June 19, 2016.
I want to write down so many things, but I am not sure where I should begin. Should I begin when I quit my former employer and got a new job that added only more time to my hectic training schedule because my commute grew from, 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours? I should, but the change was actually for the best and yes getting up at 3:45am to train was hard, especially for a 4 month stint.
Training Plan: Hansen's Marathon Method is the plan I chose. In the beginning I didn't quite follow it to a t, because I was reading some charts incorrectly. I had a nearly 4 week stint where I didn't run at all, it wasn't really do to an injury, but I didn't want to be sore before our first European vacation. We were gone for 2.5 weeks, the brand new cruise ship had a horrible unairconditioned gym, the running deck would have been 7 loops for just 1 mile, and I just didn't feel like it to tell you the truth.
As I discovered, you DO uncondition yourself, and I had to beat that hurdle getting back to it with 4 weeks until the race once we returned. I had been training for a 4:45, which is a 10:52 minute mile...did I mention I gained 8 real pounds from my vacation! I had been training lighter then I made my butt heavier! Breathing was totally easier, I ran up to 16 miles for my training runs continuously.
The Marathon Day! This was the only time I have gotten a hotel for the day before and after but it was right across the street from the start. I thought I had enough time, but with 8 minutes to go we were running to the street. I then was struggling to find my mother before it began which meant they called out 40 seconds and I stopped my struggle to find my mom. Then we were off. I was going to stick with the 4:45 pacer. It was good in the beginning besides the common race day Garmin issues I have. I started to see that the pacer was going a little faster than a true 10:52 minute pace. Instead of struggling, I kept remembering a thought a friend gave me, "My race, my pace." My Garmin had me on track and I was happy. The course started thinning out and after a while I passed a few and had no one was near me. At 14.5 miles my husband and other family members were waiting for me where I exchanged 3 empty G2 bottles for full ones, and I was off. I knew the half marathoners were going to be on the course soon so that might help. Not so much...I had found the stragglers, which meant most were walking and 4 wide in places! That meant I had to use more exertion to going AROUND them! Around mile 18.25 I knew about the major hill coming up, I wanted to start bargaining with myself if I would allow myself to walk.
I also started to feel like I was dragging. ..maybe this was my wall...maybe the fact that I knew this half of the course stank my mind beat me....at one point though through 19 and 20, 22 I felt it, I was becoming weak, my head was feeling light headed...I knew what was happening, because my Fitbit told me the truth...I hadn't calculated my calorie burn correctly! Instead of 3000 calorie burn I was over 4000! My light head was going to possibly risk my race and I could have crashed! I had stopped my fueling calculator and just added the Gu, Clif Blocs, Gatorade from the race as I saw it, I didn't want to pass out. I decided I could still "run" but I probably shouldn't, crashing was the biggest thing on my my and as the 5 hour pacer passed me I knew me not hurting myself was so much more important. At the last overpass I began running again. My mom was on the sidewalk where I had not expected her, that was very nice! I kept going I had done this route 4 times now. I looked for the Full Marathon finish side and I was there. My husband, father and stepmother were right there waiting to see me finish! Big Medal Earned!
My finish time was 5:06:43, 3 of those minutes were wasted filling my water bottles at aid stations, 30 seconds got lost at the husband hand off...but it was so close to under 5 hours, I am still blissful.
As I was uploading my time onto my Spark Page, I found my original and other times on the same course for the half marathon. It took me well over 3 hours to finish 13.1 miles, yet my first full, I finished 26.2 miles less than double that! My training plan with my few failed efforts didn't get me my "goal" time, but this is the next day and I am feeling 80-85% well. Quads a little sore, shoulders a little rough some tension in the shins BUT I AM MOVING AND UPRIGHT AND HAPPY! Hansen's Marathon Method, will be the same training plan I will use for my next Full Marathon in October!