Scotiabank Calgary Marathon
I don't even know what to write about this. I am so incredibly happy! This was the best day OF MY LIFE (yes Mom, so far). This is what I've spent 5 and a half months training for and the thing that has completely changed my life in so many ways and every way for the better.
I cannot thank my friends and family enough for their support and motivation though the process and though the race. It meant THE WORLD to me having so many people cheering me on along the way. I will never forget this day and you all made it even more amazing.
As planned, my alarm went off at 3:56 AM, had coffee and toast with PB2 + maple syrup and relaxed/got ready until Kailey came over and we left around 6. It was such a beautiful day! Alberta blue skies and the forecast was calling for 23 and sunny. As soon as we made it to the grounds we hit up the washrooms, I went to the U of C tent to get my Garmin and Lumo sensor to wear for the race, Kailey dropped off her bag, short warm-up, washroom again (nervous pee) and then made our way to the corral. It was already jammed so we waited on the sides for the line to start moving. Kailey ran the 21.1 km and was shooting for a 2:15 and I figured I'd hang out around the 3:45 or 4:00 marathon bunny so we ended up being around the same place. The gun went off, we awkwardly shuffled and turned on devices until the start line and then we were off!
First 10 km
I felt great. I paced myself really well and enjoyed the atmosphere until we dropped the 21.1 km crowd (there were so many people doing the half!!)
20 - 30 km
Around km 13 I saw LAUREN!
It started getting really really warm. I also had no idea where I was for a good part of it, I just kept following the crowd. I hit up almost every water station by this point and at the first gel station I took one.
Want to know how annoyed I was that they used PLASTIC cups and not paper?? Very.
It was so hot and I felt so dehydrated that I stopped/walked at every aid station so that I could get enough water in. Plus, plastic cups made it VERY hard to drink and run while actually attempting to get any water into my mouth.
The second station that was SUPPOSED to have gels, did not. I asked the lady and she said they were all out. This was at km 23 I think? Again, unimpressed. So when I got to the third station that did have gels, I grabbed two, stuck one in my bra and devoured the other one. I could get I was getting fatigued and was running low on fuel, but for the most part I was still feeling really good.
Around here is when I saw Dani and Kelsey the FIRST time, and was very happily surprised!
30 - 42 km
I decided it was time to take off my shirt. This was a big deal. I hate my body and I am extremely self-conscious of it but I was so hot that I had to. I took it off right before the turn around at km 33 because I knew my family would be there and I could give it to them, so I threw my sweaty tank top at Alex and kept running. I loved this part of the run the most. I loved seeing my family, being in my old neighborhood and this was when it really hit me that I was running a marathon. Kelsey and Dani were here too!
The heat was seriously kicking my butt, and I wasn't the only one. I saw so many people struggling, walking, having to stop and stretch, lay down and a couple were pulling themselves out of the run. I continued walking through the aid stations to get water because I was very thirsty and hot - not looks wise, I looked awful and when I look at the pictures I 100% regret running without a shirt on.
At one point while I was at an aid station guzzling water, I was passed by the 4 hour pace bunny. I set no expectations or goals for this besides making it to the finish line. Yes I had hopes but I was just taking in the excitement of running in my first marathon and enjoying every minute of it.
Just as I was coming back into the grounds I was cheered on by my sister, mom and Alex again. Allan was at the end as well, but didn't see me finish. I chip timed at 4:03 and that was it. First marathon DONE.
Everything was amazing. I'm so happy about this run. The day was beautiful, I got to run in my city, my family and friends are AMAZING and this was the best day. I felt really good about it and I never hit a wall other than being thirsty and hot. I really do think I could have had a better time if it wasn't for walking through aid stations and struggling with the damn plastic cups. Running without my shirt on was super liberating and at the time I didn't care AT ALL what I looked like, I was too busy running and loving my marathon moments to care.
I can't wait for my next one!
Shout out to Alex for flying out for less than 12 hours to come watch me run, catch my sweaty tank top and hang out with my family. You are incredible and it means so much to me.
ALSO a shout out to Corrine for my beautiful necklace and for EVERYTHING you've done to help and support me to get to that finish line.