Saturday, May 30, 2009

MARATHON RACE REPORT


Well, I DID IT! I finished my first marathon. I can't believe that, at age 55, I completed a marathon for the first time. It was not the best time, nor was it what I had anticipated, but I crossed the finish line and I wasn't the last one. :) There were 80 people behind me. Now, I know that's not a lot, considering there were around 800 running, BUT I FINISHED!!!

I started out very strong and didn't push myself at all, using the Galloway run/walk/run program. For the first mile, I ran 2 minutes and walked 1 minute, since a lot of it was downhill. After that I switched to run 1 minute, walk 1 minute like I had planned. I did very well until mile 10, when my ankle begin hurting EXTREMELY badly. So badly that I realized that I could not run anymore, but would have to walk. Talk about disappointing! I still had 16.2 miles to go! I had hoped to finish in 5:30, but forget that!

I began speedwalking and re-set my goal time to around 6 hrs. The pain kept getting worse and worse. I kept stopping to adjust the compression bandage I was wearing, but realized at about mile 23 that I had better not stop anymore or I wouldn't be able to start again. I was darned if I was going to not finish this race! I would crawl if I had to. :)

My daughter met me at about the 25.9 mile mark (she was worried I was dead on the side of the road.) and walked with me until mile 26.1, then sprinted ahead to get my finish pics. Two friends of mine, Matt & Sharon, continued on with me to almost the finish line. I wanted to run the last bit, but one try was enough to stop that idea. I finished in 6:02:37, which was right on what I had hoped for since I was walking. I almost broke into tears when I reached the finish line. I just couldn't believe that I made it.

My average pace for the first 10 miles was right at 12:00, perfect for a finish like I had planned; but the last 16.2 miles had an average pace of around 14:30, which gave me an average pace of around 13:40; pretty good for walking so much. It WAS a PR since it was my first!!!!

I was excited to meet @solorunner & @meechelle, my twitter friends, along with some of their friends. They ran great!

My mantra when I'm running long runs is always from scripture: "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"~~Philippians 4:13. Today, I really needed that scripture AND His strength. I said that over and over again, along with a few "Please help me, God" phrases (ok, maybe a LOT of them. :) God is so faithful and I believe He helped me to persevere through to the end.

Philippians 3:14 - "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - I pray that I will persevere in my walk with Christ also and strive toward the goal He has for me.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who encouraged me and supported me through the training for this marathon. I SO appreciated your belief in me that I could do this.

Now, on to the next one - October 11, 2009 - The Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon in Susanville, California. Let the training begin! (After I heal, of course)

Have an awesome day and God bless you all.

Gina

28 comments:

  1. Congrats Gina. Great determination and I love the sprinting at the end for photo's.

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  2. Thanks! Getting good photos is SO important. :)

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  3. Congratulations on finishing! Be sure to heal properly before you get into to much training. A trail marathon could be a totally different experience.

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  4. Hi Gina, what an amazing race! Just the sheer determination you had is simply beautiful! I am sorry about your ankle. I hope it feels better fast!! Your great!!

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  5. Bruce, thanks! The Bizz Johnson marathon is classified as a trail one, but is on an old train bed and is packed dirt and graded gravel. It is a slight decline over the last 20 miles so should be easier to run. I guess I'll find out. :) But yes, definitely healing first!

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  6. Michelle, Thanks so much for the kind words. It IS the pits about my ankle, but at least I was able to finish the marathon - I would have been devastated if I hadn't.

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  7. Michelle, Thanks so much for the kind words. It IS the pits about my ankle, but at least I was able to finish the marathon - I would have been devastated if I hadn't.

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  8. Congrats!

    Sorry it was so difficult and painful.... but you finished!!

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  9. Great race report. To witness your faith in God and in your own abilities is amazing! Congratulations on your acheivement!

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  10. Nice work sticking it out like that. It's bad when things fall apart so early in the race but you stuck with it. WTG!

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  11. Thanks, Tim. It wasn't what I had planned, but then most things aren't. :)

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  12. Charlie, It is so amazing what I can do when I trust God to work through me. It's no accident that I was able to finish, but as soon as I was done, I was unable to put weight on my ankle. I know that God pulled me through this. He is so faithful.

    Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. You are a great friend!

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  13. Mike,

    Thank you! I'm learning that I have to go with whatever happens and not to let it defeat me! :)

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  14. Way to go Gina!! Be so proud that you finished and finished strong. And you were in pain on top of it. Man - you were truckin' while walking even. Great job!!

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  15. Thanks, Jen. I am slowly coming to the realization that I actually finished a MARATHON! So excited!

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  16. Gina,

    Congratulations for not only taking on the challenge of the marathon, but for preservering and finishing with an awesome time.

    Marathons are so hard, even on a good day. Lots of times you just have to dig deep and hang on.

    You should feel so proud of your accomplshment.

    Best wishes as you embark on your next challenge.

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  17. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

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  18. Congrats Gina!! You making it to the finish line despite all the pain is really inspirational. I am both terrified and excited about running my first marathon, since I have been struggling with my current injury it almost feels like it is going to be impossible. But with everything you went through during training and your race without giving up, I believe I can do it too :) Good luck on your next marathon, I look forward to hearing all about it.

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  19. Middalia, Thank you for the comment. You CAN run a marathon! I never thought I would do it and now I'm hooked! :) I have two more scheduled for this year.

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  20. awesome, awesome, and even more awesome. great accomplishment and great report. hope to meet up at a future marathon...as i'm guessing you're not going to be able to stop at just one. cheers!!!

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  21. How cool is that! You are a marathoner! AND under such circumstances! Congratulations!

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  22. Michael,

    Thank you! No, I'm definitely not stopping. I have registered for two more this year - October and December. I guess I'm hooked!
    Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon in Susanville, CA on Oct 11 and California International Marathon in Sacramento on Dec 6.

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  23. Gina, What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing- i can't wait to experience the joy of finishing a marathon! :)

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  24. Nicole,

    Thanks for the comment. It's a great experience! And now I can say I'm a marathoner!

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  25. Congratulations!!!!! My mom and I are running our first marathon this fall. She is 54, so I can't wait to tell her about you and your success.

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  26. Thanks for the comment! It's awesome that you are running with your mother. Good luck to you both.

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