This post is a bit overdue as I ran my first marathon last Sunday on March 26th, but hey, I have been pretty low functioning this past week. Also!!! I turned 26 the week before my race and ran 26+ miles ON the 26th of the 3rd month – 26/26/26, 3 times! Isn’t numerology great?! Now that you have seen my full nerd side, let us move on to how insane running a marathon is…
The first marathon commemorated the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C. According to legend, Pheidippides ran the approximately 25 miles to announce the defeat of the Persians to some anxious Athenians. Not quite in mid-season shape, he delivered the message “Niki!” (Victory!) then keeled over and died. (Live Science)
I can see why Pheidippides would die from running such mileage when untrained! I experienced so many different emotions while running my marathon. For example, around mile 20 I started to cry and I honestly could not tell you why as it was not pain induced but just completely emotional – kind of like tears of pure insanity (I understand the bumper stickers now!). Of course I got my act together, told myself “you are going to run every goddamn mile of this course and you will not stop until you cross that finish line,” and I kept moving forward. I’m not thrilled with myself about my time as I dropped 2 min/mile slower in the second half, setting me over my 4 hour goal time – but hey, it’s important to listen to your body and when your body naturally starts to slow down and says “I will support you through this insanity but you gotta slow down you fucking loony toon” what do you do? You slow down.
By no means is my journey to my marathon anything to base your potential training off of but I do believe that my work for my half marathon time was really great. I PR’ed for my half at 1 hour and 54 minutes, shaving about 30 minutes overall from my previous half marathon race time. I will chalk my marathon pace up to just not having done enough long runs, I never got around to running a 20 mile in preparation for the race and I highly regret it. I kept making excuses or it kept snowing (which was my major excuse as I was fearful of falling on ice). Anyway. Point is, there is a lot that goes into training and I will continue to write small bits of my advice as I continue to train for a few half marathons I’ve signed up for the rest of this calendar year.
If I can give you any advice before you start running it is this:
YOUR SHOES MATTER
I wrote a long post on Instagram (prior to creating this blog) about the importance of taking care of your feet and splurging a bit on your shoes. My FitBit tracker said I took 46,000 steps on my race day! I’m sure some of that is just from normal walking around, so at least 42k are from the race alone! THAT IS SO MANY STEPS, THAT IS ALMOST YOUR ENTIRE WEEK’S WORTH!
So yeah, spend a little more on your shoes and buy your gear at TJ Maxx. No judgement on apparel here! But I will peep TF out of your kicks. #TeamAsics
(Replace Your Damn Shoes)
I will revisit this topic multiple times, because like all true Northern Californians: once a cross country runner, always a cross country runner. Also because running is my therapy.
And as proof that NorCal just breeds distance runners like nobody’s business: Shout out to Ryan and Sara Hall who are two of America’s premier distance runners from the 707!