My first full marathon was the most incredible experience ever! Its difficult to put into words all of my emotions. Check out parts 1 and 2 of this recap! I was so grateful to finish. The Colfax Marathon was the best experience and my heart is still so full from finishing it weeks ago. The atmosphere of the race and the city made it feel like you were running in your hometown, like you were on a really long run with people in your community. Here are some pictures from the route.
I finished! I am a marathoner! Those are the thoughts that races through my head. The course could not have been more beautiful. The people of Denver were so warm and encouraging. I talked to two amazing people in my corral and then met a wonderful lady jut before the finish. Each of them motivated me through the race in a way I had not expected. I felt the altitude around mile 8 and it continued through the race. My chest felt tight and I could tell based on my speed that I was really struggling on my breathing.
From the half marathon mark on I was just trying to stay ahead of the police escort that was closing the race. At mile 23.5 I got picked up by the bus and thought my marathon dreams were over. I was struggling and my pace was waning. I nearly cried on the bus because they said they were taking us to the finish. That basically translates to you are too slow to still be racing. The bus driver let us off before mile 25 so we were all able to finish the race. I was so relieved and felt powerful going into the last part of the race. I had spent a couple minutes in agony thinking I wouldn’t be able to finish and it broke my heart. I was upset at myself for not training harder or timing my visit better with the altitude.
When I crossed the finish line there were many spectators left, but the Mr. was there. I called him at mile 23 to let him know my cell phone was dying and to make sure he saw me. This was before the bus picked me up of course. He was there waiting on me. Seeing him at the finish was almost as amazing as seeing him at the end of our aisle at our wedding. He ran with me for a bit then I finished. I am still in awe of the fact that I married a man that would wait for me even if it took me over 6 hours to do so. And the fact that he had a coconut water at the finish for me almost made me cry. Having a strong support system like this makes all the pain so much more tolerable.
Immediately after the race I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t believe I just did the thing that terrified me months before. I was happy to finish without any injuries and was already thinking of ways to tweak my training and improve. The man I talked to in my corral before the race asked me if I had a “backup marathon” and I explained that I ran Colfax to get the jitters out before Chicago. He agreed by saying, “good girl”. I had to remind myself of that nearly every mile. This marathon was my first full. It wasn’t about setting the perfect pace or hitting a goal finish time, it was about me being able to enjoy Chicago knowing that I already had a marathon under my belt. I am so thankful for Colfax! I loved this race and would do it again in a heartbeat. I can’t imagine a better first marathon experience. I was humbled and so grateful to finish a race 5000 feet above sea level. When I think about my finish time or the mile that I was on the bus I get a little upset, but every emotion from this race has shaped me. My thought process has been adjusted and I’ve put pen to paper on the areas I need to work on. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to hear about my thoughts for the Chicago Marathon training cycle, summer vacations, and races on the calendar.