I have run so many races over the years – too many to count. I can, however, count the marathons that I have run. Five. For some reason, running for 26.2 miles never seems to leave you – the training before, the
cursing thoughts during, and the amazing feeling after crossing the finish line, time and time again. My races are posted here, starting with the most recent, so check them out
The Chicago Marathon
October 7, 2012
I came into the Chicago Marathon with a hamstring injury, so I wasn’t expecting much out of the race. I did no speed-work this time around. I focused on long runs and did some smart cross training. I can’t believe how the end of the race turned out. I never hit a wall. I had a blast. I PR’d by over 2 minutes. I negative split a marathon! This was my redemption race.
The Country Music Marathon
April 28, 2012
This is the first marathon that I completed since I’ve had my blog, so check out the recap here. Marathons never get easier, even if it was the 6th time I crossed the start (and finish) line. I had never trained smarter or harder for a single race, and this was going to be my big PR. Well, needless to say, that did not happen, but I sure did learn a lot on the way.
The Boston Marathon
April 18, 2011
Boston really is all that everyone says it is. There is such a stigma around it, and I was really wondering if it would live up to the hype. I was itching to touch down at Boston-Logan, and when we did, I was all smiles. Just walking around the airport, you could just tell something was going on. And yes, that was in part due to the large amount of fit individuals in spandex tights and running shoes – some may say a dead give away – nope, just a runner’s everyday outfit.Posing at the start in HopkintonOn race day, the sun was shining, and the wind was blasting from the East. Bad conditions you say? Nope! The course runs east from Hopkinton all the way west into Boston. The wind was at our backs the whole way.
I was so thankful for this tail wind, as I had not given training my all to say the least – with our wedding just one month before, you could say that I had many other things on my mind leading up to this race.
I don’t think a race will ever mean as much to me than Boston did on that blustery April day. It was nothing short of a blast!
I finished in a respectable 3:56. I earned that jacket
The NYC Marathon
November 7, 2010
Don’t let New York fool you – it was one tough marathon. There was wind, hills, and cold weather. However, don’t forget that NYC also has over a million screaming fans that literally line the streets THE WHOLE 26.2 MILES. It was invigorating and unbelievable. Coming from all of the hills in Florida (wink, wink), I found the bridges and hilly course through the 5 boroughs to be down right challenging. But those screaming fans on every curbside kept me going, and going, and going….
After crossing the finish – pure pain set in. The setup of the refueling bags and checked baggage pickup has to accommodate the 40,000+ finishers, so it was about a mile walk for me to get my stuff. It doesn’t seem like a long way, but boy is it. I came to appreciate the distance more than ever before. I finally found Marcus and Emily about 45 minutes after completing the race – they are hands down my biggest fans!
I finished NYC in 3:51. Sweet, sweet victory in the Big Apple.
The Palm Beaches Marathon
December 3, 2009
The Palm Beaches Marathon was flat and fast – very fast. It happened to be in the 60′s when the race started, and really did not warm up too much until I crossed the finish line. We could not have asked for better weather – especially in the heart of South Florida! I would consider this race the first marathon I truly trained for.
I got all of my long runs in (20 miles topping of the training), and was extremely consistent with my training plan. This was my Boston qualifying race, and I was grinning from ear to ear as I crossed the finish line, knowing what I had just accomplished. My sister, Emily and 2 great friends were along the course the whole race. I’d say they got in a workout that day as well!
I rounded out The Palm Beaches Marathon in 3:37. Mission Accomplished.
The Kentucky Derby Marathon
April 24, 2009
The Derby Marathon was definitely my most compulsive registration choice. I signed up a few months before, really just due to the fact that most of my family lives in Louisville, the host city. And it also just happened to be the same weekend as my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. I was so excited to be a part of the day, as I miss out on most of those celebrations due to the 1000 mile gap between Tampa and Louisville.
The race happened to be one of the hottest April days on record for the Kentucky area. Temperatures reached into the mid 80 mark, and it was noticeable. The city even helped out the runners by spraying us with water from an unlikely source…
The heat played a big factor in the field’s finishing time. I stopped to walk multiple times (yes i said the word, walk) simply trying to not overheat. Luckily coming from Florida, the temps were only about 10 degrees above what I was used. Those from the northern states were dealing with being 30 degrees above where the temps had been just days before. The course was very hilly (it has since changed to a flatter course) and there was not a lot of crowd support once we split away from the half marathon participants. I would not recommend this race as a first marathon, or if you need a lot of hooting and hollering to get you across the finish line. I was lucky enough to have my family join me in the race, and had their support the whole time. My cousins ran the half marathon, and waited for me at the finish (possibly to help scrape me off the pavement, but that is neither here nor there).
Don’t get me wrong – there are great things about the race too. The scenery is great, as is the medal . Without a doubt, the biggest perk is running through Churchill Downs, home to the Kentucky Derby. It was amazing crossing over the track that thousands of horses have also done before. I guess I am just a sentimental sucker.
I crossed the finish line in a hot 4:12.
The Walt Disney World Marathon
January 13, 2008
Disney was my first marathon, and I thought it to be completely fitting to want to run at “The Happiest Place on Earth”. My former teammate from the UCF cross country team, Annie, ran it with me. We were each other’s
competition support when we competed in college, so I knew she would be the perfect person to run my first marathon with.
The route took us through all the parks, lined with people supporting left and right. And when I say people, I also mean characters. Every Disney character was out there, and I was sure to give my favorites a sweet high five. To get to all of the parks, of course, we had to run on the highway between them. Have you ever been on US-92? It is barren. Desolate. Uninspiring. So yes, there it is, the downfall of the race – far too much time on that highway, with no fans to support you. As long as you are mentally prepared for not having the support for a few miles, then you are good to go. I wasn’t prepared for that part – maybe it was actually the lack of training that made that part hard. Disney is a race that I would love to be able to race again someday, knowing more now than I have ever known about training. I think I would really enjoy it so much more!
Crossing the finish line of my first marathon made me feel unstoppable. I had never in my life completed something so fun, terrible, hard, and uplifiting – all at the same time. As I turned the corner towards the finish, a gospel choir was singing out to each and every one of the finishers. I’m not sure I knew where the smile or tears were coming from, but I couldn’t hold anything back. What an accomplishment.