It is known that my husband and I do not play well together. Our competitive nature tends to get in the way. So when he offered to pace me for the jetBlue Long Beach Marathon I was hesitant to say yes. I quickly came to the realization that he successfully coached me during the birth of our two children, he would coach me to sub 5 hour finish. I can proudly say I crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 57 minutes. A new PR. Two little letters that make every runner smile!
The heat on race day is always a worry of mine. My plan for this marathon was to push out as many miles as possible in the early morning temperatures. My hubby helped me keep an even 10:30 pace for the first half of the race. The temperature at the finish line was 82 degrees, but I didn’t feel it didn’t feel like it. I was more focused on getting past the pain in my feet. I’m still struggling with the issue of my toes growing numb during the long distance miles. The last six miles of any marathon are always a challenge. With my best finish within reach I just kept repeating the words, “I am unstoppable.” This little phrase and the push of my ultra running hubby got me across the finish line.
The crazy impressive part about my husband pacing me on race day was the fact that he ran a 100K the Saturday before the marathon. That is 63 miles on Saturday and 26 more the following Sunday. Ultra runners are a special breed of endurance. I’m grateful for his guidance, love, and competitive nature that pushed me to the finish.
The pre-race marathon fun always starts at the expo. I went with my sole sister Desiree on Friday to pick up our bibs. The expo is like a reunion, seeing running buddies and checking out any new products. This was my fourth year running Long Beach and Desiree’s sixth so we were both excited to pick up our Beach Bum shirts.
So now that I finally reached my goal of a sub 5 finish, it is time to take a break from the marathon training. I’m going to focus for a bit on my half marathon finish time and work on strength training. This focus will help when I decide to chase a new marathon PR. I’ve learned that having a goal keeps me focused and striving for more. So, stay hungry my friends and push new limits.
A closing note to Avah… I said a prayer for you as I passed each mile marker. Kid, you are a fighter! Continue to show cancer who is boss. Each mile was done to support your fight. You are amazing, always remember that. You are more loved than you’ll ever know. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. Psalm 91:11