So, here it is. My very first marathon Race Recap!

*Beware: It’ s a monster of a post!

Let me begin by saying that I never expected to be running a marathon this year or even next year! My goal, only recently became to run a marathon by the time I was 30. I ran my very first Half Marathon and Marathon all within the same year, my 25th year. I couldn’t be more proud of myself and I’m already thinking about the next one.

My weekend started with a bus ride to NH on Friday night. Slept a solid 9 hours on Kerri and Scott’s couch and had a very busy Saturday. The day ended at my parents house where we celebrated my nephew, Cody’s 13th birthday. My dad was also gracious enough to make a huge spaghetti and meatball dinner for everyone in honor of my marathon the next day. Thanks dad, those carbs really helped!

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Derek got in around 10pm on Saturday night and because it was daylight savings, I was actually able to hang out with him for a little while before I went to bed. I eventually went to bed at 11:30 and planned to wake up at 6:30, which would total 8 hours with the clocks moving back 1 hour. I slept pretty well considering what happened to my before my triathlon. I went to bed excited, but woke up with a ball of nerves in my tummy.

I woke up around 4am and had the hardest time getting back to sleep! I probably slept another 1/2 hour or hour, but eventually got out of bed around 6:15 and jumped in the shower. I had all my stuff laid out for me so I was was ready in no time. I was having a mini freakout deciding what to wear for bottoms. It was going to be cold, colder than I expected and I wasn’t sure if I should wear my running tights or my capris. After a 15 minute debate in my head and advice from Kerri and Derek, I decided to wear my capris, but I put my tights on over them so I could peel them off right before the start.

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Also, check out my awesome new Bondi band! I bought it at the expo and I specifically picked it to match my shirt 🙂 This is my first Bondi band and I absolutely love it! It’s the first headband that actually stayed on my head the entire time, I was quite impressed. I have a small head and even when I bobby pin headbands to my head they slide backwards and will eventually fall off. I did not have to touch this at all, I did bobby pin it, but it stayed put the whole time, I can’t wait to get another one.

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It was probably about 40 degrees at the start, maybe even 39 or so. I was nervous all morning, but for some reason I completely snapped out of it like 5 minutes before the start. I felt warmed up and completely ready to run!

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I got in line and we were off only minutes later. The hills started almost immediately into the course, but I was ready to tackle them. I tried not to think about them at all and I just let them flow. I focused on my energy and keeping my exertion level the same while going up hill.

The beginning of the race was great, everyone seemed very happy and had tons of energy. There was also a half marathon and it seemed like most people were running that. I kept looking around and all I could see were the yellow bib’s as opposed to the green, which meant the full marathon. I talked to this older man for a few minutes around mile 7 and he said that this was his 128th marathon! I couldn’t believe it, I was like, um, this is my first…he told me congratulations and he started talking about how if you are hurting at mile 10 then you are in trouble. You should pretty much feel like you haven’t done anything at all at that point.

I didn’t realize it, but the course goes through a good chunk of my old running route! I was so excited when we turned onto the road and continued running down it. I had no idea I would be running there and it was really cool to think about the memories I had of running here only a year and half ago.

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I made it to the halfway point and I was still in good spirits. I saw my friend Laura here and I was so excited! She actually started to run with me a little and then we ran into Derek, his sister, Marissa, my sister. Kerri and Scott, my brother in law. It was so great to see them and they really pumped me up for the second half! I haven’t seen Laura in such a long time, it was so nice of her and Shawn to come down to support me. I love you Laura and it was soooo nice to see you guys!

Also, for some reason after I turned onto the Bridge Street bridge right after this point, I started to get really, really emotional. It hit me…I am running a freaking marathon right now and everyone is here to support me. I almost started bawling my eyes out, it was a sobbing sort of cry and I had to pull myself together.

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I saw the 4:20 pacer woman around mile 10 maybe? I tried to stick with her as much as I could, but I got so caught up in the excitement of the halfway point and seeing my friends and family that I completely blew by her. She caught up to me again around mile 15 or so, but at that point I basically had to let her go. I was on my own here and completely in the zone.

It was a very small race, I believe only 500 people finished the marathon, not sure about the half. I was starting to hurt a little at mile 17, but I knew I had to stay strong and I was very motivated because I knew more of my family was just around the corner. I got to run right by the street I grew up on; Fairview Street. I saw my mom and dad, my sister, Gina and my nephew and niece there waiting for me! I could see them from a distance and I started to wave at them. It was a perfect time to see them, they gave me the strength I needed to keep on going. I yelled to my mom and the guy next to me said, is that your mom? I said, yeah! He said, that’s awesome!

The big one was coming up after this. What’s the big one? It’s Daniel Plummer Road, the dreadful 3/4 of mile hill that I have been anticipating my whole training. I was thinking about this road the whole race, I knew I needed to conserve a little bit of extra energy for this.

A guy ran right up next to me at the beginning of it and told me I was doing a great job. It was completely out of nowhere and I said thanks! We started talking a little bit and I told him it was my first marathon and he said this was his 7th. He was from the northern tip of Vermont and he recommended I run the Burlington marathon. This was his first time running Manchester. His name was Gary and I thanked him when we got to the top of the long hilly road that is Daniel Plummer. I couldn’t believe it! I ran up the entire thing without any hesitation. I couldn’t have done it without him, he totally distracted me kept me going. I was so scared of that hill and I completely smashed it! We rounded the corner and there was mile 18. He went on ahead and we wished each other luck.

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I saw my dad again at mile 19!!! I completely didn’t expect it and it was really awesome to see him again. He took this picture (above) of me and I was still smiling. This is when I ate my 3rd and final Gu. I brought 5 of them with me, but couldn’t stomach more than 3, in retrospect, I think I should’ve forced myself to eat at least one more because I think it would’ve helped.

I was doing great with my pace, but around mile 21 is where I started to lose any and all energy. I’m not sure if I hit the wall, but I hit something. I had to walk a bunch and I literally forced myself to start running again. I don’t even know if you would call it running, trotting is more like it. From mile 21 to the end, I was trying to take it 1 mile at a time and was counting down each one.

The last 5 miles were KILLER! I dug so deep within myself to keep going, I felt like it was never going to end! While I was running down St. Anselm’s drive, the college campus was right next to me and there was also a huge grassy knoll and I kept fantasizing about just stopping and laying down in the grass and how good it would feel. I. MUST. CONTINUE. ON. Hill after hill after hill. They weren’t kidding when they said this was a hilly course. One of the hills toward the end was like a wall. I literally said to myself, WTF, I didn’t know you had to climb up walls in this marathon.

I saw Laura again a little after the mile 23 mark! I couldn’t believe it, I was SO HAPPY to see her! She saved me, literally. She started to run with me again and I think I had a semi-normal conversation with her. It was a lot different than the last one at mile 13. I complained about my foot hurting, my stomach hurting, I felt like I was never going to finish. She ran almost a whole mile with me and I couldn’t stop thanking her because she gave me some new found energy.

I continued to crawl again and surprise! There’s Laura again at mile 25 1/2 or something. I was a zombie by then, all I could say is where the hell is mile 26? Oh my god there it is, there it is! She kept cheering me on saying how good I was doing and how I was so awesome.

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Derek took this picture! I knew the end was near, right around this corner. I had just passed the 26 mile mark at this point and was so ready to be done! I could barely smile at Derek, I was so drained and focused on making it just a little further.

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Almost there!

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Surprisingly enough, I sprinted across the finish line, well comparatively. I thought I was going to puke at the end. I had to focus and pull myself together in order to not puke. I was worried I would not find a trash can, but I found a bench first and settled in to pull myself together. My mind and my body was insanely overwhelmed once I sat down. I started to make weird sobbing noises and I probably sounded retarded, but I was unbelievably overwhelmed and it took me a few minutes to feel normal again.

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I love my medal! After I sat in that bench, I couldn’t stand up again without it hurting. Everyone found me and gathered around while we decided where to eat! I also signed up for a free little massage, but had to wait 15 minutes to get it. Thank you to everyone who came out to support me in the freezing cold weather! I love you all and it means so much to me that you came out there and suffered just for me!!!!

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I love my medal!

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We ended up going to Republic on Elm Street and I ordered a side of fries and a Margherita Flatbread Pizza, it was delicious! After that we stopped at Milly’s Tavern for a celebratory beer. Later that night I ate a huge blueberry muffin and within 12 hours, I drank a whole quart of chocolate milk, mmmm!

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Final thoughts: I hurt my foot again. It feels like the same exact thing I did over the summer, but on the other foot. I’m going to see Shelly again tomorrow, she is the woman who fixed me last time and hopefully it will be just as simple this time. I could feel it start to hurt around mile 20 maybe, but continued on anyway (of course).

Other than my foot, my body feels pretty fantastic. I don’t really feel all that sore at all. I was sore after the race and the day after, but that was it.

The marathon was absolutely amazing! It was the most challenging thing I have ever done and I am so proud of myself! I’ve come a long way, 3 years ago, I never would’ve imagined myself EVER running a marathon!

If I can do it, anyone can do it!

Here are my final stats:

Official

Distance: 26.2 Miles

Duration: 4:34:03

Average Pace: 10:28 min/mi.

Garmin GPS

Distance: 26.51

Duration: 4:33:01

Average Pace: 10:17

Calories Burned: 2,586

Splits
  1. 9:21
  2. 9:47
  3. 9:46
  4. 9:37
  5. 9:43
  6. 9:38
  7. 9:53
  8. 9:40
  9. 9:50
  10. 9:42
  11. 9:41
  12. 10:04
  13. 9:08
  14. 9:42
  15. 10:16
  16. 10:04
  17. 10:17
  18. 10:21
  19. 10:33
  20. 10:30
  21. 10:51
  22. 11:33
  23. 11:48
  24. 11:55
  25. 11:55
  26. 11:49

5 Comments

  1. Steph – YOU ARE AWESOME. And strong. Accomplished. I’m so proud of you.

  2. you’re fucking awesome.

  3. soooo proud of you steph!!

  4. I’m soooo proud of you Steph! Reading your post totally made me tear up because I know how big this is for you and how hard you worked. This is an amazing accomplishment! Congrats again!

    I hope your foot is feeling better! See you Friday! 🙂

  5. So I’m 2 years late on this post….but you did great! I live in Manchester so I can visualize what you were saying. That’s so amazing that you did the Manchester Marathon for your first one with all the hills it’s difficult!

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