The marathon is now behind me. It was lovely. When I finished, I thought to myself, "I probably don't need to do that again," and now I'm thinking I might like to maybe potentially do it again, so that's all normal and in order.
I have some additional takeaways, though. Here they are!
First off, let's all take a moment to consider my split times. In short... they're kinda weird.
The beginning, which was slowish, is easy to account for - the start is always packed and a bit slow until the crowds thin out. And the every-other-mile-takes-a-bit-longer makes sense too, as the water stations were approximately every other mile and I walked those. But I have a bunch of negative splits in the first twenty miles that are completely random. 9:55 thirteen miles in? Where did that even COME FROM?
And naturally my last few miles sucked - I even clocked one a little over 13 minutes, although most were better than that. I did that same thing I did during the Princess Half, my very first half (first race!) - I got close to the end and decided, well, at this point I'm practically there, I'll definitely finish, and I'm tired so I may as well walk. But then I started running again and found I could in fact run just fine, if not exceptionally speedily. So in the future I need to keep that in the back of my mind: you do NOT need to walk, you just THINK you need to walk.
Tangential: I didn't use a training plan. Maybe I should consider using one in the future. Sure, I did fine, but perhaps I could have done better? On the other hand, training plans often have goal paces. I don't do well with goal paces, what with my total lack of fast-twitch muscles. Things to ponder.
Unpaid product endorsement: My Garmin lasted beyond the promised 5 hours of battery time in GPS mode. It was on its last legs, but it didn't die on me. Impressive!
Important: Take the donut holes. You don't have to eat them there and you won't have to carry them far.
Questionable: Some people run completely barefoot. This sounds gravel-intensive and I am frankly dubious.
Thing that worries me: it all went so well. The weather was perfect. I felt good. Sure, I walked a bit, but not until mile 20, well into the race with no morale issues. Yeah, I have what it takes to run a marathon. But do I have what it takes to run a marathon under duress? When
That's what worries me more than anything else. Once you've tackled a distance, it becomes about the PR. What if I can't go any faster than I did today? What if it's all downhill from here? WHAT IF IT ALL WENT TOO WELL?
We'll find out at Dopey, I suppose...
Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!