I knew that my first marathon would be tough and would push me to the limits but I trained and was ready….or so I thought. I had a really good year of running that year, PR’d in a lot of races and placed in a lot of races. I followed a strict training plan and completed 3 20 milers as part of my training. On race morning I was nervous and excited (as I am for most races) and over-confident. I started with the 3:30 pace group. I wanted to qualify for Boston on my first try…didn’t happen, but we’ll get to that.
I ran the first 9 miles pretty easily and slightly too fast. But at mile 10 I tripped (over my own feet 😦 ) and fell down really hard. For some reason the sudden stopping put me in cramps from my butt down to the calves. I was screaming it was so painful and I couldn’t move. As I was laying there I was sure I was going to be down for the count, there was no way I would be able to finish the race. The first aid tent wasn’t far away and they came running and massaged the cramps out (embarrassing) and got me up and running again. Yes that’s right, I continued the race. The bad part is that the race is pretty much uphill from there. I continued the race and ran as best I could, at a slightly slower pace than I had started.
I have to say that the Akron Marathon is a good race and also that it is tough. I honestly only signed up for it so that I could get free shoes. I think now you get a jacket. I was surprised at the crowd support for the race. There were very few areas with no cheering sections and along the way. One of my favorite things was there were signs posted along the course that had inspirational sayings on them. For my first marathon it was a lot of help. My favorite running quote to this day is from one of those signs, “DIG DEEP” which I had to do after I crashed at mile 10. I was also partial to “Pain is temporary”. Also you finish in a stadium which I thought was really cool and awesome for pictures!
I am not ready to run the Akron Marathon again anytime soon, but I am considering doing the half ….eventually.
In the fall of 2008, I successfully completed my first full marathon, the Akron Marathon in 3:55. I did not qualify for Boston in the race but I was 471 Overall, the 101st Female and 9th in my age group. Not bad for a first marathon, but the experience was unbelievable and that’s probably why I continue to run marathons today.