My first marathon race will always be one to remember. I participated in the
MEC series marathon race on May 26th 2018. I was pretty nervous the
night/week before. I had practiced running 26.2 miles 6 times prior to the race but
every time was indoors on my treadmill. I knew I had the right amount of training,
I was averaging 60+ mile weeks and felt confident in my ability to finish the race,
but was anxious about what my finishing time would be.
In the week building up to the race I started to taper by cutting my average
miles in half and this was really difficult because like many other runners, I felt
like I should be doing more as I didn’t want to lose any fitness by slowing down.
The night before the race I was frantically researching what the best pre-race
meals were basically to learn that if I was reading into this the night before the
race it was a little too late and it made perfect sense because what works for any
particular person is not necessarily going to work for the next, so you have to
practise beforehand which meals are most beneficial. There are general
guidelines however, such as avoiding spicy foods, and roughage
(salads/greens), foods high in fibre or anything that in the past has given you
digestion issues. At the end of the day I went for a big plate of lasagna and some
rice pudding for dessert…whatever I could find in the fridge 🙂
When we arrived around 7:30am I picked up my bib and tried not to overthink
anything. The weather was looking questionable there was a threat of
thunderstorms which we were told would end the race immediately. This was
frustrating because then I started thinking what if I’m doing really well 5km left to
finish and they call it! How upsetting would that be? Ugh…but I had to put that
out of my mind and concentrate on one foot in front of the other. When the gun
went off I saw my husband snapping photos of me and just looking around at the
other runners sizing up my competition I felt a flood of emotion. The tears were
creeping up but I had a job to do so I put them away for after the race haha!
The course was a half marathon loop repeated once. I started off really strong
I wasn’t sure if it was too strong but my legs and lungs felt good and every
second counts to I kept my pace. Starting off I had three males ahead of me for
the first 15km. I passed the first male and felt pretty good about that, then I
eventually caught up to the second male around 19km and at that point I really
started to question my pace hoping I was not leading myself to a burnout by the
time I started the loop again. By the 20th km we were nearing the turn around
and I passed the first place male. I never could have imagined being in first
overall it seemed too good to be true. At this point the half marathon runners start
their race and seeing the look of amazement on their faces as they saw the first
place marathon runner was female (i would assume) was enough the power me
up again boosting my confidence. As I ran past the race marshals they were also
very supportive and encouraging. In the back of my mind I was thinking one of
those male runners had to be on my tail and he was probably just pacing himself

for a strong finish, where as I was just going with no plan, just pushing my
hardest and thinking feet don’t fail me now! By 36km no one had passed me yet,
in fact I couldn’t see anyone behind me for quite a while at that point. Now I’m
thinking I may be able to win this not only in my gender category but overall so
that was exciting. The excitement wore off a little when I was hitting about 39km.
My brain was starting to get a little foggy and for some reason I was thinking I still
had 7km left to go…it was so weird now that I think back. I was getting the miles
and kms confused, I thought we were doing 46.2km and really starting to hit a
wall. My legs felt like bricks the muscles in my quads felt sharp and I was losing
control of my breathing so my chest was getting tight…not good. I knew I had to
focus so I slowed my pace a bit first and focused on slowing the breathing in
through my nose out through my mouth slow and deep. This was working and I
was proud of myself for overcoming this issue. I thought I still had 4km left when I
saw the finish line coming up and was so confused thinking oh my gosh all this
work and its not even the full marathon distance! Down the the last km I realized I
was wrong and couldn’t have been happier to cross that line earlier than I had
mentally prepared myself for 🙂
I finished my first marathon race 1st overall with a Boston qualified time of
3:18:19! I was very proud and very thirsty as I had only taken two sips of water
on the course.