What if? What if? What if? What if I trained harder? What if I slowed my pace at the beginning? What if I would’ve had more speed training, hill training, etc? These and so many other thoughts run through your head after running a marathon that you had higher hopes for. I know it’s a great feat to complete a marathon, but sometimes it’s a bit of a letdown when you wanted more from it.
I was reading other blog posts and came across Suann’s. I’m stealing/borrowing her first 2 paragraphs as I could totally relate:
We have different points in a marathon where we breakdown. It's that time in the race where you don't really know if it's mental or physical. Your body hurts. You wrestle with your head because you know it's supposed to hurt now. You fight off every urge to slow down, to keep from walking.
Then the Lord Voldemort of marathons visits your head. You look at your watch and realize, I don't have this goal today. You let him convince yourself it's ok to not give it your all. He tells you it's ok, there's another race. And at the time, he comforts you. But when you get to the finish line, you're pissed. All that training, all that work, I could have pushed harder. What if I didn't start walking at mile 17? What if I just took it slower in the beginning? What if? What if? What if?
I felt like I prepared well enough for the race. Yes, it was very humid. Yes, it was pretty darn windy. Yes, it seemed like the hills were never going to end. But, darn it, I put all of that training into it. I wanted to run the race at a time that I thought possible. How is it that I can run a Half Marathon at a 8:33 pace, but cannot hold onto a 9:30 pace for more 17 or 20 miles? I know… I know… the wall, glycogen stores, and all that. I just HAD to vent for once. OK, I’m done. I feel better! :)
Thanks to Ursula and Cairo for following me around on the course. I know it’s a challenge navigating foreign roads and closed streets... you guys are ROCK STARS!
We got to Fort Worth nice and early. I saw some DRC friends and hit the potty before the race. Ursula & Cairo stayed with me at the Starting line until it started. I was psyched and ready to go! First song that Pandora served up for me was Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics. Not sure if I HAD sweet dreams. It was a weird selection based off of the station. So glad that my phone battery and Internet connection lasted the entire race.
Even though it was humid from the start, I felt pretty good through the first 14 miles or so. I even powered up the dreaded mile 9 hill on Main street. That was a doozy!
It was great seeing Ursula & Cairo at mile 6 at the Stockyards. That was one of the coolest places to run through. I gave them both a hug & a kiss. They couldn’t believe how sweaty I was from the first 6 miles.
We were suppose to meet up at mile 13 or so, but unfortunately they tried to surprise me at mile 9 or 10. In doing so, they landed up on the Half Marathon route after the split. They tried to catch back up to me at 14, but it didn’t work out so they decided to go to the 3rd spot at mile 20.
It was great to see them at mile 20. I really needed to see them! I felt instant relief as I put on my CEP compression socks. They felt so good that I thought I’d be able to run a lot more. It didn’t work out that way.
I had goals of running from water stop, but that didn’t work out as well. It’s so deflating to see the pace leaders and groups pass you by as you ultimately see your goal times pass you by. You’re like, “Wait! Wait!”, but to no avail.
After all this whining & complaining on this blog post, I still wouldn’t give up this experience! It’s a challenge, it’s hard, it’s a flippin’ marathon!
I love the words of wisdom, my non-running wife, Ursula, gave me at mile 20… “Your finishing the marathon is your PR!” I thought and chewed on that for the last 6.2 miles. It was hard to swallow! But, it’s something that I have to come to get comfortable with.
A bonus was that after the race, Cairo said that he wants to run a Half Marathon with me… how cool is that!?!
Was it perfect, no, but marathon #4 is in the books. I’m looking forward to the next one on May 1st… just 60 days away! :) Yes, I’m addicted!