I trained so hard for this race this time around! Through the running community I've met some amazing people! During training this go around I had the help of friend who is a super fast runner! Like 2:30 marathon fast! Instead of just running what I wanted to, I listened.... I incorporated speed work, and tempo runs into my training. Majority of the time, the weeks consisted of running 5 to 6 days a week. The focus was also not always on the long run, but on the weekly runs as well. I never realized how important speed work, tempo and easy paced runs were! The difference this time was that I was training to run those last 6 miles... not the first 20! And what a difference it made!
The last marathon I ran was the Disney marathon and I didn't run this race for time. My first marathon was Cowtown in Fort Worth and my time there was 5:38. I knew I could beat that time, but I still lacked a little confidence in myself. I've been so afraid of this distance!
The first half I was feeling great! We had a light rain falling, but it felt great! Not winded at all! Legs were feeling amazing! I crossed the halfway point at 2:11, and I had so much left! I was still nervous to push harder because I was scared of hitting that wall! Mile 15 was a turn at White Rock lake and the wind and rain around the lake was brutal! It slowed my pace a little, but I was still feeling really good! Spectators were very few around the lake and that really stinks when you start to struggle a little. I hit mile 20 and was still pushing! I was starting to feel some pain in the legs so I grabbed a jello shot from some spectators on the course! Probably not the best idea, but it tasted really good! :)
I think all the hills were in the last half of the race! I was so happy to be off that lake and headed toward the finish line! Around mile 22 to 23, I began to have some awful cramps in my lower legs! My toes in my right shoe were curling up. I stopped and stretched/walked briefly to get them to stop. At that point I realized I couldn't stop anymore. It's so hard to start back up after a break at that point. I pushed on to the finish line! The crowd support was amazing, and gave me just what I needed to finish!
My time at the finish was 4:34:58 and the distance on my Garmin was slightly over at 26.4 miles. I had PR'd by over an hour!! I was super excited! And so happy to be done! Those last 6 miles are the toughest and I will say that Colt was on my mind the entire time. Thinking of him helps me push through the pain and finish. His pain was unimaginable.... remembering his strength gives me so much strength myself. I always remain Colt Strong!
My fear of the marathon was lost that day. I look forward to the next one! I had so much left at the end that I know I can beat that time. I was a little disappointed in myself for holding back. The more you run the more you learn!
Next up is the Dopey Challenge at Disney World. I won't be "racing" this one, but will instead be enjoying the experience and the fun times with friends!