Beach Marathon Recap

I just ran my first marathon and it was both exactly what I thought it would be like and not at all what I expected at the same time.

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Equal parts thrilling and exhausting, I’m finding the whole experience difficult to put into words. So, instead of writing a traditional race recap, I’m giving you a glimpse into the thoughts churning in my head during each mile. Sometimes you’ll see repeats of the same thought, because when you’re running for 3+ hours you get a little bored and come back to the same thoughts.

 Mile 1: Holy Crap! I’m running a marathon. I’m going to leave my music off for the first few miles to just enjoy the sights and sounds of the beginning.

This new Flipbelt is bothering me a little bit, it keeps riding up and I have to keep pushing it back down.

 Mile 2: I’m going to drink water at this next aid station. .

I suck at drinking water. Just splashed that all over my face and shirt Slow and steady, slow and steady. Only on mile two, you don’t want to die.

I’M ONLY ON MILE TWO.

Mile 3: Screw sights and sounds. All I can hear is hacking and heavy breathing.

Playlist on.

FlipBelt (new fuel belt) will NOT. STAY. DOWN.

 Mile 4: I think I’ve looked at my watch 80 times in the past 2 minutes…and I’m still on mile 4. I thought I was supposed to see Jordan at this mile. Where is he? I can’t wait to eat my first GU.

 Mile 5: YUM. Peanut Butter GU.

 Mile 6: Need water stat. GU is stuck in throat.

Why can’t I swallow?

Need water.

I’m still on mile 6?!

FlipBelt. I hate you.

 Mile 7: Quads are starting to tighten up already. That really hurts and I can’t believe I still have 19 miles left, how am I goi..STOP it! Think positive. Pretend like the pain in your quads is like lightning bolts of energy powering you through (I know this is so lame, but it actually helped)

 Mile 8: Am I going fast enough?

If I continue at this pace for 5 more miles, I will reach the halfway point at…(I did running math for about 10 minutes because I kept messing up).

 Mile 9: I can’t wait to eat my second GU.

Mile 10: YUM. Peanut Butter Chocolate GU.

Where is Jordan? I think I’m supposed to see him at Mile 11.

Almost halfway done!

 Mile 11: Hi Jordan!!! (Veer off the course and gave him a kiss that I’m sure was sloppy with Gatorade and salt)

Jordan: You’re on track to hit 3:33 !

Well, BQ qualifying time is 3:35 so I better keep this pace or better if I want to qualify.

 Mile 12: If I run at this pace for 14 more miles, what will I finish in? (more running math).

Shove flipbelt down again.

Mile 13: Halfway done! Now is the time to turn it on, Anna.

 Mile 14: Repeat: I can do hard things. Be an athlete. It’s a beautiful day and I’m doing what I love.

When can I eat my next GU?

 Mile 15: YUM. Caramel Macchiato GU. 40 mg of caffeine straight to the heart.

 Mile 16: I feel AMAZING. Jolts of energy running through me. Who said marathons were hard?

 Mile 17: Still on a runner’s high. Endorphins are through the roof. Look out Boston, I’m coming for you!

 Mile 18: Quads still hurt but I’m more than half way done. I can do hard things. I’m going to finish and I’m going to qualify for Boston. I can’t believe how good I feel. I just wish this FlipBelt would stay put on my hips.

 Mile 19: Finally caught up with a lady that I’ve had my eye on for the past few miles. I’m going to run with her for a little while. She’s got a great pace. I haven’t said anything to her yet. Is that weird? I hope she’s not trying to talk to me because Eminem is screaming and I can’t hear anything.

Mile 20: The quads…blazing now. It’s all I can think about. Eating the last of my honey stinger chews because I’m tired of the package sticking out of my flip belt. Still hanging with this lady and still haven’t spoken a word to eachother…Is that weird? Does she think it’s weird that I keep pulling this FlipBelt down over my hips?

Mile 21: I still have 5 more miles. Everything hurts and the breathing is starting to get a little heavier. I finally broke the silence with my new running buddy to gasp a good job. I know, really original. She said it back (I think). My playlist is at the pump up section now and Kanye is telling me that I’m Amazing.

I got this.

Mile 22: I don’t have this. I am falling apart. I don’t know how much longer I can go. My snacks are gone and I just have to rely on Gatorade now. Should I take one of those orange slices?

Too late. I’ll get the next one.

When is the next aid station?

I want to walk. Will I be able to start again if I stop?

I only have 4 miles left. I will turn it on when I have a 5k left and sprint to the finish.

I want to throw this FlipBelt away.

 Mile 23: Me: I have to stop at this station to get water.

Stranger Runner Girl: Ok. You are doing AWESOME.

I’m grabbing Gatorade and Water at this aid station. I am SO thirsty. WHY DON’T THEY FILL THESE CUPS MORE? We’re running a marathon for Pete’s Sake!

Slightly irritable at this point.

I just walked through that water station. I can’t believe I did that. It’s okay, I will turn it on at the 2 mile mark and go hard then.

 Mile 24: This thirst is insatiable. Think about something else besides your quads. There’s Jordan! He’s jumping on the course to run with me.

Jordan: You’re doing it, babe. You’re going to finish with a BQ

I don’t want to risk anymore breath so I give the thumbs up.

 Mile 25: I’ve never hated running more than I do right now. It feels like there is an elephant sitting on my lungs right now. Why did I sign up for this stupid thing? Jordan is still running with me and keeps trying to talk to me. I wonder if he knows I can’t hear him over my music? I am not even going to take the energy to reach into my belt and turn the volume down.

 Mile 26: Where is the finish line? Why can’t I see it? I’m trying to turn it on but I can’t. I can’t see the finish.

 Mile 26.2…I DID IT.

P.S. After I crossed the finish line, I learned that my FlipBelt was on backwards…Awesome.

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Get Green 5k Race Recap

This past weekend I ran in Fort Wayne’s Get Green 5k in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that seems to just sneak up on you when you’re not looking. To me, it symbolizes that winter will soon be over and a green spring is waiting for us at the end of the rainbow! This 5k was the first of many 2014 races for me and I’m so glad it’s not the last.

I woke up Saturday morning around 8 a.m. with a spring in my step, excited to get out the door and run. I had my normal pre-race breakfast of almond butter and banana on Ezekiel toast and a half a cup of coffee for a little kick start. We were almost to the packet pick up tent when I realized I forgot my Garmin watch (palm slap to forehead). I was really upset that I  wouldn’t be able to pace myself or see the mileage during the race, but just hoped that the course would be well marked.

I met up with some friends before the race and we had fun chatting and taking pictures with a Leprechaun that showed up for the event.

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Jord waited with me at the start line and took my jacket right before the start of the race. There were almost 1000 people registered for the race and temps were in the upper 20’s. I started a little too far back in the crowd and spent the first half mile maneuvering my way around pointy elbows and running legs to get to a clearing.

The course runs through downtown Fort Wayne and has minimal hills. It is a flat and fast race, perfect for going for a PR, which was my goal…until I slipped on my first ice patch. I skidded across some black ice on the side of the road and caught myself right before I fell. It turns out those yoga balance poses pay off after all!

I have no idea what my splits were because I didn’t even know when I hit mile markers 1 and 2. There was one water station about half way through the race, but my hands were so cold that I didn’t trust them to hold onto a cup. My legs and core were warm but my fingers were bone frozen. Yes, I know there are gloves for that, but I have ADD when it comes to my music and like to change songs every 45 seconds during a race. The race felt like it flew by and before I knew it I was 200 meters from the finish line.

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I recognized the turn right before the shoot and put it into a higher gear. I felt like I had a lot of juice left in me, so I looked around for renegade ice patches and sprinted to the finish. As I crossed the finish line, I did a double take at the running clock. “What?” I thought, “It can’t say that…”

I found Jord close to the finish and his time for me matched what the race results said. I had just run my second fastest time ever! The only time to beat this one was when I ran in the State Cross Country race when I was 17 years old. I can only attribute my faster time to the strength training I’ve been doing and the whole foods I’ve been eating.

I guess there is a lot to say about healthy living! This race recap was kind of all over the place, but to sum it up: Fort Wayne’s Get Green 5k will be an annual event for me. It was run right on time, has a fun, St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere and your registration comes with 5 tickets towards beer and food in the party tent after the race. We headed over to the party tent to watch a strong man competition and get some green beer and corned beef with sauerkraut. We also got to see the annual greening of the downtown river. Our Fort Wayne Fire Department sprays green water out of their hoses and it almost looks neon across the gray March skies.

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Pros:

  • Fun St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere
  • Flat, fast course, great for PRing!
  • Lots to do after the race in downtown Fort Wayne

Cons:

  • Cold weather, random ice patches on roads and sidewalks
  • Disorganized website, race results are still not posted
  • Not a lot of volunteers or crowd support along the course

I will definitely do this race again next year. It’s a great course to start your spring races/training and the spirit of the holiday makes it a fun event to participate in. Next time, I’ll wear gloves and pay closer attention to random ice patches.

Have you run in any races yet this year?

What did you do for St. Patrick’s day?