Most of you guys probably already know (thanks to my billions of stories this past weekend lol) that I ran the Dallas marathon this past Sunday! I shared the entire long story as to why I did not run Honolulu via instagram & stories, but in case y’all missed that…I’ll give you a quick recap of what happened in today’s post.
Why I didn’t run Honolulu
I started training for the Honolulu marathon in August this past year. The Honolulu marathon was Sunday, December 8 and we had a flight to Honolulu the Thursday before. The Wednesday before we were supposed to leave…I woke up feeling terrible. I was throwing up, had 102 fever (that was with tylenol) and literally couldn’t get out of bed. My entire body hurt so bad. I was sweating but also shaking. After laying in bed all morning, I finally came downstairs and actually ended up passing out on our kitchen floor. Michael called 911 and EMT’s got to our house right away. I came back to it, but actually ended up passing out again for a second time, so they took me to the ER in an ambulance. (They said my passing out was from dehydration and high fever).
Long story short…that day in the ER, the doctor told me he would not recommend getting on a plane the next day, or running the marathon on Sunday. I tested positive for RSV and my chest x-ray also showed severe bronchitis. I was devastated on so many different levels. We’d been planning this Hawaii trip for months. We were going with my parents and my brother. I’d dedicated 1/3 of my year to training for this marathon that I now wouldn’t be able to run.
We came home from the hospital and for the next 5 days straight, I laid on the couch all day, took tons of naps, drank tons of fluids, took my medication, watched lots of movies, and just rested. 5 days might not sound like a long time but it felt like an ETERNITY! During this time, I decided that I wanted to sign up for another marathon as soon as I was feeling well. I wanted to finish my training. I wanted to run a marathon while I was still (relatively) conditioned for it.
I’d run the Dallas marathon in 2017 so I knew it was in December….and then saw it was Dec 15 and that the weather was supposed to be beautiful! I decided I would sign up for the race and assuming I continued to feel better, I would run it. (If I started to feel worse, or if I wasn’t getting better, I wasn’t going to run it. But I was hoping and praying I’d be better by then! And I was!)
I was so thankful to be almost completely better by time race day rolled around! I still felt like I had a mild cold, but overall I felt pretty good. I went into the race with zero expectations. Usually I’d go into a race saying “I want to beat xxx time”, but considering how sick I’d been, I had just taken a week off…my goal was really to just finish the race, and enjoy it!
The weather was pretty nice….but kind of hot for me TBH. I’m used to running in CO haha and the high in Dallas that day was 72, which is kind of hot if you’re running 26.2 miles. So that was challenging.
Overall though the race went SO well. My sister Jill jumped in the race around mile 9 and ran with me for a little bit, and then Michael jumped in around mile 20 and joined me for a few miles. Having their company and support was SO incredibly helpful. The crowd at the Dallas marathon is also AMAZING! There were so many people out cheering and it honestly made such a huge difference!
Some of you guys probably remember me sharing these nikes on stories a while back, which I ran in on race day. I definitely think these nikes make you run faster! I actually PR’d by a minute, even though I’d been sick, which I was really surprised by / happy with! But, my feet have been killing me since the race and they also hurt during the race. Maybe they would be killing me regardless of what shoes I wore…but I don’t remember my feet hurting like this after my first marathon. So, I can’t say I’d choose these shoes again for my race day shoe. BUT, the 26.2 miles on asphalt could also be a contributing factor to my foot pain. I trained in Colorado meaning 80% of my runs were on trails, not cement. My feet were hurting pretty bad during the race, especially from mile 20 on.
Throughout my training, I also ran in Brooks and Adidas, which I think would have been a better decision for race day. For my last marathon I ran in the Asics Gel Kayanos and loved those. See this blog post for more details on my favorite running shoes.
what I wore / ate
I wore this running belt and freakin LOVED it! This belt held my iPhone and my nutrition and didn’t bounce around at all. [But I have to wear it REALLY low to make it not bounce, just FYI].
I bought these wireless headphones before the race and it was SUCH a good decision! I’d previously bought the new airpod pros and they would NOT stay in my ears anytime I started sweating. (I typically don’t sweat on my runs in CO so I didn’t notice it, until we were in Dallas for Thanksgiving and then they wouldn’t stay in my ears). I know alot of people love the new airpods so this might just be my own weird ears haha, but they didn’t work for me. These wireless headphones worked SO well on raceday! They stayed in the whole time without me messing with them, and the battery life is incredible! They last up to 9hrs!
Throughout my training on my long runs, I’ve always brought a quantum energy square with me. On long runs, I try and “fuel” every hour of the run. I am obsessed with these bars because 1) they taste good lol 2) they don’t mess with my stomach on long runs 3) they have caffeine 4) they have the perfect macros to give you the energy you need during a hard workout! They are packed with good fats and protein! My nutrition during the race: I ate these honey stinger chews at mile 7, half of my quantum energy square at mile 15, and the other half at mile 22. I also stopped at every other water station throughout the race, starting at mile 7. I didn’t carry a water bottle with me because I knew they’d have water throughout the race.
thoughts about the race
TBH, I got to the end of the marathon and my first thought was “wow. I forgot how hard running a marathon is.” My body was shot y’all. I felt fantastic for the first 20 miles of the race. I was smiling, chatting with my sister, high fiving the crowd, just living it up. [I also made the mistake of starting off too fast]. Then at mile 20, I came up on a massive hill and all of the sudden, I remembered that running a marathon is very hard. Miles 20-26 were really challenging for me. I never once stopped to walk but it was really hard not to. I kept telling myself “You trained for this. You can do this. Your body is stronger than you know. You are running a marathon!” My feet were really hurting those last 6 miles and I definitely slowed down quite a bit…but I finished well and was so thankful!
I actually didn’t cry at the end of this race. I teared up at mile 1 if you can believe that, right from the start. I just felt so thankful to be able to run. I felt so thankful to be healthy. I was reminded of how much I love running and how therapeutic it’s been for me for the last several months of training. I’ve had so many amazing prayer and worship times on my runs. My mind has found peace on these long runs. I’ve listened to some great podcasts. I’ve just enjoyed being outdoors. Running brings me so much joy and race day felt like a celebration of all of my hard work but also a celebration of my love of running. I love to race. I love to run.
Running a marathon is so weird. Right after I crossed the finish line I thought “I am never running again”…and maybe 30 minutes after that I was thinking “when can I sign up for my next race?!” Haha, so tbh, I’m not sure what’s next! I would absolutely love to do another marathon and part of me is tempted to do one sooner rather than later, while I’m already conditioned for it (after I give my body time to recover, obviously!), but we’ll see! I’m also excited to be able to have our weekends back ha and not have them taken over by long runs. There is something so empowering and even spiritual about running a marathon for me though. I truly felt like Jesus was running the entire race, right along side of me, cheering me on. I feel so proud of my body and my legs for carrying me 26.2 miles. It really is a life-changing experience and I’m kind of addicted to it haha. So I’ll keep y’all posted on what’s next!
advice for first time racers
If you’re about to do your first full marathon, or your first half marathon…my advice to you would be to enjoy every second of the race. Don’t worry about your pace or looking at your watch. Just run and enjoy the crowd and the fruit of all of your hard work over the last several months of training. While I was running with my sister during the marathon she asked me “are we still on track for you to get to your goal time?” and I said “I’m not worried about it. I’m just listening to my body and doing what feels good to my body right now.”
Soak up every second of the race – the crowd, your playlist, how your body is feeling. Let your race be a celebration of all the hard work you’ve put in over the last several months!
Another more practical piece of advice: don’t try anything new on race day. Don’t try a new “snack” during the race…it very well could jack up your stomach. Don’t eat something weird the night before. Don’t try out a new sports bra the day of the race. On race day – stick with what you know. Your favorite running shoes, the nutrition that fuels you, etc.
also, thank you.
I also just wanted to thank each one of you SO much for all of the support you have shown me throughout my training! Your DM’s and comments have meant SO much to me over these last several months. And then when I was sick, your encouraging messages meant more to me than you know. I’m so beyond thankful for this community!
If you have more questions about running, training plans, marathons etc, make sure to check out the fitness section of my blog because I’ve shared TONS of information there! Thanks for reading!