Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Georgia Marathon 2014

Last summer I after I ran my first half marathon, people would frequently ask me when I was going to run a full marathon?  I wanted to get better/faster/stronger/have more running experience before I attempted a full marathon.  So I ran more and did two more half marathons and few 10k races. And all the while, I thought about running a full marathon--26.2 miles. In a row. Without stopping.

I talked with friends that had run a full marathon and looked at different training plans. Everyone told me that training for a marathon is like having a part-time job. The training will take up lots of time, there will be many days of not wanting to run ,but you have to. No matter the weather or how busy the schedule/calendar is you have to find the time to run. Gotta get it done, so on race day it is possible to run 26.2 miles.
In November I decided to go for it and started looking for training plans and a spring time race.
I wanted a race close to home, so the Georgia Marathon was perfect. There are a million different training schedules for running a marathon and I picked the "beginner schedule" from Coolrunnings.
So much of distance running is mental, believing that you are capable of running for hours, knowing that you have done it before and can do it again. The schedule I chose slowly built up and I actually ran 26.2 miles in February and then gradually decreased my long run distances each week.
There were definitely times I questioned my decision to pick a training program that had me run twenty miles or more 7 times before the actual marathon race, but come race day I was thankful I had.
Last Friday, my little map reader, and I drove to Atlanta to the Expo and picked up my bib number for the race. Rebecca had a great time! The Expo was filled with free samples of food and drinks and she walked away with a backpack full of stuff.
I was up bright and early to get ready and drive to Atlanta for the race. I was stressed out about where to park the car. Raphael and I figured out the best spot for me, but of course where I wanted to park was blocked off for the race :)  I did panic for a second, found a different parking lot and followed all the other runners walking to the start line.
(this photo is from the ajc)
The race started and ended at Centennial Olympic Park.
Over 16.000 people ran either a half or a full marathon.
Just a few minutes before the race started.
I wanted to take more pictures, but it is complicated to run and try to snap a photo.
I did stop at here at mile 7 or 8 to take a picture. This is where the runners for the half go left and the full marathon runners went right.
Raphael and the girls came out to cheer me on.
I think this was around mile 15?
Me running!
There were professional photographers taking pictures during the race.
I plan to buy a few pictures, but haven't gotten to it yet.
Raphael took them for breakfast in a cute little café after
I ran by.
 The day was forecasted for rain and it tried to rain for
a few minutes, but thankfully there was no serious rain!!
Getting closer!
I felt good during the race.
There were so many hills!!
Hill, after hill, after hill.
Mile 22 we ran into Piedmont Park and turned around and then started into Atlanta for the finish line. I was starting to feel tired and I really wanted to walk, but was determined to keep running. Slow running, but I ran. I was hoping for a finish time of 4:40 and knew if I walked, I would not make it.
The finish line!
When I turned the corner and saw the balloons, I was so relieved!
The last few miles took forever and seemed so loooong.
I did it!!
My official time for the race.
Didn't make my goal time, but close.
My finisher medal.
I am glad I ran the marathon.
Proud I managed to survive the training schedule and run a good race.
Don't think I will be running another marathon anytime soon!!
And this just made me laugh.......

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