So I ran my first marathon a few weeks ago. It was a very windy, painful, windy, nauseating, windy, and sometimes lonely run. Did I mention it was windy? Oh, I did. Good. I just wanted to be sure that you got that part.
I have definitely learned a few things from this first marathon. The first thing I learned is that I should not time my training to run my marathons in the Summer. It wasn’t too terribly hot, but I did forget sunscreen (Duh!) for my arms and neck. My face was fine. My moisturizer has sunscreen in it and I wore a hat. It could have been worse. I think I was lucky. It was mostly in the late 60s for the morning and 70s for early afternoon.
The next thing I should research is how big the marathon is. When I showed up, I would swear there was only about 50 people there and most of them were doing the 5K, 10K or half marathon. I checked the website and was surprised to see that about 66 people did just the marathon. The thing I liked about Garmin was that I still had people around me when I was running. The other thing was that there were people other than volunteers cheering you on your run at Garmin. When I said I was lonely I meant that there was hardly anybody in sight. The volunteers were awesome, but the only other people who cheered were the few people that honked as they drove past me.
That leads me to the next thing I should look-up before I jump into something. The course was not closed. That means all the streets were open to traffic. There was a very nice police officer at one stop light. The rest of the course was wide open and the longest part was along a highway. Oh, My! The highway was torture! This actually ties in with another thing I should look at before I sign up to run something. The course was a half marathon loop. So you ran it twice! You run to the end where your car is parked. . . where other runners are finishing. . .where people are cheering you to finish…where you see people eating. Then you turn around and do it all over again. The highway was okay on the first loop because not that many people were up and about driving on it. It wasn’t that windy earlier in the morning either. The highway was also flat compared to the first part of the race. The second loop was awful! The wind tore into me something fierce! My second lap was 30 minutes longer than my first lap. I was never so happy to get off a highway in my entire life. The second lap was also late enough in the day that I had all kinds of traffic zoom past me including big rigs. I really wanted to shoot them the bird, but I knew it wasn’t their problem. It was my problem. I was the one who jumped into this race without knowing all these things.
The nauseating part was the fact that I think my hypoglycemia was kicking in at about mile 16. I ate a protein bar with nuts for breakfast. I had packed GU and shot blocks for the run. I had water and Gatorade at the aid stations. I packed some nuts, but my husband was worried that my stomach would have problems digesting it on such a long run. I was scared to eat them close to the start of the run because of what he said, but I was so nauseous on my second lap that I just had to try something. I ate a few and thought I was going to puke, but then I drank some Gatorade I brought with me and gave it some time to kick into my system. Sure enough, by the time I saw the next mile marker I was feeling better. So I ate a few more and washed it down with some more Gatorade.
My husband stayed home with the twins, but he was nice enough to drive them up to see me finish. It is about a two-hour drive. They kind of saw me finish. There was a playground near the end. They had a fit to go play. So I saw them playing and waved from a short distance as I headed to the finish. They had actually driven past me a few times earlier to stop and wave and cheer me on when I was about four miles to the finish. It was really nice to see them. It really encouraged me to get it done.
In the end I am glad I did it. I am glad I finished. Like I said the volunteers were fantastic. There were only two aid stations that was closed on my second loop. The race didn’t cost that much. Although I did have to stay at a really bad hotel to be sure to get to the start in time since it was so early in the morning. It is a story to tell and an accomplishment I will never forget. The next one I do (I probably won’t be doing many of these after the Goofy) I will research these items a lot more. I think I would do Garmin again. It was fun. Any marathons you like?