My First Marathon (Dawn)

February 25, 2016 in Events, Outdoor Activity, Race, Running

VanMarathonMedal2016After years of making excuses for not running a marathon, I finally came to my senses and realized there was no better time than the present. I was intimidated by the sheer distance of it (42.2km) and the amount of training required, but I already had a few half-marathons under my belt and Jerrick had already signed up for this run (BMO Vancouver Marathon 2015) so I knew I wouldn’t be in it alone. So I figured, why not?

From January 2015, I followed a 16-week marathon training program by Garmin. This was also Jerrick’s first full marathon and so we managed our training schedules by doing our weekday runs before work at 5 a.m., during our lunch breaks, or after the kids’ bedtimes in the evening. We tag-teamed and completed our weekly long runs on early Saturday or Sunday mornings so that we could enjoy the rest of the weekend together as a family. We missed several of our scheduled runs, but we did what we could and didn’t beat ourselves up about it. Some of the training runs were gruelling in terms of weather conditions or mustering up the mindset to hit a certain mileage after a long week of work along with the temptation of just staying curled up in bed and having a “rest day”. However, each run ended with the feeling of  “I’m so happy I went.” Each run was worth it.

The BMO Vancouver Marathon was on May 3rd, 2015.  As for my race experience, I felt great up until the 30km mark and thought that my fuelling was adequate, but then things started to slowly fall apart from there…to the point where at about the 38km mark, I was concerned about whether or not I would make it the finish line. My pace dropped significantly, but I pushed myself to keep moving forward. Other runners seemed to effortlessly “sprint” right past me in the final kilometers, but I just kept going slow as I was, one foot in front of the other, right to the end. Enduring that much physical and mental exhaustion was a feat, but I worked through it. I cried when I crossed the finish line. They were tears of happiness, relief, and pride.  The bittersweet soreness and burning in my legs started before I even hit the finish line and continued for days later.

My finishing time was 4:15 hours. While I didn’t achieve my goal time, I was still bursting with pride and accomplishment. This had me excited and motivated to work harder for the next one. I’m officially signed up for the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon (May 1, 2015) and training has begun. We’ll see how it unfolds 🙂


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