As I’m sure you know by now, whether through Erin or Deanna’s marathon posts or our very thorough photo documentation, we completed our very first marathon in Half Moon Bay. It was beautiful, difficult, took lots of preparation, and was so worth it.
Not only did this race take physical preparation, but lots of travel, transportation and carb loading plans came into play, which made everything even more exciting. I was really nervous in the week leading up to the race – not necessarily that I wouldn’t finish, but that I would encounter some crazy thing on race day that I would be completely unprepared for.
I was so lucky that my mom, Paula, was able to join us for the weekend in San Francisco. I’m always happy when I get to spend time with her, but it really meant a lot that she was there to support all of us for such a big event. In addition to driving us around San Francisco (in a sweet minivan, might I add) and taking photos of our every move before, during, and after the race, she volunteered on race day. How amazing is that? 🙂
In the 24-32 hours leading up to Sept. 29th, I can confidently say that we all mastered the art of carb loading. I never felt like I hit a definitive “wall” during the course of the race, and I think I have the pizza, pasta, and multiple loaves of bread from Boudin Bakery to thank for that. Let’s just say I have lots and lots of practice and carb eating skills.
After spending the day relaxing in San Fran, I felt ready and excited to run. I don’t think we could’ve picked a more beautiful place than Half Moon Bay to run our first marathon. The weather was perfect, the view was amazing the whole time, and the course was mostly flat – until the last 6 miles (which would’ve been hard no matter what).
As with every race, fun run, obstacle race, training run or workout, it was so great to have my friends running with me. Laura did amazing in her first half marathon and Deanna and Erin really helped pulled me through the last half of the race. At the finish line, and I couldn’t help but think how far we’d come and how lucky I was (I was running my first 5k just a year earlier). I could have done a marathon by myself, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun or special.
I love to run and push myself because it helps me face difficult things in my everyday life. During a 18 mile training run before Half Moon Bay, I started to feel some intense knee and hip pain (thanks, new shoes). I took a few weeks off from long runs before the marathon to give them time to heal. I ran a half marathon in Santa Monica about a month before with no pain, so I felt confident that it was gone for good. On race day, I was feeling great for the first 11-12 miles – no headphones, taking in the view and keeping a slow, steady pace. I remember thinking at mile 12 about how happy I was that I was feeling so good and that I could definitely make it in my goal time.
That’s right when I started feeling that familiar sharp pain in my knee, and it only got worse throughout the last half of the race. I hobbled along as best I could and just pushed through to the finish line. I obviously did not make my goal time, which I was pretty disappointed about, but the experience taught me that sometimes you really can’t be prepared for everything. It wasn’t running my first marathon that was the hard part, but conquering the unexpected hurdles that popped up when I least expected them. I guess you can say that’s a pretty good way lesson that applies to everyday life.
Overall, our first marathon was a great success and felt like a huge accomplishment, even though I didn’t get the time I was hoping for. I was lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive people throughout the whole process and am looking forward to doing it again next year 🙂
What was your first marathon like? Did you encounter anything unexpected?