Finally the MARATHON! Its been a week since the marathon and I’ve been able to look back at my performance and gauge how it went and I’m happy to say that I am really proud of my effort during the race. So I will break down a few highlights of the race and let you know how it went.
So I was kinda nervous the week before the race because I ended up getting sick and losing my voice pretty badly. Luckily I recovered pretty quickly and was able to train the last week before the race. leading up to the race I was feeling nervous but I knew I had to trust the weeks and weeks of training leading to the marathon.
This time I was smart, and decided to buy a water pack( since I needed a new one) and packed a bunch of Gu’s and electrolyte tablets. My plan was to take a gu every 30 minutes. As for the tablets I was taking two every 30 minutes. This I felt was optimal from keeping me from hitting the wall hard at around 3 hours in. The electrolytes was my main concern. The weather called for 68 degrees Fahrenheit but it of course it changed. it was suppose to be cloudy but the sun came up 2 and a half hours into the race. That made things so much harder. there was a long stretch of maybe three miles where we did not have any wind the sun was coming out and it was so humid. Bringing the water and electrolyte tablets were essential to the run. if I had not had them I would’ve for sure died half way through.
One of the hardest parts of the race was the hills. Luckily, I had run many hills this prep but I was still unprepared for how many there were in the race. if it had been more flat like the one in San Jose, I don’t think my knees would’ve hurt as much as they did. That was why it was so hard. my knees felt completely torn apart from the decline. it was to the point where i felt that my legs would give out from under me going down hill. Other than that my feet were blistering because my socks had moved around in my shoe. I fixed them by mile 17 or so but the damage was done and I was forced to run on my heels for a while which hurt my knees more.
At mile 22 there was a major incline of about 200 feet in the span of 3 miles or so. and that took forever to get through. I ended up using my brother in law as a goal point where I would walk for a bit and then run up to where he was because he was killing that climb. He was so consistent throughout. By the time we got up we had passed many people, many of which I felt sorry for because they were looking pretty bad without water packs. At the top I got to ring a bell which was pretty cool, because at that point we were only 3 miles out from the finish and I felt pretty good still.
There were a few parts of the race that I remember vividly. for most of the first half of the marathon there were bands around every corner and at one point there was Top gun impersonator there cheering us on. He looked exactly like Tom Cruise. It was cool because I had just watched the film and I loved it, so when we were running down, and I heard the Top Gun theme song, I had an adrenaline rush that carried me for that mile. The cool part was that we looped around and ran past him twice and I gave him a high five the second time around.
Another part of the race I remember vividly was the half way point. The 13.1 point on my first marathon is where I got my first cramp and had to stop because of the incredible pain I felt. This time around, when we got to it, It was mostly an uphill climb and as we ran through this park we passed the sign for the the 13.1 mark. our time was really good at that point. 2 hours 21 minutes in and I felt good besides the knees and the feet. I turned to my brother in law as we passed and told him I was dying by this point of the race last time. It filled me up with so much joy knowing that I felt as good as I did and was doing really well compared to last time.
One thing that was different from last time was that at one point I ran into my family and friends holding up signs around 18 miles in. I was beginning to lose some steam at that point and was motivated to keep pushing after seeing them cheering us on. I was so happy and relieved to see them that I forgot about how I twisted my ankle just before turning the corner to see them.
The greatest highlight of the race was the finish. after grinding up that hill and soaking myself in water in the last water table. I felt great. I didn’t care about the pain in my legs because I knew we only had three miles left. I was all smiles from then on because I already knew that I was doing better than the last time I ran the marathon. I felt accomplished. it was something euphoric about the last couples miles. it felt like I was soaring through the air and nothing could stop me. I was running past so many people and I was building so much momentum that when I crossed the finish line I wanted to cry. I was overjoyed with my performance.
The biggest difference between my first marathon and this marathon was strategy and training. I trained to my ability and didn’t let my ego get the best of me. I also realized the importance of electrolytes and food during the race. the strategy I played was well thought out and discovered with my many failures during my long runs. It felt incredible to know that all the pieces of the puzzle were coming together for this race. Im so excited for the next race because I want to do even better than before.
Ive learned so much this time around. Pride comes before the fall. patience, hard work, and trust is all a part of the process. Anything good doesn’t come without a plan. I put it more eloquently in my instagram post but the gist of what I’m trying to say is that life is like a marathon. there are hills and valleys and good times and bad. There’s nothing like running the good race and knowing you ran it your all. As a christian this is a metaphor for life and death and it’s a pretty good one at that. My biggest takeaway is that i need to find my race and continue moving forward. Thanks for following my journey! On to the next one we go! Till then God bless!