Little Rock Marathon 2013

I’m feelin’ a little ADD right now.

That’s my excuse if this post seems all over the place while you read it. Of course, it’s probably not any worse than usual.

On Friday, I was a complete and total crazy woman. I went to the expo that night to pick up race packets and do a bit of carb loading. I think the expo was great . . . honestly, I was so hyped-up while I was there I don’t think I noticed much of it. I do remember snagging a 26.2 sticker for my swagger wagon, meeting up with a friend we were stationed with in Illinois, and posing for pictures by a horse. The rest is kind of a blur.

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Y’all know the ugly mug on the far left. My pal, Christi, is in the middle and she set a HUGE new PR at Little Rock. Carrie, the super model on the end, did two marathons this past weekend. She ran one Saturday morning and then turned around and ran the Little Rock Marathon Sunday morning. I know, right?!

Looking at that picture almost makes me feel bad for them that they’re stuck with me. ::snort::

Since I felt so crazy all day Friday, I just knew Saturday was going to be worse; however, I was totally chill. I was so surprised! I was even able to go to sleep by 9:30 and slept until the alarm went off at 4:30 the next morning. I felt well rested and content when I woke up Sunday morning.

I enjoyed a cup of coffee, surfed on my laptop with my feet up and just tried to relax. Melissa‘s cousin, Emily, and a friend of hers ran the half and stayed at my place so they didn’t have to pay for a hotel. We all loaded up and hit the road a little after six to meet up with some other runners and head into Little Rock. It took longer than expected to find a parking spot and then we walked to a nearby hotel to keep warm and get in line for the bathroom. I was keeping my eye out for my friend, Vic. We planned on sticking together during the race since we did all of our 20-mile training runs together. Once Vic showed up, there wasn’t a whole lot of stand around time before we needed to line up for the start.

The Open Corral was jam packed full of people, so we couldn’t get up to the 5:10 pacers. We settled in next to the 5:25 pacers and figured we would just work our way up to the 5:10 group once we started.

There was lots of singing and dancing, among Vic and I, as we inched our way to the start line. I was so excited and happy.

Once we were off, it didn’t take long for us to catch up to the 5:10 group. When we caught up, we slowed down and settled in. The pace felt nice and easy.

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My friend, Lori, snapped this around the 10K point.

My plan was to be in the mile I was in and not think about how much farther I had to go. That’s precisely what I did. As we passed each mile marker, I just thought to myself, “Okay. Now, I’m in mile 3. Okay. Now, I’m in mile 7.”

When we hit mile 13 or 14, we took a little walk break and the 5:10 group inched away from us.

I was okay with that though. I still felt great, as evidenced below. ::snort::
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Right after this point on the course, we began about a three mile steady uphill climb. Up to that point, there were some nice rolling hills, but nothing too terrible.

elevation LRM

We took walk breaks when we needed them and ran when we felt like it.

Sometime during this uphill climb, I spotted my parents on the side of the road and ran over to give them a sweaty hug. My mom snapped this picture.

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Someone told us there would be beer when we reached the top of the hill. I kept waiting for the top of the hill. I kept waiting for the beer. And waiting. And waiting.

::snort::

Once we reached the top . . . no beer. I was so bummed, but there was some nice downhill to make up for it.

I had been warned numerous times that the toughest part of the course were not the hills, but the out and back that begins around mile 18-ish. It’s flat as a pancake, so you would think it would be the easiest part . . . . no. Not so much.

You’re headed down to the turn around point and can see others headed back on the other side. I told myself not to get into a mental battle over it. I told myself to stay in the mile I was in and just focus on that.

I had a nice surprise heading into the River Trail portion though. My parents had made their way over and were waiting for me again. I sure love them.

My man had told me ahead of time he was going to try and be at the turn around point with the crew. As we neared the turn around and I didn’t see them, I told myself I wasn’t allowed to be disappointed, then I heard some guy screaming, “I’m in love with number 967!” ~ it was my man. And then I saw all the children holding signs and yelling for me.

Seeing them at that point in the race was perfect.

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We were past mile 22 and I kept wondering, “When am I going to hit the wall? Where is the wall going to be? How hard am I going to hit the wall?”

But . . . the wall never came. As we headed back out and toward the finish, I started noticing fatigue in my feet and legs, but nothing terrible. No pain like I had been anticipating.

During the last mile, there’s a pretty decent uphill climb ~ at least it feels that way after running for over five hours. ::snort::

Soon after we crested the hill, I finally found people handing out beer. Carrie (who had joined up with us somewhere around mile 13 and hung out with us the rest of the way) and I each grabbed one, toasted and chugged. Y’all know how much I love dark beer, but I gotta say . . . at that point, that Michelob Ultra tasted pretty darn good!

As we neared the finish, Vic and I looked at each other and smiled. Carrie, Vic and I raised our hands together as we crossed the finish line. Such a euphoric feeling.

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It was a good day. I saw people out there pushing themselves beyond what they ever thought they were capable of. I saw tears well up in the eyes of people who were in obvious pain, but refused to give up. I saw people laughing, telling stories and bonding over the endless stretch of road. I saw people on the sidelines inspired. I saw people chasing down their dreams.

Yes, it was a good day.

All day Sunday I kept getting updates from FB, IG and Twitter telling me how amazing I am. Every time I would see that I would feel so blessed, but then I would shake my head.

Here’s the deal: I’m not amazing. I’m just Ruthanne.

Are you reading this and thinking, “I could never do that!” . . . You’re wrong. I thought that same thing a couple of years ago. I never thought I would be able to run one mile, let alone a marathon.

It was hard. I’m not going to lie to you. But was it worth it? Heck yes!

It makes me think of a quote from Dean Karnazes book 50/50:

“It is so easy to live a life that has been scripted for you by others, to fall into a mire of conformity by following a path that society has laid before you, rather than heeding your own unique calling. Comfort, complacency, routine, the path of least resistance, the easy road – these things are the bane of humankind. It is a disquieting moment when you awaken to realize the trappings of conventionality have created a life for you that is entirely different from the one you wish to live.”

So, what changed for me? How did I go from the girl who could barely run for 60 seconds to a girl who finished a marathon?

I changed my thinking. I decided to no longer be held back by what I thought I couldn’t do. I decided to create a new life. A life outside the box I had been existing in. I set aside my comfort and complacency and decided to take the harder road – the more fulfilling road.

You can do the same.

You can.

I’ll even run the road with you and walk it when we need to.

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Comments

  1. crying. i love this so much.

  2. You are AMAZING to me! An INSPIRING, beautiful soul. Thank you for being just Ruthanne.

  3. WOOHOO! You go girl! Such an inspiration! Congrats!

  4. i’m crying too.

  5. I’m so thrilled for you! Your weight loss/running journey inspires me so much! :-)

  6. So proud of you!!!

  7. Best recap EVER. It made me cry. Congratulations!

  8. Kathleen says:

    Congratulations!!! I’m struggling through a C25K and determined not to give up. You are very inspiring!

  9. Congratulations! I have loved following your journey and can’t wait to see what you do next!

  10. You are the cutest runner I’ve ever seen! WOW, you look like you had such an amazing time! Great job! You are an inspiration.

  11. Why do I feel like crying after reading this?!?!?! SO proud of you! Love you, friend!!!

  12. That picture says it all, doesn’t it? You did it! Love it.

    I have eliminated sugar from my diet. I am just starting out, but I feel amazing. Everyone said I would feel awful. It’s only been a few days but the only thing I’m feeling is relief. I’ve been thinking of you, too. Ruthanne did it. ;)

  13. Love this!

  14. Love this. You are a rockstar. Still Ruthanne… but also a rockstar :)

  15. BEST RECAP I’ve ever read! Loved reading this, Ruthanne! Little Rock isn’t all that far from Wichita, I might have to try this marathon sometime! :)

  16. You are such an inspiration! We have so many things in common , homeschool, larger family, runners… Whenever I get down or think I can’t possibly run that distance I come here read and reread many of your posts and it fills me with the yes I cans because that is what message you always send out. Thank you for your words. So if you just Ruthanne keep being just you because you are awesome and one BAMR!

  17. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations!!!! Love the mid-marathon pic :) So full of joy.

  18. Great job, Ruthanne!! What a great accomplishment!! And I love your running skirt :)

  19. Meghan Grace says:

    As a 48 year old woman who has gained WAY too much weight in her middle age and really has a body complex for the first time in her life, I am so very inspired by your weight loss and amazing changes you’ve made because you made up your mind to do it. I think that I am finally at the point where I have the confidence to pick up a good pair of running shoes and JUST DO IT! Baby steps, right? You are a true inspiration and I want to thank you for sharing your journey! Hugs, Meghan

  20. You are fantastic! Reading about your accomplishment made me so happy for you! My first marathon(and so far, only), I rememeber thinking, “Where is this wall?” and luckilly, it didn’t come. I had a bit of a hurdle on an out and back portion from mile 22-25, but I made it. I was told, condescendingly, by my then-boyfriend, “You’re going to become one of those fat girls who got skinny then ran a marathon”. Yes, that was my facebook status post-race too, and I’m damn proud of myself.

  21. Sarah M says:

    You are just such an inspiration! I ran my first 5K last year….well, more walked, but whatever. I say ran. I fell in love and ended up doing 4 total last year. With each one I’ve improved my time and now this year I have signed up for 5 already, as well as my first half marathon. You completely inspire me! Keep up your amazing work! :) Everyday I want to be better and run faster. Right now I am still using the elliptical, but soon I will be back outside once its a bit warmer. I hope to start a blog soon and get more involved here, because I need someone to be excited with as well. It’s such a fun journey and I am completely in love with it! CONGRATS on your awesome marathon! I hope one day to do 26.2 as well. I know I do have it in me.

  22. Congrats! What a huge accomplishment! I’ve been a long time follower and have referenced posts many times but after two days i’m still looking for a post on your training plan. Did you follow any specific plan or build your own plan off of one in particular. I am beginning to build a base to train for the Disney Princess half and I am trying to come up with a plan that will work for me and thought I would see what has obviously worked for you! Besides C25K, I know you started with that! :)

  23. Julie Stanbrough says:

    Great story I totally enjoyed it and seeing you during the race and remembering how I felt seeing the beer finally at mile 25. You did a great job on your Marathon Congratulations!!! Love to run with you some time.

  24. You are such a huge inspiration! The photos look like you had such a great time.

  25. Amazing. Thanks for motivating me! I am planning on doing the St. Jude Memphis full this year and I keep hearing that little voice. Thank you for telling it I can. I am doing my 4th half on the 17th and hoping to FINALLY get under 2:30. Knowing you accomplished your goal even after sharing your ‘bad half’ experience gives me confidence that I can meet my running goal this year! Glad you share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  26. Sarah H. says:

    You really are amazing! Such an inspiration! And I wish you lived down the street so I had someone to help me run. You had me all choked up with this post! Congratulations!

  27. I just read this again. You are so inspiring! I am smack in the middle of training for my first half marathon. I cannot fathom that not even a year ago I was scared out of my pants to get to the dreaded 20-minute run. I just finished 6 miles this morning. Whaaaaaat?! You inspire me every day as I try to change my life.