This time a week ago, I was relaxing on the beach before running my first marathon. Since the temperature can get quite warm (and humid) in North Carolina in August, the marathon began around sunset. With a 7:30 pm start time, I had the entire day to relax with my family at the ocean. Before I departed on my almost 12 hour drive to North Carolina, I had spent the summer training my butt off for this race. I practiced different fueling techniques to test out what I would eat during my race. I used dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice), mashed bananas, pretzels (for the carbs and sodium), and sports gels. After a long run I love my Smart Water with ice. Below, is a picture of what would become my aid station.
The race course was a loop, which I ran around 5 times. My family set up a personal aid station for me, where they gave me food as I came around. About an hour before the race I consumed a small homemade low-fat muffin and an apple. The quick carbs were fast to digest and did not put strain on my digestive system (limited fiber and fat). During the race I had part of another banana, some pretzels, and 2 gels. After it was over, I enjoyed my chocolate soy milk and the other half of the massive bean burrito I got for lunch.
I finished the race in just over four hours (10 seconds over actually). As soon as I rounded the final corner and saw the finish line, I picked up my pace and sprinted through to the end. I would have finished sooner, however I stopped to rest my left knee a few times. This joint has always bothered me despite my physical therapy I do everyday. By strengthening my gluts, quads, and hamstrings, my knees have gotten significantly better. Now that the race is over, I plan to take up cycling.