My thoughts on a marathon….

Marathon

Here’s the recap of my first marathon if you somehow missed it, as if I haven’t talked about it enough…

As I’ve said, I was completely shocked and overwhelmed by how mental a marathon is.  For me, it was about 80% mental and 20% physical.  I don’t think you can truly understand how mentally difficult a marathon is until you run one; I sure didn’t.  It definitely gives me an appreciation for anyone who has ran one.

Part of the surprise was because this my first marathon and I didn’t know what to expect so next time I’ll be more prepared.  I had run the full distance before, but when you’re in the actual race it’s so different because your mind keeps doubting yourself as you get more tired…. “You can’t keep up this pace, you’re gonna have to walk, there’s so much further to go, you’ll never finish…”  It was really hard for me to keep a positive attitude but I tried to continually remind myself of the good stuff and that was basically whatever I could think of, “Wow, I’ve already ran 14 miles!  I’m in double digits, I’m in a rhythm, I haven’t pooped my pants yet!”

The marathon was physically hard, but not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  I think the last half marathon that I ran I worked just as hard if not more.  But mentally it was definitely on the top of the list.  More mentally difficult than the insurmountable feeling of leaving for Alaska with hundreds of thousands of pounds of halibut to catch.

The things I’m proud of:

  • I didn’t psych myself out or put a ton of pressure on myself to perform.  Besides the normal race day jitters, I was pretty calm about the whole thing.
  • I trained for a marathon in 41 training runs over a 3 month period and even more importantly, didn’t re-injure myself.  I did the stretching, icing, rest days, cross training, and core work even though I still think it’s lame and I’d much rather be checking celeb gossip online. or watching my hair grow.
  • During the race I didn’t break down or let up.  It was tough and I wanted to, but I just kept going.

The things I need to work on:

  • Being mentally tougher next time around.
  • Pacing myself better, especially in the middle of the race.

Although I don’t want to negate what I accomplished, a tiny part of me feels that because I came so close to the BQ cut off, it’s not as valid.  I know this is dumb, but I want to qualify and not have to use the 59 second cushion.  I guess it will motivate me to run harder next time.

The thought of running another marathon right now still kinda makes me want to gag, but I know that I’ll get over it soon and be itching to do the next one.  I’m signed up for the Rock n Roll Arizona in the middle of January so I better get ready!

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