The weekend of 42.2

HOLY, where did the time go?

I wanted to post all about my race day prep, but I just ran out of time!

So, sorry in advance for the size of the post, and the picture overload. #dowhatiwant.

WELL. I had the freaking BEST WEEKEND EVER. I think I said that a couple weeks ago too, but hey, they just keep getting better.

I actually GOT DRESSED (aka. put on something other than spandex) on Saturday and headed to Toronto!

Then I:

a) Went to Lululemon to get a new race day shirt (why not?)

b) Picked up my race kit (aka. entered the moment where shit got real).

and c) Went for a sweet carb-loading dinner with a bunch of AWESOME people! Pavement Runner was in town, all the way from San Fran, so Krysten organized an awesome dinner with a whole whack of bloggers and FitFluential people. It was SO much fun!

In order of appearance above you have Jess, Robyn, Christina, Krysten and Brian!  It was also great to see Angela and meet Morgan, but I failed to get pictures with them! I actually failed to get any pictures– I stole all of these hah. There were around 20 of us there! My phone was full and wouldn’t let me take anymore…sigh.

Krysten is sponsored by Clif, and she also happens to be the cutest human ever, so she made us ‘Race Day Sparkle’ goodie bags full of Clif treats! There were also real sparkles in there, in case you were wondering! Christina also surprised me with COOKIE DOUGH QUEST BARS that she brought me from California. I was SO EXCITED.

So for dinner I was pretty concerned about eating out. Since I have been following my meal plan so closely, every time I eat something off plan, my stomach let’s me know that it is not down. So I brought my own meal to dinner, but when I saw how many people were there, I felt like a giant nerd, and decided to order something off of the menu. I played it as safe as possible, and ordered plain whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce. No meat, no butter, no bread, no cheese, nadda. I ate maybe half of it, and almost immediately my stomach was all up in my grill like “WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?” I went home and slept it off…so I thought.

The race start was at 7:30 am, so Sunday morning I got up at 5am to eat breakfast and get ready. We stayed in Markham at Josh’s parents’ house, because it was only 20 minutes or so from the start line. Did you know that marathons are so freaking long that you basically start in one city and end up in another? Yeah.

So we headed over, I checked my bag, took some pics, and I bounced around with excitement. I was so excited to run.

The start was pretty anti-climactic. The gun went off and I was still standing with Josh eating an apple, hahah. I handed him the core, synced up my Garmin and off I went.

During the first kilometre, I immediately felt the stomach pain from the previous night return. I  was annoyed, but didn’t really think much of it. I knew I would be running for a long time, and figured it would have to be gone soon enough. I wasn’t running fast enough for it to worsen, so I managed to stay positive. Most of the race was a blur, but I will try to pinpoint the exciting things:

  • At kilometre 3 (I think?) there was a GIANT and I DO MEAN GIANT, hill.
  • At kilometre 13 I saw Morgan and she was right beside my sister, Jess and my brother-in-law, Alex (totally by chance– they don’t know each other, hah) and it was totally unexpected and awesome. My sister even had a giant sign!
  • At kilometre..who knows, 16 maybe? I saw my other two sisters, Natalie and Laurel, and Rob (Laurel’s boyfriend). They ALSO had giant signs, and they were amazing. One said “BEAT OPRAH” because I had previously expressed to them that Oprah had once run a marathon in 4:29, and I had BETTER beat Oprah. The other sigh said “Don’t pants your poop, don’t pants your poop, don’t pants your poop.” HAHAH. If you don’t get that last one then you need to watch this.
  • Kilometre….22? I saw Jess and Alex AGAIN and they gave me a freaking wet sponge, and it was the best. It was SO sunny, and pretty hot to be running a freaking marathon.
  • Kilometre..23? I saw Josh! I was like “OH HI, I HAVE HAD CRAMPS SINCE KILOMETRE 1, BUT DON’T WORRY I AM OKAY!” Haha wtf.
  • At kilometre 25, my favourite little runner fooled the system and jumped in to finish the race with me!!!

Don’t know what a “MARTHON” or “HALF-MARTHON” is? Me either.

This girl. I cannot say enough about her. She VOLUNTARILY (I did not ask her), decided to be my pace bunny. She showed up with freakin’ bells on at DAWN, the DAY AFTER she got back from California, and the DAY BEFORE she left for Costa Rica. She was my personal paparazzi. She was my personal fuel provider. She chatted away and distracted me. She kept me going. That course got LONELY (I do not recommend this race to first timers) and if it weren’t for Christina, I would have gone MENTAL in those last 14k. We had to PASS the finish line party at kilometre 28. How depressing is that? Thank goodness we amuse each other enough to throw our own parties.

  • Kilometre 32. I still have ab cramps. That’s right friends. I had those cramps for the entire race. They put a damper on my breathing, and by now they were getting aggressive and peeving me RIGHT off. I stopped for just a MOMENT to grab my abs and shake them out and Christina said “keep going! go as slow as you need to, but don’t stop!”  She’s the best.
  • Kilometre 36…I think the cramps are going away! I speed up a teeeny bit, but I manage to start passing a ton of people who have slowed down in those last few miles.
  • Kilometre….37? I saw Jess, Alex and Laurel with another wet sponge for me! I also saw Alex was suddenly in shorts, a t-shirt and his VFFs. As soon as I processed why, I was like “HEY! YOU! GET IN THIS!” And he hopped into the race with Christina and I!
  • Kilometre 40..? I had a whole freaking cheering section. My sisters, my parents, Josh’s sisters, Josh’s parents. Talk about feeling the love!

Rob(bie) always tells everyone they are fine. Stub your toe? You’re fine. Burn yourself? You’re fine. Hit by a car? You’re fine. It is only natural he would bust this sign out at 40k. All I could do was yell “I AM NOT FINE ROBBIE, I AM NOT FINE!” He didn’t believe me.

  • Kilometre 42, and I want nothing more than to see the finish line so I can sprint to it. I said out loud “I just want to see it. Where is it?” Luckily, Alex is 100 feet tall, and he could see it well before I did, so he said “There it is, GO GET IT!” and kicked my ass (literally) into high gear. And I went for it. I finished strong in 4:35:45.

It wasn’t nearly as fast as I would have liked (I didn’t beat Oprah, bahaha), but it was my first one, my training was limited, it was HOT, and I was cramping. I knew that I was best to take it easy and enjoy the day, and that I did. I never hit the wall. I fuelled up all race long, and I ran smart. I kept it steady the whole race. I never got to that angry stage where you hate the spectators telling you ‘you’re almost there!’  I loved the support the entire way. I loved the entire experience. While I am so proud of my body for it’s ability to carry me this far, what I am most proud of is my mental strength. I believe in the power of positive thought more than anything, and I am so proud of how positive I managed to remain for all 26.2 miles. I remember running my first HALF marathon, just 3 years ago, and thinking about how hard it was. Back then, I couldn’t even fathom running that distance twice in a row. And here I was, finishing stronger than I had finished my first half that day.

 

GIANT medal.

I wanted to sit down so badly at the finish line but Christina was the boss of me and she said I couldn’t.

There was so much joy at the finish line. I can’t believe how much support I had yesterday. I am still in awe.

I feel so lucky and so loved. When I hugged my Mom at the finish line I just starting crying. She asked “How was it??” I just said “It was really hard!” And cried a few tears of joy.

And then because that apparently wasn’t enough, I lost it again later that day when Josh’s sister, Cassandra, posted a picture of me running yesterday and referred to me as “her biggest inspiration.” WHAT THE?  ME? I am just at a loss for words.

Oh but wait it’s not over. I heard a knocking at my door at 2pm this afternoon, and what do have? Oh some tears are at the door.

My parents sent me congratulatory flowers, just to top it all off.

Thank you again to all of you who came out to support me. To all of you who sent me good luck texts, e-mails, tweets,  messages,  and Instagram comments. You all made my day so special. Every comment made me smile. I am floating in and around cloud 9 right now, and I don’t ever want to come down.

What a happy day. I am exploding with pride and gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Love you all,

Danielle

xo

p.s. I could totally walk normally today, and even instructed a bootcamp. WIN.

p.p.s. Serious photo cred to my Dad, the original paparazzi in my life hahah

Comments

  1. Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
    and everything I would like to be?
    I can fly higher than an eagle,
    ’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

    WAY PROUD! Congratulations!

    • Danielle says:

      HAHAH the visual of you singing that is even more amusing now that I have stopped running.
      THANK YOU!

  2. Ahh that’s fantastic! Congratulations! Marathon’s a serious accomplishments and you should be so proud for completing one. I love that Christina jumped in for the last part too 🙂 Cant wait for tomorrow!!

  3. Way to go!! Your recap brought tears to my eyes, I definitely want to run a full one day too. Great work, I am inspired!

  4. So many congrats! This is my favourite post, I got chills reading it!
    Like Q said- you’re my hero!

  5. Prudence says:

    Congratulations! On your First Marathon! Wow! The size of the medal – well Deserved!! – size of a Gong! Be sure to get the Gong Stick! 😉 Here’s to many more Marathons! And thanks for being an Inspiration!

  6. Congratulations lady – beautifully written account of your incredible accomplishment and GREAT time. You ARE inspiring on so many different levels. keep setting new goals- there is nothing you can’t achieve.

  7. That is so rock star… my first marathon was over 5 hours and sounds like you had a good time, even with the cramps. It definitely was hot that day and I’m glad you were able to hold it together. Great job out there and it was great to meet you and get photo. Congrats. You will remember it forever… the race, not meeting me. LOL That you can forget,

    • Danielle says:

      BAHAH, I won’t forget that either! Your advice via Twitter on race morning was perfect and it is exactly what I followed– so thank you for that!

  8. Great first marathon! On a hot day, that is a fabulous time and you should be so proud. Congrats on a wonderful race!

  9. THIS POST ALMOST MADE ME CRY!!!!! Running with you was the best and I would do it all over again! Being part of something so big and special to you meant SO FREAKING much to me!!!!!

    Of course you were eating an apple at the start. When AREN’T you eating a dang apple?!

    • Danielle says:

      HAHAHAH don’t hate on my relationship with apples. #fuelofelites

      I LOVE YOU!! Thank you 1000x over!

Trackbacks

  1. […] workout at all (aside from instructing), to let my body heal and rest up in the days post-marathon. Truth be told, I was feeling pretty much normal by Tuesday, but thought I should be responsible […]

  2. […] Josh brought me some anniversary flowers! Just in time to replace my marathon […]