Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My First Marathon...

My first marathon was this past Sunday in Chicago. I am still in awe that I actually did it. I set a goal and accomplished it. This race was an unbelievable experience- the city, the crowd, the 20 minute crawl to the start line, the miles and miles of hilarious posters made by the spectators. It was a new found energy at this race. I enjoyed (almost) every step. To share with you, here's the day in photos...

Wake up call at 5 am. I head down to the hotel lobby after getting dressed and have 2 cups of coffee and some oatmeal. I go back up and do my Trigger Point stretching/massaging. It's 6:15 and time to meet everyone else in the lobby to start walking to the start.
This is where Stephen leaves me. He can't get into the area that is just for runners, so he snaps a picture of us and gives me a kiss before departing.
 My brother, Ironman Nate, sister-in-law, Lara and me.

Stephen had his day mapped out and planned to see me at several mile markers. He had a backpack full of my nutrition, just in case I got hungry, weak, dehydrated, etc. He was at every spot he said he would be at plus a few and navigated the city by train by himself! This is where we see him at the first spot... mile 4.
Nate took his camera and took so many pictures along the way- it was cracking us up- we really had a lot of fun!

This race was packed with runners... about 45,000 to be exact. It was crowded and the weather was hot- a sunny, almost 80 degree day. The heat didn't bother me much since I trained all summer long and lots of days the heat index was well over 100 degrees. Stephen got a picture of this guys running outfit...
Someone must have paid this guy $2K to run in that awful outfit.

Hi guys! I run into my brother, Adam, sis-in-law, Erin and Stephen again at mile 21. Adam is hootin' and hollerin' cheering me on! I stop for a minute to say hi, laugh and ask if they think I can finish in 27 minutes. Um... I don't think so...
Adam says, "LULU, You can do it! You look great! Keep going! Woo-hoo!"

Later, guys! I have about 5 more miles to go. See you at the finish line... 
By the time I reached the 24th mile, I really felt like stealing this guys shirt:
I did have a goal to finish in 4:45 or at least under 5 hours. Already, I had been running for about 4 hours and 50 minutes. I knew I was getting closer to the finish, and I also knew I wasn't going to make my finish time, but never during the entire race did I say, "I don't think I can do this" or, "I need to stop" or "I just can't go any farther." I never hit a wall or ran out of steam. The only thing going through my head was, "I trained so hard for this, I can do it and I am not going to give up." And by God, I didn't. I came across that finish line with a smile, saying to myself (or I may have said it out loud) "I knew I could do it!"
showing off my bling

My reward, immediately after the race... 
replacing lost carbs

I reunite with Nate and Lara, they were about 20 minutes behind me. I was so proud of Lara for pushing through. Not only was she running a marathon with an injury (shin splints), but she also has colitis. She did awesome! 

The sweat, the tears, all the self doubt, 16 weeks of training, over 300 miles of running, sore legs, blisters, narly toenails, 4 am wake up calls on Saturday mornings, running through 2 states in one day before 7:30 am, music malfunctions, carb loading and obscene potty breaks... it all paid off.
 The best running buddy and friend anyone could ask for, and I get a bonus because she's family!

Will I do it again? Absolutely. 


  1. Hey, way to go! I like what you said about setting a goal and accomplishing it, very cool!!!

  2. Wow!!! What a great accomplishment! Congratulations!!!!!

  3. Nice pictorial blog. The photographs in the blog were fantastic, are you a photographer by any chance. Any way it was awesome.
    Great Blog
    Keep Posting


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