Well, I finished the marathon! It didn't go exactly as I had hoped, but i'm happy to have finished and I definitely learned some things from the experience.
(Pretty fall colors at the start)
The weather was absolutely perfect at the start of the race, in the 50's I think. The air felt nice and crisp and refreshing. The race started well. The first 10 miles flew by, easily. The path was beautiful with the fall colors and I was was just enjoying running and looking around at the scenery. I started too fast. Shocking (not!). I had planned on trying to run 9:30 minute miles then slowing down if I needed to. Instead, I ran 9 minute miles and hit the wall at around mile 18. Rookie mistake. I knew I was going too fast, I had been told not to go out too fast, I had been told about the infamous wall. I knew better. Why didn't I run slower at the beginning? For the first 10 miles, a 9 min. mile pace just felt good. It felt comfortable and easy. Around mile 14 I started feeling a little tired and did slow down to the pace I should have been running at the beginning. I think I ran about a 2 hour half.... too fast. The course was two out and back loops with the start and finish in the middle. The first loop went out 9 miles, so when I started feeling fatigued I just thought about getting to mile 17ish to see Daniel cheering for me.
(Just before mile 17....starting to feel tired)
Once I crossed through and started the second out and back loop I really started struggling. The last 8 miles felt 3 times as long as the first 18. At about mile 20 I threw all pace goals out the window and just tried to keep running/jogging/moving forward at whatever pace possible. Around mile 21 I almost broke into tears my legs were so tired and achy. I started telling myself to just work on one mile at a time and I started walking through the water stops. Mile 26 I broke down into 800's in my head. I just kept telling myself 3 800's to go, just like a track workout. I came through the finish line in 4:32:54, much slower than either of my pace goals, but I was so happy to have finished that it didn't even matter.
(coming towards the finish line, looking very tired)
(Finished. I couldn't figure out if I should eat something or drink something. So I grabbed everything. Haha.)
I didn't really even want to post this.... but maybe it can serve as a warning to other first time marathoners about what happens if you go out too fast. If the goal was to run progressively slower each mile I definitely accomplished that.... unfortunately that wasn't the goal.
Here it is, the garmin splits.
Mile 1 - 8:55 (umm too fast!)
Mile 2 - 9:05 (okay... I ran a little bit slower)
Mile 3 - 9:06
Mile 4 - 9:07
Mile 5 - 9:09
Mile 6 - 9:04
Mile 7 - 9:15
Mile 8 - 9:13
Mile 9 - 9:17 (at this point i'm thinking okay this pace feels pretty good)
Mile 10 - 9:22
Mile 11 - 9:28
Mile 12 - 9:38
Mile 13 - 9:46
Mile 14 - 9:59
Mile 15 - 10:05 (my muscles start to hurt and I think okay, i'll just hold 10min/mile for the rest of the race no prob.)
Mile 16 - 10:03
Mile 17 - 10:02
Mile 18 - 10:50
Mile 19 - 11:07 (I want to cry and be done with the race, my legs hurt and are all crampy..oh and I also realized the consequences of going out too fast)
Mile 20 - 11:22 (I throw out all pace goals and just try to propel myself forwards)
Mile 21 - 12:16
Mile 22 - 12:36
Mile 23 - 11:44
Mile 24 - 12:08
Mile 25 - 11:57
Mile 26 - 11: 36
The last bit: 3:49 (11 min mile pace)
overall average: 10:15 min/mile - not great, but i'm still happy to have finished a marathon!
And the weekly milage recap:
Sunday - 26.2 miles! Yea!
Saturday - 1.05 miles (really? I put running clothes on to do this?)
Friday - rest
Thursday - 3.01 miles
Wednesday - Ab workout
Tuesday - 4.12 miles
Monday - off
Weekly total: 34.38 miles