MARATHON Weekend Recap (This will probably be a long one…)
Hey guys and happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend, filled with all your favorite things. I am just coming off one of my highest ranking weekends of my life, my first marathon weekend! It seems so surreal, that after months of training, months of mentally preparing for the big race, that it is finished! The race was everything I hoped and imagined it would be, but first, let’s rewind to Saturday, the day before the race….
Saturday morning, Landon and I slept in until 8:30 which felt ammmaazing. I, honestly, don’t remember the last time we slept in that late. It was so nice to have that extra blessing of extra sleep, since Sunday morning we had to be up early for our MARATHON!
Landon and I had an easy, two mile shakeout run before our big race, so shortly after getting up and moving around for a few minutes, we loaded Niah up in the stroller and took off for an easy, slow paced two mile run.
The week of the marathon, I bought Nathan’s to help us stay hydrated through the race (since the weather expectantly took a sharp turn in the warm direction…) Unfortunately, we didn’t train using the Nathan’s, so we took them out on the two mile run and tried it out. Ultimately, we liked it so we decided to use them in the race.
After our run, we came home and started the main mission of the day: eat all the carbs. I scrambled up some eggs for Landon, made a protein shake for myself and toasted bread for us, before smothering it with peanut butter. I have a thing for peanut butter toast…
We spent the rest of the morning working on some projects and shortly after crossing of some necessary blog/work related items off both of our check lists, we headed out to pick up our bib numbers and pursue the race expo! For our first marathon, Landon and I decided it would make the most sense to pick a local race and run that one. I am SO GLAD we decided to run a local marathon, instead of a bigger one, for multiple reasons. One reason why I loved the local race atmosphere? Driving 5 minutes to pick up the bib numbers. Usually, I am rushing to downtown Chicago to pickup bib numbers and it felt so nice to be able to basically walk out our backdoor and pick up our race packets. SO much easier.
We walked through the race expo a bit and bought some necessary items like body glide and another on the go, sports hydration bottle. (You know you are runner a marathon when you need body glide, haha.)
After we left, we made a quick grocery run for more carbs, came home, ate a late lunch of rice/beans/ and cottage cheese (basically anything that was quick) and worked a couple more hours.
We kept dinner familiar with our traditional long run meal of basil chicken pasta. SO GOOD. (Basically, chicken + pasta noodles + coconut oil + SALT + basil. BOOM.) After dinner, Landon and I watched a little Netflix before crashing early. And by crashing I mean tossing and turning before the butterflies went away. I was a little nervous, heading to bed, but more than anything anxious to get out there and see what I was made of.
Sunday – MARATHON Day!
Benaiah was an angel and slept through the night, Saturday, which helped Landon and I get a solid 7 hours of sleep. I woke up to my beautiful alarm at 4:30 (hello, early) and immediately poured a cup of coffee. I like coffee before running, but sometimes I feel like it dehydrates me. Thankfully, I was up early enough to give me time to hydrate afterwards.
After my steamy cup of coffee was poured, I grabbed my Bible and spent time with Jesus, while Landon had his devotions too. We spent the next hour finishing devotions, eating toasted bagels, and getting ready to go and shortly after we were ready, my parents and sisters arrived at our place.
I just want to give a quick shout out to my amazing parents and sisters who got up at 3:30 am, so they could drive out, watch Benaiah, and be our amazing support crew! Guys, we seriously couldn’t have run this race together, without your support and help! Thank you so much for cheering us on, watching Benaiah, and believing in us! You rock.
Once Benaiah was situated, Landon and I left for the race! My parents and sisters stayed at our place, sense the race route was running right past our home. It felt so surreal to be driving to our first marathon, together. Landon didn’t sign up until months after I did, and having him run this marathon with me made the experience even more special.
After making a quick bathroom stop at Starbucks, we got to the race start line, made small talk with some of my running group friends, and listened to the national anthem. Before we knew it, we were off and the race began! Walking into this race, I realistically thought I would do around a 4:30 marathon, but was hoping for a 4:00 time. However, since it was my first marathon, I also, simply wanted to enjoy the experience, push myself, and just have fun.
The first couple miles of a race are usually the hardest for me and that proved true, once again for me, my legs felt a little stiff and heavy for the first 4-5 miles (which made me a little nervous) but I kept telling myself I would hit my sweet spot about 7-8 miles in. Around 3 miles in, we saw my parent’s for the first time, which gave me a good boost of encouragement and fueled my desire to preform well!
The difference between Landon and I in race photos. I look like death, Landon looks like a model. Why?
Landon and I talked before the race and our game plan was:
- We weren’t going to be too chit-chatty. We wanted to conserve as much energy as possible.
- We didn’t want to slow either one of us down. If one of us needed to fall back, we wanted the other person to push ahead and not slow down for the other.
- We wanted to stay together as much as possible.
Thankfully we were able to stick to our plan the entire race. Once I hit my stride (around miles 7) Landon started feeling some knee pain and slowed down. I sped ahead and ran by ‘myself’ from miles 7ish-18ish. Miles 7-18 I felt great and really enjoyed everything. The crowd support was amazing and I walked through each aid station to refuel and hydrate (which is my favorite race strategy…)
We saw my parents, sisters, and Niah at mile 8
And again and mile 18. Around mile 18, I started getting emotional. It was getting warmer, I had been running 11 miles without Landon, and I was getting a little tired. Once I saw them at mile 18, I almost cried, but held it together.
Landon was barely a minute behind me at mile 18
Around miles 20-21, we finally found each other. Again, I almost lost it – seeing him, during those tough miles (the last 6 miles felt like 20) was so comforting!
We were able to stick together pretty much together, the entire last 6 miles, which was so nice. I started feeling less and less comfortable after mile 20 and found myself walking a few strides here and there. At that point, I really didn’t care about time and just wanted to finish, haha. My pace started dropping pretty dramatically after a few walking sessions, but again, since this was my first marathon and it started to get HOT (like 80 degrees) I wasn’t too concerned with pace.
Once we hit mile 25, I knew I was going to finish and finish strong. I started seeing the finish off in the distance and hearing the announcer, it was just the boost of encouragement my tired body needed.
Landon and I were able to finish together, hand in hand, at 4:32:32. (After looking at the results, I finished in the top 1/3 of runners and top 50% of females, which made me happy!) Finishing a marathon was one of the most amazing, emotional experiences that I’ve ever experienced in my life. Right after crossing the finish line, I saw my family and Benaiah cheering in the crowd and I broke down crying tears of joy, thankfulness, and relief.
Kiss at the finish.
lol, real life, folks. You are welcome.
Once again, how does he look so good after a marathon?
Had to be a little cheesy, of course.
After getting photos and eating bananas, drinking water, and stretching, my parent’s gave us a ride to our car and we headed back to our place. We spent the rest of the early afternoon cleaning up, talking, eating the best turkey sandwiches of my life, and sitting as much as possible 😉
I was really thankful to feel sore, but not injured immediately after the marathon! Winning!
Our amazing support crew <3
My mom, dad, and sister, Emily left around 4:30 and my sister, Abby stayed for a sleepover (since she works close to our place.)
Since we didn’t make it to church in the morning, we attended a local evening service, worshiped, and left feeling super encouraged, convicted, and refreshed. Neither Landon nor I felt like moving at all or making dinner, but Chipotle saved the day.
Abby and I ordered burrito bowls and Landon got a chicken burrito. After Benaiah was down, we ended the evening with Netflix and Halo Top to celebrate 26.2.
Our day ended so perfectly. And just like that it was no longer, ‘Marathon day.’ I was so thankful for a healthy body to finish the race, for both Landon and I, great support, and an amazing crew of helpers! Praising Jesus for all His mercy and so excited to find my next marathon!
I hope you all have a great day, I am going to be resting and in recovery mode for this next week. I’ll miss running, but I know this week will be good for my body to recover and become stronger for my next training cycle.
See you guys tomorrow!
Questions of the Day
- What was the highlight of your weekend?
- Have you ever run a marathon before?
- What are your Monday plans?