I’m wicked excited to be here writing about completing my marathon. This was a huge deal for me and something I knew I would put off until the “right” time so I just put one on the schedule. There is never a right time to do anything, and I’ve learned I just need to make some things work. If I would have waited until the “right” moment, the moment may not have ever come.
I’m not going to bury the lead on the blog post. On December 2, 2018, I ran my 39th marathon at Rock n Roll San Antonio. finished the marathon in 6 hours 13 minutes and 29 seconds. I beat my goal of 6 hours 15 minutes. This time was a long way from my marathon PR of 4:50 but this was my proudest marathon moment yet.
I’ve run this race before both the half marathon and marathon. I knew the marathon course is one of the toughest I’ve run because there are parts of the course that include no people at all. Going into the race, I knew all of this and it mentally prepared me for the challenge.
The weekend started with a trip to the expo. The Rock n Roll marathon series expos have been lacking this year. There’s not much involvement but San Antonio has been one of the better expos. There were lots of different shops to explore.
The next day we ran the 5k for the remix challenge. If you run two races, on two different days, you’ll earn a remix medal in Rock n Roll series land. Lots of people came out to run the 5k and 10k on Saturday. The city of San Antonio really embraces this weekend of running which makes this one of the best Rock n Roll races of the year. It’s amazing how different a race feels when the people really embrace the race. The goal of the 5K was to take it easy and just have a great time. I don’t particularly love stroller running because I already have bad running form. But I won’t have many opportunities to push my baby girl around so I’ll take it.
I finished the 5k in 37 minutes and 13 seconds which felt slower than the previous year, but it wasn’t. This made me feel great because I really wasn’t trying to run this race. I just wanted to make sure I had a good shakeout before the marathon.
After the 5k, I met up with some friends that I don’t get to see too often. It was a lot of fun to see everyone, take pictures, and enjoy a great brunch. Sorry, no pictures from the brunch because I was too busy talking to everyone. This moment changed the entire weekend for me. My nerves had taken control of me and I had a lot of anxiety about running the marathon the next day. It was great to just talk to other people running their first races and/or sharing their running accomplishments from the year. This helped me tremendously and gave me some confidence to tackle the next day.
I took it easy for the rest of the day. I didn’t do anything fancy and ate my pre-race Subway sandwich. People are always obsessive about their pre-race meal, but I know there is one thing I can always get no matter what state I’m in and that’s a sandwich. I went to sleep early because I knew I wasn’t going to get the best nights sleep before the race.
The next morning I woke up early and I was ready to run. I was grateful to be in one of the first corrals (they must have put all the marathon runners at the start) so I wouldn’t need to wait 30-45 minutes to cross the start line. I knew I needed to stick to the plan and run my intervals and just tackle one mile at a time.
At this race, there is the opportunity to change your mind to the half marathon during the race because the course doesn’t split until mile 12. I knew if I could make it past mile 12, I would make it to the end. I didn’t have any real goals except to finish but I was hoping to finish in 6 hours and 15 minutes. My training had me on track to finish in 6 hours 9 minutes so I knew it was doable. I just wanted to enjoy the race.
From the start, I found a couple of people to keep pace with. That just means I like wanted to start and finish the race with the people I started with so I just pick a few people to always keep within eyesight. It helps me most of the time, sometimes it gives some extra pressure. The race crowd was thick at the beginning due to sharing the course with the half marathoners. The pace was quicker than what I wanted but I still stuck to my own plan. I am a slow starter in races, but I do pride myself on being able to finish strong while others are starting to fall off.
My favorite mile of the race is the Wear Blue to Remember mile. It’s so moving to see pictures of the people who sacrificed for us. This is the best mile of any race I’ve ever run. It’s hard to capture it in photographs.
The weather started off cool but I knew it was going to warm up. The back half of the course would have no shade, but I was prepared for that. I carried my own water in my Orange Mud pack and I took water, Gatorade, and salt at every aid station that offered it. I didn’t want to get a deficit at any time during this race. I wanted to stay ahead of the hydration and nutrition. I ate at miles 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24. By mile 24, I couldn’t really swallow any of those chews down. I did the best that I could.
At the mile 12 split, I was feeling good and I felt like I was going to finish it. This was the point where I really started to enjoy the race. The miles rolled by one after one. I talked to people. I laughed. I joked. I danced. I stopped to take a few pictures. I enjoyed running the on the missions but didn’t take any pictures. It was beautiful being able to run on the river even though the sun was blaring.
At mile 20, I was walking but my heart was so full. I was really enjoying the moments. There were a couple of times I had to fight back tears especially around miles 24 and 25 because I honestly never thought I would run a marathon again.
My body hasn’t been the same since having Tiny Tot and has really limited my running. Running this marathon has been a huge part of my life since July. There were times when I thought my body wasn’t going to allow me to run the marathon during training and it scared me. I kept pushing and this was my moment. MY MOMENT HAD FINALLY ARRIVED and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I finished the Rock n Roll San Antonio Marathon in 6 hours and 13 minutes and 29 seconds. This has been my greatest running accomplishment so far because I worked really hard for it. Running has always come easy for me and it’s just been something that I did. This time around it was something different and that fills me with a sense of pride.
I was running for my low-fat chocolate milk and it tastes so good. I know sometimes you may think I’m pushing this on you because I’m sponsored by them but it really workes, especially when you get in situations where you can stomach food. I’m getting the things I need for a healthy recovery (carbs + protein for muscle recovery) without making myself sick. It’s really the best thing I can do for myself after these hard endurance workouts.
I needed to experience to bring back some of my running confidence. The way I started marathon training is not the way I thought it would end. I thought I would gain speed and be back to my normal running self by the end. That did not happen but I learn more about myself. I am proud and still willing to show my marathon medal to everyone. The only thing is no one really cares about it. It was my goal, it was my dream, and I am so thankful for being able to cross a marathon finish line again.
Thank you to everyone who supported me during this journey. It’s truly been something I will never forget. There won’t be another marathon on the books for me for a while and I’m still trying to figure out what will be next. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I won’t be in this stage for long.