Monday, November 12, 2012


So, yeah, no big deal, but I ran (most of) a marathon on Saturday.


Okay, it was a big deal, especially to my poor legs, which are super sore.

But let me back up to before my quads hurt so much.

The McHusband and I headed up to Richmond Friday afternoon.  Once in town, we checked into our hotel, then went to the race expo to pick up my race packet before having dinner at Outback.  We also had to hit up Target for a jacket or something for the McHusband, who forgot to bring any outerwear, which he would definitely need the next morning when we were outside waiting for the race to begin at 8:00.  We found him something warm and on sale.


I wasn’t the only one up there to complete a marathon.  Jari, Heather, and Heather’s friend Emilie, and about 6,000 other people, also joined in on the fun.



It was about 40 degrees when we started but it quickly warmed up through the morning and into the afternoon.  So I dressed for the weather as it would be during the majority of my race – capri pants and a tank top with some gloves that I’d hope not to lose but only spent $3 on so if they didn’t finish with me, it wasn’t a big deal.


The race started promptly at 8:00.  I felt pretty good holding steady at my 9-minute pace but after a couple of miles, my left quad started to hurt.  The good news was that my right IT band, which had previously caused me so much trouble, was fine.  I figured if a little quad discomfort was all I had to deal with for most of the race, I’d be fine.


At the 10k/6.2-mile mark, I clocked in at just over 55 minutes.  I was still feeling really good minus the quad pain.  There were still a lot of runners around me, the course was beautiful, and there were plenty of spectators to offer distractions. 

Speaking of the runners around me…  There was one guy juggling three red balls and I wondered if his plan was to do that for the entire race.  I mentioned him later and Jari said she saw a guy holding three balls and he didn’t seem to be doing too well.  I saw a lady wearing a shirt advertising that she was running back-to-back marathons this weekend – Richmond on Saturday and another in the Outer Banks on Sunday.  Talk about hardcore!  I saw an older gentleman wearing a shirt that said he’d done a marathon in every state and then it had been amended via permanent marker with the word, “Twice!”  How’s that for inspirational?

But enough about them, back to me.  I was pretty much on track at the half-marathon mark with a time of 1:57:22, which meant my pace was a hair under nine minutes per mile.  I felt pretty good except for the quad pain and my feet were hurting (from kicking so much asphalt, as one sign pointed out), but I was relieved to get to this point without injury or major pain since that’s what happened when I ran my other two half-marathons in Raleigh.

The McHusband had decided that he’d be at the 17-mile mark to hopefully catch me as I came across the bridge.


I actually saw him before he saw me so he wasn’t able to photograph my progress as I approached him.  I mean, I was just running too quickly for him, yeah, that was it…


The McHusband joined me for a few paces.


My time here was 2:36, which meant my average pace had slowed down to about 9 min and 10 seconds.  Still plenty respectable.  However, I was in more pain – both quads, my feet, and now my right IB band had joined the party.  My calves were tight although not overly painful.  My strategy from miles 18 on was to get to the next mile-marker then walk for a minute or two then jog the rest of the mile.  The problem was that it hurt so much to start jogging again that I dreaded picking up my pace.  But once I got going, the pain was bearable and I just kept reminding myself that the more I jogged, the sooner I’d see the finish line.

So the last 8 miles or so of the marathon basically undid the first 18 miles and I crossed the finish line in a hair under 4 hours and 24 minutes.  I wasn’t able to take advantage of the downhill finish because of both IT bands – I felt like my legs would give out on me.  I’m sure it had nothing to do with them carrying my 26 miles.

Do you see me?





I have never been so happy to cross a finish line.




I drank one bottle of water immediately after finishing and grabbed a second, but I was really looking forward to the Coke Zero I’d asked the McHusband to have ready for me.


We headed to the finishers’ area where there was food and vendors.  I got a couple pieces of pizza and a Powerade.  The McHusband worked pretty hard, too, so I shared my spoils with him.


We waited for Jari but apparently we missed her coming across the bridge to the finishers’ area after she crossed the finish line in 4 hours 38 minutes.  But the McHusband took a picture of her when she joined us in Heather and Emilie’s hotel room where we camped out for showers.


Once we got cleaned up, we headed back down to the finish line to watch for Heather and Emilie.  They did a run-walk pattern for the first 10 miles then power-walked the remainder of the marathon except for the end, which they jogged.


Four marathoners!  Yes, Jari and I wore our medals back down there.  My reasoning was 50% because I was proud, and 50% because I wanted people to understand why I was walking so slowly.



I’d love to try another one to see if I can do better.  But I don’t actually want to run another marathon.  It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, and, honestly, it wasn’t that much fun.  From training in the NC heat and humidity to the miles of pain I endured at the actual event to the pain I felt (and am still feeling) afterward, I don’t think I’d ever want to put myself through that again.

So for now, I’m a very happy member of the “one and done” club.

But never say never, right?


Gma said...

I am SO stinkin' proud of you!

Did you per chance take the time for a bit of house crashing at the $herdog's place? Or maybe you found yourself running side by side with John! Yeah, probably not likely but wouldn't that have been a hoot?!

Hope it doesn't take you too long to recuperate!

Jenny said...

Yes, never say never :)!!!! We are so proud of you, you did awesome!