Gomer (go’-mer): Hebrew – to complete.


So I’m starting this post a little after 9:00 on Sunday night.. knowing it will take me a good minute before this is “publish ready”.. not to mention just to think of all the things I want to include in here! Don’t feel obligated to read the whole thing.. just look at pictures and highlights if you want.. but this is more for me than anyone else.. I really want to remember this one! I’m not even sure where I should begin on my


When I posted on Saturday morning.. I was just about to head out to work. Well I got to work.. and it was like a freaking circus! Literally.. there were SO many people up front in the window/running that it was ridiculous. Definitely more people than needed, and especially for a lunch shift. My boss was quick to let me leave knowing that I still had a lot left to do to be ready! I love job. And my boss. 😀

So I hopped back on my bike and headed home.. got myself packed up.. and made a quick CostCo/Trader Joe’s trip before my dad came to pick me up! Dad came, packed everything in to the Jeep, and started the adventure down to Rochester. My dad had called earlier and left me a voicemail saying “I’m bringing my bike!” and I was thinking like Hmm.. papacito they’re not going to let you bike on the course. Well he knew that too.. but given the course, it would be easiest to catch me in the most places if he was on his bike.

So we get to the hotel in Rochester right.. and we’re at the front desk. I’m just gonna say right now I’m actually an idiot. Like.. honestly. I may secretly be Kenyan inside, but I also must be a blond. (Wow.. lets see who else I can offend? Time to stop.) Um.. without even unpacking the jeep.. I all of the sudden I smacked my hand to my forehead and was like “I forgot my effing shoes.” Minus the eff.. sounded more like something that rhymes with buck (because that’s about how much I’d pay for my BRAIN at that moment). Seriously Erika?? I can remember extra Gu for other people.. and I left my own damn shoes. I had my old old running shoes (that I just wear for walking) but those are WAY expired. Like run-in-and-cause-injury expired.

While I met the guys from my run club for our pre-race dinner.. my dad drove BACK an our and my mom drove OUT half an hour to meet and give him my shoes. I honestly have so much love for my parents. I pray that I would do the same for my kids (some day) – they’re seriously amazing. My mom was pissed at first.. but then she realized the situation. She’s a runner – she knows what’s up. Dinner was at Victoria’s and it was freaking fantastic. I got the best pasta EVER. And was absolutely stuffed. And would do it all over again (just maybe not every day) 😉 Mmm apparently I wasn’t too stuffed for ice cream cause that’s what my dad and I hit up when he got back from the EmergencyShoeRun.

Two of the guys + one girl in the photo were doing the relay (minus one leg of the team who wasn’t at dinner), and the rest of us were in it for the whole shabang. On our walk back to the hotel from dinner I snapped a photo with The Man at Soldiers Field (where we would finish). Apparently I think I’m some pretty hot stuff..?

So post-ice cream I wanted to head back to the hotel because I wanted a good night’s sleep. The race had a 7:00 am start, and the last shuttle for the start left at 6:20. I actually went to bed at 10:00 fairly easily.. had the traditional everything-goes-wrong dream and had to get up once to pee.. but other than than that slept a solid 7 hours before the alarms went off at 5:00 am. After a good cup of coffee and breakfast, (btw – pre-long run breakfast for me is chik’n nuggets. It’s not traditional pre run food by any means.. but it’s what I do!) I met the rest of the marathoners down in the lobby at 5:45 to go catch the bus. We made it to Byron (the start) in plenty of time for [multiple] pit stops, sweat bag drop-off, all the usual. There were those nature valley crispy granola bars (+ lots of other stuff) at the elementary school where we started.. so I ate one of those on a whim. 26 miles is sorta a long way 😉

It was already 60 degrees and humid by the start, but it could have been much worse. It was forecasted to be thunderstorming – something I can certainly do without. But even still.. I was in just a sports bra (+ tube-sock sleeves.. that trick’s a keeper!) already right off the bat. This guy who was running did a great job with the national anthem, and at 7:00 on the dot we were off.


I’m not gonna go through mile by mile with my splits or any of that (unless someone cares..) but my slowest mile was mile 3 at 8:02.. when I tried to pull myself back to make sure I didn’t go out to hard.. didn’t last long. That was my only mile in the 8s. My fastest mile was mile 26 at 7:02. I most definitely ran negative splits.. and it felt good the entire way through. Gomer’s (my garmin) time was 3:15:19 for 26.33 and my chip time was 3:20:53. Everyone was all up in arms about the finish times being off.. so I’ll call it 3:20 for piece of mind and be happy. I was the 2nd female finisher overall and am pretty freaking ecstatic! My Boston Qualifying time was 3:40.. so I will most definitely be running Boston since I’m moving there this fall!

The woman with me in almost all of the pictures on the course is named Mary, and I picked her up somewhere after my pit stop mile 6.7. We ran from there all the way to the finish.. and she didn’t even have to go the whole way! She was only registered for the 20 mile training run (she’s doing Grandma’s too), but finished the entire 26.2. She is absolutely amazing.. and that’s all I need to say.

During race pictures:

I think if you click on them you can make them bigger..

Mile 8 – Water cup clenched in one hand, a wave in the other, and a smile on my face! This was the first place I saw my dad, and just a little ways after Mary and I started running together.

Mile 10 – Look how grey it was!! I guess I should be thankful – I’m sure it kept the temps down.

Mile 12 – Already? I honestly didn’t even know what mile I was in for the majority of the race!

Mile ~13.3 – this would be right after the spot where the half-marathoners turn off.. and also the same place we’d return to for the finish. Couldn’t believe we were already half way done!

Mile ~19.5 – Heading down the street for the last “turn around” before we headed for the finish. After the turn around (at the end of this street) I opened up my last pack of sports beans. My pops also handed off a teeny water bottle to me (gotta love the amphipod!)

Mile 23 – only a 5K left!? I thought about the little 3 mile loop I used to do in my neighborhood when I was just beginning running.

Mile 25 – glanced at Gomer and realized we were going to come in under 3:20! We picked it up a little bit.. my split for mile 26 was 7:02 😀

Post race pictures:

Andy – myself – Mary. Andy was waiting at the finish area. Where did I put my medal?

Myself, Adam, and Breanne. We all PRd!!

Us + Andy.. who ran the half and took 2nd (also!!) with a freaking amazing time of 1:17.

Let me stress how important it is to MOVE and STRETCH and MOVE SOME MORE after you finish. If I hadn’t kept walking around afterwards I’m 100% sure this picture would not have been able to happen! I don’t know what I did that was so right but I’m like super mobile and walk-down-stairsable. Bending over to touch my toes – no problem. Sitting down onto the toilet (don’t laugh – you know what I’m talking about!) – no problem! Yeah, I feel a little sore. But I’ve felt more sore after a tough 400s workout on the track than I do right now (day after)!

The whole gang at “Cheap Charlie’s”. The place had a plaster pig on top of the roof. I don’t think I would eat there. Ever..? Cheap is definitely a proper description.. 😉 Anyways.. most important thing to say is everyone did fabulously!

Why is it that Applebee’s is always the go-to place for post race? Cause it’s fast. And cheap. And amazing. And my dad can get a good cold beer on tap 😀

And here my friends.. I completes my first “official” marathon’s race report. Some day I’ll print this out and make it into a little booklet to look back on. Myself (and Gomer 😉 ), along with many other runners completed a great marathon and had a fabulous time. Grandma’s is 26 days away, and I know that this is just one of many many more to come!


24 Responses

  1. congrats!

    and that is so sweet of your parents to arrange to get your shoes… shows you how much they love ya!

  2. Congrats Sperly! Qualifying for Boston is a friggin milestone in itself, that is definitly something to be proud of! Enjoy some rest days will you?! Haha. I tried to keep my post race report short too, but… false, very long, but it is good to keep a record of an awesome day like we had.

  3. Wow! Amazing job. I was thinking of you as I ran my half. I got a PR, too. (1:37:00 when I was aiming for 1:42!!!) I think I’m inspired to sign up for a marathon now…..

  4. Congratulations!! I could never dream of being able to do what you do, but it’s very inspiring and I’m totally cool with living vicariously… 😉

  5. congrats!! you’re a rock star 🙂

  6. Heyo, to answer your question, it was a simple typo, “bud connection” doesn’t exist, however, there are “bus connections” 🙂

    Hope it clears things up, haha. It was cool being on the T with a lot of runners, we all knew what everyone was there for!

  7. hey erika,

    i randomly found your blog and have to say CONGRATULATIONS! your time is awesome… your post is motivating me to finally run a marathon after years of 10ks and halfs.

    i’m also a student in boston (it’s my fifth year here, and i’m right near northeastern!) and have to say that you’ll love it here! best city ever. =)

  8. CONGRATS GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me just say I’m so jealous. You are so amazing. My goal is to try and be more “Sperly-like”. Yep.

    You ran a full in an hour over the time it took me to do a half.

    But in my defense I’ve only been running in the race world for a year…but still…you are so super-amazing!!!!

    YOU QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  9. Sweet race, Sperly! I am beyond impressed at how smart you raced your first marathon . . . I am going to think about your incredibly smart race when I toe the line in Duluth in 24 days 🙂

    You are still in college, right? I think you need to seriously consider shooting for the 2012 Olympic Trials. You are talented!

  10. I’ve tagged you! Go to my site for rules

  11. Hey Erika 🙂

    I actually cannot remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I am a total sucker for awesome running blogs and I have enjoyed reading your blog the past few days!! By the way, I went to school in Boston (live in Chicago now) and all I can say is that I am super envious of you! It is such an awesome city, and a FANTASTIC city to run in.

    I am serious about the Olympic Trials – shoot high – aim for that sub 2:47 in 2012. You are more talented than you realize and you have so much time to get stronger and faster!! For reference – I ran my first marathon as a senior in college in 3:13. I’m 28 now and I am gunning for a sub 2:50 (with any luck, a sub 2:47 in the fall). . . I never thought I would be here, but consistently putting in the miles and avoiding injury is magical.

    CONGRATS again on such a smart race!!!!


  12. You are absolutely incredible, Sperly! Great job with the marathon and congrats for BQing!

  13. Wow, that’s awesome. Congratulations!!

  14. You’re awesome. Period.

    (PS) Is that Costco water good? That VitaRain drink? I always see it but have never bought it! Let me know!
    (PPS) I remembered that you mentioned you can’t find your fave cereal Kashi Vive anymore and my Whole Foods sells it! So if need be, gimme your addy and I can send you some!

  15. Thanks so much everyone for the kind words and encouragement! It’s hard for me to post my own comment because that usually means an end to the post – time to move on – and I don’t want this experience to be over! It’s cool to think that other people – people that I don’t even know – can read my story and be inspired, or at least just care enough to read it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost deleted my blog.. but times like this give me the will to keep it.

    Lindsey>> You’re right about my parents. It meant so much to me for my dad to be there!

    Brian>> I loved reading your race report! Can’t wait for the action shots. I know what you mean about that atmosphere- being surrounded by other runners. Love it!

    JPet7>> Hah.. it’s addicting isn’t it?

    Jenn>> Thanks so much! LOL that’s how I feel about my friend who does Tris

    hk>> Thanks! I might not be quite at rock-star-status yet.. but you gotta have something to work for 😉

    Vicky>> Where do you go in Boston? I’m going to miss my usual lakes SO much.. tell me there are more places to run out there than just the river!

    Courtney>> You are actually like the most motivational person I know. You should teach a spin class 😀

    Bridget>> Well hopefully I can be as smart about rest and recovery! Judging by how things are sounding for you, you’ve got serious chances at those qualifiers! Where did you go in Boston? Any advice for Boston 09?

    Leng>> Haha I keep putting off doing the 5 facts.. I’ve been tagged like 4 times! Next post.. promise.

    Christina>> Aww you still remember me!! I’ve been MIA lately. And THANKS!

    Arielle>> Thanks 🙂 I really did have an amazing time.

    Kootz>> So you – mighty one – you gotta give me the inside dirt on what I really need to know for Boston!

    Julz>> Thanks so much. Mmm the VitaRain is OK.. I used to really like it but now its starting to taste too flavored. LOL we have Whole Foods here.. but I just don’t like shopping there. If I can’t find Vive anywhere else.. I guess I could go there 😉

    “Dan”>> Well I obviously didn’t approve your comment.. but I did sit down for like 20 minutes this morning to write you an email. It didn’t get returned to me.. but I also didn’t get a response. If you posted a bogus email, would you at least leave a comment with the real one so I could give you an answer?

  16. Wow, you are a rock star! You motivate me to get runn-in’!

  17. What brand/style socks do you wear when you run? I have trouble finding socks that work for my small feet.

  18. That’s funny–we went to Applebee’s after my marathon last year, too.


  19. […] me than proving I can run sub 8s for a long training run. I ran into this situation two years ago when I was training for Med City – running with a group that is slower than my pace – but I seemed to do just fine when […]

  20. I love the picture of you smiling and getting a drink of water. I was curious as to if I could use your picture on the Med City Marathon site this year. That is such a great photo!

    I look forward to hearing from you, and I hope you are planning to come join us again in Rochester!
    Niki Olive

  21. […] 30th – Med City Marathon (See my race report from when I last did that […]

  22. […] being outside in the fresh air. But 20 miles can get long when you’re going alone, so having marathon buddies certainly […]

  23. […] really now I’m an idiot. REALLY!?! Who forgets their helmet?!? Oh wait.. the girl who also forgot her SHOES for the marathon. Awesome. At that moment, I was seriously thinking I was not going to be racing […]

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