Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicago Marathon

Back in February, a good friend of mine that ran the marathon last year convinced me to sign up with her to do it this year. Unfortunately, she got a stress fracture in early July, so I ended up doing it on my own. It actually worked out well though. My training went great and although I was very nervous leading up to the race, I also felt confident in my ability to do it based on my training. On Saturday, I went down to the race expo with my friend and the kids and Paul spent their time making me amazing signs!

I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to have the kids come down to the race.  They have watched me prepare for this all summer and I wanted them to see what it was all about.  I was so thrilled that Domi came downtown too as her support meant so much.  Also, she was able to take the kids after I saw them at mile 13 and Paul was able to run around the second half of the race to cheer me on, give me supplies, and much needed encouragement in those last few miles.  Domi, thank you so much!

What a great cheering squad!

I think Juliette stayed warm and ate her breakfast most of the time.

As I mentioned, Paul was able to run around in the second half of the race and cheer me on.  Seeing him during the last half was so helpful to me.  He gave me water, encouragement, and basically was just there when I needed him.

I actually felt great for most of the race.  I slowed down in the last few miles, but I kept going and never felt the urge to walk, which was what I was most afraid of.  Also, I had mentioned the water stations in a previous post...I ran through all water stations.  I did not walk once, even for water, which made me so proud.  Thank you Domi for showing me that in your half!

Feeling good and finished strong!

I was overcome with emotion when I finished.  I cried, got ahold of myself, and then would start crying again.  It was amazing. 

My official time was 4:06.  I was hoping to get 4:15, so I was thrilled with my time.  I thought if I got that close to 4 hours that I would be mad that I didn't break it, but I wasn't at all.  Everything went as well as I possibly could have hoped and I left it all out there and had a great experience.  I can't even express how happy with everything I am.  I am proud of my training, proud of my race and proud of my time.  All I wanted was a positive experience and I don't think it could have gone any better in any way.  And since I feel completely satisfied, I don't think I need to do that again.  Never say never, but I'm happy to go back to doing Half Marathons now!!

I felt fantastic after the race, but was very sore the next day.  It took a few days before I could walk down stairs without wincing!  I did stretch after the race, but I don't think it helped too much!  I took a week off, but am back to running again now. 

And before I move on to the rest of our day (that's right, the marathon was only part of our day), I want to make sure to thank a few people.  First off, I am so thankful to God that I stayed injury free and had a safe race.  Every year, at least one person dies during a marathon due to some unknown heart condition and I am not going to lie, I was a little worried about it.  I prayed for a safe race and was so thankful it all went well.  And, I could not have done any of it without the full support of my amazing husband, who watched the kids every Saturday morning so I could go out for a long run and makes breakfast and gets the kids ready for school most mornings so I can run before school.  But besides watching the kids, he was genuinely excited for me and encouraging in every aspect.  I literally could not have done it without his support and I would not have done as well in the race if he had not been there cheering me on.  I love you! 

After the race, there was not time to stick around.  Ben had a Tiger Scout rocket launch that he was so excited about.  So, we went straight from the race to the rocket launch!  Ben must have been proud of me as he wanted me to help him launch his first rocket.

He built and decorated the rocket himself.  I must say, it was very cool to watch.  They went straight up in the air pretty far and then would parachute down.  Ben launched his several times - he couldn't get enough of it!

It was a very fun event.  Then, it was home for a quick shower and then to a friend's house to celebrate a birthday.  It was a very fun party and I felt great, but it was a long day and I was tired by the end of the night.  We spent much of the next day relaxing on the couch!!!

Overall, it was a fantastic day!  And thank you to everyone who supported me and wished me luck.  It was a huge thing for me and as I said, I just could not be happier with the way it went. 
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