The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Monday, March 28, 2016

26.2 (warning, long post ahead)

Y'all.  I know Route 66 was like for-ev-er ago, but I realized when I was out running this week that I was FINALLY ready to write about the experience of running my first ever marathon.  After Route 66 and really up until about a week ago, even the thought of writing about running was upsetting.  An injury that had me sidelined also had me feeling down in the dumps about running.  And while I never (like never, never, never) thought I would be depressed about NOT running, I was.  Turns out, running is not just something I want to do, but something I like to do.  Scratch that.  I don't LIKE to run, but it does help me to be more calm, more confident, and less crazy in general.  So, here goes. My recap of my first ever 26.2.

Training:  Training is no joke.  And frankly, I would not have been able to complete a marathon without some pretty amazing training partners.  My sister, Carri, and my friend, Megan, were amazing during training.  They got up early, ran in crazy heat, hills, wind, whatever. And they didn't laugh at me when I wrote directions down on my arm or get mad when I had to take walk breaks.  Okay, Carri did laugh about the directions.  She also laughed when I got down on my stomach in a very swanky part of T-Town to drink out of someone's sprinkler.  

I can't really go on without mentioning what an amazing husband I have.  Jason watched the kids, planned routes, rubbed my legs/feet when I was sore, let me take naps, bought donuts, cheered me on at races, ran with me at races and generally was my biggest cheerleader/supporter.  Without Jason, there would be no running.  He is amazing and I am so thankful he said yes to the commitment of me training for this race!

Leading up to the full, my training included the Hot Chocolate 15K, Aquarium Half, A2A Half, Tulsa Run and the Jenks Half.  I had Jason and/or my sister with me in those races!

After Hot Choc 15K
After the A2A Half

the infamous (and incorrect) arm directions
my post 20 mile feet
Before Tulsa Run
I ran from Jenks to downtown Tulsa to meet my fam and then ran in the Tulsa Run!
This is after the Jenks Half which was our third half marathon of 2015!
A family that runs together, stays together!
The race:  Seriously, y'all.  I am never, never, never running it again.  I did the Route 66 half in 2014 and said then I would never do it again and then I went and signed up for the full.  BIG MISTAKE. The first word that comes to mind is hills.  That is also the second, third, fourth and fifth word that I think of when I start to think about this race.  Luckily, I had my sister with me for the beginning part (and honestly can't remember what mile we parted ways).  Having Carri with me helped to take my focus off the crap.  The weather was actually pretty great.  Cold at the start, but perfect once you got moving.  I had an amazing cheering section and felt pretty great until about mile 15.  At mile 15 I remember feeling like I wanted a walking break but tried not to because well, I still had over 11 miles left!  So, I pressed on.  Then at some point there was a crazy hill.  And I gave in and took a quick walk break.  From then until about mile 18 I did okay.  I had some really great support at this point in the race from my friends at church!  My friend, Heidi, had some of my fellow church members take pics and then she sent them to me while I was running!  It was so awesome!

Around mile 18 I was starting to feel some knee pain but figured it was no big deal and kept going.  I did have J bring me some pain reliever because I knew I still had a ways to go.  Well, by mile 20, I was a mess.  My knee was killing me and I was bawling.  I didn't think I was going to be able to finish, could barely walk or run and figured out that at my current pace I had over an hour left of running.  I honestly couldn't tell you much about where I was or what it was like, or crowd support or anything really except that at mile 20 I thought I was going to die.  Then, I saw my fam, and my sis (who had finished her race) ran up to me and talked to me and was encouraging me to do my best and I lost it. Then, I saw the best sign of my entire race.

Jason made many, many, many amazing signs, but I am glad he saved this one for mile 20 or 21 or whatever it was.

I am not quite sure how I managed the last six point two.  At some point the wind picked up and I remember thinking, "seriously? wind?"  There was still so much crowd support which helped immensely but I was still in quite a bit of pain.  I had to run until it was unbearable and then walk until I could run again.  I was never so happy as I was when I saw the 26 mile marker!  Finishing the race was bittersweet.  I was so happy to be finished and pretty proud of myself for making it, but I knew I did not make my time goal.  I promised myself I would not have any kind of time goal, but well, in the back of my mind I did have a time I wanted to beat.  Another BIG MISTAKE haha!

My medal says, "my first marathon" on it and I love it!

In conclusion, I hate Route 66.  I will not run it again.  EVER.  I am going to run another full though. In October.  I started looking about a day after Route 66.  What can I say?  I am a running weirdo!

Here are a few additional photos!

cookies from my friend and training partner, Megan

pre race photo
part of my amazing cheer team

my amazing sister and running partner before we started

hubby and girls before the race!

I would like to add that if I can do it, anyone can.  For real.  I never never never thought I would be a runner.  Even Jason said I was the least likely person to run a marathon!  I would also like to add that I would NEVER recommend that Route 66 be your first marathon. hahaha