The day after…

I did it!! Not the best time ever but under 2hrs 30 which became my goal half way round as the temperatures soared and the hills of Atlanta took their toll – 2hrs 28mins was my finishing time – a little disappointed but this is far outweighed by the elation and euphoria of finishing my second half.  I was literally in tears as I crossed the line I was so happy and excited to finish.  The crowd really carried me home for that last half mile.  It was so incredible to see the top marathon finishers finishing along side us – it certainly puts into perspective how fast and what amazing runners they are!  Speaking of marathoners I must congratulate my blogger friend www.runninginmommyland.com who finished her first full marathon yesterday!!

The atmosphere was brilliant and the organizers did a fabulous job from start to finish.  My heart was pumping to the disco beats thudding from the speakers as we waited anxiously in our corrals.  Then at 7am we were off – of course the start is always a tad slower when there are 15,000 other runners with you.  I barely noticed the first 3 miles but it was strange to be running in the dark.  I knew I was a bit slower than normal so tried to up my pace a little.  I started to feel those brutal hills and at one point at about 6miles I thought I was done for as I felt my left knee start to tighten.  Of course in those circumstances all you start to think about is the niggle, which ultimately makes the niggle worse.  I pulled up momentarily to hit the ‘reset’ button and make sure I was okay to continue.  Once I started running again it felt fine and I found my stride again.  The problem is once you have stopped once, mentally the challenge is up and it’s easy to stop again.  Non the less once when I was running I felt fairly strong and tried to focus on my form.  I really believe I think too much when I’m running on my own.  I’m much happier when distracted by good conversation and company so I am recruiting more running buddies – look out:)

I’m now planning to try and run about 5 a year.  There is the ZOOMA Atlanta women’s half in April, then a welcome break over the summer before the AllState 13.1 in October, the Atlanta Thanksgiving half, the Miami half/full marathon in January, followed by the Georgia half again in March.  Depending on how my training goes over the course of the year and if I can correct my form to eliminate any knee problems I seriously may consider the full in January.  Miami would be a great place for a full – fairly flat plus plenty of opportunity to party afterward!

Before I do any more long runs I really must buy some tops that don’t chafe.  The chafing was exacerbated by the heat but crikey I have some nasty welts around my collar bone and chest and under my arms today from my hot, wet skin rubbing on the seams of the tank I was wearing.  I have trouble finding great tops that are supportive as I prefer a shelf bra – so if you have any favorites please share with me.  I’m looking at the Lululemon ones right now but this Back on Track tank that I like is completely sold out online.

My Finishers Medal:

Finishers medal

My Post Race Reward:

Post-race reward