Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Hampshire Marathon FINISHER!

Saturday I ran and finished my second marathon ever - the New Hampshire Marathon in Bristol, NH! 

Training for this marathon went much differently than training for Hartford last year. I've been so busy with other things since I started grad school, which included the entirety of my training for this race, so my mind hasn't been focused on it like it was with Hartford. I was pretty nervous that the race wouldn't go as well as my previous marathon because I wasn't mentally focused, but it actually turned out pretty great!

Louie and Nick originally planned on running this race with me like we did with Hartford, but with their busy schedules they didn't get around to registering in time, so I ran this one solo. My parents did come up and support me though, which was so awesome of them! I know waiting at the finish line of a race for nearly six hours isn't the most entertaining thing in the world, but luckily there's a lot of fun touristy things up in that area of New Hampshire, so they kept themselves busy.

The weather was predicted to be super rainy, and it definitely was a gloomy day, but luckily it was really just a cold, misty day, which is pretty ideal when you're running 26 miles. While I was running I overheard many of the other runners chatting about their own marathon experiences and aspirations. The Maine Marathon was actually the following day, and many of those that were currently running the NH Marathon with me were planning on also running the Maine Marathon the next day! (What?!) There was also one man running his 50th state for the 50 State Marathon Club which was very exciting. It's actually on my bucket list to join that club one day and complete that milestone of running a marathon in every state! The marathon field was relatively small (~300 people) so it was very cool to be a part of that race with such few runners.

The course itself was beautiful and quiet. It looped around Newfound Lake and through heavier wooded areas in central NH. Having the leaves changing colors provided for some beautiful scenery and lots to look at. There were water stops every 2 miles which was amazing, and there was one woman from Marathon Maniacs driving around the course and handing out snacks to all the runners - so awesome! Everything about this race was such an improvement from the experience that we went through in Hartford last year, and really encouraged me that I can still run at the pace that works best for me and be treated with the same support from the race staff as those that are faster than me.

Though it will probably be a little while before I run another, I'm definitely looking forward to my next marathon! This one has definitely motivated and inspired me to keep pushing myself to my limits and accomplishing all the running goals I have for myself. And of course, you'll be reading all about it as I continue to lay down the miles! :)