First of all, a huge thanks to all the volunteers and spectators, who were wonderful. Especially my boyfriend Jeff, who has been so patient with me through training, and cheered all race with my parents. They were awesome cheerers. (Thank you all so much!)
I was overwhelmed by the level of fan support in a smallish city marathon. Special thanks to the families of St. Jude, who came out in the cold and did the most heartfelt cheering I’ve ever experienced as we ran through the St. Jude campus. In mile 4 it warmed my heart. In mile 24 it was fuel, every bit as much as the Gu or Powerade. I looked down as I exited and saw a 9:10 pace on my Garmin. That was not happening in mile 24 without the St. Jude energy. Also, I owe a huge thanks and congrats to my new race-friends and course tour guides. They rocked it.
Marathons are harder than a rookie can imagine, I think. My body is wrecked like it has never been wrecked before – like I imagine someone would feel after playing a physical football game, or maybe after childbirth? It’s a pain I didn’t know how to prepare myself for. I expected hard, but it was hhhhhhhhaaarrrd.
I can do better. Let me clarify: I’m not being self-critical and I’m not saying I’ll for sure run another marathon in he spring, or ever. I executed my gameplan – I pushed myself hard, didn’t hit the wall, and learned something about the physical limits of a marathon. If I run another, I’ll be able to push myself harder just for knowing firsthand what to expect. And I don’t plan to run another marathon in the spring. It will be fall or beyond if it happens.
Consistent pounding on angled road camber is the devil. My IT band hasn’t given me the slightest niggle for over a year, and it hurt me so bad on a late-race downhill that I shed actual tears. The unavoidable camber of the Parkways is my biggest criticism of the race. More on this later.
Maybe I’m better at running hills than I thought. My fastest split was between half and 19.6, which was also the hardest and hilliest portion of the course. Inconclusive, but food for thought.
I have all my toenails. I thought losing your toenails was a marathon thing. Mine are going strong. Obvious conclusion: I didn’t really run a marathon.
Half marathons are awesome. The half marathon might be the perfect distance, and it’s way less than half as painful than the marathon.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Share your thoughts on the race with me if you ran it, in past years or this year!