I did it. I finished a marathon.
I got to be honest though, I am having some mixed feelings about the whole experience. I actually haven't blogged in a few days because I just didn't know what to say. I am honestly trying to process the whole thing and have been in a weird funk the past few days while trying to decipher my emotions.
So here are just some ramblings on the training/race/aftermath (in no particular order)...
1) I really loved having my name printed out on my bib because everyone kept cheering 'Go Ashlee' and 'Keep Smiling Ashlee!' It was hard not to be pleased and be sweet to everyone because they made me feel so good by saying my name.
2) I need to go purchase new running shoes asap. My feet were actually the first thing to give out on me. I walked more than I would have liked just because the bottoms of my feet became extremely bruised and sore.
3) I am so thankful that I didn't have any stomach issues before/during/after the race. I mean, if we are being honest here....one of the key aspects of long distance running is not trying to poop all over yourself. And hooray!!! I didn't poop on myself!! Hooray!!!
4) I accidentally got herded in the beginning of the race with the individuals who were the walkers of the half-marathon portion. I felt like a speed demon passing all these walkers and slow runners for the first six miles of the race though. There were so many people racing and I was literally the very last one of the runners at the beginning to start that it took me 15 minutes of walking from my pre-race starting point to even cross the starting line.
5) If you are a race director, you really need to hand out peanut butter pretzels to people during the race. My spirit was so lifted for about ten minutes after eating my three little pretzels.
6) For a bit I ran next to a man who was 80 years old and was competing in his 100th marathon. That man was incredibly inspiring. (and for the record, I beat him....not by much though).
7) I wish that I had taken my training more serious before the race. I basically did the bare minimum and I know that I could have gotten a better time if I had put more miles into it during training.
8) I feel happy and satisfied just knowing that I finished. I needed to walk for some miles and I wish that I could have done it faster, but I did it. I need to remember that and feel good knowing that.
9) When I finished the race I was soooo happy. Happy to be done. Happy to have actually finished it and I swore to everyone who could hear me at the finish line that 'I shall never do this again. That sucked!' But I am gonna do it again. I already have my eyes set on a marathon in the fall.
10) I was one of the last ones to finish. My husband finished the race before me and was waiting for me about 100 yards from the finish line. He broke through the race barriers and ran the last 100 yards with me. My lovely mother-in-law took this photo of the two of us approaching the finish line together. I honestly can't look at this photo without tearing up. It is one of my favorite photos ever of us.
Thank you Diane (my mother-in-law) for visiting us this past weekend and meeting us at various points along the race to cheer us on and encourage us. Your presence was definitely appreciated!