So I know some people are wanting to hear the nitty gritty on the Full...
Well, it's done!!!
Ok, that's not all! Here's my experience. Training for this beast became a headache, it sorta took the fun out of my running because I felt so pressured to "do" just the right things. I actually ended up tired of running. My body was worn down and in the end I rested more beforehand than my "plan" said to. Truthfully (for me) I think that paid off big time!
Training for a marathon is mental. Honestly, your body CAN do it, but your mind will jack with you CONSTANTLY! Did I train enough? Could I do more? Did I over train? Am I eating enough (note to self: I was NOT!!!)? Am I sleeping enough? When can I do this run or that run? Can I find someone to run with me? Do I even want someone to run with me? What if I get injured? What do I do now that I'm injured? And for mommies, who will watch my kid/kids (because past like 8 miles pushing a stroller is TOUGH)?
The list goes on and on and on and on!!!! But the basic truth is this... It's not a matter of can you, but Will you? It takes more mental determination than anything else. Having a serious support system helps, honestly, that made a ton of difference for me! People were constantly encouraging me and my husband never let me try to quit!
As for the actual race, well, it was NOT ideal! My half in NOLA in March was (in my opinion) pure perfection! Started out at like 49 degrees, ended around 60, slightly overcast, low humidity, just perfect!
Yesterday, was a completely different story! We started at about 68 degrees (ending closer to 90), completely overcast, literally like 80% humidity (that continually got worse), then it started raining! Soggy feet around mile 11, then hills that weren't predicted really made it less than perfect. Honestly I think miles 8-15 were uphill, yes it was gradual, but just when you thought you reached the top of a hill and would get a reprieve going down, nope, just a plateau and then up some more! Luckily I had found a new gel to take that didn't upset my stomach, so no issues there (2nd Surge for those curious). The hydration stations were awesome! Crowd support was amazing, our shirts made it even better (Big Thanks to Cayenne Marketing for getting those fine things done for us!!!). Honestly, the reviews for this marathon were spot on!! Oklahoma City provided a stellar race, well organized, more than adequately prepared, great crowd support, fun atmosphere, and a great cause to race for!
But the rain and hills were a lot to deal with, however, we kept a pace we were happy with for way longer than we had hoped.
Tummy troubles plagued Julie and we had to take a potty break, but that still didn't slow us down too bad. My right shoe was tied too tight initially and apparently bruised a tendon on the front of my ankle, so loosening it up multiple times did not help. Still we plugged on.
A friend of mine ran his first full the Sunday before and said to remember that mile 20 was halfway. Truer words have never been spoken because that is honestly where the wind went out of our sails and that last 10K felt like an ETERNITY!!!!!!
We walked at water stations because we both choke if we don't (I still did, even walking)! But had not walked other than that before mile 20. Around mile 22, which is the point where you're sure you are dead we walked longer after the hydration stations. Miles 22-24 were tough tough tough!! We felt dead, those last 2.2 miles felt like they would NEVER end!!! I am happy to report we did not walk up a single hill, we ran them all, even at mile 25 (albeit slower I'm sure!)! The last .1 I think we sprinted, well, it felt like sprinting anyhow, and Julie's mom said we went so fast she almost missed us! I'll take it! ;)
Crossing that finish line was surreal, so surreal in fact, that it almost seems like it didn't happen. It feels kinda like a dream, but the good kind where you wake up feeling like a total bad ass!!
So, my assessment yesterday...I told Julie at mile 24 I'd never make her do this again. She promised she would never do it again. Back at the hotel Foxy said he knew I'd do another, Sus texted and said she's said never again 4 times now (so far #4 has stuck), and I said I couldn't imagine why anyone would do it more than once.
Today I woke up with really no more pain than I've had with previous races. I'm not miserable (aside from how gross my feet are with the missing toenails, did I mention how much I hate that?!?) and I know why people do them again. To see if you can do it better, faster, more efficiently. So, I'll never say never. Lacey says with her in January--she's too fast! And I'm not ready to train again, but never is a strong word, so we'll see. (Pretty sure Julie is sticking with NEVER!!)!
I want to thank everyone who encouraged me along the way, especially Foxy, my sister, Sugar (with just her smiles and love of the stroller), Julie, Lacey, Skinner, and the Stinsons. Thanks to the people who watched my baby so I could run, Shawn, Emily & Johnny, our awesome sitters (in Shreveport and Tyler)! Thanks to my husband for the treadmill so that I could run inside while Sugar napped! Without support it would not have been possible, especially with a baby.
I am not suggesting doing this to anyone, but if you ever decide you want to run a marathon, I'll encourage you the whole way! After 7 halves and this full, I can say halves are WAAAAY more fun and I plan on doing a LOT more of them! I'm looking forward to finding a few fun 5Ks and 10Ks in the near future though! ;)
(If you have any questions, comment below or email us firstname.lastname@example.org)!