2008/11/16: San Antonio RNR Marathon (race report–first marathon)

I finished my first marathon on Sunday. It was an awesome experience. It was really cold at the beginning, but everyone dressed in layers and shed their extra clothes over the first few miles. Since it was my first marathon, I didn’t really have any set goals…just to finish. But I thought it’d be nice to get under 5:30. On my LONG runs (19.8 and 21.3 milers), my average minutes per mile were always over 12:20, so I didn’t have very high expectations!

I started out too fast and realized this, but I felt good and just went with it. I knew this wouldn’t last long, but I was having fun. At the halfway point, I was about 3 minutes under my previous personal best time, which I thought was exciting since I was running twice the distance. According to my splits, I actually quickened my pace between 10 miles and 17 miles. At 18 miles, I hit THE WALL. My muscles all felt fatigued and I felt a little dizzy. My pace worsened, but I kept at it.

Around 23 miles, I ran a little faster, but still not as fast as before. I knew there was a steep hill toward the end, so I kept this in mind. I wasn’t sure if I’d walk the hill, but I got there and there were a TON of spectators all cheering and there was no way I could slow down. I also had my name on the front of my shirt, so people who I didn’t even know were cheering specifically for ME.

At the top of the hill with only about .15 miles remaining, I could see the finish area and was suddenly really energized. I decided to sprint the last bit (my Garmin said that at one point in that last stretch, I hit a 4:15 minute mile pace!) and was actually disappointed it wasn’t a bit further because I still had some energy. Plus, I had fun passing a bunch of people in the last minute or so.

My final time was 5:12:33. Due to weaving around other people and not being able to take the most direct route at all times, my Garmin said I actually ran 26.45 miles.

I had a lot of fun, especially up to mile 18 and the last mile or so. I only walked a total of about 2 miles, and that includes the water stations, so I’m happy with that.

I decided to wait until after this marathon was complete to determine my running future, but right after the crossing the finish line, I decided that I definitely want to run at least one more. I want to run one under 5 hours.

Here are some pictures:

Sprinting to the finish line (notice my stride!)


Crossing the finish line


Running toward my dad (who got right BY the finish line with his media badge)



Standing around


Showing off my finisher medal


Getting my metallic blanket


Proof I finished


Talking to a friend afterward






My yoga instructor (Rudy) and me


Here is a link to my finishing video. At 50 seconds, I’ll enter the screen at the upper right; after I cross the finish line, I do a weird arm swing thing. Can’t figure out how to embed it: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=521622198023&l=5665354994721708088

Below are my mile split times, according to my Garmin. In order to get under 5 hours, I would have needed to run an average pace of 11:27 or faster…
Mile 1: 11:00
Mile 2: 11:47
Mile 3: 10:44
Mile 4: 11:34
Mile 5: 11:41
Mile 6: 11:11
Mile 7: 11:16
Mile 8: 11:05
Mile 9: 11:02
Mile 10: 11:03
Mile 11: 11:10
Mile 12: 10:42
Mile 13: 11:18
Mile 14: 11:25
Mile 15: 11:10
Mile 16: 11:21
Mile 17: 11:26
Mile 18: 11:48
Mile 19: 12:48 — Hit “the wall”… Can you tell?!
Mile 20: 13:24
Mile 21: 13:00
Mile 22: 14:24
Mile 23: 13:18
Mile 24: 12:56
Mile 25: 12:59
Mile 26: 12:29
.45 miles: 4:51 (10:38 pace) — including steep hill + sprint

All in all, an awesome experience!



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