Dear Runner Lovers,
During an interview yesterday, I had a good time! I was having a conversation that went both ways, so it was not just me asking the questions! That has not really happened before.. but we talked about our first marathon experiences (hahah)! It is so funny, you will always remember your first marathon. Of course it is the most special because your first marathon is what made you a marathoner, and nothing will every change that. Crossing the finish line and becoming a marathoner, brought me into the happiest chapter of my life. At the same time, there were little things I would change looking back. Everyone makes a mistake during their first time running 26.2 miles. It is just the most magical and funniest race ever to look back on, especially after running a few more!
Things I did Wrong During My First Marathon
I only ate one jellybean, throughout the entire race! It is just so hard to run with jellybeans...
I did NOT drink anything!
I wore brand spanking new Under-Armour sneakers!
I wore a cotton t-shirt, and sweat so much...ughhh
I wore a new pair of shorts! They matched my sneakers, but tore off my skin a little bit....
I forgot to make a playlist before the race! I had to manually change the song on my IPod, literally every four minutes. (actually, I listened to, Unwritten, on repeat for a while, and still love it:D)
I only ate half of a cliff bar for breakfast, that morning...and oh how I wish, I just devoured the entire thing...because that was not enough fuel to run 26.2 miles, at all.
The night before my race, I did not carb load at all! Just salad and pastry for dessert...
I chose one of the hilliest marathons in the world to be my first... The Maine Marathon (all hills, everywhere).
I ran the first half in a little over 1:30.... and significantly slowed down the second half, because my e-tank was empty.
Everything That Went AMAZING During My First Marathon!
My outfit looked perfect, and everyone complemented me the entire 26.2 miles!
My mom and dad wore matching sweatshirts with my college name on the front! I love our pictures :D
I met so many amazing runners along the way, it is always nice to make new friends!
A few of my college professors came to the race, and cheered me on!
My name was announced as I crossed the finish line, I felt like a superstar!
After crossing the finish line, I felt invincible because my dream came true! Nothing can stop a girl who dreams :D
Hugging my parents while wearing my marathon medal, truly the happiest moment of my life! We went through so much, but in the end conquered it all!
Living and Learning
All in all, my first marathon was exhilarating! Not only was that journey very physical, it was an emotional roller-coaster. The key for me was staying calm, cool, collected and confident. Even though there were doubts in my mind, I kept my eyes on the horizon up to the finish line. Everything was worth it! Through trail and error over the past few years, I have improved immensely in every aspect of my marathoning.
Training for my first marathon, I never ran over 18 miles. That sounds like a lot, but if you think about it there are 8.2 miles after 18 miles in a 26.2 mile race. Your body changes after mile 18... and that is when you say one foot in front of the other, hahah! Now, I am so comfortable running two 22 mile runs in one weekend( if I am in that kind of mood). I probably would not be comfortable with two long runs in one weekend, but when I was training for my 50 mile race that is what I had to do. Once you get there, it is just what you happen to run, I suppose... The longest training run I have ever done was 35 miles ( a long time ago, 1.5 years ago). Now, I am never running more than 26.2 miles again in my life! Everyone needs to experiment with different mileage to find out what they like.
These days, my diet is perfection. Oatmeal and banana with coffee for breakfast, a big salad for lunch and whatever for dinner. I also learned, that protein makes all of your torn muscles go back together! So I always snack on almonds, get the Hershey kisses with almonds in them... sometimes I even invest in a protein shake. The days leading up to a race I eat bagels, bread, pasta, and anything else with carbs that I can get my hands on. It is huge to get carbs in the week before a marathon because that is your fuel. During a race, I eat an energy gel every five miles. I put all my gels in my sports bra, and throw the packet away at the next water station! I try to only drink twice, or three times maybe. If you are thirsty then it is too late, so make sure to drink! Keep in mind, it is impossible to take in the amount of calories you are going to burn off in a 26.2! You NEED to EAT!!! Eat everything!!!
Once I found my magic sneakers, I bought every color! So, every 400 miles I switch sneakers, and then wear the comfiest old pair in my race. I find my cool shorts, legging, and sports bras months before a race and wear them a million times. The night before I race, I make sure that I have my favorite hot pink pair of Nike race socks laying on my dresser. Looking for socks the morning of your race, an hour before, is the worst! I never race with headphones, now. The only thing that has never changed, is my best training partner, that beautiful Garmin stopwatch.
Overall, every runner learns more about themselves and their sport through years of experience. Being a marathoner, is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The marathon started an entire new chapter of my life, and so far it is my absolute favorite chapter. Feeling like my twenties will be better than my teens in terms of racing, I am going to keep working hard and enjoy my future running adventures.
That Pretty Runner