I've been harping on this day for the past four months, and it finally came. And just as fast as it came, it went. To say I was nervous is an understatement. The farthest I had ran to date was 16 miles. My training got totally derailed, but I was DETERMINED to run (key word: RUN) this marathon. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty, and I had mentally prepared myself for that, but I also knew that if I didn't at least try, I would be so mad and disappointment at myself.
I ate good all week leading up to the race and drank water like it was going out of style. I knew there was nothing I could do about not getting enough miles in, but I could make sure I was properly fueled and hydrated.
Right before our corral took off, my stomach was doing somersaults. All I kept thinking was "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this..."
And - I did!
I finished my first marathon on Saturday, and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I said I wanted to run the entire 26.2 miles and that is exactly what I did! No walking or stopping - I ran all 26.2 miles!
If you've never ran the Nashville Country Music Marathon or Half, it's a doosey! It's literally hill after hill after hill. I'm not kidding when I say that 60 percent of the race is going up or downhill. Very little of the course is flat.
I felt great until around mile 20. I knew I would be fine up until that point, but had been SUPER nervous about the last 10K (6.2 miles). I knew it was going to be bad! The last six miles were out and back - the WORST, in my opinion. So it was purely a mental game. It's hard when people are already running back, and you just keep going further and further in one direction KNOWING you have to turn around at some point and run the whole thing back, all the while thinking, "Where the heck is that turn around!!"
I just tried to stay positive, and I kept thinking about a sign I saw towards the beginning of the race - "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever." This was DEFINITELY my motto of the day. I knew I would be SO mad at myself if I gave up and started walking without a legitimate reason such as an injury. Just because I was tried and my legs were give out wasn't enough of an excuse for me.
Mile 24 was when the pain set in. Everything from my hips down was hurting, but by DAMN was I going to make it 24 miles and not run the last 2.2 miles. Mile 25 was a massive hill, and I literally wanted to start crying. I was physically and mentally over the marathon, and I didn't think I could make it up one more hill, but somehow, I did.
I'm pretty dang proud of myself!
If you'd of asked me last week if I'd ever run another marathon, I would have quickly told you "HELLLL no," but now, I don't know. NO time soon, that's for sure, but maybe there are a few more marathons in my future.....