by Holly on May 5, 2012

in blogger meet-up,marathon training,running,travel

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.

Local Yazoo Dos Perros beer x3 and honky tonk music at Rippy’s. We were regulars.

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.


Roz@weightingfor50 May 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Hi Holly, I’ve only just stumbled on your blog, and love it. Congrats on your marathon last week. That’s a HUGE accomplishment! I look forward to getting to know you more through future posts. Have a great weekend.

Sana May 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Yay!!! So proud of youuuuu!

Erica May 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

You are amazing! Thats awesome! The food after looks yummy. BBQ’d pickles? Genius. Isn’t Heather the sweetest? Congrats!

Ashley May 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I’ve been a follower of yours for years. This post just caused me to kick my butt in gear and actually register for the half marathon I’ve been training for. I kept thinking I couldn’t do it. Now I know I can. Thanks so much Holly! You keep me inspired!

Evan Thomas May 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Congrats Holly! I’ve never been able to go #2 the morning of a marathon. It must be some sort of runner’s curse.

Pam May 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Congrats!! Love this post <3

Abby May 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Can you hear me cheering you from Michigan? And also, big thanks for the HEABs update. I miss that woman ;)

Lauren May 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

You are such a rock star! Love this post and love you more! Congrats girl.

Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats May 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

You are just plain badass.

BinomialBaker May 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Wow! Congrats! I’ve been getting more into running lately and I’m thinking about trying a half-marathon. I can’t even imagine doing a whole one right now…but maybe someday! Thanks for the post, it was inspiring :)

Sarah May 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Congrats, Holly!!!

Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile May 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Congratulations, Holly! That is an amazing accomplishment. You should be SO proud, you rock! :)

Meister @ The Nervous Cook May 5, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Never, never give up: That’s basically the Everythingtarian submotto! I’m so proud of you — way to go gettem, tiger!!

Sara May 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Son of a bee sting! That’s amazing–you’re amazing! Good job!

Hillary May 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm

So, so proud of you, Holly.
And so, so jealous of that croissant french toast…

In all seriousness, congrats!! What a fantastic job well done.

Jessica May 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm


So freaking proud of you for not giving up lady! Who knows whether I’ll ever get the racing fever, but I applaud you and your smokin’ bod for getting you through those 26 miles! Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re out of shape or not strong enough, because clearly you are. :)

Mallory May 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I know how you did it… you’re just plain amazing! hope you know what a rockstar you are… so proud of you :)

Emily May 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Congrats!!!! That is so exciting and what fun company!!

Jeannie May 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Awesome, congratulations on powering through! I loved this post, I’ve been there when you want to give up halfway through the race but you finished strong! And what a telling fortune you received just a few days prior :)

Whit May 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

I really freaking love you. you are a beast.

sarah @ sarah learns May 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

congrats! i knew you would be able to do it!

Misty May 7, 2012 at 10:46 am

Way to go!!! Great Job!
And from a Tennessee girl, those aren’t cornbread pancakes–they are cornbread fritters! My Mom made me fritters everyday of my pregnancy. Got to love a Southern Momma.

Megan (Braise the Roof) May 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

Damn girl, that is REALLY impressive! (And for the record, that’s not lip service- I can’t really imagine running a marathon, let alone after having 2 bouts of illness the month before!) Oh, and I want to have a Bravo marathon with you in a hotel room soon. Milwaukee, perhaps?

colleenzo May 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Congrats!!! Also, you were totally my inspiration this weekend… A friend persuaded me to use her Lake Monona 20k bib after she injured her foot. The most I’d ever run in one stretch up until that point was 7 miles, and now I almost had to double it! But I knew you survived, and so did I. The complimentary massage at the end was a nice touch, too!

Kait May 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Congratulations!!!! :) Seriously…so amazing! Oh an I totally get the crying thing…its like a giant cosmic sigh of relief + joy + appreciation wrapped in a towel of love and pride. :)

Katie May 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Woohoo! You inspire me, lady love.

Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed May 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Congrats!!!! You are ridiculous. I’m all about food rewards after big races ;)

BroccoliHut May 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Major congrats, girl! That’s such a huge accomplishment!

Joelle (on a pink typewriter) May 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Congrats! I rarely comment, but recently discovered your blog and I just adore it and your positive energy! SO fun to read. :)

Mattie @ Comfy and Confident May 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Congrats on finishing the marathon! That is an amazing accomplish. I can not believe you ran so little beforehand. You should be super proud of yourself!

Jill May 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Congratulations on finishing the marathon!! That is a huge accomplishment!

I miss Heather’s blog so much and am excited to see a picture of her and Summer. I know why she stopped her blog and understand but I miss reading her musings. Her sweet spirit always came through. She was the first healthy blog I found and I have lost almost 30 pounds by being inspired to eat better and exercise.

Lauren @ The Climbing Chef May 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

Nice job lady!!! The thought of running right now makes my knee hurt :) I’ll just stick to rock climbing. Don’t forget the importance of sugar, it keeps your irrational fear down… as a climber, I keep a lot of quick sugars around when on an adventure. I’m sure it was the sugar/carbs that got you through… and the fact that you are awesome!

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning May 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Congratulations- that is HUGE!!! I can imagine that I would cry crossing the finish line too!! You should be so proud of yourself. And dang- all of that post-run food looks delicious!!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter May 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Holly!!! Wow, I was already impressed you completed the marathon in that heat, but now I’m really impressed after reading about your month before the race. So sorry about the kidney infection – those are no fun at all. So proud of both you and Lauren – what an accomplishment, and you looked so great on Sunday (still thinking about those cute shorts – I want!) – you weren’t even hobbling around. Many many congrats.

Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m grateful that we finally got to meet in person, and like I said before, I’m already looking forward to our BBQ reunion. I’ll hook us up at Rippy’s as I’m good friends with the owners’ daughter. We went to high-school together. :)

Abby @ Change of Pace May 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Congratulations- that’s another huge accomplishment.
Did you really get that fortune the day before? That kind of freaky!

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