Wew! That was hard. Ran the Grand Rapids Marathon yesterday and came in with a great time of 4:12:49. Not bad for my FIRST marathon. Especially considering I did almost no training the last month due to leg problems.
The first 3 hours went by beautifully with me right on pace for my finish goal of 3:56. But alas, my left leg started to cramp right around the 20 mile mark. I slowed down a bit and worked it out until around 22.5 and had to stop all together. The last 3 miles I mostly walked. It was very discouraging but I was still able to finish at a very respectable time and finishing was my ultimate goal.
My biggest challenge though was hunger. Between 23 and 24 miles my stomach started to grumble and eventually hurt so much from hunger I couldn’t run at all. GU wasn’t enough. I needed solid food which was not available until after the finish line. So I toughed it out and ran the last half mile just to get to FOOD!
My running partner through the first 3 plus hours was this wonderful woman from Indiana, Gretta. Thank you Gretta for the companionship and the encouragement! Sorry I couldn’t finish with you but without you, I don’t think I ever would have finished at with such a great time.
Not sure if I would ever run another marathon. It is really hard that last 5 miles. But I do feel great today. A bit stiff and tired but not nearly as bad I thought I would feel. I joined Gazelle Sports Summer Safari marathon training program and would never have run in Grand Rapids without it. Great people, wonderful support, and a very informative program. Also, I had a great chiropractor and medical message therapist to keep me training: Austin Lake Chiropractic and Azay Wellness Partners. I heartily recommend having a team like this when training for such a stressful event.
I’m already planning to run the Borgess Half Marathon again next year. We will see how I feel next year if I’ll run a marathon.