The time arrived and passed in the blink of an eye; 18 weeks of marathon training absolutely flew by, and before I knew it, I was picking up my packet at the Expo and suddenly corralled at the starting line of my very first marathon. Since I shared so much of my training with you, it’s only right that I share what all that training led up to. It will certainly be a weekend I will never forget.

Starting Saturday, I visited the Expo to pick up my race packet and some goodies to remember the weekend by. I could have bought a lot more than I did, but I resisted the urge to blow all my money. It was my first real expo to thoroughly enjoy and I soaked up every second of it.

After the expo, I made sure to lay out all my gear for the next day. I had to work Saturday night and planned on crashing as soon as I got home in order to get enough rest for the big day. (According to the family, pink was the most worn color of the day. Every time they saw pink, they thought I was coming up, but there was way more women donning the same color as me.) Untapped Maple Syrup is probably one of my favorite “gels” I have ever discovered; I devoured all of them during the race, but didn’t use quite as many of the gels I packed. I was prepared for the worse.

Race day. Just thinking about the day, even months leading up to it, made me nervous, but I was surprisingly not as nervous when I was waiting in the corrals, freezing slightly, waiting for go time. It was exciting nonetheless, and an absolutely gorgeous day for running. I knew in that first couple miles that I wasn’t going to BQ, but I refused to let that eat away at me, especially with the amount of miles I had left to get through. I pushed the thought out of my mind and focused on getting my body — and mind — to the finish line.

And it was tough. I would have loved it if I had ran the whole race without stopping, but I was being challenged mentally and physically, to push past that wall of failure. Eventually, I made it. After 4 hours and 49 minutes — and my brother jumping in and running alongside me the last five miles. I don’t know what I would do without him, the rest of my family, and my loving boyfriend coming out to support me, making sure to move around to see me at different points of the route. They were really a huge mental help in getting through those long miles.

And they were all there waiting for me at the finish line, when I crossed with the biggest grin on my face and had my hard-earned medal placed around my neck. It was a blissful moment.

Whether or not I will do another marathon, I’m not sure just yet. NYC opens Thursday for applications and that is what I am currently arguing with myself about. On another note, it didn’t take me long at all to smack that 26.2 sticker onto the back of my car, right next to 13.1 from last January!

Marathon runner,

I couldn’t resist adding a mug to my collection that reflects a very important day of my life!
(Fleet Feet Baton Rouge shirt sold @ Expo)

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