One year ago today, I did something I never thought I would be capable of. I ran a marathon.
While I was incredibly proud of training, running and finishing that race I still can’t help but be a little disappointed. A 5:23 finish time is NOT the time I trained for. I fully expected to finish between 4:50-5:00 hours. But, I got caught up in the excitement, started out way too fast and ran into trouble early.
I hit the wall crazy early, because I stopped taking gels at around mile 8. I’m not sure if it was because I was so nervous, or I drank too much water, or if it was the flavor of the gels but I could not handle them. I got one down around mile 4 and then it was game over. I tried another at 8 and gagged before I could even open the packet up. I had to rely on water and Gatorade for the next 18 miles. Not cool, dude. I’d never had that problem before and it’s never happened since then *knock on wood* I held on to a 5 hour pace for the first 15 miles, but somewhere between 15-16 the 5 hour pace group caught up to me and dropped me like a bad habit soon after. I run/walked for the rest of the race. At mile 20, my brother and sister in law were waiting for me, and she ran the last 6 miles with me. I don’t know what I would have done without her. When I wasn’t sure if I could take another step, she kept me going.
I made a lot of rookie mistakes that contributed to my downfall but now that I know what those mistakes were, I can work on avoiding those next time.