Monday, November 21, 2011

My First Marathon: The Columbus Marathon Recap

I apologize… Both my blog and I are on school time, which means I do nothing but work, school, and study… just wait for Christmas vacation when I get to stalk you all like a creeper!! ;) Muah ha ha ha!!! Speaking of which… don’t forget to sign up for the 2011 Christmas Card Swap!!
Ok… back to the recap:



I got up around 4:45am… still sicker than sick, but not gonna let it stop me… and hopped in the shower to wake up/warm up, then got dressed and ate 2 pieces of peanut butter toast.  I made sure I had everything ready, made sure I had a map of the route for my spectators and then me, my husband, my mom and dad all piled in the car and started out on the hour long drive.

We got to downtown Columbus around 6:40am and only had to walk a few blocks to get to the start line.  Well, my stomach was giving me all sorts of grief, so I had to stand in line to go to the porta pot… and soon the extra time I had had was dwindling away, but I knew I had to stay in that line!  I was still in line when they sang the national anthem and didn’t get to see the starting line fireworks around 7:30am. :(


It was finally my turn and then I took off my long sleeve shirt, put on my race bib, rubbed on some body glide, and put on my pace band… hugged and kissed my parents and husband goodbye and went and tried to squeeze in to the corral behind the one i was supposed to be in lol… I took my time walking up to the starting line with the rest of the crowd, not running at all before my toe hit the line so I wouldn’t waste any energy…. and there I was starting out on my first ever 26.2 mile journey!!

The road was covered in discarded sweats, sweatshirts, and plastic bags… I tripped over a couple of them when I tried to take in my surroundings.  I wanted to start out a little slower than my goal pace and then push it on the “downhill” finish.  I was having a blast!!  The atmosphere and vibe of the race were upbeat and positive.  It was a bit chilly and rather windy which made it a little bit not fun but not enough to dampen the spirits of everyone running. 

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Yeah… I can’t downplay it… I felt miserable… sicker than a dog… hackin up my lungs…

There were so many spectators along the first part of the course.  My mom text me that they were all standing around the 5 mile mark and I updated her on where I was.  I don’t remember the specific mileage now, but I do know that in the first half (13.1 miles):

- I saw my family 2 times and gave hugs and kisses both times (mile 5 and 9)
- Took 3 gels around miles 3.5, 7, and 11
- Had to stop at a porta pot 3 times due to being sick and it wasn’t pretty
- Felt rather good running-wise and having fun even tho i was not feeling good sick-wise. 
- My goal of coming in sub-5 was still intact despite the pit stops.



We headed up a hill around mile 12.something and the wind came rushing at you… it was difficult… and then, before the hill was over, the half marathoners were turning left and finishing while us marathoners had to finish the hill and keep going another 13.1 miles.  It became quite lonely and my mind immediately checked out… I kept kicking myself saying “get back in the groove” but it was so hard!  My hopes of a sub-5 quickly faded away and my goal became survival and finishing!!

The 2nd half was WAY more lonely … I felt alone… there were WAY less bands and definitely NOT as many spectators… at one point we were running through the OSU campus (the horseshoe) and it was so windy and no spectators whatsoever!  My hands were getting numb and tingly cuz I had left my gloves in my bag… with my husband (a lot of good they were doing there)  I started coughing a lot more in the second half and was not having a lot of fun… not to mention my mom had text that they were around mile 16 and nowhere to be found…


Around mile 17ish… I started talking to another girl and we both felt disappointed, lonely, sick, and having a hard time running by ourselves, so we decided to run the rest of the race together no matter what!  (porta potty stops and all)  lol ;)  About a mile later I saw my parents finally!!  My husband wasn’t with them, they told me he was waiting for me at the finish line.  I started crying and hugged them tight.  I was so emotional at this point and I have no idea why.  They said they would see me around mile 23 or so and to keep going that they were proud of me.

So Kaitlin and I pushed on… around mile 20 I heard my name behind me and looked to see a girl I had gone to high school with!  I’m not gonna lie, I believe God knew what I needed and had our paths cross!  So, Kaitlin, me, and now Faith all ran the last 6.2 miles together.  It was tough, but it was way less lonely having those 2 girls with me!! 


We walked at all the water stations and up the hills and I can’t tell you how happy I was when I saw my parents again around mile 24 and then later still when I saw this sign:


When we came up to the .2 miles left marker… there he was… my husband was cheering for me waving and hollering… at that moment I never felt so blessed to have my best friend there to support me!  He ran along side us taking pictures, cheering like a maniac and making us laugh until we got to the finishing chute and he veered off to the side to go meet us at the finish.

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All the emotions coming out 

The finish was downhill and Kaitlin had wanted to come in sub-5:30 after realizing her first goal wasn’t gonna make it either so we pushed as hard as we could to that finish line… Some guy looked over at us and thought we were gonna beat him so he took out on an all out sprint with this huge grin on his face… it totally made me laugh!  We crossed that finish line of our 26.2 journey together with a Garmin time of 5:24:05…


My husband met me just after the finish line through the fence… I was crying… I had done it!!  I was happy yet a little disappointed that I hadn’t gotten my sub-5 but SO VERY thankful for God sending me my 2 friends to help me finish!

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Of course the 3 of us didn’t get individual finisher photos… we got one together… duh ;)


I’m a marathoner!!!!  I did it!!  AND although I was sick and miserable… Columbus Marathon 2011 will not be my last 26.2 mile trek… It’s only the beginning!!  Here’s the Garmin Stats:




Me and my support crew :)

After the race, we headed (I hobbled) to subway and I RICEd the rest of the day ;)  I also celebrated by putting my magnet on my car! :)



  1. Congratulations on you stellar performance and a spanking new PR! I got a good workout from looking at that elevation profile - especially the huge incline leading up to mile 20. Well done!

  2. I loved reading your recap! Great job! Becoming a marathoner while sick!? That's impressive!

  3. You look happy in a lot of those photos! Congrats.

  4. Congratulations on your first marathon! That's so neat that your family was there to support you and see you in so many different places. Love all the pictures, thank you for sharing!

  5. It's so nice that you all got your finishing photo together. You're never going to forget those two girls and how much their presence helped.

  6. Congratulations! Love those photos! You worked hard to accomplish this!

  7. Congratulations! Way to stay strong and finish!

  8. Yay for the recap -
    WOW - I'm tearing up just looking at your photos and realizing that it was THAT difficult but how STRONG you are!!!! GREAT job girl!!!! A-MAZ-ING!!!! INCREDIBLE!!!! I love that you have new "friends" and that the bond was strong enough to keep you together for the rest of the race not just a mile or so - that's so totally the way I roll during a race - such an incredible bond . . .even if it's temporary! LOVE that!!!
    So impressive - so incredible - such a perfect bumper sticker to tell your story!!!!
    GREAT JOB Zaneta - so thankful I had the chance to meet you and your family!!!!
    High 5 girl!!!!!!

  9. Awesome!!!! I love the photos and the recap. Congratulations to you - you are amazing woman and you have accomplished something great! Way to go!!!!! :)

  10. Congratulations on your first marathon! What a huge milestone in your running! I love that you are already rocking the marathon sticker!

  11. YOU DID IT! Congrats and great job! So glad you found those two girls to help you get through the last little bit!

  12. Yea for you!! Sick and everything...and you finished! Congratulations!

  13. Well done! Are you running it next year?

  14. Congratulations! Good for you for pushing through, sick and all. That's tough.

    Love the finish line pic!

  15. that is a fantastic story..not that you were sick, but that you stopped to hug your family and that you made friends on the course and that you finished!! congrats

  16. I'm sitting here reading this recap and crying. I can totally relate to your emotion that day. Congrats on becoming a marathoner!!!


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