My Very First Marathon!!!

by Meghann on June 1, 2009

After all of the fund-raising, training and hardwork of the last few months, I have completed what not so long ago I thought was impossible. I ran my first marathon!!!

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It was the most amazing, challenging thing I have done my whole life and I could not be happier. ?

Last night I had the typical before race nightmares that had me tossing and turning all night. When the alarm went off at 3:45 I practically bounced out of bed and started getting ready.

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Once I was put together, I was able to enjoy my pre-race breakfast.

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I had a Whole Wheat Bagel with Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter & an Apple.

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It was the prefect meal as always, that kept me going all morning.

At 4:30am we met the rest of our Team in Training group downstairs for a group picture.

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I was all prepared and ready for my marathon.

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And then we stepped outside to wait for the bus and was great with cold, wet mist.

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It was FREEZING! I pulled my jacket out of my grab bag and was wishing I had something warmer to wear on my run. The more I thought about it, the more I knew it would feel great while I was running and to just suck it up.

I ended up turning the jacket in with my grab bag and was happy with the decision. I had just been planning on running with my cellphone and Flip Camcorder, but I didn’t feel quite finished taking pictures with my camera. I made the last minute decision to bring my camera with me, which ended up being a great documenting idea. I met up with Bobbi by the grab bag area and we made our way to the start.

Along the way we discovered free samples of Peanut Butter Puffins being handed out! We were sad when they said they would not be offered at the end of the race and didn’t want to eat them before the race.

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Luckily later we discovered they were at the end and were able to stock up. ?

We were placed in Corral #13 for the start. We were smack dap in the middle.

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There were thousands, upon thousands of people ahead of us…

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And thousands, upon thousands behind us!

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As the time ticked closer and closer the excitement inside of me was about to explode!

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Finally the gun shot rang through the crowds and 35,000 runners from around the country made their way to the start line. Right when we started walking I got a text from my twin bro asking me to call him when I woke up. I started laughing and texted back I was running a marathon at the moment. Come to think of it, I never ended up calling him.

We finally crossed the start line a little over 5 minutes after the start and I was pleased to see the corral system had worked and everyone was taking off at a decent pace and there was not bottle necking at all.

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The first 5 miles literally flew by! Bobbi and I held a strong 10:00 minute pace and gabbed the whole time. I honestly could not believe it when 5 miles had passed!

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After exploring San Diego the past couple of days, I recognized most of the areas we ran by. I saw the Zoo, the Trader Joes, my hotel and we eventually circled back to where Derek and Bobbi’s friend were waiting for us around mile 7 in downtown.

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My phone had drowned in my sports bra, so I gave him my cell, a quick kiss and continued on our way. It felt great to see a friend face cheering me along the way.

The Rock n’ Roll courses are known for their large selection of bands along the course.

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At first it was great and there was literally a band every few blocks. However once we got into the higher numbers, when we really needed the bands I was sad to see none in sight!

As the miles started to tick by, I realized how great running with Bobbie really was. She is a ball of energy, that was always up for a laugh along the way.

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And kept me up to date with her Twitter updates! I need an Iphone!

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Did I mention we were able to take pics at the start line with her Iphone and upload them to Facebook before we even started! How cool is that?

When we passed the half mark I was still feeling fine. Everything was in tact, but the idea of still the same distance to finish really had be thinking. Luckily, along the race we had great luck running into people we knew to keep us entertained. I saw my TnT Coaches, a fellow teammate, Bobbi found a friend and we even ran into Amanda from Run to Finish.

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She was running through an injury and unfortunately it started to really act up around mile 12. She ended up power walking to the finish and still ended up finishing in a great time.

As far as fueling for the race, I have to say I took everyone’s advice on what I needed to eat and thought I was all set listening to those. I was packed with Shot Bloks, Sports Beans and promises of free Gu on the course. But, when it came down to it, that is not what I wanted.

I started by taking Shot Bloks. I had a single shot blok three separate times up until the half. At the point we started running through the neighborhoods and I started leaning on strangers for some proper fuel. Along the way I had 2 orange slices, an ice pop and some watermelon.

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I think the ice pop was honestly the best thing I have ever taken from someone in a race. It was cold, tasty and the prefect amount of simple sugars. I was pretty sad there was no other ice pops provided along the course. ? The fruit I took was also refreshing and I felt helped me way better then any enhanced shot blok or sports bean would do.

There were also 17 water stops along the way and I ended up taking water at all of them!

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I think the excessive amount of water also filled my belly up and pushed me along. I felt great when I finished. I was not shaky, hungry or funny feeling. I guess in the end, what I did worked best for me.

All the essays I have been reading have stated that the marathon truly begins at mile 20 and they weren’t kidding! When I got to Mile 20 I couldn’t even begin to tell you how great I felt to come this far, but also how sick I felt that I still had so far to go. This was the time that a familiar face was needed and luckily Bobbi’s husband, aunt and uncle were waiting for us at the bottom of a particularly tough bridge to cross. We said our Hellos, gave a hug and were off again.

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All of a sudden the race became a mental game. I walked a little bit and had to stop and stretch my legs quickly at one point. I felt my body start to tighten and want to break down. By now, time ceased to matter. I did not care when I finished, as long as I finished!

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I won’t go into detail how torturous miles 23 and up were, but I have to say they were the toughest miles I had ever run. I just kept pushing, drawing into myself and zoning everything else out. When we turned into the Marine base I knew we were almost there. It took every bit of energy inside of my complete the last half mile. I thought of you guys, I thought of my sister and I thought of everyone else running the race. I could do this, I could finish!! I was a machine and I was not giving up!!

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I looked for Derek who had missed us at the halfway mark and with all the people along the barrier I knew I was going to miss him again. Luckily at the last minute I saw him and managed to wave to the camera.

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Bobbi had run up ahead to film my finish with the Flip camera (Video to come!) so I was completely on my own for the finish. I held strong and crossed the finish line with my arms up and pride in my eyes.

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I did it! I really did it!!! I RAN A WHOLE MARATHON!! OMG! OMG! OMG!! And I am happy to say I finished it just under goal!

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Official finish time: 4:29:46!

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I felt great! But, I don’t think anyone warned me how much pain I would be in almost immediately upon crossing the finish line. As soon as my legs stopped, they became heavy and almost immobile. It was honestly the worst pain I had ever felt before! I literally stumbled my way out the shoot and loaded up on all the goodies they were handing to the finishers.

I grabbed a Forze Bar I tried yesterday and even though I was not hungry AT ALL, I ripped it open and had started chewing. Halfway through my stomach started to turn and I had to put it away. My body was no where near ready for whole foods at this point.

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Since, my phone was now dead and gone, I was really afraid on meeting up with Derek after the race. Luckily, when I went to pick up my bag up, Derek was waiting for me next to the truck.

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I wanted to collapse into his arms. I was tired, in pain and all I wanted to do was cry.

Bobbi’s wonderful husband was waiting for us as well in the family reunion area.

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I only briefly met him o the course, it was great to actually be able to say more then two words without huffing and puffing.

I hobbled my way around the finishline and had to sit down to try to stretch it out. Let me tell you that was a very difficult position to get in and out of!

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On the way back to the car, we discovered just how small the world it when Aron came running up behind me. She had ran with friends and randomly spotted us leaving the area.

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Aron has such a happy, healthy attitude toward this blog and it was great to get to meet her one more time while we were in the same area.

My stomach started to feel back to normal at this point, so I dug into an Apple on the walk…

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And a sample bag of Puffins back in the room.

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After a quick hot shower and change of clothes, Derek and I went for a late lunch with Bobbi, her husband, aunt and uncle at the Old Town Mexican Café.

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The place had a bit of a wait so we walked next door to buy some fresh warm tortillats for a $1.

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I had one wonderful tortilla. It was warm, doughy and AMAZING!

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In celebration of the marathon I began my meal with a Pacifico Cerveza.

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A beautiful cold, refreshing beer! It was just what I needed! During the beginning of races I always crave a cold beer, but know if I were to have the ones offered along the course I would never make it. Having one at the end is always so satisfying. :)

I could decide what to eat so I ordered two items a-la cart.

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I had 1 Spinach Enchilada A-La Carte with no Sour CreamDSCN1152.JPG

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And the Grilled Mahi Mahi Taco with out the special white sauce.

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They were both delish and I happily cleaned my plates! ?

To help push me through the race Bobbi reminded my of the Frozen Yogurt I could have afterwards. Trust me it helped! We met up with Amanda at Yogurtland in Little Italy so I could discover my first builf your own yogurt experience.

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We don’t have build your own yogurt places in Florida, so this was a fun first for me. Basically you grab a cup and fill it with a mix of any yogurt and topping you want and then pay for the ounce.

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This sounded like heaven to me! I had a mix of Vanilla Wafer Cookies n Cream &Peanut Butter fro-yo with Almond Slivers, Strawberries, Cheesecake Bites, and Chocolate Sprinkles toppings.

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The only bad part was it went to fast. :(

After the Fro-Yo it was sadly time to say our good byes to Bobby and Amanda.

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It was so great getting to know both of these girls in real life this weekend. I had an awesome time and just sad to see it come to an end. Both of these girls are just as amazing and easy to get along with as the appear on their blogs!

In the last 2 hours it has taken me to write up this blog post I have done absolutely nothing. In fact all I want to do is sleep! Tomorrow is going to an interesting full day of traveling that has me leaving here early in the morning and arriving back in Orlando in the evening. Booo…

On the plane I plan to work on the video Bobbi and I filmed during the race, so I hope to have it up s

It was a great weekend while it lasted and I want to Thank everyone again for their constant support during my marathon journey. I am a little sad to see that it’s over! Now I just have to find new adventures to go on!!

Good Night!!

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