Okay, I’m finally ready to tell you all about this race. I apologize for the SERIOUS delay in writing this recap. I was busy for a while, then traveling, and then just lazy. 🙂
That being said, let’s begin.
FIRST: I am still counting my blessings that the effects of Hurricane Sandy did not factor into this race as much as it was originally anticipated to. For the few days leading up to the race, weather reports said it was going to be a rainy and blustery day for us marathoners. And honestly, I was VERY unhappy about it. But, the rain held out, and it was about 50ish degrees at the start, perfect marathon weather for me!
For this race, I was determined to stay even and relaxed, and make sure I was properly hydrated and fueled. So, I started my morning with some oatmeal and a bottle of water. I had this around 6:30 as I was getting dressed. This was the first race that I had more than a quarter of a bagel for breakfast, and I think it worked out for me.
I met up with my friend, and we took the obligatory pre-race omg-we’re-so-excited-this-is-going-to-be-awesome pictures. We were so ready!
And we were off!
Mile 1-4 : Super crowded. Spent most of these miles weaving in and out of people, trying to catch up with my friend (she like to get OUT for races). It was so frustrating that at times, I was running on the curb, or the grass. I was also trying really hard to stay calm about my calf. It wasn’t feeling tight yet, so I was doing okay.
Miles 5-10: Finally just gave up trying to stay with my friend, and settled into my pace. Tried to really enjoy my surroundings and the race, but unfortunately, my calf started to get reeeeally tight. Stopped to stretch it around mile 7.
Miles 11-18: Found my friend again! Yay! But then lost her when I stopped for the bathrooms on Hains Point (I knew there would be real bathrooms here, so I took advantage of that J). But then I found her again a few miles later! Woohoo! At that point, we decided to just split up and run our own races. I was starting to get really smiley and happy and just really enjoying the race. BUT, my calf was still bothering me, and I was unnecessarily worried that I was going to tear a muscle. Yet, I continued on!
Miles 19-23: I tried to stop and stretch somewhere around mile 19, and some lady behind me was like “you can’t stop now! You’re doing so well and you’re getting me motivated!” So obviously, I had to keep going! And that one comment fueled me for a few miles! I passed mile 20 and was feeling super strong, and I couldn’t help but smile the biggest smile ever! And in Crystal City, I actually enjoyed the crowds this time! It seemed like everyone was out cheering for the marathoners!
Miles 24-26.2: After leaving Crystal City, I just wanted to be done. There weren’t many spectators around this time. Just me, the other marathoners and the road. I just kept telling myself, “you can run any pace for 20 minutes”. I kept trucking along, just knowing that once I finish, I can relax. I saw my friend, and she really inspired me to push strong until the very end. And I charged up that monster hill before Iwo Jima and sprinted to the finish. DONE!
4:22 – A 7 minute PR
I actually enjoyed this marathon, even though I was pretty off my goal of 4:15. It was a great experience, I felt strong, and I’m actually sorta looking forward to another!