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Palm Beach Marathon 2010

by Meghann on December 5, 2010

I told you I had this. :P

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So, where do I begin? The awesome race course? The great organization? The constant mental pep talks? My favorite two favorite spectators in the world? Or how about the dramatic finish complete with a wheel chair and IVs? I have so much to share!

But. let’s start from the beginning. Because – trust me – all stories are best told from the beginning.

And this one begins at 4:45 with an early wake up call, a bagel, and Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter.

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The combination of bagel and nut butter still makes me gag to an extent – totally ODed during race training this year – but it works . I had about 3/4 of the bagel – about all I could stomach and felt great heading to the start knowing I had a full – but not too full – belly.

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Before the race I also devised a plan with my sister for sports bottle hand offs. I filled three bottles up with a mix 1/2 water and 1/2 Gatorade. I was warned ahead of time there would be Powerade on the course, but I’m a Gatorade girl at heart, so I prepared myself with my own bottles.

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These bottles ended up being a life saver and saved me so much time on the course. While others were becoming backed up through the water stations, I would run right through. It was also nice since the water stations were a mile and a half apart to have water on hand when ever I wanted. Having water at the ready is a definite mental booster.

The weather outside was a lot cooler than Chicago had been. About 47 at the start – perfect racing weather! I wore a sweater to the startling area, but tossed it before the starting line.

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Fifteen minutes before the start I gave my Dad and Sister one last hug and headed into the corrals by myself. I had decided the day before that I would run with the 4:00 pace group at least for the beginning of the race. Race pace groups always come highly recommended by other runners and I figured this was as great of an opportunity as any to give it shot.

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I never talked to the pace leader or anyone else in the group, so I can’t give any insight in to the camaraderie I’ve heard other people rave about, but I can tell you it was at least nice starting with the pace team. Since we crossed the starting line at the same time I could always judge where I was in relation to my goals by where the race pacer was. That information was invaluable!

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The race counted down and before I knew it I was running my sixth marathon.

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Keeping up with the pacer at first was tough because of the crowds. I did my best weaving in and out (something I HATE to do) to keep up with the pacer and was really successful at always keeping him in my vision.

At mile 2 my shoe became untied. WTF? Two miles in? Seriously! At least those were the thoughts going through my head. I pulled over, triple knotted both shoes, and was back at the pacer’s side just before I saw my Dad and Sister at mile 3.

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There is nothing better than seeing family during a marathon – even if you’ve only run a 5k of a 26.2 mile race. :)

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The crowds had thinned out after that first 5k and the pacer had settled into a comfortable pace that I thankfully had no problems keeping up with. I turned my ipod on high and just zoned out into my music. I’ll have to give in and finally post my marathon playlist – it was pretty kick ass today. :)

I was feeling great with the pace group, so when we hit a water station at mile 5 and the pace group stalled to grab water – I went for it and kept going. I decided to use them as my marker and as long as I was ahead of them I was alright. But at that moment I felt great.

The course was beautiful and a pleasure to look at while I was running. Beautiful water, big palm trees, and ridiculously over-priced houses along side. I saw a couple for sale, but I’m pretty sure the Sotherby’s For Sale sign meant they weren’t anywhere near my price range.

At mile 6 I took my first 4 Sharkies of the race. My goal was to take 4 every 6 miles during the race and was pretty great with sticking to the plan. I had 4 at mile 6, 12, 18, and 22. I also had some orange slices along the way, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

At mile 8 the half marathon group split up from the full marathoners. The half marathoners were kind of laughing and cheering at us and I told a few to save some beer at the finish line. With the half marathoners off the course, the amount of people really thinned out. I went from a group of new friends to just one or two in front of me and one or two back.

I was starting to get lonely, but had a nice surprise when I saw my Dad and Sister around 10.5

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It was a surprise because I was expecting to see them at 12 and I think they were just as surprised to see me. Kelly grabbed the camera and Dad grabbed the signs and they gave me a fanfare worth running for.

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A few seconds later I look to my left to see Kelly running up next to me. She had caught up to see if I needed more water – I was good at the moment and assumed I would be seeing them in a few more miles for another refill anyways – and gave me some words of encouragement.

She ran with me for a half mile or so then we parted ways and I continued on my way.

It was great running with my Sister. I was really pumped at this moment and averaging 8:50 min/miles – I was on fire!

The next few miles were quick. We headed to the end of the first out and back and started back up the second. I was expecting to see my support crew just past mile 13 and memorized my half time to tell my sister when I saw her to tweet. Half time was 1:58:30 (!!) :)

BUT, 6th Ave (our planned meeting point) came and went and I didn’t see them around. On the way back – still no Kelly and Dad. Where were they?

At this point I wasn’t mad, just worried. Where were they? What happened? I kept thinking that their car was towed or something and they had to catch a cab to the other side of town to retrieve the car. I had a lot of time on hands so I kept assuming worst case scenarios. Ughhh… not good.

I pushed on. I made it to the end of the final out and back, went over a bridge, turned around, and prepared for the 8 mile straight shot back to the start.

I also finished my first water bottle and threw it to the side. I felt like I was throwing my clutch to the side. Luckily at this point the water stations had thinned out and grabbing a water or powerade wasn’t as big of a deal as before. I would grab one of each and mix them at each station.

At the beginning of the straight shot back someone heading the other direction on the road shouted “Meghann!” I waved and she said “I read your blog!” I wish I would have gotten the girl’s name! I told her she was doing great and good luck. Just after I saw her pass I saw the 4:30 pace group, so I know she was doing really good. :) Mystery runner – You were rockin! :)

I was approaching 6th Ave again and was silently hoping my sister and Dad would be there. I really could have used their support at that point, but again – no fans. :(

Then, just as I was hitting 19.5 I saw my sister and Dad standing proud.

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There they were!!!!

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I don’t think I had ever been more excited to see two familiar faces before.

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They were prepared too. Kelly jumped in and became the best sister ever. She fed me orange slices – God Bless Her! – and handed me a watered down gatorade bottle. It was full and too heavy for me to carry, so she dumped out about half at my request.

I was weak at this moment. All the work was finally starting to sink in and I needed her more than ever. She ran to mile with me and told I was the 45th female, then we passed a girl on my left and she told me – “Look now our 44th!” I was having trouble talking, but that made me laugh. I hope she knows how much I appreciated her and how much I needed it.

When we reached mile 20 Kelly said good bye and I told her I would see her at the finish line. All I had was a 10k left! I could do this!

Hardest 10k of my life!

I was waivering between a 8:50 pace and a 9:30 pace and was ever so thankful for the slight cushion I had built in for myself. The 4:00 pacer was behind me the whole time – and I knew he was there – but there was no way I was going to let him pass me. He was my motivation.

I pulled out everything I had deep inside me to finish. I kept recalling the post I had written on Friday and how I declared I was NOT going to give up. I was going to give it all I had and not give up. I kept thinking of all my readers, all my friends, my family, and everyone else I wanted to talk to when the race was done.

Then something crossed my mind that Emily had tweeted me the other week. She had told me to ‘finish a marathon with a 3 in front of it.’ And thinking about that made me become so emotional. A marathon with a 3 in front of it?!?! Who am I?!?! I’m the girl who couldn’t run to the end of the block 3 years ago without getting winded and I have the possibility to finish a marathon with a 3 in front of it?!? I teared up more than once just thinking about that. THAT was my motivation to finish – I wanted that 3. I deserved that 3.

I don’t know how I did it, but my pace held for that last 10k. I stayed around the 9:00 minute mark and knew I could finish on pace.

I kept checking the clock and knew I was going to cut it close. To finish my time goal I had to keep this pace. I could do it.

Mile 26 came up and the clock read 3:56:48. Oh god. I had 4 minutes to reach my goal. 4 minutes!!!!

My face was glued to my Garmin. The seconds were ticking by way too fast. Could I do this? Could I reach my goal? I gave it all I had and sprinted to the finish.

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3:59:36! 3:59:36!

I did it! I did it! I got my 3 marathon!

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And then everything went black.

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I remember crossing the finish line and I remember two people in white shirts asking if I was ok, but after that it’s a blur.

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From what I was told I collapsed into the arms of the medics. They told me I kissed the payment. I was loaded into a wheelchair and brought to the medic tents where I came to surrounded by a a group of 13 or 14 people. I was told my blood pressure was really low and I was dehydrated. They gave me oxygen and began loading my body up with fluids.

I immediately started feeling better and wanted to exit the tent, but they made me stay for a good 45 minutes, until I had all 3 liters in my system.

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Everyone was really nice. When I told them my legs were cramping they sent a massage therapist over and he massaged my feet and stretched my legs. They also gave me water, orange slices, and pretzels to nibble on.

The Doctor assured me this could happen to anyone and he mostly sees experienced marathoners in the tent. He told me next time to just start hydrating with gatorade the day before my next marathon and to try and drink even more next race – if at all possible. I shared marathon stories with the other nurses and doctors and they all offered congrats for reaching my goal. :)

After 45 minutes I was released and ready to celebrate my victory. I wasn’t going to let a minor visit to the medic tent spoil my victory.

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The proof – I DID IT!!

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We headed back to the hotel to shower and change then to Cheesecake Factory for brunch.

I had bread

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And a celebratory Baja Chicken Hash – it was really, really good. :)

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I feel GREAT now and can’t believe I was in the medic tent just a few hours ago being treated for dehydration. I’ve been drinking water and gatorade like there’s not tomorrow today and I think that helps!

This race was amazing. Staying on pace, seeing my family along the way, and just running with so many amazing people really put this day over the top.

I’m now a member of the sub-4:00 hr club!!! Is there a secret password I should know about? ;)

MILLIONS OF THANKS to my sister Kelly for being my official tweeter and being so supportive along the way and more thanks to my Dad for coming out and supporting me along the way and for all the tweets, comments, Facebook messages, etc from all of you!

Also, thanks to Derek for being the constant supportive boyfriend, even if he couldn’t make it out to the race today. :)

I’m home now and ready to dig into more food. Bring it on! :)

{ 163 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tara December 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm

so proud of you for doing such an amazing time!!!! I have done 6 halfs and every time I finish one I think “I have SO much respect for those who can do a full”. GOOD WORK!!!! :)

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2 Kate December 5, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Yay Meghann! Sub 4 is awesome- and it feels like a gateway to even more marathon awesomeness :)

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3 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

WELL DONE!!! Knew you could do it! Sub 3 hour is SO amazing!!! :D
What a dramatic finish though! I was really quite worried for a second, reading about you collapsing and wheelchairs and all that! Thank goodness you’re okay!
CONGRATS AGAIN!!! :)

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4 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Ooops I meant sub-4 hour! :P
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5 Katie @ Live for the Long Run December 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Awesome job on the race! You totally inspire me! I’ll be thinking of you when I run my first full marathon (the National Marathon) in March! Thank you!

Congratulations!!
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6 Kristy @ KristyRuns December 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

CONGRATS! All of your hard work truly paid off! After reading this, I can’t wait to sign up for my next marathon! :)

Glad you’re feeling better after the wheelchair/medic tent time…

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7 alison December 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Hooray!! Congratulations, Meghann!
I’m so happy for you. The added trip to the medic tent for an IV just makes your story even better.

Rest up!
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8 dawn December 5, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Yay! I am a lurker who’s been waiting all day to hear your great news. Glad that you achieved your goal and great blogging too!
Dawn

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9 Kelly December 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Wow! so inspiring, thank you so much. I was thinking of you as I was running a little 5k this morning, thinking the challenge you had. I have followed you on Twitter and will continue knowing how much you will motivate me to my goal of a Half marathon next year. Nice Job!!

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10 Caitlin December 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Uber dramatic!! congrats :)
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11 Jess@atasteofconfidence December 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Congrats and glad you are okay!!! Your sister’s help was very sweet :)
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12 April B. December 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

So happy for you!! I ran my 4th marathon today with a goal to PR and I did it just barely – I can sympathize with how hard the last 10K was as well. I think for me, two marathons that close together (I also ran Chicago) made my body hurt worse toward the end.
Congrats again – I hope to join you in the sub-4:00 group soon!
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13 Becky December 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Congratulations, Meghann! You did it! I’m so glad you are feeling OK, too. Enjoy lots of good food, rest, and relaxation :)
Becky recently posted..Bright Lights- Big City

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14 Sana December 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm

OMG you are amazing! but that pic of you in a wheelchair scares me! You are too epic!
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15 Katie December 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! A TRUE RUNNER’S DREAM TO RUN A LIFE CHANGING MARATHON! You deserved it!
Katie recently posted..Tis’ the Season

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16 Emily December 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Congratulations on an amazing race! So inspiring to a beginner runner like myself :)
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17 Bria December 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Awesome race report!!! Great job :) Thank goodness you passed out AFTER crossing the finish line!! Your angels must have been with you, as my grandmother would say. ;)
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18 Amy December 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm

WOW. I stumbled upon your blog, and am so impressed by your successful run! Congratulations! You are inspirational!
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19 Rachel December 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Oh my gosh Meaghann, I have tears in my eyes. Super big congratulations to you!!!

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20 Lauren December 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Whew, got a little teary towards the end! Congrats!!! Must have been scary at the end for your family but thinking back is it hilarious that Kelly (I’m guessing) was taking pictures?? What a good blogger, haha!

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21 Dione December 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I teared up reading your recap! Congrats on your AWESOME accomplishment! You are an inspiration!

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22 Regina December 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I was glued to the screen reading this post and tears started rolling down my face. haha I’m so happy for you!!!
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23 Kaitlin December 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Congrats!! You are SO rockin and incredible! It’s scary to see the last few pictures but I’m so glad things worked out. You are a rockstar!!
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24 Katy (The Singing Runner) December 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm

CONGRATULATIONS! I am so proud and happy for you!

Once again, you completely inspire me! You are amazing! :)
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25 Nikky December 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm

You really did give it your all, while I was reading this all I could think about was one of your last posts when you compared 2 of your races and the fact that you couldn’t walk after the one you gave your all in.

I love reading your race recaps especially the marathon ones they ALWAYS make me cry, not tear up, CRY with tears running down my cheeks and all. Sorry for the cheese but you are such an inspiration and congrats on your race!

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26 Katie December 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm

That is awesome! I thought about your race today and couldn’t wait to hear how you did! Congrats in all the hard work paying off!!!
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27 Ashley December 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Congratulations Meghann!!!!! That was a very inspirational recap, my eyes started to water. You are amazing.
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28 Lindsey December 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Great job Meghann! That is an amazing accomplishment!
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29 karla December 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

congrats! i loved the recap…what a great story. you have inspired me to aim for the under 4 hour marathon club!

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30 grocery goddess jen December 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I am so proud of you Meghann! I was was a reader for your first marathon and I’m a reader now, I’m so happy you achieved your goal!!!
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31 Tab- Just Weighing In December 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm

WOW – what a story! So glad you’re okay after your little “episode” :) Congrats on making your goal!
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32 Lauren December 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Congrats! Your story is so motivating and your time is awesome. Glad you’re okay after the dehydration scare too. Enjoy your post-marathon bliss!
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33 skinnyrunner December 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm

congrats on going sub 4!!!!
and passing out/wheelchair/medic tent? completely hardcore!

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34 Kt December 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Way to go! You are so inspiring!

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35 Nicole Lisa December 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Gosh, your story (entire journey not “just” this marathon) is so inspirational.
You are making me want to do better, so thank you very very much for that.
<3 Nicole Lisa
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36 Emily Malone December 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm

So insanely proud of you. Reading about our Twitter convo made me totally tear up. I know exactly what you mean – thinking about how far you’ve come in such a short time, it’s really mindblowing. Sub 4 is something very few marathoners achieve – you totally earned it! (Casey thinks you are awesome too – showed him the pics of your dramatic finish!). CONGRATS! :)

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37 Cate December 5, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Whoa- what a race & great recap too! CONGRATS!!! You are an inspiration.
:)
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38 mary@ A Healthier Maria December 5, 2010 at 6:31 pm

CONGRATS!!! that is the most amazing story & it’s so impressive that you made your goal! Like another commenter said, marathon stories always make me tear up & yours especially did, particularly when you were talking about the thoughts going through your head when you finished. You make me want to getup & go run! Congrats again! :)

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39 NC December 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Congratulations Meghann !! that is an awesome recap , proof that if you put the hardwork in , you will defintely see it . Congratulations ! . Hope you are feeling better now !!

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40 Michele December 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm

As Caitlin would say “EPIC”! Way to go Meghann – A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!

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41 Jen December 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I am so happy for you! How wonderful to give it all you have an complete your goal. Go you! Never, ever forget this feeling :)

You also joined another club; the collapsing at the finish line and needing medical help one. I’m a proud member, too. But seriously, I am so glad you’re ok!
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42 christina cadden December 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Congrats! I am glad you are ok!

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43 Meghan December 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm

You are such an inspiration, Meghann!! And amazing recap. I may have shed a few tears! ;)

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44 Erica December 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm

oh my goodness Meghann! I’m so glad you’re ok. Congrats on meeting your goal!! Rest up
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45 Lee December 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Great job!!!
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46 Angela December 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

My god what an inspiration you are! you should be so proud of yourself. I hope so bad to be in your shoes some day. Im up to a 10k hoping to be doing a half next year and reading your blog everyday gets me so pumped to see how strong you are!!!!
YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!

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47 G December 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Seriously teared up reading this post! Is it weird to feel so proud of somebody you have never met??? haha Hope you aren’t too sore tomorrow!!
Congratulations Meghann!!!

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48 Rebekah December 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Super hardcore! Congrats!

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49 Cat December 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Meghann, I totally teared up while reading your post. You are an amazing athlete! Nice work!

P.S. Have you considered trying coconut water to hydrate? It’s my favorite thing for long bike rides and runs. I like it because it’s natural, not filled with sugar and it has tons of electrolytes and potassium, which are great things to have when you running 26.2. Oh and I personally think it’s delicious!
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50 Mama Pea December 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

You did it! Congratulations…I was so scared at the end of your recap, though. Please take care of yourself!!!! This is a Mama telling you to :)

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51 Kathleen December 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I followed the tweets and was so happy to read there and here that you achieved your goal. Way to go! So inspiring… Enjoy celebrating your sweet sub 4 victory.
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52 Ash Bear December 5, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Rock on Meghann!! You did so well today. Great job on making your goal!
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53 wendy sue December 5, 2010 at 6:58 pm

congratulations! hope you are feeling better now!

Am running the Atlanta marathon by myself in March and am a lil nervous, it is awesome your dad and sister were there!
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54 Sherry Stevens December 5, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! You are Awesome!

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55 Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa December 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Wow – congratulations! Breaking 4 hours is huge! I have been wallowing in post-marathon blues these past two weeks – I didn’t meet either of my first two goals (BQ or sub-4) and have been debating whether or not I should run another one. I think I will for sure do another though – reading your recap was very motivating.

Nice work!

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56 Holly December 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Congrats on the achievement and welcome to the club–feels good doesn’t it?? Glad your visit to the medic tent wasn’t too long and that you’re doing well now. Enjoy the victory/accomplishment!

Cheers!

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57 Jenna December 5, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Ah I am glad you are okay. Congrats on finishing!! That is amazing!!!!

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58 Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy December 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Girl you are the biggest source of inspiration when I run! Your stories are so fun to read, and it’s great to find out details like how you mix the water & gatorade, etc. What a huge accomplishment to break the 4-hr wall! You should be proud, that’s major! Can we see your marathon playlist sometime?? Also good to know that I’m not the only one who wants to fall to the ground after putting every last once in to cross that finish line! I still can’t believe you passed the 4:00 pacer :-P Congratulations on today and an epic year of running!!!
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59 Mimi December 5, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I was seriously checking my computer every five minutes after I read your sister’s tweets to get your complete recap. Congrats x 19000923. Such an accomplishment and your willpower is inspirational! Now, drink up!
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60 Alicia at Poise in Parma December 5, 2010 at 7:27 pm

WOW what a story, especially for a PR! Congrats on the sub four hour time – that’s fantastic. So happy for you!
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61 Jessica @ Jessica Balances December 5, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Congrats! I got a little teary reading this – you were so determined to reach your goal, and you did it! :) also, cannot believe you collapsed! Glad you are feeling great and that nothing was seriously wrong. Enjoy your post-race high!

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62 Me-Linh December 5, 2010 at 7:30 pm

You did GREAT!! You’re such an inspiration Meghann!!

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63 Kelli - MarathonMamma December 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm

What a great recap and thanks for getting it out there so quickly! Most of all congrats! What a strong run! Sub-4 you are amazing! I’m so happy for you!
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64 Rebecca December 5, 2010 at 7:35 pm

So glad you’re okay, that must have felt scary!

Congratulations on a sub-4hour marathon, that is really incredible!
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65 Amanda December 5, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Congratulations! You are so inspirational!

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66 Kaitlin December 5, 2010 at 7:36 pm

congratulations! what an accomplishment!!

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67 Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm

oh my – what an epic epic race :) I am so glad to hear that you are ok though!

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68 Caitlin T December 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Wow. Honestly you are truly an inspiration. I’ve been following your blog for some months now and I look forward to your updates. This past marathon recap made me tear up thats how amazing it was. I am running my first half marathon in feb and I cant wait to know the feeling of crossing the finish line. The fact you got a sub4 time literally made me feel so proud and excited for you! I can’t wait to feel that too!!! Keep being awesome and again I’m so happy for you and THANK YOU for the inspiration

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69 kathleen December 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm

congrats on beating your goal (in my hometown of all places)!
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70 Katie @ Healthy Heddleston December 5, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Congratulations Meghann! I bet the 3 club feels awesome! Glad you are feeling better and that you are now hydrated :)
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71 Corey @ the Runner's Cookie December 5, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Congratulations on breaking 4!!! That’s a big deal and a big milestone. The post-marathon feeling is such bliss – hope you’re enjoying it!

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72 megan December 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm

omgoshh meghann thats intense! WAY TO GO!! :-) you are awesomee!

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73 Theodora December 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

CONGRATS! You are amazing. I’m glad you’re okay, too.
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74 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep December 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Congratulations! I’m so glad you’re okay!

You amaze me!

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75 Amy at TheSceneFromMe December 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Wow girl! That’s an awesome time, good for you! And glad to know you are okay. I was following your friends tweets during the race.

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76 Alyssa December 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm

CONGRATS!!! You are beyond awesome and kick ass! I’m really glad you’re alright; it is reassuring to hear from the doctor that he mostly sees experienced marathoners in the tent :) I would say six marathons makes you a bit more than experienced ;) Enjoy celebrating, you deserve it!!!

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77 Ali December 5, 2010 at 8:33 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! This was such a great recap, scary at the end. But at least it all ended well! :) It seriously makes me want to sign up for another marathon now!! :D
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78 laura December 5, 2010 at 8:54 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!! I followed your sisters tweets and I don’t know you but I’m so proud of you!

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79 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) December 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm

So glad you’re okay! You did AWESOME!!!
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80 elizabeth December 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Congratulations! What an awesome, amazing story. You have inspired me to try a half next year, and I’ve only done 5ks up to this point. Awesome!!!

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81 Katy December 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Congratulations!!! SOO proud of you! You definitely deserve that sub4!

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82 D December 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm

congratulations meghann! that is a huge accomplishment and its great to see how proud you are of yourself because you totally deserve it, and you should give yourself a lot of credit.

today i ran my first 20 miler in training for my first marathon, and i read a bunch of your training and race recaps for motivation this morning. i have followed your blog for a long time and it’s been great to watch your running progress. i was reading about your first 20-miler and how you teared up, and i was injured when i read that post and didn’t think i’d ever recover to run a marathon. reading it again today was just as motivational as it was then! i hope you’re going to do a marathon reflection post because i LOVE reading your opinion and insight on marathons. congrats again!

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83 emily December 5, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Congrats! You are amazing!
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84 Jillian @ Reshape Your Life December 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Congratulations!! That is so awesome that you ran a sub 4 marathon! Incredible!! And I’m so glad to see your OK, I got a little nervous there!
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85 rebecca lustig December 5, 2010 at 9:10 pm

oh my goodness, i’m glad your ok! congrats girl, you KILLED IT

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86 Lindsey December 5, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Congrats on your AWESOME marathon time! That’s so exciting! :)
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87 Lynn December 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Congratulations!!! What an accomplishment. So glad you’re alright after your scare. But my biggest question…who was taking pictures of you instead of making sure you were alright?

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88 Cassidy @ takingmyplace December 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Great job! You’ve been one of my running inspirations since I discovered the blog world (over a year and a half ago). Keep on running and I hope there are no more dramatic race endings!

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89 jenna December 5, 2010 at 9:19 pm

great job meghannnn! you are do amazing :)
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90 Anne P December 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Ahhhh congrats!!!!! That’s so scary about the passing out – I’m glad you’re okay! xo
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91 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun December 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I love when you say that you deserved the sub 4 time. You really did deserve it and you earned it. Scary about the medic tent though. Glad you’re okay and I’m sure resting up now.
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92 Amy December 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Congrats, Meghann! You did amazing!!!
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93 kilax December 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Congrats on getting your 3! What a scary ending! I am happy you are okay! :)

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94 Sarah @ EatRunGarden December 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm

That’s awesome! Great Job!
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95 sirenjess December 5, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Welcome to the club! I’m happy that you’re okay and congrats on your awesome time.

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96 Erica December 5, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment! You never cease to amaze me, girl;-) I’m so proud of you! I remember the big hug you had for me when I saw you at the Disney Princess Half back in March, so now I’m sending a big one back to you!! Way to go sub-3 hour girl! I’m running my second marathon in April in St. Louis and am hoping to shave a lot of time off my 4:26:53 full from Kansas City in October. I’ll be thinkin of you!! Wanna come and pace me?!
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97 Ashley December 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Congrats Meghann!!! What a story!! So glad you’re okay and got your 3! :)

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98 RunningOnCoffee December 5, 2010 at 9:40 pm

First of all, congratulations on your awesome time!! What an accomplishment!

How scary to end up in the medic tent! Glad to hear you are ok now – drink lots of fluids!!! I can agree with a previous commenter about loving coconut water, but I’ve never had it while running – only after a run, and super-chilled, on ice.

How do you like your camelbak water bottle holder? I’m looking at getting one with the Podium Chill Jacket bottle so I can keep my stuff extra cold on runs!

I’d love to see your running playlist. I have not run any races with music, but I’m looking for some new music to add to my occasional training run.
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99 Kristie December 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Hey Meghann – I was that mystery runner who saw you when you started heading back on the straight-away. So glad you met your goal. I ended up finishing at 4:40 – not quite with the pace group I was hoping for but it was my first marathon so I was just ecstatic to finish :).

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100 Fit Chick in the City December 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

You are a rock star!!! Congratulations! I’m so glad you’re feeling okay after the trip to the medical tent.

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101 Hannah December 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Congratulations Megan! You are inspiration to all!!! Enjoy and bask in your incredible success.

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102 Susan December 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I was SO happy when I saw Kelly tweet about the under 4:00 finish!! That is amazing, you are amazing. Now go reward yourself with some Gatorade ;)
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103 Carrie @ TV and Dinners December 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I’m not a runner, but this is still a very, very inspiring post. What an amazing goal to achieve! Congratulations!
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104 Sarah @ Long Legs Healthy Life December 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Amazing job Meghann!! Glad you’re ok, I was actually biting my nails while I was reading, hoping you weren’t seriously hurt!
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105 Shelley December 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Wow, what an amazing time congratulations!!
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106 Allie December 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Woo-hoo! So proud of you :) I’m glad you are re-hydrated too!
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107 CB December 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm

So, I guess I am the only one who thinks pushing your body to this limit is totally ridiculous.

I am glad you are OK. I also wonder why somone who knows you would take those pictures rather than attending to you or, well, at least not taking freaking pictures.

Congratulations on your time, though.

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108 D December 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I commented earlier about how inspiring of a runner you are – and I definitely believe that – but I have to agree with part of this comment about why your spectators were taking pictures. I actually thought it wasn’t that bad, figuring that they had the cameras up at their faces anyway, but I watched your youtube video of your finish, and while I think YOU are super admirable for finishing and being strong, I have to wonder why on EARTH someone would wait a FULL MINUTE before seeing if you were okay. I believe Beneath it All’s tweets about how they “sprinted off with you” and they ahd to chase you. Well, it certainly didn’t look like that :( That video is nearly a full minute long where you can hear their commentary on you. Doesn’t seem like much of a rush to see if youre okay. Once again, congratulations on a fantastic marathon, but hopefully next time your finale will be different.

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109 SaraRM December 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Ok hold while I grab a tissue…

Wow, what an amazing post. CONGRATULATIONS! I can imagine the excitment you have right now. You did awesome and can completely relate to all your feelings throughout the race. I know the disappointment you felt when you didnt see your family where you expected them but they fact that you pushed through and kept focused is an achievement in itself!

YOU ARE a true inspiration! Way to go lady, great post and great race!

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110 Lindsey (HIP LIP) December 5, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Congratulations, Meghann! I hope you are feeling okay and drink up to rehydrate!
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111 Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy December 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm

GREAT JOB! Your story is sooo inspirational! I hope to someday run a marathon half as well!
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112 Laura (Starloz) December 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm

so awesome meghann
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113 Alison (Fueling for Fitness) December 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Congrats, Meghann!! So happy for you, for reaching your sub 4:00 goal. Scary about collapsing, but I’m glad to see that you’re okay!!!! :)
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114 Kim December 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Wooooo Congrats on a great marathon! :)
You are such an inspiration Meghann! You rock!! :D

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115 Dori December 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Congrats my love!!! So so so proud of you and so thankful you are fine. Keep drinking. And enjoy this feeling!!!
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116 Christin@purplebirdblog December 5, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Congratulations!! That is one hell of an accomplishment! :D
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117 Kim December 5, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are such such such an inspiration. I just finished my first full… I know I had so much more left in me and I can’t wait to do it again.

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118 Clare @ Fitting It All In December 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm

CONGRATULATIONS GIRL!! Saw your tweet this morning and was so excited for you –you train so hard and definitely deserved this! Even with a slight medic set back:)
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119 Carrie Beth December 5, 2010 at 11:43 pm

you are an inspiration to me! that sounds cheesy, but i truly mean it. i’m sort of a beginner distance-runner, and reading this has made me want to my heart out tomorrow!!
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120 molly December 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm

did the dr mention hyponatremia? It seems to me like your ratio of water to sodium was way too high…mainly female endurance runners have this problem. Gatorade is definitely low sodium…thats why some elite marathoners drink pickle juice shots. If you don’t have enoug sodium but try to hydrate, not only will the water not absorb ut you get some symptoms of being drunk,like passing out. Something to look into!

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121 Ilene December 6, 2010 at 3:03 am

I’m glad you’re okay! CONGRATS ON YOUR TIME!!! That’s AMAZING!

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122 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 6, 2010 at 7:27 am

CONGRATS Meghann!! I knew you had it in you :) Awesome job…you’ve earned those bragging rights!!
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123 Hope December 6, 2010 at 7:56 am

Congrats on the race!! :)
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124 Brittney December 6, 2010 at 8:10 am

Wow, that is sooooooooooooooooo cool!!! Great race Meghann! I just signed up for my first marathon today. Thanks for the added inspiration :)
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125 OrlandoPaula December 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

Congrats on your time! Amazing accomplishment! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you are all smiles on the cot in the medic tent. :-)
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126 Erin December 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

Congrats! What an awesome race! Glad that you are back on your feet and feelin fine!
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127 Claire December 6, 2010 at 8:48 am

Awesome, girl!!

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128 Heather December 6, 2010 at 9:02 am

Congratulations!! Knew you could do it!

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129 Paige@Two Runners And A Brown Dog December 6, 2010 at 9:03 am

Meghann! This post brought tears to my eyes. When I saw the photo of you crossing the finish line in less than four hours, I felt like I was there!!!! I was so happy for you. It just really touched me, because I could tell how hard you were going for it, and how you put every ounce of your being into it! Congratulations on a job well done!!!!
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130 Suzanne @ Continuing My Education December 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

Congrats on your marathon! You are pretty amazing doing two marathons in such a short time! Now go relax and enjoy the holidays!
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131 Gwen December 6, 2010 at 9:47 am

You are such a rockstar and an inspiration! Love that getting your 3 marathon pushed you through! I’d like to work on a 5 marathon! Way to go! Hope you get to relax after work!
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132 Jim December 6, 2010 at 9:49 am

Big congrats on the race!

Did they stick you with an IV?
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133 Britt @ Runnerbelle December 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

Great job! Welcome to the 3′s! :-)
Glad you recovered quickly once you got to the medic tent. It is scary but it can happen to anyone. I’ve been fortunate to not have a visit after 13 marathons, but my mom has been before.
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134 Heather @ Side of Sneakers December 6, 2010 at 10:08 am

Congratulations!!! I’m SO proud of you- you did it!! Glad they were able to get your rehydrated and on your feet so fast :)

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135 Alexa December 6, 2010 at 10:17 am

You should be SO proud of yourself! What an amazing accomplishment. I loved reading this post.

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136 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday December 6, 2010 at 10:26 am

CONGRATS on completing it and hitting your goal!!

Glad to hear you are okay. It was a bit nerve-racking to hear that you passed out :/
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137 Bess @ Bess Be Fit December 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

Congrats on another marathon and finishing with such a great time! The collapsing at the end just proves you gave it everything you had and deserved that 3!! Glad you were okay :)
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138 Jill E. December 6, 2010 at 10:29 am

congrats! what a great accomplishment! very inspiring.

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139 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather December 6, 2010 at 10:33 am

Wow what an amazing race story! You really did an awesome job and pushed it. Dramatic ending at the medic, eeek! Glad you’re recovering well girly :)

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140 katie December 6, 2010 at 10:39 am

This post made my cry. What you used to motivate yourself to get past the last 10k was amazing.
Congratulations for getting your 3!!
Such dedication.
Haha :)

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141 Biz December 6, 2010 at 10:39 am

You should be so proud of yourself Meghann! When I saw your sisters tweet about not wanting to say anything until after you were out of the medic tent I was worried.

But, being the rock star that you are – you did it! :D
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142 Brittany (Eating Bird Food) December 6, 2010 at 11:11 am

Congrats Meghann. You are amazing!!

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143 Kristine December 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

Congrats on beating 4 hours! That is an amazing accomplishment!

As a nurse I have to say that your story about the collapse at the end/trip to the medic tent terrified me! 3L of IV fluids in 45 minutes is A LOT, which means you were extremely dehydrated. Dehydration is no joke – it can cause major circulatory problems, as well as other issues if your electrolytes get out of wack. I’m glad they had such a great emergency response team set up at the marathon but it’s a bigger deal than that doctor made it out to be. Staying hydrated is critical so that you can run 6 (or 60) more marathons! :-)

Definitely an incredible experience overall – I love reading your recaps. Just want to make sure that you and your readers view it as a lesson learned and not just a “hardcore” story to tell.

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144 Becca December 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

Congrats!!!! I’m soooo not a runner, but this post made me all weepy reading it this morning!!!
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145 Chrissy (The New Me) December 6, 2010 at 11:45 am

CONGRATULATIONS! I love this recap and am so excited for you. A sub-4 hour marathon is a dream of mine – one day! So what’s next? Qualifying for Boston?! ;)
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146 Christine December 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Awesome job! I am extremely jealous about how warm you guys all look! I ran the Rock and Roll Vegas Half Marathon yesterday and it was 33 degrees at the start. My muscles were not appreciative! Please, please, please post your playlist. Hope you’re feeling okay today!
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147 Stephanie December 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm

When I ran my marathon I cried like 3 times. Feeling so proud myself, so excited to see my supporters, so excited for the finish!

CONGRATS!

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148 Gina G December 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

you are unbelievably amazing! :D

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149 Lisa December 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Congratulations! Sounds like you had an awesome race and glad you’re recovering from the dehydration – scary! Great job!
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150 CMae December 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Congratulations! What a fabulous accomplishment! So proud of you — and love the Maddie poster Kelly made for you!
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151 Heather December 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Congratulations, way to go on achieving your goal :-)

Glad you are ok after your visit to the medic tent too!

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152 Erica December 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I was just referred to this blog by a friend. I’m one of those people who used to run. Reading this makes me want to skip work and start training again!
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153 Carolyn @ Lovin' Losing December 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Congratulations on your sub-4:00 race! Sorry about the dramatic ending, and I’m glad you’re okay!
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154 aron December 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm

this race reminds me SO MUCH of my BQ last year. fighting so hard down to the last second and leaving every single ounce of yourself out on the course. there is no better feeling than that girl :) it is the BEST! you did AMAZING and i am so proud of you!!!! welcome to the 3 in the front marathong club, you definitely deserve it! hope you are sitting up high on cloud 9, stay up there as long as you can because you earned it!
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155 Bree @ beeskneeslife December 6, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Congrats! Glad you are okay after the medic tent.
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156 Alina @ Duty Free Foodie December 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm

This is probably the best race recap I have ever read!

Although when you said you went to the cheesecake factory, I was kind of hoping for cheesecake photos.

Congratulations!

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157 Kiran December 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

So relieved to know you are doing great and CONGRATS on exceeding your marathons’ target :) It was the best and moving post ever.
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158 Rachel Wilkerson December 7, 2010 at 9:07 am

Meghann,

I’ve really been thinking about this post and the one before it, and how to phrase what I’m about to say. It’s not easy to talk to someone who you’re very friendly with about such a sensitive topic. That said, given everything that’s happened in the few months, I hope you’ll hear me out.

I know you want to focus on your time, but I also have to ask — and I’m seriously asking for your thoughts, not trying to start shit — does it feel right celebrating when running at that pace caused harm to your health? Isn’t the goal to cross the finish line at your PR…and then be able to walk (albeit slowly) to the table and get a bagel and a Gatorade? Sure, no one is going to be in perfect shape when they finish a marathon, but to me it seems like if pushing your body to a certain time causes it to basically say, “Um, NO” there is something wrong. To me, that’s like going on a crash diet to lose 5 lbs for your friend’s wedding, and then passing out from not eating and missing the reception. Like, yes, you might have achieved the goal, but at what cost? I would hope that all women see that their health/fitness goals should be celebrated when no real harm was done to their health.

I also think your decision to post the video of your fall, as well as picture of you in the wheelchair and the medic’s tent, was irresponsible. I think that this is a case where writing about it, without necessarily showing the exact moment on film, might have been the better choice from an ethical standpoint.

I really appreciate that you added the disclaimer, but I think this is a case where it’s too easy to skip over that or not take it seriously. I saw how you handled the Marie Claire fallout — with total grace, maturity, and humility — and I really thought that you had taken some of the more negative aspects of the article to heart, that you saw that sometimes, people don’t have common sense, and we all have to be careful with what we post. I KNOW you intentions were only good, but this video and these posts really seem to be celebrating a dangerous and scary moment. I think the fact that you WERE okay might be what scares me more — I worry that people will get the sense that crossing a finish line and then passing out is normal or common, or that hydration and nutrition is something they can worry about after the fact.

I also have to raise an eyebrow at the commenters who seem to be congratulating your dad for continuing to film. There seems to be a sort of flippant “All in the name of a blog post!” attitude. I also found the picture of you in the medical tent disturbing — that’s the part where I’m like, “Why on earth was anyone picking up a camera at that moment?” In regards to that, and to posting the video, I just want to say…you don’t have to share everything with us. It’s OK to have some private moments, and whether you chose to make this one private because it was you going through something scary or because your family was really freaked out watching it or because it was something that maybe a lot of readers out there just couldn’t view in a responsible way, even with a disclaimer, that would have been OK. And sometimes you do need to put down the camera, just for your own sake. No one should feel as she’s going through a scary situation, “I need a picture of this for the blog.” I think that’s something all of us who are passionate about our blog need to be reminded of from time to time.

I hope you know that I’m saying this out of concern for both your health and the health of the bloggers and readers who might take the wrong messages away from this post. I know that you’re thoughtful and that you truly listen to people’s concerns, and I feel like we can have a good discussion about it.

- Rachel
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159 gabriella @ embracement December 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I was kind of put off by comments along the lines of your trip to the medic tent makes it even better and that sort of thing. Obviously, I don’t believe anyone thinks that this story would have been incomplete with that trip. However, I do think to people who don’t understand the dangers of dehydration and the incredible amount of stress your body is under while running a marathon (such as some of the people who commented on not being runners), it comes off as though dehydration, fainting, etc are a part of a marathon. The amount of water needed before you were released is actually pretty serious and I know people who’ve been in the hospital for days because of dehydration – it is definitely not something to mess around with or for people to comment on being “epic” etc.

I still find you incredibly inspirational and your race recap to be amazing. This blog is your own and to do with it as you please, but the medical stuff can mislead people to think that its not as big of a deal as it is. It might be “common” during marathons, but then again so in injury while leading to a marathon. I just think things like these shouldn’t result in positive comments (toward the fainting that is).
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160 gabriella @ embracement December 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Reading your marathon recaps really inspires me to run one of my own one day as someone who also used to find running extremely difficult and just could not do it. Also Cheesecake Factory afterward must have felt so good!
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161 erin December 8, 2010 at 6:39 am

Such an inspiring story Meghann! I’m about to return to the road after a couple of years off from running and hope next year to run the marathon I never quite got around to doing when I was running regularly in 2008/2009. I loved reading this story and it’s been awesome to see the massive improvement in your times – you’ve gone from strength to strength. I can’t wait to read about your next adventure!

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162 Heather @ Dietitian on the Run December 8, 2010 at 10:37 am

Congrats, girl!!! What a story …. :) I’ve never thought I could keep up w/ a pace group, knowing my pace usually starts much slower and gets faster, but it clearly does help to have that for gauging progress! Glad to hear the trip to the medic tent wasn’t too detrimental – on to celebrate your victory! Ha, love it.
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163 Nicole December 31, 2010 at 1:58 pm

You did it, your marathon post is the first post that has ever made me cry. You’re amazing girl! I can’t believe it! I want to try and run my first half this summer (knee willing) and this post inspired me to push, hard, and nicely. And it makes me feel like a full marathon is completely do-able in… 2012!! God bless you girl, and thank you so much for the inspiration. Now all I need to do is find your training schedule to break 4hrs!

Happy new year + take care!
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