No time like the present for some things. I figured, post about my run while it is still fresh in my mind...and body. I ran my marathon yesterday, things did not turn out exactly as planned. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm happy about it, but sad wouldn't sum it up either. If you read my last post, no expectations is what I said, and that was true. 26.2 miles can be unpredictable. My goal was to start out slow, and I did it! Sound so proud of myself I know, I think it is the first time I have succeeded at that. I held back and enjoyed going slow enough to get warmed up and into the groove.
Ran next to the nicest guy, miles 7 through 12 or so, talking about all kinds of things. He said he was hoping to do 3:40, that was what I had in mind too. It was his 30th marathon, at 60 years old! I was happily on my first*. He lost me just short of the half, I was starting to slow a bit, thinking, that 13.1 sure seemed long.
I had been experiencing some foot pain in my left foot, hoping it would subside I pressed on. The foot pain continued to get worse, and then just due to the mileage, I started to feel both feet. This surprisingly ended up being the least of my worries. At 15 or 16 miles my right hamstring felt like it was going to cramp, and it did, never had anything like it happen in training, off to the side of the road I went to very carefully stretch. My hydration was good, I had already had two gels. Although looking back, it seemed that I wasn't sweating as much as usual. Usually I am soaked. So here I am, not doing well at all, 10 miles to go. It took a long time to get to the finish. I met a few nice people along the way though. Two guys in particular, well trained, were having similar experiences. Misery loves company, talking to them allowed me not to be so hard on myself. I really can't say that though, being hard on yourself under those conditions wasn't actually on my mind. Happy to be putting one foot in front of the other felt like I was doing the best I could, what more could I ask of myself. I was at that point, getting passed by many people, most having encouraging things to say, thank you to them, it was helpful.
Funny, I read about things that people fear about running a marathon, or any race actually, and that is coming in last. When you are putting so much effort into something and really digging down deep, I can honestly say I would have been proud to have been last. I think finishing is winning, everybody has to run their own race. On that day, that was my race, who knows why, sh@t happens I guess.
So taking the good with the bad. Ok, I did do the first 13.1 in 1 hr 50 min, that was my goal. I started off slow as I mentioned, super happy about that. Regardless about the final outcome, I will forever hold onto the memory of the beginning of the race, surrounded by people that had all come together to share in an activity, to challenge themselves. It is amazing the feeling of camaraderie, and support I felt, being surrounded by all those wonderful people. I was surprisingly relaxed, very pleased that my training had brought me here to this day. We all stood there, removed our hats, faced the American flag, flying so proudly, in the breeze, against the clear blue sky. As the Star Spangled Banner was beautifully sung, I held my head high, and felt the warm sun on my face. I had already won in my mind, and I had not yet crossed the starting line. I am already looking forward to the next race, just maybe something shorter, just to get my confidence back a little anyway.