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My View: Surviving my first marathon

Allison McNeal amcneal@adelnews.com
Allison McNeal amcneal@adelnews.com
At the halfway point of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
At the halfway point of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

I can now check off another item on my bucket list: Participating and finishing my first marathon.

That’s correct…26.2 miles of pure adrenaline at the 2013 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

Sounds fun, right?

Well, to most people that sounds like pure torture.

My friends and family, thought I had a few screws loose when I told them I was in the process of training for the marathon.

Even a salesman at my favorite sporting goods store thought I had lost a bet when I informed him I was training for a marathon.

However, despite the doubts and criticisms I continued to train and push myself to new limits. When race day came on Sunday, I felt great. The sun was shining, my body felt rested, and over 300,000 spectators were waiting to cheer me on. I was ready.

The first half of the race was perfect. My stride was a little faster than I wanted – at 8:30-9 minute pace– but I felt good so I kept up the pace.

However, when I hit miles 17-20 I knew I hit my running wall.

A steady incline started to affect my stride, causing a painful pulling on my IT band.

And after three hours of running, my motivation was slowly dwindling and I was hurting.

Water, energy gels, cheers from my family, and motivational signs like, “Run like Channing Tatum is waiting for you at the finish line” and “You work it, I’ll twerk it” were the only things keeping me going at that point. Oh, and the guy running the caveman costume next to me provided some entertainment.

Thankfully, I pushed the pain away and finished in four hours and 11 minutes.

As I crossed across the finish line, my thoughts turned to how far I have come. Only a few years ago I could barely run a 5k, but now I have conquered 26.2 miles.

The chances of me running another marathon are slim, but knowing that I can run 26.2 miles is an amazing feat.

It just goes to show if you put your mind to something, nothing, and no one can stop you from your goals.

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