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Alyssa’s First Marathon

by Meghann on November 2, 2010

For lunch today I had the pleasure of dining with a few co-workers at one of my favorite nearby restaurants, Harmoni.

We split the Dip Trio Appetizer


White Bean, Red Pepper Hummus, & Spicy Tyrzati

(they sent the extra dip home with me – yum)

And I ordered the Fig Salad with Shrimp as my main meal.


I’m glad I asked for the shrimp, other wise the salad would have been very plain. There suppose to be walnuts, but I never saw any. 🙁

The lunch was fabulous and very low key. I work with a great group of people. 🙂

Earlier this morning I snacked on a slice of cheese and cherry tomatoes.


Alyssa’s First Marathon

I’m starting a My First Big Race Series on the blog. I really love reading recaps from other people’s first half marathons, marathons, etc and wanted a place to showcase them on the blog. If you have a story you would like to share shoot me an e-mail at

Today’s story comes from Alyssa at Chocolate is My Life.

Alyssa just completed the Baltimore Marathon a few weeks ago and lived to the tell the tale. Congrats Alyssa!

Here’s her story:

My friend Carolyn and I signed up for the Baltimore Marathon in January. I was terrified to hit that “confirm” button on the registration page, running a marathon seemed like some crazy dream and I didn’t actually believe I would run 26.2 miles. 8 months later, after a great (hot!) summer of training, I woke up on marathon day not feeling any of the fear I was expecting, just excitement! Carolyn and I headed to the start line with some other friends from our training group, and before we knew it, the gun had sounded and we were actually running our first marathon.

Baltimore, MD

The first half was so much fun. Carolyn and I and our friend Mike amused ourselves by chatting and belting out song lyrics (Baby Got Back and Don’t Stop Believing were my favorites). Our biggest problem was we kept going too fast. I had heard a ton of horror stories about going out to fast and burning out later. I was the pace drill sergeant and checked my Garmin obsessively and kept slowing us down. My family had traveled 400 miles to cheer on my sister, who was running the half, and I. I saw my Dad, Mom, stepdad and husband at miles 9 and 13 and it was such a huge boost!


After Mile 13 I knew I wouldn’t be seeing my cheering section again until the finish, and at Mile 15 Mike wasn’t feeling well and told us to go on. Carolyn asked why I wasn’t complaining about anything hurting, and if I truly wasn’t in any pain. Um, I wish! I am just a serious believer in the strength of denial. Still, a few aches and pains weren’t enough to make me not enjoy my first marathon! I was feeling good overall. I was excited for the 20 mile mark, because after 20 miles, every step would be a new distance record. Carolyn also pointed out there was only a 10K left. We remembered running a 10K in college together when it seemed like such a long distance. Now we were running one after already doing 20 miles! I had also dedicated each one of the last 6 miles to a member of my family whose support had helped me get to this marathon. Thinking about each person at their mile was a nice distraction.


At Mile 21 I tried to just pretend I was heading out the door for a 5 mile run but that didn’t fool my body. There wasn’t much crowd support here and the stories are true – those last 6 are TOUGH! We saw mile 26 and Carolyn said she was going to try to push it to the end. I told her to go ahead, I didn’t think I could move any faster. But when I saw her back I really wanted to finish with her so somehow I sprinted up next to her. Carolyn and I grabbed each others’ hands just before crossing and threw them up as we did – WOW! As soon as a volunteer handed me my medal I put it on and just felt so thrilled, proud, and exhilarated. After months of training and hours of running, I can’t even describe how excited I was to be wearing that medal. Running a marathon was truly an incredible experience, and I can’t wait to do it again!

1 megan @ whatmegansmaking November 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm

What an awesome story! Almost makes me want to run a marathon. Almost, but not quite 🙂 Seriously though, that story is inspiring 🙂
megan @ whatmegansmaking recently posted..Carrot Parsnip Soup

2 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Wow, great recap Alyssa!! You make me excited to race again. I totally agree about what you mentioned regarding the strength of denial – so much of running a marathon is related to mental toughness and positive thinking (or refusing to focus on anything negative) certainly helped me finish mine. Well done! 😀
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat recently posted..Friday fun

3 Hannah (Running In Freedom) November 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Awesome story! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to have one of those myself. 🙂 Congratulations!

4 Michelle (The Runner's Plate) November 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I enjoy going out with co-workers every once in a while and mixing things up!
Michelle (The Runner’s Plate) recently posted..Monday’s Eats &amp Workouts

5 Balanced Healthy Life November 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

What a great a motivating story to read mid day! Congrats Alyssa! BTW- those dips looks so good! : )

6 janae November 2, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I am excited for your big race series, I love reading race recaps!! Enjoy your leftover dip:)
janae recently posted..Last Meal

7 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather November 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

What a great story! I like your new series, it is run reading race recaps, they’re always so inspiring.
Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather recently posted..Wednesdays Weekly Workout MiniChallenge: Squats

8 RunningOnCoffee November 2, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Meghann, I like this new series you’re starting. And great recap! It’s funny, I recognized your guest blogger from the pictures posted. While I have never met her, she’s a friend of a friend. Congrats to Alyssa on her marathon.
RunningOnCoffee recently posted..Recipe- Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

9 KIMpossible November 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Love reading race recaps – especially first time marathoners because I’m running my first one on January 30th – EEEEeeek!!! Sounds like Alyssa had just the right attitude to stay strong throughout the entire race! Congratulations to her!!!

10 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Way to go Alyssa! What an awesome accomplishment 😀
Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday recently posted..World Vegan Day

11 Tab- Just Weighing In November 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

That is so awesome – what an inspiration you guys are!
Tab- Just Weighing In recently posted..Back on Track

12 Alina (Duty Free Foodie) November 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Congratulations! I am so impressed you pulled out a sprint at the end 😛

13 Liz @ LBBakes November 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I love reading inspirational stories like these – especially because I’m running my first marathon this Sunday. Thanks so much, Meghann and Alyssa!
Liz @ LBBakes recently posted..Daring Bakers October 2010- Pumpkin Apple Fritters

14 Hope November 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

What a fantastic story!
Oh and you lunch Dip Trio looks sooooooo good!
Hope recently posted..Muffin Top

15 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) November 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

That’s such a great, inspirational story! Reading race recaps is so much fun! 🙂 Congrats to Alyssa! 😀
Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) recently posted..Baking mad!

16 Alayna @ Thyme Bombe November 2, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Good idea for a series, I look forward to reading these! Congrats on your achievement Alyssa!
Alayna @ Thyme Bombe recently posted..Mama Pea’s salt and vinegar pumpkin seeds

17 Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm

What a wonderful and inspiring story!

18 Amy* November 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Great series and great story! I love the idea of dedicating miles to people who’ve helped you along the way. I’m going to steal this idea next month when I run my first marathon!*

19 Lisa November 2, 2010 at 5:53 pm

“Once a Runner, Now a Marathoner” is a great quote! I love it! Congrats.
Lisa recently posted..Zombies Invade Portland!

20 grocery goddess jen November 2, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I always love reading stories like this!
grocery goddess jen recently posted..Making Health a Priority During the Work Week

21 Jillian @ Reshape Your Life November 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I can’t wait to run a marathon. But that is still a ways out… I should probably run a 5k first!
Jillian @ Reshape Your Life recently posted..How to turn your boyfriend into a prince…

22 Sana November 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Yay! Good job on running the bmore marathon Alyssa!
Sana recently posted..Falling

23 katie November 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm

oh man im so pumped to start my training!
katie recently posted..must find less hills

24 JessicaSmith November 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm

What a little snack! Did a few tomatoes and one slice of cheese fill you up? If not, is the snack just to keep your body energized without filling you up?

25 Brenna November 2, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Congrats! What an accomplishment! Cute idea Meghann!

26 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day November 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Congrats! I love how you dedicated each mile to a family member. Such a great motivating factor and way to honor them.

27 Jessica@tastyandtrim November 2, 2010 at 8:49 pm

What a great inspirational story! It motivates me even more to sign up for a marathon one day! 🙂
Jessica@tastyandtrim recently posted..Trick-or-Treating at Whole Foods

28 Anna @ Doing Good and Living Well November 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Awesome recap! Marathon stories make me want to try my hand at it…
Anna @ Doing Good and Living Well recently posted..Bringing Out The Nerd

29 Kiran November 3, 2010 at 10:02 am

Thanks for the read! Indeed, a great inspirational story 🙂
Kiran recently posted..Chickpeas and edamame in coconut milk

30 Kacy November 3, 2010 at 10:50 am

Awesome! Congrats to Alyssa!

And I love when people let me have the leftovers.

31 Ash Bear November 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Great recap!! I’m reading every person’s marathon recaps in preparation for my first marathon this weekend!!
Ash Bear recently posted..Delicious Homemade Juice

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