Yes you read that right I finally was able to check off My First Marathon from my bucket list. It has been a bucket list item ever since I started running a couple of years ago. I started running as my exercise after having kids. It was something I could do here and there. I didn’t need a gym membership and it has become my little escape time. I had plans to do my first marathon last year as some of you may recall, but life sure gt in the way and my training just wasn’t what I needed it to be to accomplish this goal so I downgraded to just the half marathon at the cutoff time.
This year I was chosen to be an ambassador for the Chevron Houston Marathon and I think that was just what I needed to keep myself motivated to complete my first marathon and really show others that it could be done. Leading up to the race in November and December I scheduled races back to back so that it would force me to train. My husband works on Saturdays so going out with Kingwood Fit was not an option and when Sundays rolled around my bed sounded better than getting out and running long miles by myself. At least with paying for races it forced me to get up extra early and go run. I did the warm up series which was also a good indicator of how far I could push myself. After surviving the 30K in pouring down rain and a cold front, that gave me the confidence boost I needed to mentally be ready for the Chevron Houston Marathon.
I had finally started learning what food/fuel I needed to take before and during my runs to keep my stamina up. The weekend of the race I was scheduled to be at the race expo for a couple hours on Friday and Saturday. I have to say that was fun getting people to take their picture with the sign and see all the excitement and buzz at the expo. Oh and I got to show off my Sketchers gear too. My shoes will forever be a treasure for me to remember this moment. And I totally love my hoodie!!
The night before the race didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked. We were going to go out to eat, but most things were way too busy so we just got food to go and took it back to the hotel. I got a hotel room which was very helpful for not having to get up quite as early or find parking in the wee morning hours. I definitely didn’t eat as much as was needed or probably hydrated enough though.
I had my normal morning ritual, but things were still a bit off. One of my main energy boosts that I use.. I left at home in my fridge… I started off the race on a bad foot. But the excitement was there and I was going to do this. It was a long tough race with lots of walking. About half way through my body just gave out since I didn’t quite have the right concoction of food/fuel. It was great to see my family out there twice towards the end to give me the hope that I could finish this race.
The last three miles were the worst. The cut off runners passed us, but thankfully they stopped once so that we could get ahead of them. As long as I stayed ahead of them that last stretch then our time would count. I was definitely pushing it past the 6 hour mark. I had a few bouts of crying and almost got on on the buses and didn’t finish, but with just a few miles left I am so glad that I didn’t quit and I crossed that finish line walking and all.
My official time was 6:08… For my first marathon I will take it…I was pretty bummed that all the food was closed off when we got into the expo hall. I mean I just spent 6 hours on the road, I could have used something…… I am proud though that I was able to accomplish something that for so long I thought I could never do. To go at it for 6 hours at that.. I am one that can’t see how ppl can run super fast just because my legs ddon’t work that way, but there are those who wouldn’t be able to last 6 hours. I wish that I had been more consistent in my training, but like I said before life gets in the way. I still have kids, PTA, blog work, and more that I have to accomplish as well and just didn’t have enough of my left to train like I had hoped. I accomplished my goal though and it is officially off my bucket list. I have already gone back to half marathons, but really have no desire to do a full again. Who knows I may change my mind when the kids get older and I have the time to devote to training, but as for now I will stick with half marathons.
I am beyond thankful to the Chevron Houston Marathon committee for having me aboard as an ambassador this year. I have made so many memories and new friends that I will cherish for years to come. Thank you to Sketchers who sponsored our gear. I feel blessed that I was able to participate this year as an ambassador and see a little behind the scenes and help spread the word about this race. Thank you Thank You Thank You to all who supported me throughout this as well. If I didn’t have the encouragement, parents to watch my kids, hubs who understood my crazy dream then it wouldn’t have happened, but I am so happy it did.
Until the next race 🙂 Have you been able to check off the “my first marathon” from your bucket list?