What an amazing weekend. I can honestly say this was the most fun I have ever had during a race, which says a lot because I ran my second marathon of the month! The weekend started with a relaxing Friday night at home and prep for my race. I like to be very organized when it comes to race weekends so that’s just what I did. I don’t sleep very good the night before my race so I always makes sure to sleep extra the night prior.
When I woke up Saturday morning I had an urge to read my first blog post to remind me why this all started. It reminded me of how far I came and really got me in the mind set to achieve my goals.
Saturday was great! I woke up and headed to the expo to pick up my package. That place always adds to my nerves! Once I have my number it is real! I was shaking a tad by the time I got through the expo.
Next I went over to meet the people from We Run Social. It was so great meeting some really amazing people along with catching up with Kaella an amazing runner/blogger that has helped encourage me through the my marathon experience!
I kept the rest of the day to my regular routine of hydrating, relaxing and eating. I had my regular nervous session about 9pm and fell asleep shortly after. This freak out usually includes me worrying my alarm wont go off, second guessing if I can do it and gripping tight to my boyfriend. I am pretty lucky that he knows just what to say to calm my nerves otherwise I probably wouldn’t sleep. My night would not have been complete without laying out everything that I could potentially need for the next day.
I woke up at 4am super pumped and confident about the race. The Westhill Running Room manager messaged me to wish me luck. I really think this was the perfect way to start my day. I have been coaching runners at the Running Room since October and they have truly become close to my heart. Knowing that they believed it me gave a little extra excitement to the day.
I had my smoothie, oatmeal, banana and coffee. My shower felt great, my legs felt great, I was pumped!
I let Daine sleep until 5:30 because I am not sure how much sleep he gets when I have a death grip on him all night long. He got up and helped me with my chafe guard and away we went to the Stampede Grounds!
My friend Larissa and my Dad were meeting me at the ground so Daine dropped me off at the gate and away I went.
The excitement of the grounds was amazing! I was thrilled to be there and getting more excited by the minute. I ran over to my Dad and Larissa pumped to get this started! We used the washroom and headed to the corales! I stayed with them in the 4hr Marathon and 2hr Half Marathon spot. I usually like to get closer but this felt right.
Away we went! I wished them both good luck and away I went! Dad and I ran together for the first couple km’s which was awesome! I worked on getting my pace together for km 3. I used my pace band this time as reference rather than the runtastic app which worked out great! By km 3 I was ahead of my time by just over 30 seconds and was feeling great!
Km 3-10 felt amazing! I wasn’t sore and was loving the energy around me. I was smiling and cheering on people as I went by. Every 10 km’s I always do a body check and this one was perfect. I remembered back to my 10 km check in BMO Marathon weeks before and remember how much my legs already hurt. The fact that nothing hurt and I was loving life at this point just pushed me to keep it up even more.
I added a couple funny songs to my playlist such as “X gonna give it to ya” by DMX and had mini dance parties through out the run as I giggled about the song.
As I approached km 15 I couldn’t believe I was over a minute ahead of schedule… I was running with the 3:45 10:1 pace bunny for awhile and almost had to pinch myself to see if it was real. I was feeling so amazing. I kept up with my gels and chews when I felt a little lack of energy along with hydrating at each station.
By km 20 I did my check and still felt great! No pain, lots of energy and I still had a smile on my face! Nothing was getting in my way of a sub 4 hour marathon. I wanted to go faster but I was still worried that I may hit a wall because there was no way that I could feel that great the whole run right!? I ran with this great guy for a couple minutes and talked about pace he told me it was his first marathon and asked for tips. I told him to believe in himself and don’t got faster than your goal pace till km 32. If he still had energy then he could pick it up. He smiled and away I went.
Km 25 I got this crazy surge of energy so I threw my hands in the air which based on my photos I did A LOT during this race. I had another little dance party, cheered on some other runners and jumped up to touch a tree branch. Yes you heard me right…. km 25 I was jumping!
Km 25- 30 flew by! I sang some songs cheered some people on and felt great. The most bizarre part of this body check was that nothing hurt but my baby toes. I was so excited! The next 3 km were a breeze. I do not know what had come over me but I was enjoying every moment of this race!
Km 32-35 were tough….. My pace slowed down a bit but I it wasn’t pain that was holding me back so I knew I could get through this. I have never been a fan of there and back running so this turnaround drained my energy a bit. I tried to keep my spirits up but focused on believing in myself and counting down those last km’s! I kept my music list the same and specific songs would trigger inspiration from my friends and family. The song came on “it all started with a beer” which is a song that reminds me of my boyfriend. I could picture him telling me not to be a sissy and telling me he loved me. That was just what I needed to get me out of my funk.
By km 36 I was picking up my pace and singing away. People were cheering I was dancing and throwing my arms in the air. (Crazy right!?) My Tia songs came on which was perfect. Tia is my best friend and we have dance parties! We did this one Zumba class where we did funny hand movements and threw our arms in the air… I did just that while running.
Km 37-40 felt great, minus my toe pain. I was definitely tired but I knew I could do it. A girl was slowing down next to me so I cheered her on. I actually got her to throw her hands it the air with me. We were running a marathon!
I lost track of where the km markers were at that point and knew I was getting close to the end. I powered up my last little hill (it felt huge lol) and I was on the home stretch. I told myself I was going to finish strong and I knew my legs could do it.
As I came around the corner of Stampede Park the perfect song began to play. When I was little my dad would always sing “House on Poohs Corner” for us. This was how I was going to finish my race. I knew my dad would have finished his race strong because we always did that in our training runs. I cruised around the corner and saw the finish line! I pulled myself up and I sprinted! My legs felt great!
I cleared the finish line at 3:57! BAM! CRUSHED IT! My chip time turned out to be 3:55:05!
I ran through the finish line, threw my arms in the air (surprise surprise) and grabbed my medal! I did a sub four hour marathon! I did it! I started to tear up and my boyfriend called, I guess he was walking behind me I looked at him and said “I did it”.
I spoke to my dad and he ran a 1:59:01 Half Marathon too!
I went home had a shake, a devastatingly cold bath and ate some pizza! I definitely worked for that pizza! What is your reward food? Right now I am LOVING the pizza!
It was such an amazing race my goal is to qualify for Boston next year on this course! For now I am going to stick to recovery (lets face it I will be waddling for a few days) and get some new PR’s to finish off the year.
Congratulations to everyone who ran this weekend! Thank you to everyone who helped me get to my goal I couldn’t have done it without you! A big thank you to the Calgary Marathon Team, all the volunteers and all the people who came out to cheer us on. You made the day amazing and I cannot wait to for next year!
For all of you who have upcoming marathons my only advice is Believe in yourself and smile!
Can you believe it!? Two marathons in one month and a sub four hour PR? I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store for me!