My First Marathon, part I.

I am definitely still riding the high after my experience in Richmond yesterday!

I am a MARATHONER! 3:59:13*

Sure, my left leg might be really stiff and sore and I have a pretty nifty blister on the inside of my left toe, but I still have all my toenails, a big smile AND a fancy medal to show for it!!

But let’s step back for a minute and recap the fun journey that started Friday night!!  There’s so much I have grouped it into TWO parts!

Ready to roll!

Hubs made fun of me, but I wanted to bring along two stuffed animals on our Richmond trip.  The dog, Wiggles, was a Valentine’s present from when we were still dating and he likes to go on vacations with us…yes, it’s kinda silly, but y’know.  Then, the bear, Barry, is a birthday present that I had sent to hubs’ office as part of an Edible Arrangements delivery.  Wiggles and Barry looked lonely on my dresser so I scooped them up just before we headed out the door for our drive up to Richmond.

By around 5:30 PM, we were en route to dinner, the Expo and to check in to our hotel.  I had chosen Olive Garden for my pre-marathon meal, and had created a Google map with point to point directions.  However, as we pulled up to stop 1, OG, it was INSANE!  Cars everywhere, line out the door…we quickly regrouped and decided to keep heading to the vicinity of the Expo to find somewhere to eat.

Option 2.

The choices were getting narrower as we headed closer to downtown, so we opted to stop in to Ruby Tuesday.  I really love their fruit tea and usually enjoy their salad bar, but I didn’t want to overload on fiber pre-marathon, so I went with a Turkey Avocado Burger with baked mac n cheese.  It was just what I needed.  The pretzel bun on the burger was great and my tummy was happy.  Moving on!

The expo was at the Arthur Ashe center, and we arrived there around 8 PM.  The parking was well-organized and since I already knew my bib #, 4053, packet pickup was simple.  We did wander around a bit, but I didn’t make any purchases.

Next stop: Hilton Garden Inn.  This was one of the recommended hotels, and for good reason: the start line was literally a block from it.  Nice!  We valeted the car and checked in…smooth.  The front desk attendant that checked us in commented, “you have a big room. Let me know if it’s too big..oh, and you’ve already jumped on that late check out, enjoy!”

…and they were NOT kidding about the room being big…

Hubs, in our GIANT room.
That's a KING size bed! It looks tiny in this HUGE room.

I was definitely impressed with the room.  We even had a view out to the street below and saw some set-up!

We unpacked quickly, then got ready to snooze – watched a little TV (we don’t have cable so we were unsure what channel to watch of the MANY available!) and I was sure to set out my stuff so it’d be good to go the next morning!

C9 tech tee, Lululemon running skirt, Zensah compression socks, Asics arm warmers, adidas adizero cap, plastic shades from Ragged Mountain Running, iFitness belt and Vanilla Bean GU.

I definitely woke up about four times throughout the evening, but that was not because of the comfort of the bed (which was awesome) but mostly nerves.  I did NOT want to sleep through my two alarms!

Soon enough, however, it was 6 AM and I got up to drink some water and nosh on my Clif Bar.  I changed into regular clothes and headed across the street to the Starbucks in the Marriott and got a Soy Gingerbread Latte.  Came back up to the room, relaxed, responded to some twitter and FB comments (my iPhone had no data connection there!) and then changed into race gear!


Since we were so close to the starting line, it was luxurious to hang out in the room as long as possible before heading down to the start.  We went down around 7:30, but we could have waited even longer.

I was ready for 26.2!!

(continue to part 2: here)

* The online tracker gave me a time of 3:59:12, which is what I posted on FB, but later that night, official results said 1 second later, at 3:59:13 – fine with me, both sub-4 🙂


    • I actually was happy with that extra second ( I know, weird ) because I like odd numbers… haha..

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