I have to admit, I have mixed emotions about my first marathon. I think a big part of that has to do with post-marathon blues. There’s such a buildup to the race. Training started months ago. I have been working and working for this event. And then it was over. And I have this fabulous medal, but there’s always that letdown (or so I have been told). It’s really the first time that I’ve done a race where I didn’t already know when my next one would be. I have no idea when I will run a marathon again.
But I do think there will be a next time. Just not in this sort of weather.
Sadly, this was a rough race for a lot of people. Of the 27,000 runners who started, 4500 dropped out before the finish. Some of this was likely due to undertraining, and I definitely have friends who were coming off of injuries and knew that finishing was unlikely, but they wanted to give it a shot. Mad props to Patrick, who was possibly the happiest person swept at the 30K mark. He even made himself his own medal representing the distance he covered. You have to do what is right for your body.
(Along those lines, I heard a lot of people talking about their training for Goofy and it was clear they had no idea what it takes to train for a race like that. 13.1 followed by 26.2 is nothing to be flippant about.)
Unfortunately, we saw a lot of people in the med tents with heat-related issues, including full blown cases of heat stroke. Not good. Rumor has it that two people died during the race as well, though that may just be rumor. Either way, with a high of 85 degrees and 80% humidity, it was definitely a race to listen to your body.
We ended up walking quite a bit because of my sister’s foot injury, but I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Maybe we could have gone faster, but we finished without any real suffering due to the heat, and in a race like that, finishing standing and feeling good is definitely key.
So while my time may not have been what I wanted, I finished healthy. My only injuries are a slight sunburn (though I reapplied sunscreen during the race) and a blister on my little toe (even with Injiji socks). And now I have a solid marathon time to beat. I’m not a fast runner, but my training indicated that I could have a solid 6:30 marathon. For the next one, however far away it may be, if I train like I did – or better! – I think I can definitely shave 30 minutes or more off my time. And that would feel great.
But for now, I’m going to enjoy relaxing and letting my body heal. And showing off my medal. This thing is awesome.