Back at you again and guess what I finished my very first marathon and will be sharing 6 things i learned from my First Marathon. Yep, i did it. You can read all about my training here.
It was such a crazy experience, I mean i do not want to say it was an amazing experience because I went through so many emotions all through that day especially during the race. It was the Baltimore running festival in downtown Baltimore. We got there at about 6:30 am and joined the crowd walking towards the location. Hubby was my number one fan lol, insta-snapping and cheering me on. He even met me at mile 13.1 to cheer me. I wanted to go hug him but the thought of how many steps i had to make from where i was to him (my ankle got injured) got me re-thinking. Anyway, so it took me about 5hours and 57 minutes to complete it. I went in without any particular goal time although i kinda wanted to finish it up more around 5 hours mark. I even joined the 5-hour pacing group. Funny thing is, i was not exhausted but the pain in my ankles was insane.
The days leading up to the marathon: Never running a marathon again
Morning of marathon: hmm i might do this again
During marathon: Arghhh why did i sign up for this, i am never doing this again
After marathon: not sure if i would do it again
Days after: hmmm i might actually do it again…… looking up some races for next year lolll
Proper training: Yep, i did not train completely. I was following the Hal Higdon plan but somehow never made it past mile 13 in training. It’s a huge time commitment to train for a marathon. Things always came up and eventually it was like starting all over again towards the marathon date. I think if i had trained better, i would have had a much better experience. I injured my left ankle around mile 14 and nearly called the ambulance to just take me back. I had to stop several times and just chill, then walk, walk, walk then run then walk lol. At several points, i thought i should be at mile 20, looked up and only mile 16. I questioned every crazy thing in me that made me do a marathon.
Commitment: This was huge for me. Like i said earlier, i nearly called the ambulance to take me back but just the thought of all the training i did (even though not full 100%) and all the prayers, support etc, i had to finish it. Now i do not mean giving up because of an injured leg was bad but i just felt i owed it to myself to finish. This has been my goal since i ran my half marathon in 2013. I just had to finish it.
Prayer: This is so important. We prayed and prayed before the marathon for a safe running area, strength etc. When my ankle started hurting, i would stop, stretch, take some mustard (cause i had heard that helps cramps lol). I remember a point where i was in so much pain. I stopped at the side and just sat down and prayed. I bet people must have been like what is she doing. But i prayed, i basically just asked God to help me finish, to give me his legs to finish the marathon lol. I mean it was a prayer for the moment lol. Cause at some points i wanted to cry. I questioned why i had decided to do a marathon.
Support: This goes for both before and during the race. One thing i do wish i had more of was friends around me that loved working out like i do lol. Kind of a hard shot. Most of my fitness friends are people i met online and support each other online. Towards the end of the marathon, around mile 21, i saw this group of runners, 4 of them doing a run then walk sequence throughout. I watched them for about 2 miles and then decided to join in. I was secretly doing it behind them and omg it made a world of difference. I eventually told them “hey i am following you guys from now on” lollll. We completed it together and those were one of the best miles of the marathon, besides miles 1 to 13. If I do decide to do another marathon, i will definitely be joining a running community to help keep me going.
Music: During the marathon, they had said to experience the race and cheers not to use music but for me, music is bliss. I used a narrative instead with Audible. I listened to “Is everyone hanging out with me (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling. This got me through miles 1 through 20, then it ended and i tried to play music and my phone battery died. It was me and my thought from mile 20 to 26.2 loll. I am thankful though cause a friend of mine had to run nearly the entire thing without a phone. Her phone did a weirdo and gave up at mile 2. Geez, i would have been pissed.
Fuel: I used Tailwind Nutrition and loved it. I got the raspberry flavor of their fuel. I have so many great reviews. I used Gatorade before but my tummy sometimes doesn’t do great with it and i was worried about the gels and others.
Gear: Hydration pack
Have you ran a marathon or marathons before? What are your tips?