Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Post - My First Marathon - Part 2: Race Report

Lisa's back with her marathon race report (read her last post on her training)- Lots of Congratulations on your first one!!


Virginia Beach, watch-out!  Jersey girls are coming to town!   

Pre-race Day (Saturday):

We arrived in Virginia Beach late Friday night, excited for the weekend to begin, but very tired.  
I woke up in the morning feeling good and rested.  Jillian, Victoria and I decided to go down and check out the breakfast in hopes we would have stuff to help us prep for race morning.  Of course, we brought our own food for race morning.  Can’t change routine or food choices before a race!  We were excited to find that they had a toaster for us to use.  Yay!  We had breakfast while watching the 8k finishers run right by our hotel.   Have to say they had some great outfits!  

View from my hotel room of the finish line

After breakfast, I decided to go for my short run that was on my schedule.  2 mile run (Warm-up: 10 minutes easy pace, Main Set: 5 minutes at 9 minute mile pace, then 3-4 times 30sec pickups Cool Down: walk)
My plan was to go outside and just enjoy the sites and sounds of Virginia Beach.  The weather had other plans.  The second I went to step out the door, it started to downpour, so I turned around and headed for the treadmill.  I didn’t want to take any chances the day before the race. After my workout, I showered and Victoria, Jillian and I heading to the Shamrock Expo to meet up with Stephanie and Josh to pick up our bib and shirts.

My bib # and long sleeve tech shirt (it was official)

After we all picked up our stuff, we decided to walk around the expo and do some shopping.  It was fun just hanging out and having fun, but I didn’t want to be on my feet too much.  So, we decided to part ways, but before we did we took some photos. 
Support Crew (aka the best)

Victoria (1/2 mar) Me (mar) Stephanie (1/2 mar)
Jillian, Victoria and I heading back to the hotel for some rest and basketball until dinnertime.  We decided to go to a restaurant called Abbey Road, which had a great menu that meet all of our dietary needs.  Plus, it had the basketball games on…NCAA pre-rounds for the March Madness. 

My friends and I at dinner pre-race, look at all those waters on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.  haha
After dinner, was time for more relaxing and getting everything ready for race morning.  We were all set and ready for our races. 

Marathon Morning (Sunday):

I was not sure what to expect race morning; the forecast was calling for rain/clouds and wind.  We the weather turned out to be not bad at all, except for the wind.   It was cloudy, 45 degrees, and very windy. 
Surprisingly, I wasn't too nervous until I was walking to the starting line, but I had some great early morning surprises from friends and family.  My favorite one was: 

My niece and nephew cheering me on from NJ!!

My walk to the starting line took no time at all.  I could feel my nerves inside me, but once I saw my corral I was fine and the nervousness went away. I was ready to go!  

 I meet some great people in my corral and they were all first-timers.  I knew I won’t be staying with them due to my race plan of running a mile, walking a minute, but that was okay.  It was great chatting with them pre-start.  Once the buzzer sounded I was off and running.  I stuck to my training plan, which was hard at the beginning, but it was worth it in the end.   I was able to keep my friends updated throughout the run during my walk breaks I would text them. 

Mile 12 just ran past my friends feeling good and on target for 4:20:00 marathon.
I was so happy and felt great and was on target for a 4 hour and 20 minute marathon until I hit mile 15. At mile 15, the road was slanted and I couldn’t find a flat surface.  The slanted road kicked in my IT band and I was unable to keep my pace.  So, my pace slowed and I kept going.  I ran walked all the way to the finish.  It was tough, but not as tough as my 20-mile training run.  

As I headed into the last mile, I could feel the energy from the crowd and the excited was building.  The pain that I was feeling went numb.  I couldn’t wait to see my friends who I knew were waiting for me at the finish line and to run though the finish.   The crowd pushed me. And I spotted my friends just feet away from the finish.  Just passed them, they announced that I was a marathon finisher.  What a great feeling.  It was over and I had accomplished my goal!  My finishing time was 4hours 51mins 32seconds.  Not bad for someone who last year at this time was not allowed to run!!


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