I ran a marathon…now what?

So it’s been five days since RnR Nashville and I am still riding my runner’s high. I did my first run since the race last night and it wasn’t terrible.

But now that I’ve accomplished such a big dream, now what?

For now, I want to work on speed at short distances. I’m not sure if that means trying to break my high school PR in the 5k or trying to break 2 in the half.

But I love running. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done and I love how I can always get better — there is always a new goal to strive for.

Will I run another marathon?

Never say never. While for the longest time I thought I might be one and done with the marathon, now I’m having seconds thoughts. What could I do on a flat course with more training? Could I break 5? Could I come back next year and crush those hills?

While for now, I don’t see another 26.2 in the books, I’m not completely ruling it out. Honestly, marathons take a lot of time to train for (duh), are exhausting emotionally, physically and mentally and they are usually pretty pricey (not including travel, hotel, etc). I don’t have a lot of big races (or long distance races) near me, so deciding to run a marathon requires a lot of thought and planning.

Whatever comes next, I’m excited about the journey!

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Officially a marathoner — RnR Nashville race recap

I received a free entry into this race since I am a member of Rock N Blog. All opinions are my own.

First thing first, I AM OFFICIALLY A MARATHONER.

Okay, okay. Now to recap RnR Nashville race day. Ryan (my wonderful husband and cheerleader throughout this whole process) and I stayed at the Renaissance in downtown Nashville. We were just a few blocks away from the VIP setup and from the starting line.

After grabbing some fruit (I brought my normal breakfast bar from home) and using the restrooms, I started to get restless so we made our way toward the corrals. I was in corral 13 and had some time to kill before things really got going.

Once we sang the National Anthem, the St. Jude rockstars got to take off first and then each corral about every five minutes. Before I knew it, I was off and running! The crowd support was amazing throughout the entire race. I know I probably started off faster than I should have, but I was so excited to be racing AND for my first marathon.

I also got to see Ryan at the start! He got a video of me running and I love it so much!

Honestly, I tried to “be calm” (my mantra) and enjoy the race. I knew this might be the only marathon I ever run (more on that later) and I wanted to remember it all and enjoy every step.

BUT HOLY HILLS. I knew the hills in this race would be killer, but I didn’t really realize it until I was in the thick of the race. My quads were killing me about 1/4 of the way into the race and I knew I was going to have to earn the title of marathoner. I started walking up some of the hills and made lots of friends along the way who were doing the same thing.

Oh yeah. This also happened at around mile 9.

The wall at mile 20 is a very real thing. I was in so much pain and was ready for the race to be over. I tried not to wish it away since I had worked so hard to get there, but my feet were in pain, I was chafing and I could my shoulders getting burnt.

But like I said, the crowd support was amazing. That’s what helped keep me going. The cheers, high-fives, puppy power, popsicles and orange slices were so appreciated. People were even giving out shots of beer and jello shots. It was awesome.

The best feeling was when I got to mile 26. I KNEW I could finish. There was a bit of a downhill and then you make a turn into Nissan Stadium. Once I saw the finish line I almost started to cry.

I did it! I was about to become a marathoner!

I definitely didn’t run the tangets and ran a couple miles over the 26.2. But I stopped my watch at 26.2 and I’m so happy with the results!

Three days later and I’m still in shock that I ran a marathon.

This was 16 weeks of blood, (I fell off the treadmill once) sweat and tears. Training for a marathon is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting. There were so many moments of doubt during this process.

My biggest takeaway from this experience is WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.

So thanks for the memories, Nashville. This was a day I won’t soon forget.

RnR Nashville expo

I have so much I want to say about this weekend, so I’m going to break it down into two posts — expo and race day.

I mentioned last week that the days leading up to the race were crazy. I had to travel for work, so I had lots of driving, flights, workshops in Florida, more driving, more flights and then got home at 2 a.m. Friday morning, only to return to Nashville 12 hours for the expo.

Let me also say, that the biggest race I’ve ever run in had about 250 runners. RnR Nashville had about 30,000 participants. I’ve also only been to two race expos before and they were both rinky-dink. So this was all amazing (and new!) to me.

The first thing I did when we got to the expo was pick up my bib and change my corral since training had gone better than I expected. There were basically no lines and everything went really smoothly. I was so impressed with the organization!

I made sure to get lots of pictures and lots of free samples! I also bought a pullover, long sleeve technical tee and a tank to commemorate my first marathon! *Also, now I was even more determined than before to finish the race. I was not going to wear a finisher shirt unless I did the whole thing!*

One of the coolest things we did at the expo was trying the Rapid Reboot recovery system. It felt great on my legs (especially since they were a little wonky from traveling and being a plane for the two days prior to the expo.)

All in all, we spent about two hours at the expo. We walked around Broadway for a bit before deciding on Margaritaville for supper. Then it was off to the hotel for a quick shakeout run and stretching sesh before going to bed!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a full recap of the race! Check back, you won’t want to miss it!

RNR Nashville Marathon Training — Week 16

NEXT WEEK I WILL BE RECAPPING THE RACE.

I seriously cannot believe my 16 weeks of training has come to an end. This last week has been so crazy — the least amount of miles I’ve run since this program started.

My legs are restless and I am ready to run. All of my training is in the bank and now it’s time to see what I can do!

Ryan and I are driving down to Nashville on Friday to enjoy the expo, some food and get lots of rest before the race! Can’t wait to recap the race for you all! Follow along on Instagram @mileswithmeghann for all of my adventures from the weekend (expo, race, concert, etc!)

RNR Nashville Marathon Training — Week 15

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all had a great Monday. I had a blast watching the Boston Marathon. DES IS A BADASS. I have so much respect for her and really all the runners that were on the course yesterday. I’m glad yesterday was her time to shine.

As for me, I am SO SO close to being done with training for my first marathon. I can officially say my race is next weekend. CRAZY.

I wrapped up my last week of long runs 28 miles total. Toward the end of training, I’ve kind of been doing my own thing. I did an 8-miler early in the week and then switched things around because of some crazy weather and did 20 miles Thursday night after work. img_4386

The 20-mile run was a huge confidence booster. All of my runs lately have been great and I’m really trying to trust the process and get to the starting line healthy and excited to race.

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Now I’m counting down the days until my marathon! I hope you all have a great week. I know I’m going to be riding the high from Des’s win yesterday all week.

RNR Nashville Marathon Training — Week 13

CRUSHED IT. Even with traveling this week, I had such a good week of training. Saturday’s run was such a confidence builder. After two weeks of not great long runs, it was nice to feel great about my 18-miler. 

Here’s a look at my training for the week — 33 miles total.
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All my runs except one were outside! And I got to wear shorts on Saturday. Thank goodness for warmer weather! Also, I tried to Cran-Razz Gus and they were great!

Less than four weeks til race day!

RNR Nashville Marathon Training — Week 12

This week of training involved victory, lots of new music and a few tears. So pretty normal for marathon training, right?!

Here’s a look at my training for the week — 38 miles total.
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While I want to be running three times during the week, it’s basically impossible in this season of my life. Every step of my Tuesday/Thursday runs count and I’ve been crushing the 10-mile distance. Maybe a new favorite?!

I wanted to get my long run in on Saturday, but it was freezing rain, so I decided to move it to Sunday. I went shopping and out for a sushi lunch with my mom instead.

On Sunday, Ryan drove me to the park for my run. He sat in the car and read a book while I ran, offering support, water, and Gu whenever I needed it. About nine miles in my knees were hurting. I tried to do a run/walk method, but I was in so much pain I decided to call it quits and the park. I shed a few tears because I felt defeated, but Ryan helped me work through all of my crazy options.

So, I took a break, ate some lunch and then did my last nine miles around my parent’s neighborhood. Better than nothing, right?!

I’m in Miami for work most of the week so I’m not sure how running is going to go. We’re pretty busy from sun-up to sun-down, but I’m hoping to get on a treadmill for a little bit.

33 days until race day!

The fear of racing again

It’s been almost four years since my last race.img_0807

WOAH. Doing the math made me realize it’s been a long time since I’ve toed the starting line.

Am I ready for this? Am I ready to race again?

It’s not that I meant to let so much time pass in between races, but life happens. Weeks after my last half marathon in 2014, I graduated college, moved to a new state with my then-fiance and we started new jobs. Three months after we started those jobs, a better opportunity arose and we moved again.

At that point, we were one month away from our wedding, starting new jobs and enjoying life as soon-to-be newlyweds. After our honeymoon, winter came and I only ran every now and then. Plus there aren’t many races in small-town living and definitely none in the winter. By spring, we were moving again (to my hometown — which is where we still live).

Once we settled into life in Owensboro, I wanted to start racing again. Owensboro has a pretty good running community and I knew I would have more opportunities for races. In the spring of 2016, I signed up for the Owensboro Half Marathon that fall. 10 weeks into training, the race got canceled due to lack of interest.  I was pissed and honestly just took a break from running for a bit. I had busted my butt all summer for nothing (yes, I know it was good for me, but my sole purpose of the training was for this specific race).
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For Christmas 2017, my husband (who really is the absolute best) surprised me with a treadmill. I still didn’t have a race in mind, but at least now I was motivated to run more.

When I got the opportunity to join the Rock N Blog team in December of 2017, I jumped at the chance and signed up for my first marathon. Go big or go home, right?!
Disclosure: I am on the 2018 Rock n Blog crew and was given a Rock n Roll Tour Pass 10-pack. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. 
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Now I’m 40-something days away from race day and I am so excited (!!!) but also starting to freak out a little.

Can I really run a marathon? Ohmygosh, I am going to be so slow. Is all this pain worth it? What if I fail? What if I DNF? (<– nightmare) This might be only chance to run a marathon (let’s be honest — they are expensive!) I don’t want to mess this up. What should I wear?

I’m trying to not the fear of racing again overwhelm me. I run for me and no one else. So no matter what happens on race day I know I will be proud of what I’ve accomplished so far (like running 15 freaking miles on Saturday!)

So thank you, Run Rock N Roll for helping me (hopefully!) accomplish a dream. (Thanks for the tourpass, too!)