Turns out I forgot to hit publish on this baby.
Just one more post on this one and then I'll stop.
Really. Because there is so much more life to cover!
It's been well over a month of digesting this marathon.
All things considered, I should be thrilled with how things went.
And really, I'm mostly happy with it. I am.
But it has left me wanting more.
It's frustrating when you know you are capable of more than you were able to give.
It's hard to have spent months in preparation only to not have all of that come to fruition.
I am thrilled I made it to the start line. I am pleased with my finish time, which I realize I never shared, 4:01:57.
Gotta be honest, it kills me that it was so stinkin' close to sub 4 but just not quite there.
Overall finish of 947 out of 2531, 347 out of 1208 Women, and 80 out of 246 age group.
I did end up with my second blister ever from running, a reminder that running for hours in wet socks and shoes isn't optimal. But all toenails were still blissfully happy and intact. And really-one blister after 4 hours/26 miles in soggy shoes?! That's pretty fantastic.
On the flip side, no matter how awesome the product is that you use to avoid chafing (2Toms Sportshield is the very best btw), you will chafe when spending that much time and distance in wet clothes, even if you have tested out your clothing choice multiple times to make sure it's the right one.
I guess the good news is that I hadn't even noticed these spots until I climbed in the hot shower to try and stop my post race shivering?
So what did I learn from all of this?
-I trained well, and had a good base before officially starting training. Having those extra months of mileage building really did help me. My body held up really well, no injuries, and I felt strong throughout this training cycle.
-I very much enjoy and prefer running in cool temperatures. 38* and raining and I was perfectly comfortable (temperature wise) in a tank and skirt and sleeves. Even though they were wet.
-I am a strong runner. I may not be a particularly fast runner, but my body holds up well over distance. I really enjoy being out there for the long run and my body responds well. (Hmm....Ultra anyone?!?)
-Spring marathons are the best/worst. Awesome motivation to keep mileage and workouts up over the winter. Running in single digit temps and snow sucks. But running 18mi through slushy snow during this training cycle made running 26 in rain not seem so bad. While you never know what weather will do, odds are more likely that it will not be ideal in the spring here.
-Race day is always a crap shoot. You can't ever predict how the weather will be. Or what your body will do. Or how your mind will react. You do your best and work hard, but there are no guarantees.
-I am enthralled and enchanted with the marathon. Partly for the reasons above-you just never know how it's going to go. Which is odd because I have always been such a type A, play it safe kind of person. Funny how things change. But also partly because of the amazing feeling when you think about the fact that you just ran that distance...it reminds you of just how many amazing things you are capable of. It taps into a place inside that opens up all sorts of strength.
-Running is a gift. It is a privilege to get out there with a strong, capable body (even when it isn't 100%) and soak up the beauty of the world around me. It is a privilege to be surrounded by the energy of a couple thousand people who are as crazy as, and crazier than myself.
-There are so many good people out there. Spectators, Volunteers, and other runners all played a part in reminding me again how much good there really is in the world.
-I am capable of more than I thought. In the past I have had ideas of what my PR goals could/should be, but now I am seeing that more is possible. It's ok to aim high, and sometimes it's ok to fall short of that. You have to take the bad with the good. Obviously it should be kept realistic, but pushing myself to work harder, to train smarter, and to eventually run faster is something I can do.
Less than 100 days till I get the opportunity to see how it pays off.
Hopefully things will go better in October than they did in May. Hopefully I can hit the goals I have set for myself. But if not, as long as I appreciate the experience and enjoy the adventure, it will still be well worth it.
Get out and live!