We've worked so hard to come to this. I'll recap the best I can.
I got to go into the VIP section since I was an official marathon blogger. I got up at 3:30am to get ready and head out. We left by 4:15am to head to Pittsburgh. Usually our drive is less than 45 mins. but we weren't sure what traffic would be like. There wasn't any and we got there by 5am. My husband drove myself and two of our friends.
Once we parked, we got on the T and headed to the VIP section. My least favorite part is kissing my husband goodbye before the finish line. I get so nervous and I was really nervous yesterday morning. I woke up hungry and tried to eat a Panera bagel. That wasn't going to work. I took a bite and almost threw up. I could only hold down a banana and an orange. Once I got into the VIP tent I ate and smaller bagel and a muffin. I also found Jenna!
Jenna blogs for StopDropandBlog, her twitter is @firemom. Follow her! We knew we were about the same pace and we stayed together the entire time. I don't think I could have finished without her. We met at a blog event last week and had 5 hours to get to know each other. We're so much alike!
Here's my shot at an official race recap:
Corral: We had a hard time getting to it. There was so many people! We knew that would happen.
Mile 1-2: We really had to pee but the first porta potty had tons of people at it. The second one was busy but we had to go. Unfortunately, a guy standing in front of Jenna had dropped. We don't know why or how but we were freaked out. They blocked the bathroom that he was in front of so that put us back at least 20 minutes! We spent a lot of miles trying to make up time.
Mile 3-4: Feeling really good, making our way through downtown and the North Side.
Mile 5-6: We're through out first third of the race. I remembered everything from last year and this was when I needed my first inhaler break.
Mile 7-8: West end to South side, we're still feeling okay. I had to start slowing down but we really wanted to make up time from our bathroom break.
Mile 9-10: Still smiling. The bottoms of my feet were starting to bother me. After this race, these shoes will be retired.
Mile 11-12: This is where you go left for the half or stay straight for the full. Shit just got real. There's no turning back now. My feet hurt really bad and Jenna promised that I could walk when we got to the big hill. I think I needed another inhaler break here.
Mile 13-14: We have officially ran further now than any other race. Oakland was nice and semi flat.
Mile 15-16: The sun starts coming out. We want it to go back. At mile 16 I remember telling Jenna that my feet were killing me but I could handle 10 more miles.
Mile 17-18: Somewhere around here someone had beer. I took the beer. It wasn't Church Brew Works that everyone talks about. It was good beer. He even asked if I wanted the can and when I replied yes, (not thinking he would actually do it) he came running on the course with a can of beer. Of course I didn't drink it. I gave it to a woman on the route watching.
Mile 19-20: I understand the famous "wall". Jenna cried at mile 20. I wanted too but couldn't. I took my last inhaler break that I would need.
Mile 21-22: We have officially gone further than we ever have before. My watch died at mile 22 and that's about how I was feeling, like death. The bottoms of my feet and hips were really starting to bother me. I was ready to be done.
Mile 23-24: Jenna was my strength. We had a 5k left and all I wanted to do was walk it. She kept me going with her own little coaching. We kept promising we would walk a little then run to a specific point. I now understand how the last 6 miles are completely mental.
Mile 25-26: I'm over this. I want to be done and I want my medal, a beer, and a burger.
Mile .2: I see my whole family. Hugs everywhere. I can't believe this is actually happening. Everything hurts but I don't care, I want my medal.
Finish line: We are runners of steel!!!
I never understood the mental factors that everyone talks about to finish a marathon. It is 100% mental. We had a lot in our favor too, such as cool weather and the rain holding off.
What would I have done differently? Our bathroom stop. Every time I look at my time I think of how we could have been 15-25 minutes faster if we would have waited to use another one.
This race has been the second best experience in my life. Obviously, my wedding day comes first but the support I've had is absolutely amazing. Most of my family and friends came to cheer me one. I've had so many wonderful wishes through twitter, Facebook, and Instagram that I can't believe how supportive everyone is.
They left me another beer by the tub.
I had some more family members call me last night to see how it went. After I talked to them I fell asleep at 8:30pm. At around 2am this morning I woke up with throbbing knees. I iced them and fell back asleep with the ice on my legs. I move a lot when I sleep so I'm sure they didn't last long.
This morning I woke up and went for a walk and lunch with a friend from CrossFit. She crushed her first half in 2:19!!
That's what we ate. There's a burger there somewhere. That's probably one of the best burgers I've had. I walked a little and relaxed the rest of the day.
My legs still hurt but I'm going to CrossFit in the morning.
Would I run a marathon again? Yes. I know after my 20 miler I said never again, but my husband won this one. He was right. He told me that he would ask me at the finish line and the answer was yes. I would love to do Pittsburgh again. I might do another one but Pittsburgh has a special place in my heart. I did my first half and full marathon and August I'll do my first triathlon there. If you aren't from Pittsburgh, everything people say about it is true. It's a beautiful city full of bridges and Yinzer's. It's a wonderful place for your first race because the crowds are amazing. They keep you going.
How was my asthma during my race? I felt better yesterday than any training run. I was lucky that it was it humid or too hot out. I did need my inhaler about 4 or 5 times but in a 26.2 race that's expected. If you have breathing problems and want to run, do it. Don't let it hold you back. As long as you take your medicine and pace yourself properly you'll be fine.
Did you race this weekend? Where? How'd it go?!