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I Am A Marathoner

April 10, 2011

Today is actually the one year anniversary of my first ever race – the Holy Half Marathon at Notre Dame. I find it very fitting that exactly one year after I proved to myself that I could simply be a runner, I have proved to myself that I can push my body to run a marathon.


I  slept decently well last night and was ready to go when my alarm rang at 5am. I drank some hot lemon water while I got dressed.

I felt good – excited and just a little nervous.

I was worried I might not be in the mood for breakfast so early, but my stomach felt fine and I had my normal pre-run breakfast of a whole wheat English muffin with almond butter and 1/2 banana around 5:30 before heading to LB’s apartment.

{fun fact: last night at 8pm I was getting my breakfast things out and I realized my Dad had eaten the last of my English muffins without telling me. Now rational Clare would see that we had plenty of toast and sandwich thins that I could eat instead, but nervous Clare freaked out and drove to Whole Foods in her flowery pajamas to buy a new bag. I just knew I would be more relaxed if everything could go exactly as planned.}

LB’s boyfriend Kevin was nice enough to pick us up from her apartment and drop us off at the start. LB, her friend Jackie, and I all went down together and immediately got in the port-a-potty line. It took 45 minutes (!!) and eventually RIGHT before 7am we got to use them. I was relieved that things were “moving” before I started the run 😉

Right after we got to our place in corral C it was time to go! We crossed the start about 10 minutes after 7am and were able to keep a pretty good pace despite the crowds. Our splits were in the 8:30-9 minute range for the beginning of the run which made me nervous since I hadn’t trained that quickly, but I really wanted to run with the girls.

It was freaking HOT. It was already 70 degrees at 6am which is much warmer than any of the weather we trained through, so I made sure to get a mix of Gatorade and water at the water stops. I took GUs at miles 6.5, 13, and 18 and was drinking a full glass of both Gatorade and water at each mile after 16.

By the halfway mark we were getting pretty tired. Jackie didn’t feel well and we ended up leaving her behind for walking breaks (she told us to!). At mile 15 I told LB to go on ahead of me as I need a quick walk break as well. She yelled “you’ll catch me!” but I was doubtful.

My legs were pretty sore earlier than I had hoped, probably due to the crazy amount of hills in the race. After mile 15 I started a run/walk strategy. If I could run to the next water stop (a mile away) I could walk through it for a little break. I also walked up a few of the hills. Almost every runner around me was doing the same.

Somehow at mile 24 I saw LB up ahead of me. I really did catch her! I think she took fewer walk breaks but was running a little slower, while I walked more but kept my running a bit quicker. I was SO glad to find her so we could finish together.

It was rough. It was hot and we were both struggling, but we both wanted this so badly and pushed through to the end. We finished holding hands in 4:03:31, a time I am absolutely thrilled with despite having to talk walking breaks.

I actually didn’t see my family at all on the race course. They said it was really hard to park and get there, and even though they were at one of the intersections we just completely missed each other. I was so happy to find them at the finish line!! My parents, older brother and friend, and some girlfriends met me there cheering.

The girls even brought me a bottle of champagne to pop! I had a little sip but was not exactly in the mood 🙂

At this point I don’t know that I feel the need to run another full marathon, but my right leg also feels like it’s going to fall off. Ask me again in a few days and I might feel differently. It took 18 weeks of training, a few sacrifices and a lot of hard work, but now it’s official:

I Am A Marathoner.

58 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2011 2:19 pm

    What a great accomplishment!! Congrats.

  2. April 10, 2011 2:19 pm

    I feel like your parents or boyfriend saying this, but I really am so proud of you! It’s been amazing to watch you train and hear about the whole thing and now seeing the finished result. You’re time is unbelievable and now you’re part of a small elite group who did it. I hope your enjoying a lot of amazing food right now!

  3. April 10, 2011 2:21 pm

    Congrats! That’s an excellent time, too.

  4. Lauren permalink
    April 10, 2011 2:24 pm

    CONGRATS!! you did awesome!!!! I knew you would! I’m interested to hear your breakdown as you have more time to decompress and think about it, as your longest training run was 20 miles and you pushed your body 6.2 more. That’s amazing! Very, very inspiring!

  5. April 10, 2011 2:24 pm

    Congratulations clare! You are such an inspiration and you finished with such an amazing time! You make me want to run a full marathon which I have never even considered before!

  6. Brandi permalink
    April 10, 2011 2:25 pm

    Woooooooooooooot Wooooooooooooooooot!!!!! Congrats chica!!!!
    Incredible time.

    Im so glad you discovered the bagel situation the nite before so you could remedy it. I would be in sheer panic race morning not to have my usual.

  7. Olympe permalink
    April 10, 2011 2:25 pm


  8. Kelsey @ Unmitigated Grub permalink
    April 10, 2011 2:27 pm

    CONGRATS!!! That’s so so amazing!! Woo! 🙂

  9. Abby permalink
    April 10, 2011 2:27 pm

    Ahh! Congrats! So excited for you! 🙂 You did awesome!

  10. April 10, 2011 2:32 pm

    YAYY congratulations!! What an amazing accomplishment- no matter what, you will ALWAYS be able to say that you are a marathoner. Enjoy some rest, girl!! I love that your friends brought you champagne, btw 🙂

  11. April 10, 2011 2:36 pm

    YAYYAY!!! Congratulations, Clare!! Is it weird that I’m proud of you? I think you’re a hugely inspiring person and I’m glad I was able to follow you from training to the finish line 🙂 Go have a milkshake or something!

  12. April 10, 2011 2:40 pm

    Congrats! YOU DID AWESOME! Seriously – with that heat and you did 4 hours?!? You killed it. Nice job. I didn’t see you there – so many people I guess – but it was a rough race this year.

  13. April 10, 2011 2:49 pm

    Congrats, Clare! Great job!!! I love that you and your friend crossed the finish line together!

  14. Alison permalink
    April 10, 2011 2:53 pm

    You go girl! I started following your blog when you were about halfway through training, and it was so interesting to read! I’d love to hear more about what you went through during training and especially the race – emotionally, physically, mentally, etc. How do you get through those times when you just want to quit? Great job again!!

  15. April 10, 2011 3:02 pm

    Yay, What a great accomplishment that you will always have!

    I would love to be able to do this one day 🙂

  16. April 10, 2011 3:06 pm

    Yay to go, Clare! I’ve been thinking about you on and off today! 🙂 You’ll relive this day over and over in your head so many times! 🙂
    I honestly think I remember more about the day I ran my marathon, than my wedding. 😉

  17. Peanut Butter Bandit permalink
    April 10, 2011 3:06 pm

    CONGRATS GIRLIE!!!!!! What an amazing accomplishment!! It’s been a ton of fun reading your blog and following your preparations since discovering your guest post over at SnackFace.

  18. April 10, 2011 3:14 pm

    Yay!! Congrats!!!

  19. oatsandspice permalink
    April 10, 2011 3:17 pm

    Congrats Clare! You did amazingggg – what an awesome accomplishment! Are you celebrating tonight?!?

  20. Paul Dykewicz permalink
    April 10, 2011 3:18 pm

    Clare Crosses Her Marathon Milestone

    My name is Clare and I fulfilled a big personal goal.
    I completed an event that was my own Super Bowl.
    Preparation and dedication took me to the finish line.
    The euphoric sense of accomplishment is so divine.

    It was not easy to maintain months of steady training.
    And I did not want to run 26.2 miles if it was raining.
    But I aspired to prove that I was able to persevere.
    I now have a marathon memory I’ll always hold dear.
    –A Gift for Clare, Our Blog Queen and Marathon Woman

  21. April 10, 2011 3:30 pm

    4.03!!!!!! You know what? Kudos! That is awesome!!!!!! Excellent job. was looking forward to reading it. You should be proud, marathoner!


  22. April 10, 2011 3:40 pm

    what an accomplishment! i feel like going out and signing up for one. i am so proud of you!!

  23. April 10, 2011 3:50 pm

    congrats gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m SO happy for you! you must be in a seriously painful marathon high today haha 🙂 take it easy this week you TOTALLY earned it!!

  24. April 10, 2011 4:12 pm

    Congrats!!! Thats an awesome time you should be so proud!

  25. April 10, 2011 4:12 pm

    that is so fab!!!!!!!!! CONGRATs CLARE!!

  26. April 10, 2011 4:28 pm

    Congrats on such an amazing accomplishment!! 😀

  27. April 10, 2011 4:33 pm

    You rock, Girl!!! I finished in 4:28 and was dyingggg at the finish! It WAS so brutally hot!!! Like you said, we didn’t train for this weather. BUT we made it and finished strong. Yay us!! My feet feel like they are on fire and my legs are achin’ but I’ve got a medal around my neck and a smile on my face:-)

    I’m so proud of you! You did amazing!!

  28. April 10, 2011 4:47 pm

    Yay Claire!!! You’re amazing and an inspiration! I’m so honkin proud of you 🙂 Now, go have a ice cold beer or somethin!

    • April 10, 2011 9:19 pm

      yay! I had a margarita and a beer after my half 🙂 DELICIOUSSSS!

  29. April 10, 2011 4:59 pm

    Ahhh Clare you are so awesome! I love that they brought you champagne at the end too! And the english muffin thing is SO something I would have done as well. 🙂

  30. April 10, 2011 5:17 pm

    You are AMAZING!!!!

  31. April 10, 2011 5:43 pm

    Congrats 🙂

  32. Kate permalink
    April 10, 2011 5:47 pm

    Screw the walk breaks…you finished a MARATHON!! Amazing job, Clare!!!

  33. April 10, 2011 6:06 pm

    Congrats! You did awesome!

  34. jamie permalink
    April 10, 2011 6:25 pm

    You are so awesome!!! Congratulations 🙂

  35. mel permalink
    April 10, 2011 7:04 pm

    I’m so happy for you!! Your hard work paid off…now get some rest!!!

  36. April 10, 2011 7:18 pm

    You continue to be an inspiration, amazing job girl!

  37. April 10, 2011 7:43 pm

    Awesome job!!! I ran across your blog post and it reminded me of my first marathon (Chicago 2008). After that race I questioned whether I’d feel the need to run another one. Well, I DID and have been addicted ever since 🙂 I just ran the Shamrock Marathon a few weeks ago. Make sure to take care of yourself now so you don’t get the post-marathon blues (I always do)

  38. April 10, 2011 7:52 pm

    Wow AWESOME AMAZING job! You have a lot to be proud of 🙂

  39. Irene permalink
    April 10, 2011 7:52 pm

    Yay Clare!!! Congratulations, I am so proud of my Stoonball! I love Marebrad’s headband

  40. April 10, 2011 7:56 pm

    AHHH CONGRATS!!!!! ❤ You!!! XoXo

  41. April 10, 2011 8:12 pm

    you are incredible!! 🙂 congratulations!!!!

  42. April 10, 2011 8:26 pm

    CONGRATS CLARE!!! What an amazing accomplishment!! You are one strong woman!

  43. April 10, 2011 8:58 pm

    hooray! congratulations clare! i’ve been excited to read your recap all day. 🙂

  44. April 10, 2011 9:20 pm

    CONGRATS, Clare!!! You rocked it!

  45. April 10, 2011 9:34 pm

    Congratulations Clare! You worked so hard and it paid off! I’m so happy for you and your time is awesome! 🙂

  46. applesnoats permalink
    April 10, 2011 10:01 pm

    yaaaaay CONGRATS GIRL!!!!!your awesome !

  47. April 10, 2011 10:18 pm

    Congrats! You don’t even look sweaty at the end!

  48. April 10, 2011 11:26 pm

    wooooooooo!!! congrats girl!!!!

  49. April 11, 2011 2:42 am

    Congrats! That’s so Huge!! You’re amazing!

  50. April 11, 2011 3:29 am

    It certainly sounds like you’re thrilled with your race, and you should be. On a shockingly hot day for this time of year, and a surprisingly and maddening hilly course, you absolutely rocked out your run and time.

    Some day, check out the elevation profile of other marathons (like Indianapolis) and compare to St. Louis. You’ll be even more proud of yourself for conquering this hilly beast in the heat.

    Congratulations! And best of luck on all your future runs–however long they may be.

  51. April 11, 2011 5:18 am

    Congratulations, Clare!! You are amazing!!!

  52. April 11, 2011 6:53 am

    Wow, that sounds so tough but you did so well!! Congratulations! Enjoy some very much deserved rest!

  53. Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS permalink
    April 11, 2011 7:39 am

    I am SO excited for you!! You look adorable. Congrats on an amazing performance!

  54. Lisa permalink
    April 11, 2011 10:08 am

    What a great accomplishment! Congratulations, what a fabulous feeling you must be experiencing! 🙂

  55. April 11, 2011 11:54 pm

    I loved reading this!! I would have probably freaked out about my breakfast, too. I’m SO proud of you – this is very inspiring to me as someone who wants/plans/hopes/dreams about running a full marathon. Congratulations! I hope your legs are feeling OK today. 🙂


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