We’ve got history- The Little Rock Marathon

We’ve got history- The Little Rock Marathon

Just 10 days to go until the Little Rock Marathon and I am getting EXCITED!! It’s difficult for me to put into words what this race means to me.  I should point out that it has nothing to do with the course.  In fact, the course itself is fairly challenging.  It is by no means an “easy” marathon.  The Little Rock Marathon Course is usually described as hilly. Running legend Bill Rodgers once said “any marathon worth its salt has a few hills.  Little Rock is a little salty.

Little Rock Marathon

I have had many different race experiences in the Little Rock Marathon.  I have been a spectator, run the relay, run the half marathon and last year was my first time to run the full marathon.  Even though it is challenging there is something about it that I love and it brings me back every year.

In the spring of 2006, I was no where near being in competitive running shape.  I was 8 months pregnant with our second child and I was only at the Marathon for moral support.  My sister and brother-in-law had asked my husband if he wanted to compete in the marathon relay with them.  My husband, a former college basketball player who had never run more than 5 miles at one time in his life agreed to the challenge.

This time he was running and I was the cheerleader!
He did it!
He ran the first leg of the relay and crossed the line running 6.8 of the longest miles he had ever run in his entire life.  I was so proud of him for sticking with it!
Team “Family Affair” came in 2nd place in the co-ed division

Three years went by before my next Little Rock Marathon experience.  In the fall of 2008 my husband had the crazy idea that we could run a half marathon together.  We had just had our third child and I was only running a few miles a few days a week to lose some baby weight.  I thought that running this far might help with some of my weight loss so I agreed.  We had no time goal- we only wanted to finish.  We had a college baby-sitter come once a week on Saturday mornings so we could do our long run together.  I remember how excited I was the first time we ran 10 miles.  I had not run that far at one time since college and it was a total adrenaline rush!

We ran the Little Rock Half Marathon together that March and finished in 2:12:40.  It was our first half marathon and we did it together.  Before I even crossed the line I was already thinking about when I could do it again!

By the following spring, I had a whole year of running under my belt.  I had just run a 3:35 marathon in December and was ready to run a speedy half marathon. And yes, I just noticed I did wear the same shirt in 2009 and 2010!

At the starting line
Kicking it in at the end

I finished in 1:36:45 and felt amazing.  I had started the first half pretty conservatively and picked it up the second half, finishing strong and loving life!  A very non-descriptive recap can be found here.

In between the 2010 and 2011 Little Rock Marathon my husband and I had our fourth baby.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to participate at all but went ahead and signed up with my running friends for the relay.  I thought surely I could run 6.5 miles 7 weeks after a c-section.

I was following an extremely insane aggressive training plan that I had concocted on my own that spring that went from 0-26.2 miles in 13 weeks.  (I was attempting to run the Boston Marathon 13 weeks after giving birth via c-section.)  SPOILER ALERT- the plan was a complete and total failure but that’s another story!

The week of the Little Rock Marathon I decided why run 6.5 in a relay when I could race 13.1?  So I also wore my husband’s half marathon bib and chip (which he wasn’t using), along with my relay tag.  It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever worn anyone’s bib and since we did share last names and I wasn’t planning on winning anything I didn’t think anyone would mind.  I know it’s no excuse but I was desperate to race!  Long story short(er) it was one of my favorite race experiences EVER.  There was no race day pressure or expectations.  I had spent the majority of the past 7 weeks nursing a baby so I felt a sense of freedom that only a new mother can feel.  I crossed the line in 1:47:07 but in my mind it felt like I had won the Boston Marathon.  I was on top of the world! More on this experience can be found here.

Time for a celebratory lunch!

Last year  I decided to run the full marathon.  It just didn’t seem right that I had lived in Arkansas for over a decade yet had never run a full marathon in my home state.  I’m pretty sure only runners use this kind of logic.

It was a challenging race but I finished with a smile on my face.  I fought hard for my finish time of 3:15:17.  A more detailed race recap can be found here.

Gotta love the hills!

I am not sure what is in store this time around but I can tell you that I am excited about giving it my all.  I have put in the training and I know what I am capable of running.  I just need to believe in myself and put it all out there over the course of 26.2 miles.

I still have ten very important taper days to go but this race is on my radar and it won’t be off until I cross the finish line Sunday morning, March 3rd.

Do you have a lot of history with a certain race in your home town?
What race got you into running?
Do you prefer spectating, relays, half marathons or marathons?

18 thoughts on “We’ve got history- The Little Rock Marathon

  1. Wow, you have come so far! Love it! Seriously, only a crazy runner would try to run a marathon 13 weeks after a c-section;) You are going to rock this race. I can’t wait to hear how it goes:)

  2. You are officially crazy. I thought you weren’t supposed to even move for 6 weeks after a c section. Let alone run a half marathon just the week after that. I love the photo of you plus baby at the end – he looks like he’s thrilled to see that his lunch was finally delivered.

    1. Yes, you really aren’t supposed to start exercising until 4-6 weeks. I learned this lesson the hard way. A few weeks after my HM I developed a sacral stress fracture. ๐Ÿ™ Then I was FORCED to take off 8 weeks!

      And LOL about the lunch! It was REALLY hard to be away from him that long. He never took a bottle so as soon as I crossed the line we headed to the car so I could feed him!

  3. I love the history there! Gosh, I feel like you are right on the verge of sub 3?!?! could this be the race??? You are in such phenomenal running shape – I can’t wait to see what you do at this marathon:) Many good vibes and happy tapering!!

    1. Thanks Katie! That means a lot coming from you! I would LOVE that time but not sure if I’m quite there. I’m honestly hoping to break or go near 3:05. I am still aiming for that sub 3 this year but my goal race for that is in December at St. Jude. We’ll see!!

  4. There is something so special about “your” race! I have one, too! The mardi gras marathon (stupid competitor group bought it and renamed it “new orleans”, boo) is my favorite: my first half marathon, my first marathon, and a PR every year. And a hometown race just feels right. This is going to be another good race for you! I can feel it!

  5. Tia, I’ve been thinking about you this week & I just know that you’re going to have an incredible race at LR. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You’ve really put in all the hard work & now it’s time to mentally find your calm so, that you’re prepared to race.

    LA marathon is a very special race to me. I’ve run LAM 8x already. I won’t run it this year since it lands on my lil’ one’s 5th birthday & celebrating his special day trumps running 26.2! Anyways, LAM was my 1st, never my best(I ran it 4mos post-partum with a personal worst), I ran the original course & the new course. I love spectating the marathons!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good Luck at Little Rock Tia. Can’t wait to hear all about it!! You truly inspire me to be the best runner I can be! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  6. I love this look back over the little rock races… I really want to run Philly next year because it was my very first half years ago.
    Your improvement over these few years is incredible, and I can’t wait to see what this marathon holds for you!!

  7. I have a special race, too, the Baystate marathon. I went 3:29, 3:19, 3:14 there 3 years in a row. Was injured last year but will be back next year.

    So, looking at that course, all I can think is get to mile 16 and then crank it! The first 16 miles do not look like fun though! I can’t wait for your race though! Probably there is no tracking? I will be thinking about you on the day! You will do awesome!

    1. Thanks AM! Wow- you are on a roll with Baystate. Definitely heading in the right direction there.

      I am pretty sure no runner tracking but my husband will be posted updates on my FB page I’m sure!

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