My 1st Full Marathon Experience

27 Apr

The Date: Saturday, April 20, 2013

My Very 1st Marathon!!!

If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you know that running the Bluegrass in Lexington, KY just a couple weeks before my first full marathon kinda scared the piss out of me. I managed to spit out 3 awesome half marathons in the month of March. I was in somewhat training mode i guess you can say. Nat and i started training a little early for this race, but we were dedicated. By the time February rolled around, wouldn’t you know it, LIFE got a little in the way. Vacations, schedules not lining up….anything. My mileage slacked and my last long run of 18 miles was literally the beginning of February. We did meet up and run lots after that, but not a good long run once a week like you are supposed to do….heck our long runs consisted of like 7 miles at a time for the most part, besides any half marathons i did.

Running in KY got the best of me, i am super sad to say it too….i LOVED that course, wish i would have taken it all in a little bit more, but it made me so incredibly nervous for the BlueRidge marathon. Every training run we did, i complained to Nat that it was impossible, we couldn’t do it, there is no way my legs will carry me that far…EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.

Now I LOVE planning for a race…my new fave thing to do. Get matching shirts for everyone, make sure we have a meet up spot before and after. This race was completely different. I didn’t want to even think about what i was going to wear for a 26 mile run, i didn’t care. I kept my mind SO far from this race, and i am now completely regretting it!!

On to the week OF

I completely made my whole family join me for this trip. Nat and her family have a place up in the mountains in the Roanoke area. They were all kind enough to let us set up camp in one of the bedrooms. It was a full house!! 7 adults, and 4 children. I think everyone had a great time tho, gotta love good company. My husband, London and I left thursday afternoon and started our 7 hour journey to the hills. Friday we did our little touristy stuff and took London to the Museum of Transportation, and we went to the mall. It of course rained all day, so we had to find stuff to do inside. I made my way to the Expo right when it opened at 3pm. That place was PACKED….i somehow only signed up for the half marathon, and never noticed until Thursday, so i contacted Pete (the blueridge run organizer) and he told me to come to the expo and find him and he would fix it. When i got there, the line was wrapping around the building so i just started wandering around. I somehow managed to make my way in ahead of all those people up the exit stairs and got my bib, transfered it out for a full and left before anyone moved downstairs..(oops) The expo was simple, Foot Levelers had a pretty good set up with noise makers and bags, but other than that, there were no vendors. I kinda liked it that way, but i have read a lot of reviews stating that was the only downfall.  After the expo we had plans to meet up with Jacy, Joel, and Shelli for dinner at the Olive Garden to carb up. Luckily there was actually no wait, we were able to get in and out in a decent amount of time. Once we got back to the house, Nat and I organized what little i did bring to wear, pinned our bibs on our shirts, re-laced some shoes, packed our belts with GU’s and went to bed.

Race Morning

We woke up at 5AM to start getting ready. I just really wanted to make sure we got down there without hitting too much traffic. Well, we definitely had enough time, there was a free little parking lot with plenty of spots for us to choose right down the road from the start! We went to the City Market building which they had open for us, since it was a bit chilly outside!! SO GLAD that place was open!! We did our group shot with Jacy, Kelli, Nat, Shelli, and myself. (too bad we didn’t have matching shirts 😦 Once it got time we headed to the start. Me and Nat stayed right at the end of the pack. Once we were able to go, we just paced ourselves. I am actually kind of amazed at just how quickly the time did go by for us.

Mile 1: was ok, just kinda made our way through the city, then found us a little (hehe) hill to climb up, still weeding out people. Mile 3: Our break off point.

Break off for the Full marathon at mile 3

Break off for the Full marathon at mile 3

Most races have you break off a bit down like mile 10, so if you know you CAN”T do the full marathon, you can go the half route. NO OPTION HERE. Which was good. Mile 5-9: The first BIG BIG BIG mountain!! This mountain had us climb about 800 feet up then 800 feet down. This portion was actually the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is actually the spot where we saw the very first full marathoner coming back down. While we were barely at 5 miles yet, this man was flying back by us at his mile 10.5 (he ended up coming in second just over 2 hours and 30 minutes) It was here that we made some running friends. One man was on his second marathon for the day, he did the double, 52.4 miles in one day….on that course. Another we were talking with had just ran Boston the weekend before, he crossed the finish line 3 minutes before the bomb went off.  Mile 11-15: This mountain had something in store for us that i didn’t even know about!!! Mill Mountain has a huge star that you can see from Roanoke at night all lit up. Well WE just ran up to it!!! That was such a memorable moment for me during this whole race!! What was even better was thinking about how much London loved seeing that while we were driving the night before, now i was standing under it! We took some awesome pictures here, view of the city from the start and a view of the star from the city….so cool.

The Star on top of Mill Mountain

The Star on top of Mill Mountain

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Top of Mill Mountain

Top of Mill Mountain

Mile 17-20: THESE HILLS ARE INSANE!!!! So, if you ever hear anyone by chance say “oh i ran up Peakwood” go ahead and tell them that you are sorry!! In a short little 1.5 miles we climbed almost 500 feet. You think, “oh but its only 1.5 miles” HA it is the 1.5 miles AT miles 17, 18 & 19 that you have to CLIMB up. There was absolutely NO running this part. If you were running, whatever…you probably won that damn race. I think the worst part was the volunteers/spectators saying “last hill just up the road!!” we heard that SO MANY times!! Once we did get up to the top, we had cornhole, bloody mary’s, mimosas, all offered up, but i just couldn’t do it. Except the cornhole, Nat played cornhole a few rounds!!

Nat playing cornhole at the top of Peakwood

Nat playing cornhole at the top of Peakwood

103_2954The top was mile 19 and we finally got to start going back downhill, but my darn ankle/shin was hurting to run down. I was so scared that it would turn into a stress fracture or something, i just walked most of it!! I couldn’t chance it.

Mile 20!!

Mile 20!!

Mile 21-24: Once we made it down that mountain, it was all neighborhood twists and turns to go. We ran through some of the most beautiful houses i have ever seen on this route!! They were huge, well landscaped, just beautiful. With some really awesome Cherry Blossoms, which looked like big clouds of awesomeness, i just wanted to make a bed out of them on the sidewalk. I have never seen a prettier tree in my entire life. Sound delusional yet??? Mile 23 was THE LONGEST MILE EVER. Looking back at my garmin, it was one of my faster miles. I don’t know HOW. I swear that mile went on for hours. That must have been my wall. At this point it was actually pretty warm, the sun was beating down on us. We were passing lots of runners we have pretty much been keeping up with this whole time. Well not passing, but the route was so curvy, we could run past the same people over and over, while they were ahead of us. Mile 25-26.1: Once we hit that, we knew we were in the home stretch. Here we were running literally on the highway in town, over some bridges, (the bridge i knew we had to get to by the 6 hour mark, MADE IT) We came up to that last 100 yards and could see the finish, i started to cry…yep…i definitely held that back as hard as i could. As soon as i saw my husband there with my baby girl GOSH…teary eyed just thinking about it again. Nat’s little girl started running with us and ran with us into the finish. Super emotional. I am just so glad, even tho i know my husband supports me with running, his idea of a good time is NOT standing at a finish line for an hour waiting for us to cross over the finish. But i am glad that for any of them to be seen by them, it was this one. Mile 26.2: “Coming into the finish Katie Futch and Natalie all the way from GEORGIA!!!!!”

Coming over the finish line

Coming over the finish line

It was so cool to hear that coming over the finish line. I put my hand over my heart for Boston when i crossed, I finished that one for Boston, for those that didn’t get to. We got our bling,

My medal, my beautiful medal

My medal, my beautiful medal

which to be honest, i LOVE, but i am also glad they didn’t have some kind of “big reveal” of it…I had to WAIT to finish to see what this medal looked like. It was almost like having a baby, and not know what you are having. Seriously…Oh and the fitbit reading for 26.2 miles is about 55,000 steps.

I just finished Americas TOUGHEST road MARATHON!!!

#8 in the WORLD

We all did pictures

FINISHED!!

FINISHED!!

Me and my medal :-)

Me and my medal 🙂

then did a celebration lunch at Cheddars, with a beer, then went home to RELAX. I got down on the floor to plug my phone in and the next thing i remember was waking up to London taking my (well her) blankie off me. Sunday morning we got up and headed out the door to make the most out of our trip. We stopped off near Charlotte SC at the Discovery Kids Zone, so fun for London!! Then met up whit a friend from there and played at Plaza Fiesta, a HUGE indoor jungle gym thing that my poor legs got to climb.

So altogether, it was an amazing trip, one that i wish i wasn’t so scared of in the first place. BUT it’s too late for that, at least now i know, do not let your fear of the unknown rule you. Give it all you have, & prove yourself wrong.

Museum of transportation

Museum of transportation

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Some back to the future for ya!!

Some back to the future for ya!!

Staring at the little train land

Staring at the little train land

Dinner at Olive Garden

Dinner at Olive Garden

Morning of the run

Morning of the run

Photo Op with MRTT

Photo Op with MRTT

Start line

Start line

Getting set to go

Getting set to go

Mile 1

Mile 1

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Break off for the Full marathon at mile 3

Break off for the Full marathon at mile 3

It was a really really far drop

It was a really really far drop

Roanoke Mountains

Roanoke Mountains

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Super pretty!!

Super pretty!!

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Top of Mill Mountain

Top of Mill Mountain

The Star on top of Mill Mountain

The Star on top of Mill Mountain

KCCO!!

KCCO!!

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We were totally rocking at this point!!

We were totally rocking at this point!!

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Nat playing cornhole at the top of Peakwood

Nat playing cornhole at the top of Peakwood

THAT was peakwood

THAT was peakwood

Mile 20!!

Mile 20!!

Had to stop for beast mode!

Had to stop for beast mode!

The star on Mill Mountain from Roanoke.

The star on Mill Mountain from Roanoke.

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Photo Bomb!!

Photo Bomb!!

Coming over the finish line

Coming over the finish line

Morning before the start

Morning before the start

Me and my medal :-)

Me and my medal 🙂

Still in the first few miles here.

Still in the first few miles here.

Coming back down from Mill Mountain

Coming back down from Mill Mountain

Bracelets we got at the expo

Bracelets we got at the expo

My bib and shirt!!

My bib and shirt!!

My medal, my beautiful medal

My medal, my beautiful medal

This was us coming Up mill mountain

This was us coming Up mill mountain

8 Responses to “My 1st Full Marathon Experience”

  1. Jac April 27, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    Yay!!! You already know how proud I am of you for doing your first full on the mountains!! So I will just say, great race, lady! What’s next for you!?!

    • chasing pavement April 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Who knows…I may or may not do another. If I do,it will probably be a last minute decision!!

  2. Mary Jo Geiger April 27, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    so happy you have your 1st Full under your belt! Thanks for the great blog and letting us share your experience.

    • chasing pavement April 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks for reading!! So glad yoi enjoyed it. I aim to please 😉

  3. jenn=Big Sister! April 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    So loved reading this! I cried when I read about you crossing the finish line. Sooooo proud of you!! Seriously, I really am soooooo proud!!!!

    I think we are going to stop at the fiesta place near Carowinds on our way back on Monday, that place looked awesome. Oh & Charlotte is in NC (just over the SC border) trust me, we practically live there!

    • chasing pavement April 28, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Thanks Jenn!! It was a pretty great experience!! The playground was a lot of fun!! I may have kust had the best time of all!!

  4. roanokeoutside April 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Loved reading your recap. Hope to see you next year.

    Pete Eshelman
    Chair, Blue Ridge Marathon

    • chasing pavement April 28, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      Thanks so much for putting this all together Pete!! We had a great time visiting Roanoke and running those mountains.

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