Marathons are hard!
That was pretty much the first thought I had after finishing the race on Sunday. Seriously, the marathon is a beast, but the sense of accomplishment at the end is like no other and keeps me coming back! It is a strong addiction!
Me and Kristy waiting in line for the bus on a super chilly marathon-morning.
Ever since I started running marathons, I knew I wanted to do one with my sister, but the logistics were a little tricky. At first she was running competitively in college and running a marathon was not advised by her coaches. Then we lived on opposite ends of the country—me in Alaska, her in North Carolina—which presented a challenge. But then my sister signed up to run the Twin Cities Marathon last spring. I didn’t think it would work out for me to fly back to Minnesota again in the fall after spending a couple of weeks there this summer, but thankfully I have a husband who knows how important my running is to me and how much I enjoy seeing my family, that we were able to travel back to Minnesota again this fall!
On the Friday before the race, we headed to the expo to pick up our bibs and browse the booths for any free food. (This was not the whole expo, the room opened up into a much larger area to the right.)
The expo was pretty large with about 100 vendors and quite a few food samples. We didn’t stay too long, but it is always fun being surrounded by a slough of other people who are just as passionate about running as you are.
The morning of the marathon, Kristy and I couldn’t sleep past 4:00 a.m., so we got up and got ready to go. We parked at a hotel that was near the finish and caught a shuttle bus to the Metrodome (football stadium) where we could hang out prior to the race. With temps at 30*F, it was so nice not to have to have to wait outside. Not only did we have warmth, we also had access to real bathrooms—and plenty of them, so no long lines at the port-a-potties.
Thank goodness for the free ear warmer in our swag bag; it would have been too cold to run without anything covering my ears. And my ultra-cool sweatshirt I wore until the race started and then ditched once we started running.
We hung out in the dome until it was time to go and drop our bags off before the start.
Then Kristy and I headed to the first corral. Within a couple of minutes, the gun went off, and we ran the first mile together. But we pretty much knew we were going to run our own races, so I took off and tried to keep a pace between 7:30 – 7:40. I knew if I wanted to get near 3:15, I would need a pace of 7:27, but I also kind of knew this probably wouldn’t be my day to run a 3:15. Maybe it was me being pessimistic, but I saw it as being realistic knowing my hip had been bothering me for the last 3 weeks and the temperatures were pretty chilly. (I have a hard time performing at optimum levels when the temperature is below 50*.)
Splits from the first 5 miles.
Mile 1 – 7:42
Mile 2 – 7:10
Mile 3 – 7:27
Mile 4 – 7:23
Mile 5 – 7:26
These were some good miles that clicked away easily. There were a ton of people cheering, and I tried looking for my family but was unable to find them.
I missed seeing my parents at the beginning of the race, but I saw them again three other times. I love seeing people out on the course who are there to support me.
Mile 6 – 7:25
Mile 7 – 7:34
Mile 8 – 7:38
Mile 9 – 7:33
Mile 10 – 7:21
During the next 5 miles, I thought for sure I was running slower. My muscles were still cold (I don’t know that they ever truly warmed up.) and my joints felt stiff, so I was happy to look down a see a pace faster than what I felt like I was running.
Mile 11 – 7:21
Mile 12 – 7:30
Mile 13 – 7:28
Mile 14 – 7:32
Mile 15 – 7:28
My sister running her first marathon and looking way strong than myself.
Mile 16 – 7:32
Mile 17 – 8:24
Mile 18 – 7:47
Mile 19 – 7:42
Mile 20 – 7:38
All of a sudden during mile 17, my left knee (medial/inside) started hurting. It was a sharp pain, so I stop and walk a few times. I tried to massage it to see if that would help, but it did not and I thought for sure I would have to walk/run the remaining 9 miles. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, but then I thought maybe Kristy and I would be able to finish together.
(She said she was smiling the whole way. . . .that little turd.)
Somehow I managed to run on my knee even though it was giving me problems, and then luckily the pain went away after a mile or so.
Mile 21 – 7:45
Mile 22 – 8:07
Mile 23 – 8:12
Mile 24 – 7:59
Mile 25 – 8:02
Mile 26 – 7:49
Total Garmin time: 3:21:54
Total Garmin distance: 26.42
You can see where the wheels started to fall off. Starting with mile 23, that’s when things get tough–mentally tough. But I was so thankful for the gradual downhills for the last 5-6 miles.
It was so good to finally see the capitol and know I was almost done.
Once I crossed that finish line and saw my time, I was very happy to see that I had cut almost 5 minutes off my time from Grandma’s Marathon this past June.
My official results:
Then, just a couple minutes after I crossed the finish line, I hear my sister’s name being announced that she had just crossed the finish line! What?!? I did not expect her to finish just two minutes behind me. I was SUPER proud of her but also very jealous!
I loved having my family there to support me!
Dad, Mom, Kristy, me, and Craig (my husband)
(My aunt also came; she was taking the picture.)
Now it is time to rest and recovery before I start gearing up for Boston!! Woohoo!!