I am still sitting an awe that I ran my 13th marathon !! Crazy right?! My longest run was 14 miles and I only got in about three long runs over 9 miles. I did clean up my eating a ton with the 24 Day Challenge, did CycleBar at least twice a week, lifted three times a week and ran a day or two during the week. So I can confidently say that this life time runner was FIT for the race!
I knew my body could handle the miles and the hardest part for me would be the dry heat and the flat course. I bet the locals wouldn’t say it was flat because there were just a few short and steep nasty hills, but for this California mountain runner it was FLAT! I made sure I had a great marathon playlist to keep me mentally on pace! For me music is everything in a marathon, I set up my Spotify playlist with RPMs in mind for each mile. So grateful for so many wonderful suggestions from friends!
I took off feeling really good. I had rested two days before to ensure that my legs were not tired or sore in any weird places. The weather was perfect at the beginning so I was PRAISING the Lord for that! It could have been like 80 degrees at 7am! There were only about 30-40 runners doing the full marathon, by far the smallest marathon I have ever done. There were two other girls during the first 6 miles that I pretty much ran with. I prayed for each of them to have an amazing race and finish strong. I didn’t want to try and compete with them, because I could tell they were for sure going to beat me and I just wanted to have a nice slow and easy marathon! I had to keep telling myself over and over that this was MY RACE and no one else’s. Finally they pushed ahead and it was really just me and the road for the next 6 miles.
The first 10K was over and at mile 8 I was already hitting a WALL!!! WHAT THE?! That has never happened so early in a race. I turned my music to the 8 songs that are a bit faster. My mind started telling me, “a half marathon would be fine to finish, it’s ok to just be done”. I had no one to prove anything to and I needed to show everyone that it was ok to quit. I started to believe all these things that I was thinking. I even had to use the bathroom at mile 8 (which I have never used in a marathon) but I was so hydrated I really had to pee. Once I did that, I felt 100% lighter minus a few nagging cramps that I couldn’t kick. My legs felt lighter and I quickly texted my hubby and told him to bring me some Ibuprofen at mile 13 and electrolytes. As soon as I crossed the bridge and saw my wonderful husband my heart lifted and I had a second gust of wind in my step. I took three Ibuprofen (preventative) and headed for mile 14.
The course at this point all started to be really boring. We were pretty much running the bike/runners path that I run on a regular basis. So I knew I needed to start praying and not letting my mentality crush my spirit. Thank goodness the weather at this point was still great! I started hitting some of those steep and short hills, which I enjoyed because I needed a break from the flat. I also knew that if I got to mile 18 without hitting a wall, I would and could finish! So my goal was to keep at a 9:30 pace, smile and enjoy the alone time with just God and the road. I don’t get a lot of alone time these days so I really tried to stay present and ask the Lord to speak to me in every mile. My body was great minus these weird stomach cramps. I focused on my breath cause I thought it was because I was not breathing right. I also took my time at the water stations (which there were plenty of), drank my water walked and then took off. In all my other marathons I never walked at the water stations. It was good for me mentally and caused me to SLOW DOWN and not burn out.
This was it! I didn’t hit my wall at mile 18!!! So I would finish and I would finish strong! At mile 21 you turn around and start heading to the finish line, I was so ready. I wasn’t hurting at all!!! I was actually loving this marathon. At mile 25 I cranked up the volume to my favorite finisher song, “‘Till I Collapse”. I was ready to cross that finish line with the biggest grin ever! I saw the finish line and I opened up my stride and sprinted and then I saw my sweet daughter run up to me, grab my hand and finish with me!! I had held it together so well and at this point I almost busted out in tears!! It was the best finish EVER!!!!
When I crossed the finish line my dad told me that I looked so good he thought I was going to run another one. I can honestly say that I felt incredible! I was so happy that the weather held out and it was so wonderful to see my family there to hug me and help me get myself together.
Hippity Hop Marathon General Information
The race is pretty small and this was the second one they have ever had. If you are looking for a local race that is flat and well mapped out this is your course!
Crowd Support and Course Aid
Well as far as spectators there are NONE! So if you are ok with running solo and just chilling on the road then this is your race. They had amazing aid stations almost every hour with water, GUU, and Gatorade. Also plenty of restrooms a long the course.
I wish that the start time would have been about 30 minutes earlier as 7am is a little late to start a full marathon in Arizona. I love how low key the course was and very low pressure. It was my slowest marathon by 4 minutes (4:24) but I could care less! I also got first place in my age group which was kind of fun! It was such a great run and I am glad that I met my three goals. Which were to. To finish #1. Finish with a smile #2. To enjoy God’s grace in every minute of the race. #3. To be “still” and soak up the alone time!!
Here are some fun race photos for ya 🙂