Just a couple of random thoughts swirling through my head about my first marathon!! I can't share all of the things I think about this marathon with you, because ain't nobody got time for that! Instead I just compiled a few of my most note-worthy notes.
1. No music.
I ran the entire marathon without a note of music. Okay, that's not true; I busted out some Maroon 5 during Mile 17, but that doesn't count. Since I never run without music, this really, really surprised me! However, I remember so much from the marathon that I probably would have missed if I was jamming it out, so I'm not sorry it panned out to be a silent run. Mostly I'm just glad that I didn't drop my earphones that I was carrying in my hands the entire time. Even if you never run without music, try racing without it, it's totally cool.
2. Finish line.
I may be the only person in the world who would ever consider running a marathon without someone waiting at the finish line, but if you are like me-- listen up. Have someone at the finish line. My marathon experience was amazing and I wouldn't change it at all- everything about it- the good, the bad and the ugly, it all was worth it. But, that said- it's not cool to finish and be alone. Bring a pal, bribe a stranger or throw your arms around a random race volunteer and pretend you mistook them for a family member- but have someone there to celebrate with you!!
3. That great big wall.
Oh- 'the wall'. You hear runners talk about it in a variety of distances, but especially in the marathon distance. That wall when you just can't mentally go on, and that translates into physically stopping and wanting to quit. The marathon was tough, but I never hit that wall. I got tired in Mile 21, and Mile 24-26 were tough physically, but I never doubted that I could go on.
4. Other runners.
I love the running community. There were several times during the race that I would be running on pace with someone and we'd strike up a conversation. That is one of the things that I love most about races- the other amazing athletes that you meet and learn from!!
5. Peanut Butter Toast.
Paleo-schmaleo--- I don't care if wheat is bad for you, there is no better pre-race breakfast than pb toast. True story. I'm pretty sure the only thing that kept me from a sub-5 hour marathon was not having pb toast in my system- I kid you not. Nothing else cuts it. If you're preparing for a race- keep this in mind. PB toast is where it's at.
6. 26.2 - ever again?
I think most marathoners fall into two different categories. 1. You finish, cross "26.2" off your bucket-list and have zero desire to ever do such a ridiculous thing again. 2. You finish and immediately start planning for your next 26.2 race- when, where and what to wear- you are hooked for life.
I'd have to say- I'm on the fence. I loved it, but I'm not raring to go again anytime in the near future. But, I'm the most indecisive person that ever walked the planet, so don't quote me on that. If a race-registration notification pops up in one of my posts later this year, don't be too terribly shocked.