Thank you for such kind comments on my previous post! I've said it before, but I'll say it again- I am blown away by the kind of support you all give me, and I'm so grateful to be in this community! (pssst- be on the lookout for a sweet giveaway later this week!!!)
I've been licking my wounded ego since Sunday while at the same time analyzing what went wrong and what I'm going to do differently for my next marathon (yeah, it didn't take me long, did it?). If you're running a marathon, please take this to heart. Shoot, if you're running any race, take this to heart! (but remember I've only run two of these mothers, so what do I really know?)
Mother Nature can be relentless. You can't control what is going to happen on race day. The heat and humidity is what did me in, I think. It zaps your energy and leaves you crippled. Hydrate hydrate hydrate! Know the signs of dehydration, know how to combat it, and know when to slow down. Cramping sucks, so make sure you can replace your sodium loss. Don't expect to run at the same pace/effort in 80 degree weather as 50 degree weather.
Practice your race plan, and for the love of God, stick to it! I knew I would do best if I incorporated walking into every mile or so, yet I blasted through the first 10 miles with little to no walking. Stupid! Whatever your plan of attack is, practice it during your long runs and don't let ANYONE talk you out of it on race day.
For real, go easy on the first 13 miles. Hold back. You should feel like you're not trying hard enough. After the half marathoners finish and start their cocktail hour, THEN you put the pedal to the metal, with whatever energy you have left. There is no such thing as "time in the bank" during the first 13 miles. If you're ahead of your splits, that's time on your credit card that you'll have to pay back later... with interest.
Every volunteer, medical staffer, and police officer deserves your gratitude- thank them for being out there.
How important is time?
To some, very important. Their finish time is everything. But think long and hard about how you're going to feel if you don't reach your desired time. Try setting non-time oriented goals (i.e. run strong, make a new friend, perfect fueling strategy, increase strides per minute, etc). Don't rely solely on the stopwatch to find your self-worth. After all, you never know when it won't be your day.
Respect the Distance
Don't assume you're a super hero and can leap over tall buildings without proper training (to some extent, I think I'm guilty of this). Yes, you can leap over the tall buildings, but you need to practice jumping. Never, ever, EVER underestimate the power of your long run. Always take it seriously.
Don't fear The Wall
It's just another way of saying "butt stinking tired." It's not the end of the world- you run through it. It sucks and you'll want to throw in the towel, but have faith that "this too shall pass." Relentless forward progression.
Go for the "F"
DNS= did not start, DNF= did not finish, DFL= dead last, TATT= too afraid to try, and F= finisher. Go for the F. Or the DFL (those placements usually make for better stories anyway).
What do you have to add?
I finally put up the medal hanger David got me for Christmas. I couldn't decide where to put it, but I finally wound up putting it on the wall next to my side of the bed. It's the first thing I see when I wake up.
I noticed the medal from the Gainesville marathon has a big "finisher" typed on the bottom. It made me realize that I didn't earn any of these medals based on my time (ha!), but rather from crossing the finish line. That's what it's all about.
all my pretties... (said in a creepy voice)
I'm slowly figuring this running thing out... one race at a time.