Well, I ran a marathon. And I didn’t die.
I don’t suppose there’s much that could have made my first marathon experience any better (besides having my boyfriend there – he was attending a film program in Maine). I suppose I could have trained more, I could have wrapped my feet, I could have eaten more on-course, I could have hydrated more, the list goes on and on. That being said, I did it, I ran most of it, I walked a little, and 5 and a half hours later it was over and I could call myself a marathon runner. BOOM.
I won’t make this long, but I’ll cover the things that matter.
I did NOT follow a training regimen in the slightest. I tried, but life just gets in the way. Plus, I like to do ALL THE THINGS, and creating a life around training for a marathon does not allow for doing all the things. The longest training run I personally did was 18 miles. We heard from a friend of ours that 18 miles was all you needed to be prepared and that your adrenaline would carry you the rest of the way. All the training plans we’ve seen go to at least 20, if not more. If running is your thing and you can commit to a plan, I highly recommend it. Consistency is your friend.
2. On-Course Nutrition & Hydration
CHEEZ-ITS! THEY HAD CHEEZ-ITS AT MILE 9!! Deanna and I agree that the Cheez-Its were the best part of the course. After you’ve been downing gels, beans and any other candy-like gummies for hours, some crunchy, salty, cheesy munchies are a saving grace. I carried my water bottle and downed Gatorade (or “Sports Drink”) at every station, and between that, my Jelly Belly Sport Beans and my Power Bar Energy Blasts, I think it’s fair to say that I felt well nourished. Obviously we stuffed our faces post-race, but on-course my legs bothered me more than my stomach. I call that a win in the nutrition department.
3. Overall Physical Condition
Miles 1-14 I felt great. Miles 14-19 I was hurting, and miles 20-26 I was just pushing through. Deanna and I ran the first 15 miles together until we caught up with Lauren, who we lost at mile 2 when she pushed ahead. She had hurt her knee and we could see her limping ahead. I walked/ran a few paces with her while Deanna moved on, and at mile 19 Lauren told me to go ahead. I ran miles 19-24 by myself until I caught back up with Deanna who stopped for a bathroom break, and we ran the last 2 miles together. Crossing the finish line with her was very emotional, as we remembered our “running club” that we started in 2011 where we’d huff and puff through one mile and then high five each other and celebrate with a fat burrito. We’ve come a long way. When Lauren came across the finish line we got even more emotional. We wiped our tears, grabbed Laura who had finished the Half Marathon, and took our obligatory finish line photo:
All in all, I’m very happy I did it and I don’t think I could have been pushed without Lauren and Deanna by my side. I don’t think I’ll make it a regular part of my fitness routine, and to be completely honest, I haven’t run once since the marathon with the exception of Fustercluck and the Las Vegas Zombie Run. I’m enjoying the break from training, and I don’t feel bad at all about it!
I’ll lace up again soon; maybe I’ll just get through the holidays first…
Gear Used for My First Marathon:
Read DEANNA’S marathon experience.
Read LAUREN’S marathon experience.