Monday, February 16, 2009


My cousin Julie completed her marathon in Dallas on December 14th of 2008. She blogged about her race and I was inspired at that point to continue training for the marathon. The whole training process has been a big mental game. I'm excited to tell you about yesterdays Austin Marathon!!!

My Marathon. I was nervous on Wednesday prior to the race. I had butterflies and was wishing that the race would be the next day. On Friday I read a blog by Nocona that set me at peace until race time. She wrote about God knowing the end of the story. I knew at that moment that He knew I would finish. I slept very well that night. Saturday was Valentine's day and I literally layed around the house. I was very nervous about not being hydrated enough so I downed about 90 ounces of water and Blue Powerade during the day. I took two hot baths to relax myself. I took one at 4:45 because my stomach was in knots and the other at around 9 so I could go to sleep. I was asleep by 11 (AMAZING) and up one minute before the alarm went off at 4:15AM!!

It's RACE DAY!!! I am energized and excited not groggy and dreadful like I thought I might be. I have a Luna Morning bar, another blue Powerade (its my favorite kind) and a cup of coffee (I know but I must start my mornings with a cup or two of coffee). I get dressed and Kyle and I are out the door by 5:20. We make it down town and find a very convenient parking spot on 5th and Colorado and we walk to the Austin Fit tent to meet Sara (my running partner).  We stood around and stretched and there was this buzz of excitement in the air as the runners chatted about their game plan and what they hoped their time would be. I made 2 trips to the porta potties before lining up at the start. Sara and I decide that we will stop to walk at the water stops only. (SIDE NOTE: The water stops were about ever 1.2 miles and that is when we walked throughout. I didn't write about every water stop. Just the important ones at the end).

The start: They didn't start the race until almost 7:20 and that made me nervous! Thousands of runners are standing around me. It takes nearly 10 minutes for Sara and I to make it from where we lined up to the start line. Kyle was within seeing distance on that walk to the start and that kept my mind at peace. The first few miles seemed to breeze right by but our time was a little slow. We averaged 12 minute miles for the first 4 or 5. Neither of us wanted to start out fast and regret it later in the race. At the 5 mile mark we take a GU (an energy shot without caffeine that is 100 calories a little packet). That seems to help me and I am ready to run. Miles 5-10 went by quickly because there were all different bands lining the streets of Austin and so many things to look at. At around Mile 11 we see a lighted sign saying that the half marathoners turn right and the full marathoners turn left. I was really wishing I had a camera with me at that time to capture the excitement of turning to the "FULL MARATHON" side. It really energized me. Sara tells me to go ahead if I want. Her Achilles is really bothering her and I was ready to run. I asked her if she was sure and she said yes. 

The Middle: I turned up my ipod and ran. I really started feeling like I was in the "zone" At mile 13 I see: Kyle, Dani, Joel, and Whitney and I stop to get a GU from Dani and steal a kiss from Kyle. Kyle even ran for me for a few yards to tell me how much he loves and believes in me. Miles 13-20 were SO boring and very hilly. There were no bands but there were a whole bunch of people sitting in lawn chairs in their front yards. At mile 19 I see Jenny, Stevie, and Carl and am energized anew! I didn't stop to say hello. I was really in a good running zone and trying to make up for the slow start I had had. I get very excited at mile 20 because I get there at 4 hours and 7 minutes and the last time I ran 20 miles it took me 4 hours and 27 minutes. VERY good improvement for me. This time I take a GU with caffeine and "I was running"! I only have 6 miles to go but 20 miles is as far as I have even run before. This is new territory. At mile 21 I see Kyle, Dani, Joel, and Whitney again. That really helped me to the end!

The End: I can see the Frost Bank Building in the distance and I know that downtown is getting close. By this point it is about 70 degrees and beautiful but also the warmest weather I have run in in a LONG time. I am sweaty and know that hydration is the key to me finishing this race strong. I not only grab water at the next water stop but a Powerade too. SO GOOD! At mile 24 I see Christina and Michael and it was just in time for a big hill! I was about to walk up the hill because my feet are hurting really bad but Christina said, "come on lets go!" and she ran up that hill with me in her jeans and not running shoes. I am so glad she did that because mile 25 was all down hill and well worth the run up hill. I shook my arms out and felt my shoulders relax. I had so much joy inside that I had to make myself calm down and breathe. I was ALMOST a marathoner. At mile 25.5 I stop at the last water stop hydrate and breathe. Here I go! Up a hill to mile 26 and now I know there is only .2 left in my race! I start sprinting. I run harder and faster than I have run since high school and as I get closer to the finish I can hear my dads voice. Just like all those years in high school running track. I start to tear up and have goosebumps. I see Carl and a few others running with me to the finish line and there I stood, overjoyed, exhausted, free. They even placed a medal around my neck and gave me a finishers shirt. 

And to my faithful fans, who made race day even more of an adventure. Kyle for sticking with me and supporting me at all 6 of the races in the Austin Distance Challenge since October (YEP I GET THAT JACKET!!!) He is the most amazing husband in the whole world and I love Him with all of my heart. When I would see him at different mile markers I felt stronger just because he believes in me. To my dad and Diane thanks for being there. To Christina and Michael for driving in from Stephenville to cheer me on. To Jenny H for making sure I completed all of the races in the Austin Distance Challenge. She never would have let me quit. For Stevie, Carl, and Molly! Thanks for your support. To Dani and Joel for being there and for giving me the first charm for my bucket bracelet (the shoe for completing the marathon) and to Whitney for yelling loud and taking beautiful pictures. Im gonna have a photo book made!!!

What a day. February 15, 2009... I  Won't forget the day I could finally call myself a marathoner.


  1. Jenny I started boo-hooing 1/2 way through when Kyle started running with you and by the end when your dad is cheering you on I could no longer see through my tears to finish reading what you wrote. I am so proud of you, what an amazing accomplishment you have seen through all the way to the end! Take a picture of yourself in your jacket, I can't wait to see it!

  2. :) I'm so proud of you. You're right, I wouldn't have let you quit, sister. i knew you could do it! And look.... you DID. Love you.

  3. Jenny! I am so proud of you!! You have been an inspiration and make the marathon sound so easy! :) I know that you have put in so much time and effort to prepare for this, and it truly shows your dedication and faith. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so sorry that I couldn't be there for you, but I was praying! :) Love you!

  4. I'm so happy I was able to be there and see you cross that finish line. What an accomplishment!!! You are such a strong person and have inspired so many. Keep it up!!

  5. Yay! I am SO proud of you. I'm so glad that it was such a positive experience. Congratulations....marathoner!

  6. Wow! I am so proud of you. You did something great for that charm. That is awesome. I am inspired. YOU DID IT!