most ambitious day of my life (marathon recap)

I’m back in DC! Though I don’t have any fresh pictures of the nation’s capital because I haven’t stepped foot outside this morning. My legs are still a bit sore — I’m feeling fine, but a run is definitely not in order for at least another day! (If you missed my blog this weekend, I ran a marathon on Saturday.)

So, a recap of the race!The Southern Plunge Marathon started at 7:00 am, which gave me perfect time to snag about 6 hours of sleep the night before (we flew in from DC pretty late) and eat some toast + coffee before heading to the start line. Only about 350 people ran in the entire event — and about 200 of them only ran the half marathon.

So, it was a pretty sparse crowd for the second half of the race.

Which meant it was very easy to spot my fan club almost every 3 miles or so! My dad, brother, sister-in-law, and Anthony were the best cheerleaders ever. In addition to me, they cheered (or perhaps harassed?) the 3-4 people within a mile or two of me during the entire route.The first 15 miles or so were pretty breezy. I stuck to an 8:15 pace on average, and planned to pick it up to a faster pace for the last 9-10 miles. The course wasn’t too difficult, but there were a fair amount of small hills that burned me too many times. Sigh.

Anthony was the best and joined me around mile 17. He stuck with me until the finish line. Around mile 20 or so I was feeling pretty beat. Thanks to him, and thanks to a woman who was close to passing me, I kept running. And running.Mile 23-26 were probably the worst. My legs and back were burning and my knees were begging me to stop! Plus the wind was just awful and it was grey and drizzly the entire time, which isn’t so inspiring. Poor Anthony got to hear me pout for about 20 minutes straight. I’m usually not a big swearer, but I had a foul vocabulary at this point in the race.

But still! I really didn’t want to lose my 3rd place spot, and knew I was minutes within beating my best time yet…so I just went all out. I kept telling Anthony, “We have to keep running.”

In case he didn’t know that. Pretty sure I was losing my mind at this point, though I was proud of myself for not crying like I usually do at 23. The last few miles were more like an 8:45 pace, except for mile 25, where we randomly ran a 7:30.

And then, it was over! YAY. I was a freezing shivering mess!But I still scored 3rd place for the women, with a 3:35 finish (an 8:14 average pace)! This was a tiny race, so it’s not like I brought home big money or anything, but it was still pretty cool. The second place woman was about three minutes ahead of me, and the first place woman ran a speedy 3:29. Both these women were still kicking butt in their late 30s, which I found really inspiring.Then, I took the Best Shower of My Life. And then it was pizza time.Flash forward through a 2-hour drive back to Nashville, a quick trip to the mall to pick up some wedding attire, a beautiful wedding ceremony, and boom! Wedding reception around 7 pm. That nap I predicted never happened (except a brief bit of shut-eye in the car). Needless to say, Anthony and I were beyond exhausted during this wedding.

I have absolutely no idea how either of us are standing in this picture. We went from sweaty to glam in no time.But, the pain and sleepiness was totally worth it! Abbey’s wedding was so, so lovely. The food, venue, ceremony, crowd…everything was super nice. And I got to catch up with a lot of old high school friends! Abbey, Dana, and I all played volleyball in high school together. Those were the days.And so the most ambitious day of my life came to a close around midnight, when we finally got home. I don’t know if I was more sore from running a marathon or dancing for 2 hours. Still, the pain was totally worth it. I had so much fun running/partying with my awesome family and friends; I’ve thus declared myself the luckiest girl ever.



  1. I have to say that I’m in awe of you! I ran a 1/2 on Sunday and I’m feeling it now. I didn’t place but I PR’d and felt great the entire 13.1. A full marathon still scares me at this point but after the comfort of yesterday, I think I can be ready in time for my first next April.

    How you took on a wedding after a marathon is beyond me…..well, you ARE young!

    Keep up the good work.

  2. ashley

    Congrats! What a crazy day. I have been reading your blog for a bit now and am inspired to try a full marathon. I’m also considering joining DC road runners, but I’m afraid I’m too slow? All running groups always say “all paces welcome” but I end up always being the slowest one there with no one to run with (10m/m).

    • thanks for reading! i suggest you do both — in fact, the club + the race is a great combination! it really is all paces welcome. email me at for more info, but we have people running 6 min miles to 12 min/miles, depending on which weekly run you attend. and i’m always up to run around town (at any pace) if you’re looking for a jogging buddy!

    • Ashley, don’t be afraid of the running groups. I don’t know about DC Road Runners, but I’m in a very large group in Oklahoma City (about 400 members weekly) and I’m a 10m/m. I end up in the middle of the pack and have no problems. I would imagine DC is the same way. But Mary can probably give you more information.

  3. Hooray for third place woman! And it rules that other two were older! Totally inspiring!! And you made a beautiful couple at the wedding as well. I’m pretty sure I’d just be eating. Lol.

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