Alright so I have to admit I am feeling a little bit nostalgic today. In honor of Throwback Thursday I thought I would go back in time and reminisce on some of my favorite memories from my 26.2’s. I think what I love most about this race distance is that it seems like such a long way to go but you come out on the other side a different person than when you first arrived. I enjoy the journey through those miles more than anything else.
-My first marathon back in October 2010 – the Chicago Marathon. I remember how nervous but oh so excited I was to run this race. I had trained all summer long with my running group so I knew I was ready. Boy did I not really know what I was getting myself into though. After mile 20 you start thinking…’wait, so why am I doing this‘? ‘I am never doing this again!’ Then it becomes a TEST of your will and mental fortitude. The remaining 6.2 is ALL HEART. It’s something you can’t quite explain or understand unless you have been through it. I truly crossed that finish line a different person.
With some awesome people.
I loved the city of Chicago…the sights, the diversity…oh and the Garrett’s popcorn. Now that was the highlight of my trip.
-Feb 2011- Rock N Roll New Orleans Marathon. I signed up for this race with my running buddy Lori. I was so excited to run down in the bayou. New Orleans is an amazing city with so much rich culture and amazing cuisine. It’s also so much fun to run there! The course was mostly flat and the weather is always ideal that time of year. I shaved about 30 minutes off of my previous time down in the Nola. It was an amazing feeling. I also raised $1,500 through the American Cancer Society in memory of my late aunt who lost her battle to brain cancer. She was an avid runner and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was watching over me and pushing me the entire way.
-Oct 2011- the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. I trained for this race all summer with my dear running buddies. Boy was it hot that summer! I was ready to run in some cold weather. And cold it was – a blustery 30 something degrees. Cold weather makes me want to run FAST! And run fast I did. I P.R.’d that year with a time of 3:54. I felt on top of the world and on top of my running game.
-Feb 2012- Galveston Mardi Gras Marathon. I signed up for this race on an absolute whim just so I could run on the beach by the water. Plus Galveston is just a fun place. I trained for this race solo while also volunteer coaching the spring program over at Luke’s Locker. Race day it was raining like gangbusters with near 40 mph winds. Totally unexpected but I told myself to stay strong, and keep my mental game tight. If any race tested my mental and physical strength, it would have been this one. I look back on this race with a smile on my face because I know how hard I fought for that 3:56 time. Plus having my sweetheart there cheering me on the whole way was just the icing on the cake!
-Oct 2012- Back to the Marine Corps Marathon for another go round. This was a comeback race for me following an injury I had suffered during the springtime. A pulled hip flexor is nothing to play with ya’ll! After rehabbing it for MONTHS and no running I started training and slowly ramping back up my mileage. I gradually gained my strength back in the summer after lots of slow running and decided to make a go of it. Definitely not my best time here but I loved running by the sights and monuments in D.C. I just enjoyed the ride and running it with some incredible friends. After the race I stayed in D.C. for a week and enjoyed a nice vacation. Also got to catch up with some of my bestest buds from college which was so much fun.
There is a trend here with Oct/Feb races I guess…so I ran the Cowtown Marathon, a local race here in the DFW area, a few months back. I trained solo for this race and went into it with no expectations (which in my opinion…is the best way to go into a race). I knew the race would be super hilly so I just held on for the ride. The course was beautiful and maintained a great pace and actually felt great the whole way. My heart was definitely in the game. I shaved nearly 20 minutes off of my previous time with a 4:04. Fine by me! I knew I earned that time after fighting through all of those mounds of opportunity.
What marathons or races stick out in your head the most?
Are you training for any full marathons this fall?