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I finished!  

This past weekend was the St. Jude Memphis Marathon, which I had been training for since July. 

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It was my second full marathon to attempt, the first being in October of 2013.

This was a BIG race (I heard 17,000 runners?) and it was so much fun being back in my hometown with all of the awesome crowd support.

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By far the best part of the whole experience was being able to run as a “St. Jude Hero,” which meant I raised funds for the children’s cancer research hospital.

In total, I was able to raise $1670 for the hospital, on behalf of my friends and their son Garrett who is a current patient at St. Jude (read more about Garrett’s story and why I chose to run this race here and here).

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see Garrett or his family at the race, but I did catch this sweet photo his family posted on Facebook thanking all of the members of Team Garrrett.  It really was a huge honor to be able to participate in this fundraising.
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Unfortunately, I didn’t meet my goal time; I missed it by a little over 20 minutes.  I did finish about 20 minutes faster than my first marathon time though, which I consider a good accomplishment.  It’s hard though to train so hard and so long for something then not be able to meet your goal.
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I had some family that came out to support me–my mom, dad, and my sister, who is with me in this photo. Seeing my family cheering for me on the course is what got me through to the end.

It was really tough to finish . . . not as hard as my first full marathon, but still really, really hard.  I think that to do well in a full marathon I am going to have to really up what I do to train, and pay a lot more attention to the little details of running (what I eat, weight training for stronger legs, correct running form, etc).  I’m not sure I’m ready to commit that much time and mental energy into it though quite yet!  So for now, I’ll stick to shorter races 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that this is what I felt like when I finally crossed the finish line

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Haha!  Not very nice, huh?

Even though it was really tough, I’m still glad I ran it.  I know this may sound cheesy, but learning to endure through uncomfortable circumstances is probably the biggest thing that running distance races has taught me.

I really am an expert quitter.  I have a lifetime of practicing how to walk away from something when it gets too hard or inconvenient.  Training for and running these races, specifically the full marathon, has done so much to teach me what it looks like to persevere and endure, and how I am much, much stronger than I think I am.

So, now that it’s done, what’s next?  Well, I am pretty tired, so this week I am going to take lots of naps. Then, I am going to get going on my Christmas shopping and start doing some holiday baking with my kids. I am going to try and finish some furniture projects I have stored in my garage and get my booth ready for a complete re-do for the new year.

I may run a little bit too, because I really do enjoy it 🙂  But no more 26.2 milers for me for quite awhile.

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