So I ran my first marathon two days ago and it hurt like a bitch.
But like in a good way I guess.
I was moderately well-trained for this race. I say “moderately” because I had to take about two weeks off in mid-march due to some weird hip flexor issue that started after running a half marathon. It only hurt when I WASN’T running, how weird is that? So even with the hip issue, I decided to still participate in the Florida 70.3 half Ironman (see previous post).
I thought if my hip flexor is completely messed up but these legs can carry me through a half Ironman then I am sure as shit going to do this marathon!
So I continued training for the next month (I only had a month between the half ironman and the marathon), with my longest run getting up to 18 miles. You’re really supposed to get to 20 miles on your longest run but WHATEVER.
ANYWAY. So. Fast forward to the Saturday before the race. I had a lovely day of stuffing my face with delicious carbohydrates, including a beautiful breakfast of French toast and a dinner of tortellini. My boyfriend and I laid on the couch all day watching movies so I could rest my legs for Sunday.
Come Saturday evening, we were getting ready for bed about 9:15 when a car alarm started going off outside. I have heard this car alarm a few times within the past week but it usually only goes off for like 5 minutes before the owner comes out and turns it off. This typically means your car alarm is broken and maybe you should be intelligent and just disconnect the damn thing OR YA KNOW, GET IT FIXED.
Well anyway, it started going off at 9:15 and did not stop FOR THE. ENTIRE. NIGHT. I had earplugs in my ears and 2 blankets over my head and I could still hear the damn thing going off. I even called the police who didn’t show up until 2am and was slamming on our door to see if it was our car. Are you serious??????????????????????????? Don’t you think we would have turned the alarm off FOUR HOURS AGO if it were our car?? Clearly whoever’s car it was, was not home for the evening. The police left. They didn’t tow the car or anything. They did NOTHING.
I slept two full hours.
When I left for the race the next morning I wrote a very aggressive note to put on her car stating “I am running my first marathon this morning and thanks to you I only slept for two hours” just so she would feel even worse. When I went outside at 5:30 to leave for the race IT WAS STILL GOING OFF. There were like 6 other notes on her car. Someone had actually egged her car and stuck the notes to the egg so they were like glued onto her hood.
Anyway, now that the dramatic story is out of the way, here is how the marathon went!
So the first half went by so fast I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t even paying attention to the mile markers and looked down at my Garmin at one point and was already at mile 7! At about mile 9 the race split off so the half marathon runners go left and the full runners go right.
The crowd on this part of the race was huge and it was where my family was standing and waiting for me. All very exciting stuff! I ran up to my family and hugged every single one of them then ran off around the corner right after the split between the half and the full and it was like complete silence. The group running was so much smaller now and there was almost no crowd support.
I had a moderate panic attack because I thought the rest of the 18 miles would be this empty and sad, but I was wrong. Thankfully, about a mile later the crowd picked back up again through the Hyde Park neighborhoods and Hyde Park square.
Around mile 11 my knees started hurting really bad. Like in a sore way but not in an injury way (THANK GOD) but still weird because I had never felt that before. I pressed on through the knee pain and tried not to think about it. Once we got to about mile 13-14, we were running down this huge, long hill on Erie Avenue, which is part of my usual running route. It was my favorite part of the race, who doesn’t love a nice gradual downhill!?
By the time we got to Mariemont I was DYING. I think this was mile 17-18. The course looped through downtown Mariemont and thank god there was a good amount of crowd support, otherwise I might not have lived through it. There was also this hill. OH THIS HILL THOUGH. It wasn’t a long hill but it was BY FAR the steepest in the race I’m sure. I think it was like a 75-degree angle (maybe I was just hallucinating BUT STILL IT SUCKED). I absolutely had to walk up that hill.
Once we went up the hill, the course looped through a couple of side streets, then through Columbia Tusculum, then brought us out onto the dreaded Eastern Avenue. This road is essentially just a large highway with absolutely no crowd support. I think this was mile 20-22. IT WAS SO BORING. I had to switch from my music to a podcast so had something to think about besides the pain in my knees and feet.
Once we got through that part, we were still on Eastern Ave., but the crowds got bigger again. From miles 22- 24 I would run some then walk some. The worst pain ever is going from walking back to running while 23 miles deep into a marathon. My body just wanted me to quit.
During one of my walking spells, and nice man ran up next to me and was like “come on girl we got this, run with me!” so I started running next to him. It was actually super helpful! I didn’t have to talk to him or anything, we just ran next to each other in silence. It definitely helped me push through because I felt like I would let him down if I stopped to walk.
That guy helped me run the entire time through mile 24 to the finish. Well, actually he stopped to walk at about mile 25.5 but told me to keep going without him. The crowd was getting so big at that point there was no way I was going to stop.
Finally, I passed the 26-mile marker and could see the finish line in the distance. I was so tired, emotional, full of weird endorphins that I almost just started crying. I didn’t though. I ain’t no bitch.
Crossing that finish line was one of the best feelings ever, basically in my top 3 with finishing my first half marathon and half Ironman. I was also very, very excited to just stand there for a minute and not have to move my legs.
After the race, we went to Moerlein House and I obviously had the biggest cheeseburger there (the Moer Burger- 10/10 would recommend). Then I had a large chocolate milkshake and then Skyline, so obviously I know all about healthy post-race nutrition. WHATEVER, I ran 26 miles I think I earned it ok???
Yesterday (the day after the race) my knees hurt so bad I actually welled up and almost cried just walking into work from my car. Now I know how old people must feel a good amount of the time. I took an Epsom salt bath last night and feel a little looser today. They say you’re supposed to rest at least 3 days after a marathon but I am already anxious to start working out again. I probably sound like such a douchebag.
Well anyway, my next half Ironman is two months from yesterday LOL stay tuned!