I am not sure exactly what made me decide to run a marathon, but in my senior year of college I signed up to run the Des Moines Marathon the fall after I graduated. I knew once I signed up I had to train for it because there are no refunds! In my opinion, tell EVERYONE you know that you are going to run a marathon because it will hold you accountable.
I was nervous about training because looking at a 20 mile run on my plan quite honestly scared me! I was training alone for this event mainly because I had moved to Ottumwa post-college and I did not have any friends in Ottumwa who ran, let alone would agree to accompany me on 2+ hour runs every week.
Training alone can be boring, and can honestly effect your motivation to run. Luckily my husband (boyfriend at the time) rode his bike with me several times during my longer runs. I actually got proposed to while running while training for this marathon 😉
Anyways, October 17, 2010 came and it was marathon time. I was absolutely terrified and nervous that morning. My family was there again for support, and even got up at 5 AM with me.
It may sound weird, but one of my favorite parts of running a race is the “Star Spangled Banner” before the race starts. It gives me chills and adrenaline at the same time.
The marathon was going really well until about mile 20. You may have heard the term “hitting the wall” before. I did that at mile 20. I was physically and emotionally exhausted at this point and was actually angry with myself for signing up.
Another runner spotted me and must have seen me struggling and asked to run the last 6.2 miles with me. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I felt like he was a gift from God. We kept each other motivated to the finish line. I have never seen that man again, but I will always remember him! Crossing the finish was one of the best and most rewarding moments of my life.
Since this was my first marathon, I had absolutely no time goals for finishing the race. My only goal was to finish.
Yes, that is snot in the picture above. Crying will do that to a person.
What is the best part after a marathon besides the cool medal? Eating of course. I love to use the excuse of running a marathon to eat everything in sight, including cheesecake.
(Yes, I have terrible posture post-run! But, more importantly, notice the “Food” sign? 🙂 )
Despite hitting the wall at mile 20 I enjoyed this marathon and have ran two more since then.