Michelle’s first marathon – A big smile for a big finish!
Michelle‘s Race Report:
My first marathon and what an experience! It was hotter than I expected, so as I was at the finish line, I promised myself that I’d stop at every water station and pace myself accordingly. For the first 10 miles, I really had to hold myself back. I could’ve run 10 minute miles, but I had been warned that if you go hard (that’s hard for me!) in the beginning when it’s downhill, then you’ll crash before the end.
I couldn’t believe the support of the crowds–every step of the way–there wasn’t any point during the marathon where I saw empty streets. And EVERYONE was so generous with cheers, food, Vaseline, tissue, etc. It was truly overwhelming and inspiring!
So many of my students jumped in with me at Heartbreak Hill! They really kept me going at a point when I wanted to collapse. The last 5 miles were brutal, despite the fact that I held myself back in the beginning. My pace had slowed way down to 12:00/13:00 – and I felt like people could walk faster than I was running. Even when I knew I was approaching the finish line, I couldn’t get my legs to move faster. I finished in 5:23, and I was both thrilled that I finished and disappointed I didn’t break 5 hours. Now that I know that I CAN run a marathon, my goal is to run my next one in 4:30. I’m planning for that one to be NYC 2017.