Guess what friends? I just finished my first MARATHON!
Okay, so it was a relay and I had the help of 3 other fabulous ladies (@mkemom, @rshill37, @bananza...look 'em up), but it was still 4 hours of fun running in circles.
I've never run in the Pettit Center before and I wasn't sure what to expect. The track was a narrow two-lane, which was better once the faster teams finished and runners thinned out. The air was colder than I'm used to and very dry.
My team broke up the 26.2 miles, or, 96 laps, into 4 sets of 6 laps each. Four laps would've been nice and comfortable for me as I didn't really train as much as I should've (story of my running life so far), but it was nice to push myself.
Because the air was colder than I was used to, my lungs were the biggest hurt and by my 4th leg it was hard to catch a full breath, which, in turn, affected my muscles. This continued the rest of the evening - me not being able to breathe deep - until the lung inflammation settled down. I'm sure that's super dangerous and bad news, but I'm still alive.
The run itself was rather nice. It was great to circle around the track and see SO many people I knew. There were at least 4-5 other teams I knew who were all situated at different points along the track, so it was motivation to go and get your cheer on. FitMKE and Team Challenge had great representation.
Team "Avoid the Lap" finished at 4:11:andchange...nearly 2 hours after the fastest team (seriously, I think those guys were doing it wrong...it's a FUN race, right? AmIright?). We had a great time cheering each other on and eating rice krispy treats.
I recovered better from this race than I did the half marathon in July. Likely because I was going in short spurts and only completing 6.55 miles to July's 13.1. The one thing I would do differently is bring a chair or yoga mat and sit during the down times. The laps weren't so bad as running on concrete isn't any different from running outside on pavement, but standing for 3 hours in between the running is what hurt my feet. Before my last leg I figured it out.
As I said before, one thing I would do differently is to bring something to sit comfortably on during the down times in order to rest my feet. Another thing I would do differently is train more in cold weather. I have a VERY bad track record on ice - nearly all of my broken bones (4 out of 7) are from encounters with ice in which the ice won. So you can imagine why I'm a little gun shy when it comes to training outside once winter hits. Because of this I've spent the past month in the gym, which, as I stated earlier, didn't help my lungs come race day. It is what it is, they're still not 100%, but I'm alive.
And that's about it. My team members had excellent advice pre-race, so I brought a bunch of layers to bundle up with in between laps. I brought lots of beverages and food as I prefer to not eat much before a race. And my only goal was to finish, which I did.
Looking forward, my next goal is to run a full half marathon by my birthday, and I'm looking at the Lake Geneva Half on May 12th, as that's the day before. Yes, my birthday is on Mother's Day this year.
____________________________________________________________ Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner
Mandi recently completed her first half marathon, traveling to California's wine country to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. Her next goal is the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in January.
Follow her journey.