30 Before 30: Item 1

I have ALWAYS wanted to run a marathon.

This is the big ONE…the mother of all List items. If I accomplished nothing else before I turned 30, running 26.2 miles was the one thing I really wanted to achieve. When I made my 30 Before 30 list, Running a Marathon quickly took its place as Item 1.

Why?….I honestly don’t know. I get TONS of questions from runners, non-runners, family members, friends, and co-workers asking me why on Earth I’d ever WANT to run 26.2 miles. My husband likes to remind that we work….so we can have cars….so we don’t have to run 26.2 miles and can drive instead. But for some unknown, masochistic, self-challenging, running-addicted reason, I absolutely had to accomplish this goal.

On Sunday, October 3rd in Boulder, CO, I finally achieved my goal in 4 hours 16 minutes and 48 seconds. It was one of the most exciting, terrifying, painful, bittersweet, happy and challenging days of my life!!

VICTORY!!!

I don’t have my official splits and, although I was pacing myself, I don’t remember the individual mile times due to blurred….er,
repressed…memories. However, I can say that the first 18 miles were actually pretty good! I felt prepared, strong and kind of fast.

At Mile 19, all that changed. At Mile 19, I hit the “Wall.” I knew it would come, I knew it would hurt and I KNEW I had to power through it. I sipped a Gu packet, chugged some water and slowly pushed through the last 7.2 at a moderate but sustainable pace, with several walking breaks and A LOT of Ke$ha!

Mustering up a my last shreds of energy, I sprinted across the finish line, singing “Ima fight till I see the sunlight, ” finishing at an average pace of approximately 9 minutes 48 seconds per mile.

Me Crossing the Finish Line

I was instantly consumed by a surge of joy that brought tears to my eyes. Euphoric happiness took over my entire body and I almost collapsed from the overwhelming sense of victory and, well, from exhaustion!
Post-Race Euphoria & Finisher’s Medal :)

It hurt. My legs just started to feel better today (Wednesday). Since the race, I’ve done nothing but sleep and eat. I’m bruised, chaffed and still exhausted. BUT even with all this, the sense of accomplishment, athleticism, joy, and strength the race gave me was an incredible experience and……..I think I’ll do it again…..only faster….

If you’re interested in the race info for next year, check out www.bouldermarathon.com. Also, for training programs and other running information, check out www.runnersworld.com.
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