So I joined Instagram. And didn’t pick up my camera once this weekend. That’s bad, right?
On Friday, Jen and I went to see What To Expect When You’re Expecting. People at work were like, “Why? Why are you going to see that movie?” It was fun and entertaining. No Love Actually, but better than New Year’s Eve.
On Saturday, I went to a free yoga class at Yoga Vermont then had breakfast at Burlington Bay Café. The weather was unbelievably gorgeous, so I hung outside for a bit on the Waterfront. Jen and I met up for a drink and cheese plate.
A while back, I had given up on the idea of running the marathon because of my pulled muscle. Mourned it, then fully accepted it.
Later that day though, I thought I should least to go the expo to get my t-shirt since I had already paid for the race. Maybe I could run 3-5 miles at the beginning of the marathon? So, at 5-ish I went to the Sheraton to pick-up my race packet and t-shirt. I didn’t hang out there for long. And my “pre-run” dinner was a cheeseburger.
On Sunday, I woke up around 6:15 a.m. and ate a bagel with peanut butter and coffee.
I just wore the same running clothes as last year. Maybe they would bring me luck?
I wore my fuel belt since I needed something to carry my phone with me so I could meet up with friends and cheer on runners at the finish line. I sprinkled a few chia seeds in my water, but that was it as far as fuel. I didn’t think I would need that much since I wouldn’t be running that far.
Here’s the start! SO BEAUTIFUL OUTSIDE. Everyone was in bright colors ready to run. It was just a cool sight to see. I decided on a new plan: run until I feel pain, then stop. I’m thinking that could be anywhere around 3-13 miles.
Jen texted me, “How are you feeling? Think you’ll stop at 5 or push it?”
I replied, “No pressure! I won’t push it.”
At mile 13, I’m texting friends, “At the half. Feeling good! Going to keep going. Crazy!” I’m having so much fun and just feel so grateful to be running. I thought I could make it to the Waterfront and then stop. That would be cool!
At mile 15, I’m still feeling okay and thinking, “This is wild!?” I’m trying to decide if I want to stop here, so I can meet up with my friends and hang out at the finish line. If I kept going, I head out and away from the Waterfront/finish line area (the entire upper portion of the course map, which loops out and back).
If I need to stop running, I think I can walk the rest though. So I keep going.
I’m getting hungry by this time. I am eating everything people are randomly handing out in the neighborhoods: oranges, bananas, Flavor-Ice, and cookies. I think around mile 17 or 18, they handed out a GU. Finally! I also found the 4:30 pace group which was SUPER HELPFUL. The pacer was like the sweetest, most cheerful person. I loved her. (How do people ever feel confident enough to pace a marathon though?)
At mile 20, my legs start to feel tired, especially my quads. Probably because this is the longest run I’ve done in a year! I thought about walking, but I was so close to the bike path. And from there, it’s downhill and a homestretch to the finish line. At that point, I’m thinking, “Am I going to run this whole thing?! WHAT IN THE WORLD!”
And I finished in 4:28! Crazy. I was ECSTATIC!!!!
I mean…..I was in shock. My friends and family were just as surprised. Most of them didn’t even know I was running that morning. My sister Kim texted, “OMG!!!!!!!!! You ran?!” My other sister Allison called and is yelling, “YOU ARE F-CKING KIDDING ME?!” And my phone only works on speaker, so it was hilarious.
I mean, I had fully accepted that I was not running the marathon. My longest run was 15 miles and that was ten weeks ago. My physical therapist advised me not to run. I told my parents not to come up for the weekend. I sent Outright Vermont a donation check instead of fundraising for the race that I wasn’t going to do. On it went.
The past month or so, I just decided to take a break from structured running. I threw away my training plan. I stopped keeping track of workouts. I have no idea what I was exactly doing the past 10 weeks? Some occasional 3-5 mile runs, a lot of walks, some yoga, and quite a few days off. (I think everyone saw on my vacation recaps where I just sat and read or was eating + drinking for five days in New Orleans.)
Marathons are so tricky. This was my fifth one and no two have ever been the same. It’s such a long and unpredictable race, whether you train really well or not. (Again, how are people pacers?) I think I just had a lucky day. I felt really good and grateful and in the moment. It could have went the other way. Easily.
I celebrated with some of my favorite foods! Brunch at Farmhouse, Annie’s mac-n-cheese with broccoli, and My Little Cupcake cupcakes! Overall, a very fun and surprising weekend.