On January 8, 2012, I ran the First Light Marathon in Mobile, AL. I was sure a flatter marathon would be a sure thing PR. It wasn’t. I have lots of reasons (excuses?) as to why this race didn’t go exactly as planned. But the bottom line is that it was a really fun day, and I was so glad I did it.
I was so lucky to have my best friend Hollie there as my awesome marathon cheerleader! (I don’t know why we didn’t get a picture together on marathon day)
Different race. Hollie's first 5k!
Hollie drove me to downtown Mobile bright and early. I had been scared it was going to rain on race day, but it never did. It would probably have been better if it had. Just ended up being really steamy. And warm.
The race was really small. There weren’t many spectators, but I was lucky enough to have my very own cheering section! Hollie found tons of places to spot me on the course, and took a bunch of fun pictures!
I thought I was keeping a good pace at the beginning, but I slowed way down in the second half.
At about this point was when I encountered the super weird race walker. They kind of always look funny, but this lady took it to a whole new level. She kept screaming “COME ON! PUSH IT!!!!” I assume she was talking to herself, but maybe she thought I was going too slow. I was, after all, keeping about the same pace as the race walker.
At mile 10, I was met with some unexpected rolling hills. I had done the half at this race in 2011, and it was totally flat. I didn’t know Mobile had hills at all! They weren’t really all that bad, but it started to get hot about this same time. The sun came out and it was steamy and difficult.
My aunt and uncle that live in Mobile met me at the University of South Alabama at about mile 15. I was so glad they came out to see me!
The last 6 miles the course flattened out again. But it was too late. I had lost so much time, and the heat was really getting to me. My only real goal for the race was to beat the 4:59:52 from the Georgia Marathon. I knew at about mile 22 that I didn’t have a chance at beating it. I felt so slow, and I was having to walk a lot. There was just no willing my feet to speed up at this point.
I crossed the finish line in 5:03:45, which is an 11:35/mile average pace.
Very simple, very special medal at this one.
It says, “Handmade by community members of L’arche Mobile.” So sweet.