My Marathon Journey, 10 Years in the Making…Now Finished

St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon for 2012 is now history.  According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, 10/22/12, Shane Logan who finished 2nd in the Men’s Division said, it was the hardest course he had ever run.

Mine was a journey that began with a desire ten years ago to run a marathon. I had just turned 40.  As a former smoker – previously thought it to be impossible.  I took my first step towards such in January 2010 with training for my 1st half marathon.  It was a brutal race with constant rain, cold and some participants treated for hypothermia.  Then after finishing 4 half marathons finally (Feb 2012) clicking the marathon (not half marathon) registration button for the fall race.  Following that action I stared at the computer screen like a deer caught in headlights.  “Did I really do that?”

Then out of fear of failure, started a diet/exercise program losing 20 pounds so I would be a lighter runner reducing the health risks of running such a hard race (April thru June).  Also, got checked out by doctor and had a stress test since I’m going on 51.

The shirt from the October 2011 picture below was a large.  In other 2 pics I’m wearing a medium.  The April 2012 pic was just 1 week after beginning diet.

After finishing that effort I began official training for the marathon –  Hal Higdon‘s Novice 2 Marathon Training Program (June through October).

WEEK MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
1 Rest 3 m run 5 m pace 3 m run Rest 8 Cross
2 Rest 3 m run 5 m run 3 m run Rest 9 Cross
3 Rest 3 m run 5 m pace 3 m run Rest 6 Cross
4 Rest 3 m run 6 m pace 3 m run Rest 11 Cross
5 Rest 3 m run 6 m run 3 m run Rest 12 Cross
6 Rest 3 m run 6 m pace 3 m run Rest 9 Cross
7 Rest 4 m run 7 m pace 4 m run Rest 14 Cross
8 Rest 4 m run 7 m run 4 m run Rest 15 Cross
9 Rest 4 m run 7 m pace 4 m run Rest Rest Half Marathon
10 Rest 4 m run 8 m pace 4 m run Rest 17 Cross
11 Rest 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 18 Cross
12 Rest 5 m run 8 m pace 5 m run Rest 13 Cross
13 Rest 5 m run 5 m pace 5 m run Rest 19 Cross
14 Rest 5 m run 8 m run 5 m run Rest 12 Cross
15 Rest 5 m run 5 m pace 5 m run Rest 20 Cross
16 Rest 5 m run 4 m pace 5 m run Rest 12 Cross
17 Rest 4 m run 3 m run 4 m run Rest 8 Cross
18 Rest 3 m run 2 m run Rest Rest 2 m run Marathon

Here are some stats:

  • My Longest Run (3 weeks before race): 20 miles
  • Most Miles Logged in One Week: 42
  • Fastest Pace I Ran While Training: 8 minute mile
  • Hottest day of training run: 102 degrees
  • Cross Training: Cycling sometimes to and from my office
  • Average Pace During Training: 13 minute mile
  • Race Day Breakfast: Protein Bar, Banana, Coffee, Water, Vitamins
  • Total Miles Logged  Since April Pre and Official Training: 526
  • Illnesses During Training: 2 colds, 2 UTI’s, exercise induced bronchial spasms after 18 miles.
  • Injuries: 0
  • St. Louis Rock and Roll Finishers: 1,900 Full and 9,500 Half Marathoners.
  • Women’s Division Marathon Finishers that were 50+: 79
  • Number of Estimated Steps to Finish Marathon: 42,000
  • Race Recovery: Best yet.  Very little swelling.  Sore/stiff – toes took a beating, but went to dinner night of race. 
  • Marathon Fun Fact: Your foot hits the ground with 4 x your body weight with each step when you run.
  • Favorite Mantra/Scripture: Anything is possible through Christ Who Strengthen’s Me
  • Money I Raised for Charity: $3,345
  • Grand Total Raised for Charity by Team: $52,000

Program for LIFE Runners Pre-Race Banquet

2012 National LIFE Runners Team

I ran 13 minute miles all the way through to the upper teen miles.  Then it began to get really hard.  I struggled with my breathing – that feeling of not getting enough air came over me again.

I used my inhaler once before race and twice after mile 18.  Three bathroom stops with one that had a wait/line.  I walked maybe 3 miles after mile 18.  Then dug deep and ran the rest.  It was hard.  The last 6 miles were very difficult I prayed a lot.  I wore my LIFE Runner Rosary and my Dad’s wedding ring during race.  After the 18th marker… they became the spiritual miles.

Official Race pics can be seen at my website. Click here to go there.

This was also Alex’s High School’s Homecoming weekend…

Alex is the lead percussionist in the band.  Below is video of the drum-line in the parade on Friday night.  Alex is in the middle of the three snare drummers in this video Jim took.  Later they played at the game and then afterwards drove to St. Louis to make the race which was very early the following morning.  It was a full weekend.

Carrie came to St. Louis to run her first 5K.  She almost didn’t make it to the race because of road closings due to the marathon.   Sometimes the hardest part, is just getting to the starting line.  We are really proud of her.  She did great!  I was so moved that she wore her LIFE Runner shirt while helping at Camp Barnabas this summer as well as during her race in St. Louis.  Carrie has run her own marathon with all she has gone through in life.  She is a marathoner Mom.

Alex and Carrie before her first 5k

Gathering at Cathedral before Mass and Pre-Race Banquet

At our pre-race banquet we Skyped in our Singapore Chapter of LIFE Runners.  They lead the group of 250 LIFE Runners and their families in the LIFE Runner Creed.  This occurred at 7:45 pm CST Saturday night.  It was 9 am Sunday morning in Singapore…amazing!

Jon Lim leading the Singapore Chapter in the LIFE Runners creed as they were Skyped into the LIFE Runners Pre-Race Banquet in St. Louis.

Some of my family was able to come down and be there for the race.  It meant a lot!

With family after race – it was hard to get up from sitting position – so I stood.

Jim and Alex drove in after Alex’s Homecoming Game night before so they could be at race.

It was an awesome experience and one I will always remember.

Thanks also to my awesome sponsors who helped me raise over $3,300 for charity  Click here to see the list.

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To my family and friends/team mates who got me to this finish line…you are the best!  Thanks for walking with me on this journey and being there at the end.

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21 responses

  1. Congratulations again! You are in the elite group of Full Marathoner and an inspiration. We are all proud of your drive and grit. It was an exciting time for us too! One tough Lady, and your hair even looked great while running, simply amazing! Love you!

    • It made it that much more special having you all there. I felt bad I wasn’t able to visit much. It meant a lot that you all came. Will always remember that. Lot’s of pictures – hair is always important – ha! :).

      I have to say, as hard as labor was when I had Alex – the last six miles took as much effort. Great memories. Everyone’s prayers carried me to the finish.

  2. Anne, Thank you for this wonderful recap of your marathon experience! You looked great when I saw you. I was glad to meet you this weekend and I look forward to doing more LIFE Runners events with you! I’ll be posting about my marathon experience eventually…. 🙂

    • Nancy, It was great meeting you. It was a very hectic weekend but so much fun. I draw so much strength from my LIFE Runner team mates. Congratulations to you.

  3. What an incredible journey! Anne, you are such an inspiring person! Can’t wait to see what you do for your 50-60 year journey!
    Three bathroom breaks? Weren’t you trying to win this thing? 😉

    • Martha – Thanks so much! I always appreciate your support and encouragement. I had to keep stopping at bathrooms to find one with a mirror to check hair – just kidding – ha! 🙂

  4. Hi Anne, thanks for checking out my blog. I enjoyed reading your posts, and the buildup to the real thing, the marathon. Glad to see you got through it intact, and you sound like you would go for another.
    Frank

  5. Hi Anne,

    Greetings from France. Hey, I really appreciate you stopping by my blog.

    Many congratulations on completing your first marathon! I was encouraged to see that you draw on the power of faith and prayer as well.

    Stay strong on the journey and many blessings to you and yours…

  6. This is a bit belated — I must have missed your post when I was out of town — but I wanted to seek you out so I could say CONGRATS! Congrats on all the money your raised, pushing yourself mentally and physically, and of course, finishing the race!! I’m glad you are recovering well. The training clearly paid off! =]

    • Sarah – Blessings to you for seeking out my post marathon post. Really appreciate it! Also, thank you for being such a faithful follower and comment-er as well. I read your blog post and love the video of the woman’s reaction representative of the last 6 miles. Agreed! I too am wondering what is next. Will let you know. Congratulations on your marathon too – a great achievement for sure!

      • No problem at all! Our training schedules seemed to coincide so I had to check out how my virtual training buddy did! I certainly enjoy reading your blog, too. Thank YOU for following along!

  7. Pingback: My 2012 Top 10 List « Asics Mom

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