Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First, I want to warn you that if you are looking for “oh, it was nice” or “anyone can do this”, you are not going to find stuff like that here. This was THE hardest thing I have ever done. I would definitely tell someone that if they don’t really want to run a marathon then they should not do it. You've got to really WANT to do it. With that being said, here are my memories ...

I trained with the BPY Runner’s Club over the whole season to prepare for this race and I think my preparation was adequate. The race was not any harder or any easier than I expected. We did some hill training in Clermont and I feel like that was acceptable training for the bridges across the Intercoastal Waterway.

About 2 days before the race I was packed and ready to go, only to realize that I had not put my music list together yet. It seemed like a really big deal at the time. ;) Mr Jones by Counting Crows is NOT a good song for a marathon playlist. Freeze Frame by J Geils Band is AN EXCELLENT song for a marathon.

Try harder to start out slow. I was warned (thanks Jessica) to pace myself, big time, at the start. I tried ... I honestly worked at it the whole first half of the race. I kept checking and found myself at a 10:00 to 10:15 min/mile. Even once I saw 9:58. This proved to be MUCH faster than my marathon pace the second half. I was seeing 10:30's which I thought were good but they quickly moved to 10:45's and by the 20th mile I could not go any faster than 11:30. Ouch! But my overall pace ended up just under 11:00. I finished 5 min before my goal finish. Yay!!

The music did not really matter much after about mile 17 because the pain was starting. I can't remember any songs from 17 to the finish. So I guess I could have put Mr Jones at the end of the playlist and it would have been fine.

When my body started to rebel and demand that I stop (around mile 20) ... I thought about how much easier it was to do what I was doing, than to go through some tough things that my friends and family have had to go through. It helped for several miles.

About ½ mile from the finish, a blister that had been forming for a very long time, in one step, ripped up my foot and along my big toe. I nearly fell over with pain. So I took 2 or three steps slowly on it and then with determination that I did not know was there, I decided that there was no way that I was going to walk the last ½ mile of my marathon ... and I started running again (If you can call the slow, limping excuse for running that I was doing a run).

The last mile of a marathon is the hardest mile you will ever run ... in your entire life! (Until you get really crazy and start running ultra-marathons and the like.)

Having a massage right at the end of the race is a really good idea. I actually got a protein shake immediately at the end of the race and drank a post-workout recovery drink within an hour and I have had a quicker recovery from this race than even any half marathon that I have run.

That's all for now. Thank you so much to Coach Jacklynn for training and supporting me in this journey. Thanks to all of my friends and teammates and family for all of your love and encouragement. And thanks to my husband Robert ... it meant SOOO much to me that you got up at 4:30am and went with me on this adventure.

It's over! 26.2 done!!! :D -- Tracy

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