My friend Vanessa ran the Rock ‘n Roll San Diego marathon and I am so proud of her. I still am in awe that she signed up for her second marathon before she even completed her first one! She was inspired to run a marathon because it gave her something to work up to. It’s like a crowning achievement for all your hard work. Plus, she is 26 years old so running 26 miles now and she thought it was a good idea and a way to celebrate her life.
Training overall was great for Vanessa and injury-free! She timed a half marathon just right so it was a pretty smooth transition into marathon training. She loved doing some cross training, but does wish that she did a little more of it and a little more running during the week.
Vanessa traveled all the way from Boston to San Diego which was a 5-6 hour flight. The trip going there was great, and luckily the time difference was in her favor since the race was at 6:30am (9:30am EST and her normal running time for long runs).
Mary the bear traveled with Vanessa to the expo and had so much fun that she went BOTH days at the expo! She said it got her so excited and pumped for the big race.
The night before the marathon Vanessa had quinoa and brown rice with avocado and cheese for her dinner and her breakfast consisted of honey bunches of oats with almonds and bananas. On her bus ride to the start, a woman had asked her about Mary. Vanessa explained the concept of Mary being for first time marathoners to take with them for some moral support. The woman said, “Mary’s got really good spirit!” Both Vanessa and I agree!
During the race she had 2 Gu’s and some Gu Chomps. They gave out some oranges throughout the race that also provided a little extra fuel when needed. Vanessa wished she had Gu-ed more. She had actually forgotten she had even had them so didn’t take them!
She listened to music throughout the marathon but had said that she probably only listened to it 1.5-2 hours worth of music, turning it on and off depending on where she was in the race. One of her favorite songs to hear was”I Made It”.
Vanessa finished her marathon in 4:37:06. She had 3 goals for her marathon, but only accomplished one, which was to finish. She put a lot of pressure on herself for this first one, but she realized that finishing was an accomplishment in itself. She knows she has something to work up to for the next marathon! She was so proud of what she was able to accomplish (as she should be!)…and she had 7 miles under 10 minute pace!
Vanessa filled out Mary’s passport with her favorite thing about the marathon experience:
And her advice for a first time marathoner was:
Enjoy the race, don’t stress too much about time. You’ll go faster than you think. Get to the start line early and put some salt in your water the day before the race. Also, don’t walk around too much the days before the race. Finally, get a cute outfit for the race, you’ll feel great and look awesome for all the photos!
Vanessa and I met up for dinner at Fajitas and ‘Ritas for dinner to celebrate her accomplishment. I got to the restaurant first, and when she came she exclaimed, “I have cupcakes for us!!” She had picked up a red velvet and an oreo cupcake from Cakeology. EXCITING!!! It was so cute because she broke them out and wanted to split them before we even got our drink orders in, but we refrained so we wouldn’t upset the waitress. They were yummy, but I need to bring Vanessa to Crumbs because I think they may be a little bit tastier. Perhaps we will just have to do a cupcake tour of Boston!
After we devoured our cupcakes, caught up on running, upcoming races, and life in general. We chatted about how awesome it is that running has reunited us. We were in the same sorority in college but hadn’t really kept in touch even though we both live in the same city. I think we are creepily starting to think alike…as we both wore a coral-y pink color!
What was a memory from one of your first races?
All the spectators cheering me on. I loved seeing all the bands and people excited to see the runners. I also remember my watch dying a mile from the finish and being 28 seconds from qualifying for Boston…
Has running brought you closer to a friend or brought new friendships?
Yes to both! A friend who I’ve known since preschool and I were reunited via running! And I have made too many new friends via running that it would just be silly to list them all
Are you or a friend running their first marathon? Have them bring Mary the Bear!