my first marathon: healdsburg wine country race recap

All of your guy’s inspirational videos were amazing! I was crying, laughing, and wanting to take on the world while watching them all. I am still beyond sore but I love it! I’m not sure why, but I love the feeling of being sore. It reminds me that I worked hard. Even though this amount of soreness sucks, it was still totally worth it. But now, it is time for the marathon recap:

I set my alarm for 4:50am, planning on leaving my room at 5:15am. I didn’t get to bed until 1am, which sucked. I couldn’t fall asleep. I think it was a combination of the nap I took earlier, nerves, excitement, and not wanting to sleep through my alarm. Once I was finally able to get some shut eye, I didn’t sleep very well. Then the alarm went off and it was time to go! I got ready and then made myself some breakfast:

udi's cinnamon raisin bagel with pumpkin butter + 2 hardboiled egg whites

I ended up leaving my room at 5:20am. Good on timing. Once I made it to my parents hotel room, they packed up their car and we left around 5:40am. During the car ride, I listened to my iPhone, drank water, and tried to stay awake. We got to the course early, 6am. (The race didn’t start until 7am). I scoped out the start/finish line and then headed on back to the car to listen to some more music, stretch, and get my watch/iPod ready.

Then around 6:30am, we headed back to the start. I took this time to use the bathroom. There were plenty of restrooms but it still took about 20 minutes to wait in line. By the time I was done, there was about 5 minutes to start.

I got to the start just in time. The gun went off and it was time to get started! (The writing in italics is what was going on in my head.) (Then the number to the right of the mile is the time of that mile.)

Mile 1 – 8:58: I was feeling good! It was pretty crowded though. The half and full were running together so I spent most of the time weaving in and out of people. Why do people find it necessary to run from left to right. When I try to pass them on the left, they move left. Try to pass them on the right, they move right. Goshhh.

Mile 2 – 8:42: Still feeling good. More weaving in and out of people but the scenery is already gorgeous. There is even a band playing! I bet my parents would like these views. Ooh look! A guy playing a tuba!

Mile 3 – 8:45: Lalala I have some good songs on this iPod! Justin Beiber, T-Swift, and Jonas Brothers…I’m good.

Mile 4 – 8:55: I had to go to the bathroom at this point. Even though I went before the race, I drank a lot of water. There are port-o-potties at the water stations so I just had to wait until another aid station comes along.

Mile 5 – 8:58: Okay…that aid station could come any time now…

Mile 6 – 8:58: Finally a water station! I use the bathroom but skip on the water. I was feeling good so I just kept on pushing.

Mile 7 – 8:57: 26.2 miles?? I got this! (<–I will regret these words.)

Mile 8 – 9:06: I was trying to stay in the 8 min/mile time but when I saw this time, I was okay with it. The half marathon group splits off and goes their own way while the full keeps moving forward. It starts to get very…quiet. And I don’t like quiet. At least it’s still pretty scenery though!

Mile 9 – 8:52: The only thing I remember about miles 9-10 is this one girl who kept on giving me dirty looks. She would pass me and then slow down, where I would be able to pass her. Then once I passed her, she would sprint by me. Yeah, this went on for 2 miles.

Mile 10 – 9:00 – Okay lady…stop it with the looks. Either pass me or stay behind me. 

Mile 11 – 8:58 – There was a water station at this point. I grabbed a cup. I was hoping for some GU but they didn’t have any. Only water. Grrrr.

Mile 12 – 9:02 – At this point, I am still feeling really good. I just keep on thinking about the half marathon that I ran a couple of weeks ago. And it starts to smell like wine. I’m not much of a fan of this smell…at least the vineyards are pretty to look at! I really wish I had some Gu….

Mile 13 – 9:10 – Finally there is some GU! I grab two and stuff one in my sports bra. It’s key lime flavor and tastes like skittles. As nasty as these things are, I truly believe they help. Aww man. Now I have key lime flavor stuck in my mouth.

Mile 14 – 9:24 – Not gonna lie, these next few miles are sort of a haze.

Mile 15 – 9:17 – Still trucking along. Just keep swimming running. Swimming Running. Swimming Running. 

Mile 16 – 9:17 – I take out the extra GU and down it. This one is chocolate flavor and it tasted like a tootsie roll. The only problem with these are that I get really thirsty afterwards.

Mile 17 – 9:35 – Notice the jump in time? Yeah…it gets worse. I feel the wall coming so I make the plan to allow myself to walk for 30 seconds. Then I will run for 6, 7, 8, 9 minutes. Oh heyy there wall. You suck…

Mile 18 – 9:58 – I keep shuffling along. Slowly, but surely. There is another water station. This time, they have some pink lemonade sports drink (which tasted freakin delicious). They have GU so I grab it and stuff it in my sports bra.

Mile 19 – 10:13 – The course becomes super duper quite. At some points, I don’t even see any other runners. On my own again…lalala

Mile 20 – 10:36 – I resist the urge for the extra GU I have stored. I hold onto it for another mile, where there is a water station so that I can get some water to wash out my mouth. 6 miles left! A 10k! This is going to be a long 6 miles though…

Mile 21 – 10:46 – Time for the GU. This one is vanilla. It tastes kind of like cake batter. I like cake batter. Then I grab some water from some very loud teenagers. They are funny and great support that keep me going.

Mile 22 – 10:43 – 4 miles? Really? I feel like those last 2 miles were a lifetime!

Mile 23 – 11:01 – My times are getting worse and worse but I really don’t care. At this point, I don’t care if I have to crawl in order to cross the finish line.

Mile 24 – 11:12 – Last water station! This one has coke. As in coca-cola. I have never heard of this before at a race aid station. I didn’t know it was coke when I grabbed it but I downed it anyway. That’s right…this health freak drank some high fructose corn syrup, carmel color, and artificial flavors. Desperate times calls for desperate measures!

Mile 25 – 11:30 – 1 more mile!!!! @!*(@!& This is going to be the longest mile of my life. I feel my calves and quads tightening up every time I walk for 30 seconds. I try to do some high knees or butt kicks but it never really goes away.

Mile 26 – 10:40 – Ohhh myyyy. That really was the longest mile of my life.

.2 (nub) – 1:58 – I see it! I see the finish line! And there’s my mom and dad! Ahhh!

Final Time: 4:12:59   Average Pace: 9:39 

I did it 🙂 I did it, I did it, I did ittttt. I still am in shock. All 26.2 miles challenged me – mentally and physically. I would say that running a marathon is 30% physical and 70% mental. There were times where I wanted to cry because I was so tired. But I pushed through and was able to make it.

I tried to keep on walking, making my legs keep moving because I could already feel the soreness coming on. Oh it was coming on all right…and fast. After about 5-10 minutes of walking and stretching, I decided to sit down and stretch some more.

On a random note: The medal is a wine stopper. It is wine country after all! I love the medals the people in northern California give out 🙂 First a cow bell and now a wine bottle stopper. Can anybody say, Party?

Wait…what am I holding in my right hand?

And a closer look….That’s right…first place in my age group!! Holla! Overall, I was 91 out of 211 runners. I am beyond ecstatic about that 😀

But what is inside of that box you ask….

Non-alcoholic wine. We’re in wine country…remember? Since I wasn’t over 21, they couldn’t give me the alcoholic one (which I would have given to my parents). Since I don’t like wine, I gave it to my parents and they said they’ll save it for Thanksgiving.

After getting my prize, I made the slow, painful trek back to the car. Oh so painful. For lunch, I decided on Whole Foods. Partly because I love their hot bar and partly because I had mad cravings for kombucha. I actually had cravings around mile 10 of the race.

-roasted zucchini and carrots

-beet, apple, and swiss chard salad

-sundried tomato couscous salad


-baked tofu

-roasted cauliflower

-a couple of quinoa salads

-kung pao tofu

-sautéed long green beans <–soooo gooooood!

-organic teriyaki chicken <–not good, like at all.

My parents let me get two bottles as a reward for the marathon (I should run marathons more often! ;)) On the right, I got and drank citrus flavor. Citrus is by far my favorite. It tastes like lemonade. Then on the left, there is trilogogy. It has a combo on lemon, raspberry, and ginger. And you better believe I drank it after taking this picture!

As for the rest of the day, it was spent laying in bed, listening to music, procrastinating doing homework, and hobbling from place to place.

It is still painful to stand up, sit down, and basically moves my legs. I am going to continue to stretch and hopefully I will be back on the pavement soon!

So would I do another marathon? Yes. Yes I would! Partly because I am crazy and partly because the strength it makes you feel afterwards. The runners high still hasn’t left me and I am loving it. I am not going to do one anytime soon, but I will…one day 🙂

Before I go, I wanted to show you guys this video that Eleah showed me. I could not stop laughing because it is so trueee!


For any of you who have run a marathon, I want to give you a huge hug, hand shake, high five, fist bump, whatever. I have a whole new respect for marathon runners. You guys are amazing!


23 thoughts on “my first marathon: healdsburg wine country race recap

  1. Just catching up on your blog – congrats on the marathon! That is such a huge accomplishment and one of my biggest goals in life! Good for you, and awesome time!

  2. GREAT JOB!!! I love this post because Ive always wondered what people are thinking about as they run a marathon. 4 hours of running seems like such a long time!! I love the wine stopper medal though 🙂

  3. congratulations!!!! I loved your mile recaps too! (Uhm, can’t believe that girl was giving you dirty looks btw? she must of been jealous of your stride!) and congrats on coming in first place in your age group! You should be so proud of yourself, that’s so amazing!! 🙂

    and I loved the video! I haven’t ran a marathon yet, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do in the future!

  4. Oh my GAWD you are INCREDABLE!! I would have died at mile 4 lol. So impressed that you came 1st too! So proud of ya bloggie friend!

  5. I love how you broke it down mile by mile. The chick staring you down made me mad! She was probably just jealous since you were obviously going to take the age group title 🙂 My sister loves the chocolate and vanilla gu. I might just have to try them just so I can experience those flavors… they sound awesome! Once again, AMAZING job. I can’t even imagine covering that many miles in one shot! You’re crazy and I love it!!

  6. YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY! You did it and you did it with CLASS! 🙂 🙂 I cannot believe you got 1st in your age group for your FIRST marathon–you go, girl!!!!! You should feel SO proud! You can do ANYTHING!!!!

  7. You are so awesome! That is amazing!!! I love all your little thoughts at each mile, so funny. Really inspirational. I def want to be able to run.

  8. Pingback: race recap: healdsburg wine country half marathon | Health Freak College Girl

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