Newport Marathon Race Recap (i.e. I Did It!)

Is there any other feeling quite like crossing the finish line at your first marathon??

Not that I’ve ever experienced.

Me nearing finish 6 - edited

Months of training, hundreds of miles, and hours of mental and physical effort finally peaked for me this past weekend at the Newport Marathon.  And though I was seriously having some pre-race jitters in the 24 hours before the start, I am incredibly proud to say that I did it!  Not only can I say that I did it, but I am pleased with how I performed, so even better.  Before I get into some of the details of the event, here are my final numbers:

  • Finish Time: 4:08:28
  • Overall Place: 384 out of 751
  • Division Place: 36 out of 77
  • Gender Place: 154 out of 385

I had hoped going in that I could finish under 4:15:00 for my first marathon, so I am thrilled that I beat that by several minutes!  I would love to get myself to a sub-4 hour performance, but there is time for that, right?  One thing at a time.

Start Sign - edited

I was definitely nervous going in, though those nerves didn’t really kick in until the night before.  I actually did better then I had expected during my final taper week (though I still didn’t enjoy tapering one bit), but by the time I went to pick up my race packet the night before the marathon, I was all over the map.  I was excited, anxious, doubtful and confident all at the same time (yes, that is possible).  One thing that helped with my nerves was the fact that the race was really well organized.  The packet pick-up was smooth; there was a shuttle the morning of the race that stopped at all the popular hotels, picking up runners and spectators to take them to the start line, and the race started promptly.  All excellent things so kudos to the race director!

The course was beautiful.  Even for someone like me who is TERRIFIED of the ocean and deep water in general, it was gorgeous.   We started out with the first few miles running through the city, then headed down by the ocean and along the bay.  The views were definitely a plus – sparkling water to one side, lush trees to the other, with a smattering of homes, shops, and ocean-front businesses along the way.  The locals were also amazing – many of whom set up outside their homes to cheer everyone on.  To top it all off, the weather was pretty much PERFECT.  After a week or more of cold, constant rain pounding the Pacific Northwest, all was well.  The sun was out, the wind was calm, and temps were moderate.

So, with all of that good energy, how could I not be set up for success, right?

Me waving - edited

At the start, I was eager to go, but still a bit nervous.  But, I settled into a rhythm that I carried pretty well for well over the first half of the race.  I felt good.  I felt loose and strong.  I remember at one point, around mile 13, thinking: This is great!  Maybe it won’t hurt after all!

Oh, that’s funny to think about.  Sometimes I’m just silly.

Anyway, the majority of the way things were really solid and I was pleased with my pace.  I certainly started to notice some pain, though, and realized the error of my earlier thinking.  My left hip and lower back began to ache around mile 18 or so.  It grew steadily until the end of the race and during miles 22-25, I honestly was in quite a bit of discomfort.  My pace slowed significantly (though I never once stopped running).  At that point, though, it was close enough to the end where I could just focus on each individual mile.  I celebrated every little blue mile marker I passed.  When I strode by mile 25, I was thrilled.  That last 1.2 miles was actually pretty amazing.  Knowing that I was that close to finishing, the pain I felt became irrelevant.  I was able to pick back up my speed somewhat and finish with a surge.

Finishing a race with a surge feels GREAT.

Me with medal 3 - edited

When I crossed the finish line I was certainly tired and sore, but I was also thrilled.  I have some great moments in my life, don’t get me wrong, but the feeling of that moment is uniquely special to me.  And it reminds me of how very important running has become to my life.

I’m already thinking about my next races and my future marathons.  I never doubted wanting to run the race or wanting to run the next one.  I knew even in those moments of pain and fatigue that I was ready to do it again.

And again.

And again.

68 comments on “Newport Marathon Race Recap (i.e. I Did It!)

  1. zebveg says:

    Congratulations on your first marathon finish!! It is quite a unique experience, and one that should be celebrated well!! Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures!! 🙂

  2. Mary says:

    Congratulations! What an achievement!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Congratulations! There’s nothing like that feeling of finishing your first marathon!

  4. senelslant says:

    Fantastic! Kudos to your commitment and effort, what a great accomplishment.

  5. Julia says:

    Congratulations on not only finishing your first marathon but training for it both mentally and physically. That mental training and strength is almost more important than being physically able and you clearly had excellent mental strength during your race. You’re amazing!

  6. Awesome you! Congratulations. On a side note, I didn’t know there was a Newport in Oregon – I thought you were in RI, LOL! Guess I should have paid attention to your “About” notes!

  7. mouchelux says:

    Congratulations, sounds like a great experience! Really nice write-up to read – looking forward to the next one 🙂

  8. courage2run says:

    Yay! I’m so happy for you! You are very inspiring! 🙂

  9. MikeW says:

    An achievement to remember. Congratulations! Love the beaming smile after the race!

  10. Congrats! I just finished a Half and a full marathon seems a little daunting…

  11. Congrats!!! You look like a winner even without the medal 🙂

  12. Dan says:

    The sad truth is, there really isn’t a feeling like finishing your first marathon. I’ve gone on to do many more and even an ultra, and so far, that breathtaking feeling of pure elation and pride peaked when I crossed my first finish line. That doesn’t mean it’s no longer fun. Being in the club is great — but earning your place was unlike any other feeling I’ve experienced.

    Congratulations on battling it out and killing your time goal!

  13. Good for you! I just decided to run my first marathon this fall, and I’m so excited about it! Keep up the good work 🙂

  14. Congratulations!!! I can definitely relate to those feelings… I remember during my first marathon it was all I could do to not sob when I crossed the finish line!

  15. Congratulations on a great first marathon. I can only hope I have a day like yours when I do my first full in October.

  16. jenn says:

    congratulations!! and it sounds like a beautiful course, to boot!

  17. Cindy says:

    Hooray for you!! Such an awesome accomplishment 😀

  18. barefoottc says:

    Congratulations! Your first marathon is a terrific.achievement, well done! Now enjoy the rest you deserve and will need!

  19. Red Hen says:

    Not only did you finish a marathon, you also did it in fantastic time! And you are a most photogenic runner-those shots are great! Congrats!

  20. Ngan R. says:

    Wow, congrats on running your first marathon! I am still working up to a half marathon so I greatly admire you for such an accomplishment.

  21. Joanne says:

    Okay, you are AMAZING!!! Your time is AMAZING!!! Really, I’m just so impressed.

  22. Congratulations! So glad to read such an inspirational piece! I am training for my first Half & what keeps me focused is the curiosity of the feeling of crossing the finish line.

  23. Congratulations! What an incredible accomplishment! Now I want to read about everything you ate after you finished your race. That’s always been my favorite part of endurance events 🙂

    • Ha, ha – thanks! Since I’ve found out I can’t tolerate gluten I’ve had to give up my post race doughnuts, but I did go out to eat for a lovely dinner at my favorite restaurant which culminated in the best hot fudge sundae I have ever had in my life (and it was both vegan and gluten free – so I could eat every bite)!!!

  24. Wow! Amazing. Congrats! I always envied runners. Running was always my least favourite form of exercise but I push myself to try it every now and then. I can’t seem to get past 10 km without wanting to keel over!

  25. marob23 says:

    Congratulations on your first marathon finish, and a great race report. Sounds like all your training paid off. Well done 🙂

  26. Congratulations on your first marathon! You had an amazing time too! Recover well!

  27. dynomum says:

    Congratulations! Its great to read how someone else has accomplished this, I have just signed up for my first half marathon in August and am signed up to run my first ever full marathon in Dublin, Ireland on the 28th October 2013. I only started running on the 24th November 2012 so I’ll need all the help and motivation I can get :-0

    • Thank you and congratulations on making the decision to run your first, too! Good luck with your training! I can only imagine that running in Dublin would be an amazing experience.

  28. Congrats! I didn’t know Newport had a marathon! I’m working toward running my first half-marathon. I don’t know if I’d want to to do a full one, but if I do, I hope it’s somewhere as lovely as Newport.

  29. thanks for stopping by my blog! Congratulations! I could feel the excitement in your post during the last 1.2 miles. I am so excited to run my first in October and feel the same. Sign up for another race in the next week, or I hear it gets tougher!

  30. katyhancock says:

    That is absolutely wonderful! You truly earned your feelings of happiness and deserve every ounce of that smile!

  31. bekkster says:

    Congrats! I’m still debating whether or not to try a marathon someday.

  32. Coach Bill says:

    Congratulations. Thanks for visiting my blog http://coachbilltexas.wordpress.com/. Lots of information there to help you reach your goal of sub 4 hour marathon. If you need help with a training plan let me know.

  33. […] = Done! – The experience of running my first marathon have been shared in depth here and here, so I won’t say much more other than that it stands as one of the single best days of my life.  […]

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