On December 8th I ran my eight marathon and it was in the great state of Alabama! I want to start with saying what a great race it was! Huntsville is a small town but they know how to put on a marathon! I stayed at the host hotel (Holiday Inn) and they took care of us! Nice small expo, LATE check out and an awesome spread of food after the race. The best marathon I have ran to date! Well in some ways : )
I drove down by myself and had a hotel room by myself so I was well rested and able to take care of all my pre race routines. I knew the weather was going to be warm but I was really hopeful that this was going to be a perfect race! Even though I had limited runs going into Huntsville I had just ran in Georgia on November 10th so I thought I would be well trained yet rested.
Miles 1-10 were pretty good! I was right on pace for a sub 4 hour and hanging with the 4 hour pace group. At mile 8 I noticed I was super sweaty and already coated in dried salt. Not a good sign when so early in the race. I figured I should start taking in powerade and eating a little more than usual to ward off dehydration.
Mile 11-13 These miles were slightly slower and I had to stop to take a porta potty stop; the kind you don't want to take during a race. I feel back from the 4 hour pace group but was well ahead of the 4:10 pace group. I was still hopeful for a good race and feeling average.
Mile 13 My belly was rumbling : ( and I knew something was going to go bad. I was hoping it was just going to be another porta potty stop. However, when I tossed back a cup of powerade at mile 13 it decided to take a quick exit. I threw up for the first time ever! For the next three miles I "ran", walked, shuffled, puked, walked, "ran" and shuffled.
Mile 16: I looked at my watch and realized I was walking as fast as I was "running" so I did some math and realized I had enough power walking skills to cover 10 miles in 2.5 hours which would let me still break 5 hours.
Miles 16-26.2 The longest walk of my life! However, I had so much fun! I talked to everyone and kept a huge smile on my face the whole time. I was still going to cover 26.2 miles, cross that finish line and claim my hard earned medal. While the race might not have been the best day of my life I had still trained to get there and I fought hard for 16 miles.
The great people of Alabama made these 10 miles so much fun! Awesome volunteers and residents. I have never ATE so much food while running (well walking) in my whole life. There were bananas, oranges, pretzels, water, powerade, beer, candy, and peanut M&Ms. Since it was a "heat wave" (mid 70s) there were people out with their water hoses and sprinklers.
I finished in an amazing time of 4:57:53 and I am proud of every second. No more back to back marathons for this girl. My next marathon will be on April 27th in Nashville, TN!
Check out my newest marathon accessory: Marathon Nails! They were so fun and gave me something to look at. This will be a new tradition for sure.
Thanks to everyone that follows my less than exciting blog!