I completed the Freedoms Run Marathon in record time!!! (for me)
My first marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon which I ran in 5:42:34. My average pace for that race was 13:03/mile. Pretty respectable for my first ever marathon.
My second marathon was the Disney Marathon and those of you who have been around awhile know that I ran the Goofy Challenge that year (Half Marathon Saturday, Full Marathon Sunday, lots of pain and suffering Monday) My time for that full marathon was something like 6:40 so that doesn't really count towards being a lickety split runner. But I did kick ass during the half marathon with a time of 2:39:25 so I wasn't at all disappointed.
My finish time for the Freedoms Run was 5:40:22, a full 2 minutes and 12 seconds faster than my first full marathon. My average pace was 12:59/mile. I couldn't be happier about that than if Mike Rowe himself was waiting for me at the finish line to present me with my finisher's medal and a big wet sloppy kiss.
I had so much love and support that weekend, it was ridiculous. The morning started at 5:00 when I got up and dressed. My friend Susan was going to drive me to the shuttle bus to get to the starting line, but she feigned car trouble and instead told me she brought me another driver. Who should pop out from behind the car but my dear friend Jazzy Jen Powers, who came up from North Carolina just to cheer me on for my marathon. I cried when I finally realized who she was (in my defense, it was 5:30 a.m., pitch black outside and I was wearing sunglasses). She dropped me off at the shuttles with the promise of Pad Thai and wine that night, post-race. I can think of nothing better than good food and good friends to celebrate my victory.
The race started off with a little drizzle and about a mile in, it was a full on down-pour. It was during the second mile that I realized something. My washing machine is apparently not doing its job. The rinse cycle on my washer isn't getting all the detergent out of my clothes. How do I know this? Because I had, literally, a cuff of soap bubbles around each leg of my running capris from the downpour. I'm not kidding. I literally was leaving a trail of bubbles all over mile 2.
Luckily the rain eased up by mile 5, however, that's when I crossed the Potomac River and started running on the C&O Canal Towpath. The C&O that day resembled both Tough Mudder courses that I've run in the past. No lying, the towpath was nothing but 4" deep mud puddles as far as the eye can see. Normally, the towpath is one of my favorite places to run. Now, I don't care if I ever see it again. It was a muddy, slippery and dangerous mess.
At mile 15 I was able to get off the towpath and onto solid ground. That was the good news. The bad news is that at mile 15, the serious hills start, and they don't stop for another 6 miles. But more good news, my fake husband Joseph and one of my running sisters, Paula, met me at mile 15 and ran those hills with me. What a sweet blessed relief to be running with people I know and love, who were there to get me through the roughest part of the race!
|My fake husband Joseph and I in the hills of Antietam Battlefield|
It totally worked. I ran across that finish 2 minutes and 12 seconds faster than I did for my first full marathon. This time I was about 25 pounds heavier and 6 years older. And my family and friends were all waiting for me at that finish line. I cried as they ran the home stretch with me. PSA: running and crying are not possible at the same time, I ended up hyperventilating and nearly died.
|Dear sweet baby Jesus can I stop running now??|
|My baby girl at the finish line, presenting me with a hug and my finishers medal|
|Me and the beautiful Jazzy Jen Powers who was with me at the start and the finish of my marathon|
The night I finished running, we did go for Pad Thai and wine, then spent the evening pretending to play cards but really gorged ourselves on more wine and chocolate (because my husband is amazing, he went to the store and bought all the chocolate he could find for us). And we laughed and talked well into the evening. It was an amazing weekend with wonderful friends and lots of pain. But all well worth it.
You can read about the events leading up to my full marathon here.