Where to even start with this one?! I checked off a bucket list item–> run a marathon in another country with Andrew while wearing MATCHING tops. Dreams do come true. I will write my recap with the pics, and Andrew will finish with some of his thoughts.
The week leading up to this race differed significantly from my usual weeks leading up to a marathon. We walked 12 miles a day, ate any new foods we could get our hands on, and slept the least amount we could to see everything on our lists.
We met up with our group (thank you, City Sightseeing, for the best experience and new friends for life) at 7:30 in our hotel lobby and walked for about 25 minutes to the starting line. It was chilly and lightly raining, our favorite marathon running weather.
It started raining a bit harder once we arrived, so we waited inside a building until it was 8:50, and then we entered our corrals. The nerves were kicking in for Andrew at this point.
The atmosphere was unreal. There was so much excitement, music, and people speaking different languages. This was one of my favorite parts of the race; we were able to experience running surrounded by so many people from so many different places. It felt like a big party. We all spoke the running language!
The race started right at 9, and we were off!
My watch was not working great and told us we were running a 6:20 pace for the first 2 miles, so I told Andrew he needed to lead the pace at an effort where he felt like he was floating.
We were very confused because in the first few miles, people were running past us very fast and breathing very heavily. I was nervous for them to have another 20+ miles, but then we realized many people were participating in a relay for the marathon, which is why they were putting in a hard effort initially.
This tunnel led us right to the Chain Bridge; it was gorgeous.
Andrew has helped me so much during countless races. It felt so good to finally help him in a race by giving him pep talks, handing him water, and forcing him to take a gel every four miles.
One thing I loved the most about this marathon (besides the incredible scenery and buildings we ran next to) was the live music in many different locations.
I never put in my headphones because I wanted to hear every noise and cheer possible.
I was asked on IG about some of the differences I experienced running a different marathon pace than I’m used to. The most significant difference was that my stomach was happy to eat bananas at every aid station for fuel. I had reached my maximum on gels over the last few months. They also had lemons at the aid stations… can someone explain why those would be there? Second, my feet were really hurting by the end. I wore an old pair of Adizero, but I figured they would give me just what I needed for a comfortable ride. I’m guessing the change in my stride or something left them throbbing. #worthit
It was my first time running on cobblestone in a few places during a race. This race also had about eight 180-degree turns, and I’m not sure how our friend Mitch made all those turns running at a 5:25 pace.
I was so proud of Andrew. He had very little time to train and was out there doing something so hard and not giving up.
There was a variety of different races going on. It was so fun to see people starting and finishing over the miles.
At about mile 15ish, we went onto Margitsziget Island from the bridge. It was gorgeous with so much green. We were on the island for about 2k (I think), and then there was the biggest hill of the race back up to the bridge.
At about mile 17 is when Andrew started hurting. We slowed down a bit, and I started pulling out every mental tool or tip I could think of for him over the remaining miles.
I probably took 200 photos along the way. I’m so excited to show the kids everything we saw over the miles.
I also pulled out my phone to use the calculator to find out how far along we were because my watch was off, and running a race in kilometers was brand new to me… I needed to know when to have Andrew fueling!
Andrew finished so strong. Seeing him getting closer and closer to the finish line made me so emotional. Getting to run this together was the perfect ending to our week together. I felt very spoiled.
Our hosts told us they wanted us to run whatever time we wanted and, most importantly, enjoy the morning. Mitch felt like running fast and finished with a 2:24 for first place just a week after Chicago, where he ran a 2:20. Superhuman!
The walk to get our goodies at the end was long, but it was so worth it for these treats that they gave us. We finished with 55,000 steps.
I give this race an A+ score. If you ever get a chance to do it, please do! Everything about it was magical.
Now for some thoughts from Andrew!
Hey everyone!! After 11 years, I came back to give the marathon a shot, especially when the race is international and in Budapest!! Here are a couple of thoughts from the experience:
*The day before, it’s like my body knew what was coming. I don’t get nervous often, but to say I was nervous is an understatement.
*The morning of the race, everything was perfect. Mitch found us peanut butter, and our hosts had bread, bananas, and plenty of fluids for us, so I was ready to go,
*Having Janae there with me and knowing she would run with me helped relax me, but I was stressed that I would be picked up by the marathon clean-up shuttle.
*I started the race with 5 GUs and planned to take them every 4ish miles and save my headphones until mile 15. I told Janae that mere mortals like me really can’t talk and run simultaneously, but I’ll talk until 15. Keep in mind my longest run before this was 17.
*The first few miles were perfect; there were SO many people cheering and many different languages and nationalities running and spectating.
*I saw some grown man in a ladybug costume multiple times – he was one of the best spectators.
*The views were just out of this world; I could not believe everything we saw. The opera house was amazing as they had a live orchestra outside. It was our favorite part.
*The miles started to tick by, and I was having fun with Janae. We took a bunch of videos. My pace seemed to hover around 845-850, a few faster, a few slower for a bathroom break or quick drink with my GU.
*I was pretty confident and possibly wanted to go for a sub 4-hour marathon, but the 8:50 pace seemed to get a little hard to maintain around miles 14-15, but I still felt good. I decided not to do any music until 17/18- because we were having fun.
*At mile 16 – things started to hurt, and the 9:00 pace pushed me. I tried not to pay attention to my watch, and at 17, I put in one earbud. Hoping the music would distract me.
*Mile 18 I entered the next level of hell. I hit a wall, and everything seemed to unravel at that point. Of course, Janae was happy and high-fiving everyone she saw!
*I ticked off two more miles, and at 22, my mind broke. All I wanted to do was walk; my legs were on fire. Janae was there pushing me, trying to motivate me in every way possible. I had given up all my goals and thought there was no way to finish.
*Between Janae’s motivational tactics and all the runners around me motivating me because I knew they were probably hurting just as badly as I was, I kept going. The last 2-3 miles seemed much longer than the first 20.
*At mile 25, Janae said we weren’t walking anymore, and I couldn’t see the finish, but I could hear the music. I haven’t hurt like this for a long time. I finally saw the finish line and couldn’t have been happier. When I crossed, I hugged Janae so hard because there was no way I could have done it without her. Walking down the finishing chute seemed like another two miles, but I was so pleased about not giving up that I did my best.
*I’m so happy I pushed myself (with a lot of help) so far out of my comfort zone. It was a good wake-up call for me to do things like this more and look at others and how inspiring they are!
*That hurt like hell🔥 and we really took our time walking back to the hotel afterward.
Have you ever taken a long break from racing and then come back?
Who has done a relay race? Where?
Who speaks more than one language?
Tell us a highlight from your weekend, please!