After a successful 18 miler I was pretty confident I could complete a marathon, so I started looking into nearby races. The All American Marathon was having it’s inaugural race in May so I liked their facebook page. I entered a contest they posted where they wanted to see how people were displaying their bibs or medals and I posted mine.
It ended up being selected randomly out of the posts and I got a free entry into their race as well as two pasta dinner tickets. So the decision was made — I would run in the All American Marathon in Fayetteville, NC. I enlisted Robin to join along for the fun and she signed up for the half marathon. She also helped me with my longest training run — the 20 miler meeting me about halfway throughout it on the trail and running eight miles with me. She even reminded me to eat something which at that point I had completely forgotten about.
Things really got exciting when it was announced that the winner of the Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi would be attending the race and speaking at the pasta dinner the night before. The weather on the other hand was not the best starting at around 60 degrees and ending at 80. It made for some challenges for me along the way — namely chafing on my arms due to the fun shirt I was wearing and sweating in, and a sunburn that rivaled the one I got in Mexico in 2001. The tan lines from my temporary tattoos lasted for months. But in the end, I got to meet Meb AND completed my first FULL marathon. What?!? How amazing!