I begin this blog with our third marathon. We just kind of decided to run it last minute. I actually signed up the day before the race. I don't recommend this as a training plan for marathon running, especially if it is your first.... oh and I definetly don't recommend it without taking plenty of immodium. (trust me your GI tract will thank me for recommending that) We stay in great shape, working out probably 4-6 days a week, but our longest run prior to this particular marathon was probably only 10 miles. So we set our alarm for 5:30 on Saturday in order to prepare for our race day festivities. Go time was 8:00, so that gave us plenty of time to get our breakfast and coffee down, Glenn to walk Cadence and me to work on my playlist.
This morning my priority was getting my playlist together for our 26.2 mile run. We usually don't listen to music when racing, but we figured miles 16-26 were going to be pretty miserable, due to our lack of training, we might as well have some good music to get us through it. So I spent a good hour getting it together, downloading a few new songs for my awesome new playlist. I was sure this music would get me through the run if nothing else.
The race begins and we are having a great time, running about 8:50 pace, very moderate but not crawling. I have to admit the urge to speed up around mile 7 or 8 was tempting, but we knew better, because our bodies would be kicking us once we rounded out mile 14 or 15 had we sped up so early on. I was felt great until around the 16 mile marker, just was I predicted. Glenn felt good the whole race, except for a minor bathroom emergency he encountered around mile 20. (if you are a runner, you know this just happens sometimes.) This actually happened to be one of three bathroom stops we took, which is something my normal obsesseive running self wouldn't allow, because it would take up too much precious time on the clock. Miles 16-26 were hard, but what always gets me through a marathon, or a hard workout is thinking about how fortunate I am that I can actually do these things.
We ended up running our slowest marathon on the easiest course we've ever ran at 3:59. It was amazing to wake up in the morning and not stress about times or care at all about maybe getting an age group place or PR. We had the most fun we've ever had running. I'm not going to say I'm never going to really race again for time or placing, but I will say that I want to race like this more often than not. There was something very freeing in just running for fun. Other than a random 5k I ran with my mom this summer, I had never really ran without racing something.... weather it was myself or the next female runner in front of me, or my all time PR. It felt great to slow down on mile 21 just because I wanted to, because my body was tired.
Oh and about that awesome playlist... I realized at mile 15 that I had been listening to the wrong one that whole time. At least that gave me something new to look foward to for the last 11 miles of our run.