A year ago this week I ran my first 3 miles outside. On Saturday, I ran a full marathon. That's 26.2 miles of pure running! What a difference a year makes!
My sister-in-law Kelli was my partner in crime. Because she lives in Georgia, she and I had never even run together before this marathon. It was great to have her to talk to for 18 of the 26.2 miles. (BTW, Kelli is tall but I think I am standing a bit downhill from her!)
The experience itself was surprisingly very doable. Before the race, I had only ever ran 16 miles consecutively. But the weather in Albany was just right (except for between miles 14 and 16 when it poured on us!) and there weren't too many hills. And even more than the physical part of it, somehow I was able to keep myself mentally strong. I just kept telling myself things like, "Just put one foot in front of the other" and "If I can run 16, I can run 18." And then, "If I can run 18, then I can run 20". And then, "If I can run 20, it would be stupid to walk now." And on and on until I was crossing that finish line. I'd say a marathon is 40% physical and 60% mental.
I have great friends and family who supported me all along the way, even though most of them obviously couldn't come out to Georgia with me. One friend made me a marathon play list, which came in handy once Kelli and I separated, and another friend made me this awesome care package of goodies. (And believe me, I've needed it).
And my sister watched Bella and Ezra while Blaine, Cali, and I were out of town. They cheered me on from Colorado.
I completed the marathon in 5 hours and 13 minutes. That's not an exceptional time but I was happy with it! I'm pretty sore and can barely walk 2 days out. Although I am thrilled that I did this, as of right now, I'm marking this off as a once in a lifetime accomplishment. I think a triathalon may be in my future, but until then, I'll work on going up and down my stairs without wincing in pain!