Marathon number 8 in the books!!! NJM Race Recap

NJM - Marathon 8 in the books!

NJM – Marathon 8 in the books!

On April 26th; I headed to Long Branch, NJ to run my 8th full marathon on the course where I ran my PR in 2012′. It was the race that took me to Boston 2 years ago. I felt strong; I felt confident and for the 1st time ever; I wasn’t at all nervous!! I decided to run with the 3:35 pacer; as my BQ time is now 3:40. I felt strong, I felt determined and I repeated to myself “You’ve got this!” There was no doubt in my mind I could do it; making this my 4th BQ time. I fueled properly; made sure to take my GU every 5 miles and stop at every water station. At mile 13; I was on target for a finish time of 3:36. It was a lot warmer than the weather I trained through so I made sure to hydrate well, but by mile 16 I felt my legs cramping (I had salt in my fuel belt but for some reason didn’t think to take it). By mile 18 my legs were barely pushing; I felt like I was running through sand with weights on my legs. I saw my goal and my BQ time slide further and further away from me and by mile 20 my only goal was to finish without stopping. At this point the pain/cramping myย  legs was so bad it took so much mental toughness for me to push through. I pushed trough; refusing to stop; refusing to give up. I still manage to cross the finish line in 3:55:17; I was completely crushed. I found my husband and at that point my legs completely locked up on me and we headed to the medical tent where I stretched out, drank some Gatorade and ate an orange before my legs finally started feeling good again. I was completely covered in salt; I am pretty certain that salt I had in my fuel belt would have helped but at that point my only thought was to get to that finish line without giving up. Another marathon in the books and another lesson learned (salt is extremely important). I know if my legs didn’t cramp up on me; I had another BQ. For now; I am proud of completing my 8th marathon (6th marathon sub 4:00) and I know marathon number 9 will be even better! This experience has only made me stronger, wiser and more DETERMINED! Never. Give. Up! Keep following your dreams!! ๐Ÿ™‚