3:54.01. Even finished third in my age group. I could hardly believe it. I spent the next few hours trying to walk, stand, sit…anything. Nothing was comfortable. It took a while for me to realize I had just run a marathon. It was such an unbelievable feeling and something I am very proud of. As of now, I am taking a week off and letting my body heal but I can hardly wait to jump back into the swing of things. I’m looking forward to doing a little more weight and cross training while preparing for another half in November with my dogs. It will be their first!