Thursday, July 7, 2016

My first marathon...

As each day passes my perspective on running the marathon changes. From the relief of actually crossing the finish line, to the sense of immense achievement some disappointments have crept in. Physically I feel much better than I anticipated just fatigued not sore at all.

So here are the positives...

I ran 42.4 kms in 5 hours and 25 minutes.

I felt excited to be one of 6,500 runners taking on this challenge.

I loved the flat beachy course lined with supporters.

I achieved an awesome goal that 6 months ago seemed impossible.

I learned A LOT from this run. I learned things that I want to improve and change.

Having Chris on the course waiting for me firstly at the 34k mark was so helpful. I was scanning for him, willing myself to get to that point. His encouragement spurred me on to the next difficult stage.

Some things I want to improve upon are pace, form, fuelling, hydration and the mental game of pushing on when you just don't want to.

The gear worked well. The compression socks, shoes, shorts and our team T-shirt were fine. I ended up with chafing from my bra front and back and under my left arm. It was handy to have vaseline to slap on at a first aid table and after that I didn't feel the burn but have been left with quite a mark. The drink bottles bounced around and gave me shits actually.
My trusty Garmin that has served me well since 2012 was not up to the challenge and I learned it only had a 5 hours GPS capability so after 37 kms it faded to blank. Another disappointment. Another kick to say you didn't reach your goal, if you'd run quicker and not walked your times would've been recorded...

I am trying to not let the disappointments overshadow my achievement.  I walked more than I hoped, I was slower than my goal time. Being the first marathon you're not really sure and perhaps I shouldn't have set a time for myself. That's for next time.

Contemplating the job ahead

team #JAM

waiting to start

keep your eye on that pacer Jo
28km down, 14 to go
 The amount of support along the way was phenomenal. The entire course was lined with people calling out encouragements, calling out our names, telling us to keep going, push on etc. The camaraderie amongst the runners also was fabulous. Of course we weren't up with the elites but were made to feel our effort was miraculous. I got a bit emotional when we saw the wheelchair athletes zooming back towards us with the pace car. We'd only been running for about an hour at that stage and I had a little teary moment and kept running.

relief to see Chris at 34k point
At about this point my legs didn't feel like they were moving at all, I was really plodding and the snippets of video reflect this also. The girls had gotten away from me and I really had to focus on moving my feet. I got talking to two other girls who started to push me, wouldn't let me walk, told me to dump water on my head and were so very encouraging so much so I caught up to Running Buddy (who was also struggling) and we were able to finish together. I am so glad we finished together and that we found that little bit extra in the tank to finish strong.

Coming in to the finish chute, what a relief

we are marathoners!

And of course the debriefing and analysing started immediately and has continued on every day since. Never again had crossed my mind during the run but we are already planning another...

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