Sunday I officially became a marathoner. And although it didn’t go exactly as I imagined, my experience was amazing, challenging, emotional and humbling.
I finished in 4:25:03, which is a 10:06 pace. I walked through two water stations and once in mile 22 or 24 (can’t remember – it’s a blur) for about 5 seconds before the desire to just finish the race took over me and I started running again. Other than those 3 walking breaks, and a very quick bathroom stop, I ran the entire 26.2.
The race was hard. Harder than any training run I’ve ever done and harder than I ever thought it would be. My main goal for the marathon was to enjoy it the entire time and finish under 4:15 (although I now see that I would only attain the first goal if I attained the second…clearly I need to work on my goal setting ).
The 4:15 goal came from the fact that my pace was 9:30 for two out of my three longest runs (a 20 miler and a 22 miler), and my other long runs were consistently around the 9:35-9:45 range. I figured that if those were my times for training runs, where I wasn’t pushing myself completely, I’d be able to carry that pace during the marathon. Decent logic, right? Well, I forgot to take into account the fact that this was a race – not a training run – and I should always expect the unexpected on race day.
I also wanted to enjoy it. I run because I love running…and so it was important to me to enjoy the course and the crowds, and cross the finish line smiling. This was a lofty goal, but I thought attainable. Other than a not-so-great 18 miler on a humid day in New York, I truly enjoyed every training run. I actually thought the race might even be better than all of my training runs (and for some people it probably is!). That wasn’t exactly the case for me. But now – two days later – I feel so proud that I finished.
More to come tomorrow, including a mile by mile recap!
(Apologies for the delay! It’s taking me a few days to wrap my head around the race and I want to do it justice.)