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An unforgettable experience...

Posted Dec 20 2008 5:40pm
I've been a member for a while but haven't really posted anything before. I ran the Charlotte Thunder Road marathon in Charlotte, NC last week and wanted to post about my marathon experience....

AHHHHH...the marathon! I've been mulling over in my head what I was going to say about the whole marathon experience on Saturday. These words come to mind....unforgettable. magical. extremely difficult. long. amazing. grueling...I took every minute of the race in as I ran it. From the starting line to the finish...I took it mile by mile.As soon as I crossed the starting line the tears started streaming. I was here. I was running a marathon. I couldn't believe it. It was almost magical. The run started off extremely well. It was 26 degrees at the start, but I felt good. I seem to run better in the cold. The sun was out and there was no wind. I started running with the 4 hour pace group. Well, after enduring hill after hill after hill...I knew I wasn't going to finish in 4 hours, so I met up with the 4.5 hour group and settled in with them. I ran with a man for a while that was running his 70th marathon. He was amazing and very uplifting to run with. There were so many inspiring people running next to me. I heard someone say "Look at all of us. Running towards nowhere." I have to say I disagree, we all had somewhere to go or something to run for.The first half of the race (which we were told was the most hilly, ended up not being so) was awesome. There were about 1000 marathoners and 2500 half-marathoners and we were all running together. At mile 12 we split from the halfs and that's where it got a little harder, mainly because there were now far less people and spectators. Also, I felt there were far more hills in the second half. It could have been that I was tired. Extremely tired. Every hill was a challenge going up. You could see several hills ahead and that made it worse. I have to say...I wanted to stop several times but I didn't....I didn't stop running the entire 26.3 miles...the course was actually 26.3, not 26.2...how cruel and unusual...because believe me...that .10 of a mile hurt because it was all uphill! I kept telling myself to 'keep going, dig deep'. Crossing the finish line with my family watching, my arms in the air symbolizing victory, the medal going around my neck...I'll never, ever forget that!! My garmin time was 4:23:26...not too bad for my first marathon and a very hilly one at that! Did I also mention over 3000 calories burned? You better believe I had a great post-race meal with no guilt!I'm feeling great today...it's day 4 post-marathon. I actually feel like I could go for a run. I'm not, I'm going to give my body a week to recover. Running is now in my blood. Do I want to run another? Yes I do! I've now got the fever. I found out on Saturday that Charleston is going to have a marathon in Jan 2010... The Lowcountry Marathon! I'm super excited because it should be a nice, flat course which is what I trained on.I set a goal, set my mind to it and did it. Trust me...you can do anything you set your mind too. It also feels good to say that I am a Marathon Mommy!!!
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