This may be the longest post I've ever done. I can't help it. I want to remember it all.
Friday after work I got my hair cut & headed downtown to pick up my race packet. Being there in the middle of the day is great. It's not crowded & I was in & out in no time.
My plan for Friday & Saturday was to do whatever I could to try not to think about the race because I was a nervous wreck. We had Italian Friday night at DeGiulio Brothers. I kept with tradition & had a couple of cake balls from Brew Ha Ha. Although, I was very upset that they were out of the King Cake flavor. I got to sleep early & slept really good. Everyone says the night before the night before the race is when you have to get a good nights sleep.
Everything laid out & ready to go.
Saturday we intended to spend the day running errands & looking for a dress for the Mardi Gras Ball we're going to. I expected this to be an all day affair. Which was good because it would keep my mind off the race. Imagine my surprise when I found my dress at the second store. We had lunch in the food court. I treated myself to Chic-fil-A. It's been awhile. We stopped by Varsity Sports so I could pick up some Gu & home we went. We had Little Caesar's pizza Saturday night. I didn't want to get out & I just wanted cheese pizza. I was all about carbs.
I didn't get to sleep as early as I planned but I slept ok. I woke up before my 4:30 alarm went off. I was able to get dressed, get band aids all over my feet along with duct tape - weird I know but it helps with blisters. I have an issue with my pinky toes rubbing. I put the band aids & tape on as a precaution. I ate a bagel with almond butter & another cake ball. Breakfast of champions right there!!
At 5:30 I headed out. One of my favorite Priest in town was doing a 26.2 minute Mass Sunday morning at the Church that's on the course. He's a runner & did the Mass last year for the first time. It's a great way to calm down & relax a little before the race. I met my brother & sister in law there. They were both running the Half Marathon. Another good thing about the early Mass is they open the bathrooms & you don't have to use the porta potties! We got our bags checked & it was time to line up.
It was super foggy Sunday morning & it was not cold. I've said before how I like running in cold weather. I think it was about 60 when the race started & high humidity but there was a bit of breeze. so it wasn't bad.
My friend Vicki, her niece Simone & my Godchild Lane came out to watch & even with all of the people out there we just happened to see them before the race. She got a pic of me & Lydia.
This is the race that has the dreaded overpass that you have to go over twice. From here on out it's referred to as "That Damn Overpass". For the Marathon it's at mile 1 and mile 25.
There are tons of spectators on the route & being that this is Louisiana there's no shortage of food & drinks along the course. I saw Mimosa's, beer, pigs in a blanket (yuck!) & king cake. I stuck with water, power ade, ice, gu & fruit. Oranges & watermelon never tasted so good!
I knew Dean & my friends Cindy & Dianne were going to be along the course I just didn't know where. I saw them the first time at the 10K mark. Cindy has a great voice for this type of thing. I heard her well before I saw her!
They took pics & videos. This was around mile 7. Right before this I saw Vicki, Simone & Lane again.
Around mile 9 I saw my friend Autumn. She lives in Pensacola & happened to be in town so she came out & cheered.
The course is along a lot of the area that I did my training runs. It starts downtown & you make your way through LSU's campus & along the lakes. At mile 11 the Half & Full split. This took me to a part of town that I never run in which was good because there were a lot of new things to look at. There were a ton of big, pretty houses which is great distraction for me.
I saw the whole crew together right before the split at mile 11 & by this time Allison had joined them. That's when I found out my brother finished the Half in 1:32. A new PR for him. Cindy just happened to snap a pic right when Dean told me his time.
At mile 11 I saw my friend Damian. He works the race & was the person making sure everyone knew that the Half turned & the full kept going. It was great that I was seeing people every few miles.
I think it was around mile 15 that I saw my crew again. There's an app that I used during my training runs that is great. It's called Road ID - the same people that make the bracelets. The app sends a text message to the people you put on a list letting them know that you've started a run & it sends them a link so that at any time during your run they can click on it & see where you are. I used it training since I was running by myself. That way Dean would always know where I was. You set the time for how long you'll be running. If at any time you stop moving for 3 minutes it sends another message to the people on your list letting them know that something's wrong because you haven't moved. There's also a loud alarm in case you've just stopped to talk or something to let you know it's about to send the text. I used the app Sunday so that Dean could look at it & know where they needed to go to see me. It worked out great.
We have some friends that live around the corner from mile 18 so Dean, Cindy & Dianne headed there & met Paul, Jennifer, Stan & Renee. A little ways down the road were Allison, Vicki, Lane & Simone. By this point I was getting tired but I still felt good.
In all of the residential areas there were a lot of spectators & they cheered for you & read your name off your bib & yelled at you. It was great. This was also where a lot of people had tables set up with fruit for the runners.
Dean, Cindy & Dianne were at mile 20 I think it was. Somewhere close to there anyway. Most training plans only have you go up to 20 miles. Everyone says adrenaline kicks in at that point. I don't know about that. I kept telling myself I just had 2 5K's left. By mile 23 I had to walk a little bit. The sun had come out by this point & it was hot. Dean, Cindy & Dianne popped up around that point. I was surprised because I thought they would've headed to the finish line after mile 20. It was good to see them. Only 3 miles left. And that damn overpass!
I think the race directors or whoever measured the route thought they were being cute. Mile 25 is at the TOP of the overpass. Not funny. As I was going down the overpass there were a few people walking in the opposite direction. They'd finished the race, gotten their medals & were headed home. I so wanted to be them.
I made the final turn in which you can see the finish line about a half mile away. Then I hit mile 26. Almost there. I couldn't believe it. I saw Dean right before entering the finish line chute.
Right before this point I saw Scott & Lydia cheering.
And I did it!!
I crossed the finish line, got my medal, a bottle of water & then saw my crew. They rewarded me with a bottle of chocolate milk. So so good. My official time was 5:21:18. I was hoping to be under 5:15 but when I saw the forecast & knew it was going to be hot & humid I changed my goal to under 5:30.
Along with my Louis Vuitton bag, that medal is my most prized possession!
That's the Louisiana state capitol in the background.
I got hugs from all my peeps & I'm sad because none of us thought to take a group pic. I picked up my bag from gear check & immediately put on my Oofos. Y'all those are the most comfortable things I've ever put on my feet. Next up I went to the PT tent where my friend that got me through my training was & she stretched me out. I really didn't feel awful. I was hot & my feet were hurting a little but mainly just my pinkie toes. There were blisters on both toes. So weird.
Everyone left & Dean & I headed to the finish fest to get some food. I wasn't hungry at all. That's been a huge benefit of marathon training for me - I don't want to eat after long runs. I got some crawfish etouffee & crawfish mac & cheese & ate a few bites of each. This race has food provided by a bunch of different restaurants in town & there's all sorts of good Louisiana food. There was live music too but I was ready to go pretty quick. All I really wanted was a Route 44 Sonic Dr. Pepper. I think I started thinking about it around mile 20.
Truly the best Dr. Pepper I've ever had!!
My plan was to go home & get in the pool. That's what I did after all of my long runs & it really helped with soreness & recovery because the water is really cold. By the time we got home I was cold. Apparently, that's something that happens after you run a Marathon. There was no way I was getting in that pool. Instead I got in a hot bath!
I was ready for bed early Sunday night. Right before bed I checked my steps.
That is a record I'll never break!!!
Monday when I woke up I was scared about how bad I was going to hurt. Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I was sore but nothing like I thought I would be. I could've gone for a run. I went Monday afternoon & had a massage & that felt great. I was surprised when the masseuse told me that my back was the tightest part of my body. Today I'm pretty much back to normal. I'm taking the week off from any sort of exercise. I'm ready for a little break.
Tuesday afternoon this was delivered to my office.
It was from my friend Autumn congratulating me again for my Marathon. I thought that was the sweetest thing.
This medal represents so much. I've never been an athlete, I never played team sports & I quit a lot of things that I started. Running is the one thing that I haven't quit on. I set my goal & I did it. First with the 5K, then the Half Marathon & now the Full. It was the hardest thing I've ever done & that's why it means so much to me. People keep asking if I'm ready to run another one. NO. This was a one & done thing. Since I started running 5 years ago I swore I'd never run a marathon. I knew there was no possible way I could do it. Well, I did it. I'm a Marathoner.