Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Atlanta Marathon Recap

The race started at 7:00 am. and as I said earlier I woke up at 5:30, that was not the start to race morning I was hoping for. I had coffee and nothing else (not a good fueling plan) my stomach just wasn't up to it, not eating seemed like the lesser of 2 evils. It was cold and I was glad to arrive late because that meant less time standing around in the cold. I wore shorts, compression socks, a long sleeve dri-fit, with a sports bra and sleeveless tank underneath (just in case I got hot). Once we started running I warmed up pretty quickly, except for my hands. My hands were cold for most of the race. They were red and swollen and completely numb. I think I have bad circulation.
The first few miles were a blur. It was dark, I hadn't really grasped that I was running 26.2 miles yet.
I had no plan as far as paces or a goal time. My training didn't go as planned and my paces were all over the place. I planned to run by feel and just hope for the best.
I hit the half way mark at 1:57, but it was all down hill from there (time wise). I stopped to use the bathroom at mile 16 and lost a ton of time. Between trying to rush, my handheld, my head phones that kept falling out of my ears, I was a mess. I was trying to be quick and ended up taking like 3 minutes. I didn't want to put my hand held down!
I took gels at mile 5, 9, 14, and 20. But, I didn't eat breakfast or a whole lot the night before and I think it really affected how I felt. I've really never felt so fatigued, I wanted to sit down and rest!
After the 18 mile mark I got very emotional. Someone in the cheer zone was speaking and he said:
"This isn't your first run, you've been training for months. It's not easy, it hurts, but today
YOU will finish a marathon!"

That's the first time I realized I was going to finish a marathon! I didn't care about the time, I just wanted to finish!
I started to get very emotional the rest of the way. I went back and forth between wanting to cry because I was tired to being excited about finishing a marathon.
My right knee and ankle really started to hurt the last few miles. All of that treadmill training did not adequately prepare my body for running 26.2 miles on the road. The soft surface of the treadmill is great and I love it, but I think when I run outside it really takes a greater toll on my body. I did most of my long runs outside, but my last 20 miler was at the Silver comet trail and there are no hills there!
As I was rounding the last corner to the finish my hubby and kids were there cheering me on. It was a great surprise I gave them high five's and finished my first marathon in 4:18:21.
Here are the stats:
Overall Place
483 of 1124
Gender Place
138 of 427
Age Division Place
35 of 86

I'm still on a runner's high and can't wait to run another race. It was a great experience and I wouldn't change anything about it. I learned a lot and know training wise I have a lot of room for improvement and that's exciting, I can't wait till the next one!
I'm already signed up for the Publix Georgia marathon in March and I think I'm going to do the St. Louis one in April. We have a half for Thanksgiving, I would love to run it, but I'm not sure what our Thanksgiving plans are yet.

I'm so thankful for all of the blogger's out there. I love reading the race recaps and I am so motivated by everyone's honesty and running talents.
I don't have any race day photos. Well actually I do, but I don't plan on buying them and I can't save them to the pc. Oh well...

I can't wait to read everyone's (who's running it) NY reacap!!!


  1. Congrats on your first marathon! Reading this made me get so excited for my first in a couple of weeks. We still have to meet up for a long run sometime!

  2. CONGRATS!!!! i am so so so proud of you and excited for you! finishing a marathon is a HUGE accomplishment and you did amazing! i can totally relate to the emotional parts you described...i am constantly switching between tears, huge smiles, excitement, etc during a marathon. its all SO worth it though! i actually looked up the Atlanta Marathon in march this morning...i have family there and would love to come out and run it but not sure if I will or not! love that you are already planning your next marathons!

  3. CONGRATS!!! There is nothing like that first finish line and the realization that you did this all by yourself!!

  4. Congrats on completing your first marathon! It's such a great accomplishment you should feel overlyproud of yourself.


  5. yay congrats! running a marathon is a HUGE deal and you did an amazing job! i think you had a great time, despite some challenges. hope you are recovering well and enjoying some time off from running, though i'm sure you'll be back out there in no time ;)