Exactly one week ago, I ran my second marathon.
And I have no idea how I did it!
Literally, I ran a total of four times in the month leading up to the marathon. While part of the blame is due to the kidney infection (I couldn’t run for two weeks) and the proceeding flu bug (another three days), I really just got lazy. The longest run that month was nine miles, and that was the Sunday before the race! So I am serious when I say carb-loading is the reason I finished the marathon. Well…carb-loading and sheer stubbornness.
But I knew I had finished a marathon once…so I wore the exact same outfit I wore for my first marathon and prayed that the good juju would rub off on me for this race. I woke up at 4:45am, scarfed down a bagel with cream cheese, eggs, a banana and coffee and hoped my digestive system would high five me with a much-needed #1 AND #2 before the race started.
That was my first fail of the day.
No #1 OR #2.
When the race gun went off, Lauren and I crossed the starting line and began running. She was smiling. I was seriously considering laxatives. I felt slightly crampy for the first several miles but by mile four, actually felt pretty good. We sustained a steady 9:45ish/mile pace all the way through the half-marathon mark! Then things got dicey.
Nashville’s extremely hilly course and hot, steamy weather caught up to us.
By 9am, it was 75 degrees without a cloud in the sky. The heat grew stronger and more demanding of liquids. I popped two orange GU chomps every 4-5 miles, poured water over my heat-trapping curly hair at every water station and drank Gatorade at every Gatorade station.
But by mile 17, I had to stop and walk. Lauren had run ahead of me this time (homegirl KILLED her first marathon), and I took about 1/2-3/4 mile to rehydrate. Then I started running again. Miles 21-24 were the worst. It was a long open road with no shade and 80 degree heat. Some guy even thrust a full bottle of orange Gatorade in my hand and demanded I drink it!
I didn’t refuse.
At mile 24, I told myself it was two miles. Just two miles! I could run two miles. Two. Miles.
And I did! I crossed the finish line in 4:55.50 for an average pace of 11:17 and promptly proceeded to cry. Yes, cry. It was the emotional culmination of a long couple months, and I was proud. Just really, really proud of myself that I finished the race in under five hours.
So I congratulated myself the best way I know how…with food!
Pulled pork, mac n’ cheese, green beans, pancake cornbread + BBQ’d pickles (<- a revelation) from Hog Heaven. And I drank a Diet Coke there! It tasted so good.
Butter Lover’s popcorn, water + My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding in our hotel room.
Coffee at Marche with my high school friend Corrie! Seriously, the best.brunch.ever.
And the best company! And the best croissant French toast! Go to Marche. You won’t regret it.
Chips, queso and more Dos Perros beer at Rippy’s. I told you we were regulars.
Frozen yogurt with Heather and Summer! Sweet Cece’s, please come to Madison. I want to eat your vanilla froyo with pineapple, almonds, peanut butter chips, graham crackers, animal crackers and strawberries like everyday.
I’d also like to eat it with Heather everyday! She is about the sweetest, cutest and most lovely person you’ll ever meet. And she’s pregnant with twins!
A Mediterranean Salad, ginger ale + Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon in our hotel room.
Next time you’re absolutely frightened of doing something you may be unprepared for, take a bit of a hint from my fortune cookie, which I got the day before the race…
Never ever ever.