Heading into my 16th marathon this past weekend, I had all of the regular pre-race jitters and anxiety as usual. I did not set a goal time for myself to try to ease the anxiety, but I did have 2 goals for this race:
- Run a comfortable enough pace so that I could finish with confidence that I could go much further, 13.8 further, to be exact. I did not want to run so hard that I collapsed at the finish or got injured. I also knew I still had to function, as a mom, when I arrived back at home. So taking it relatively easy was one goal.
- I wanted to erase the memory of my last marathon. It was horrible! I had to walk, a lot, after mile 16 because I was so dehydrated and unfit. I was also still breastfeeding my 11 month old, so I was in a constant state of dehydration even before the gun went off.
I’m pleased to report that I’ve accomplished both of my goals this past Sunday!! And I finished with a 4:15, which was faster than I had anticipated! About a 9:45 pace overall.
Here are my final thoughts:
First, I feel great about how the marathon went! I think that it’s related to a handful of factors including being thinner (less stress on the body), incorporating cross-training (for me that was my Shred class-for strength and a metabolism boost), eating less processed, sugar, and salt-laden garbage (more plant-based, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory foods) than ever before, and my diligence with refueling during my run. Never before had I taken more than 1 GU pack during a marathon. I took 5 on Sunday! It, along with the constant Gatorade and water, allowed me to keep going without hitting “the wall”. I plan on continuing these practices into my next phase of training, the big 40 MILER ON MY 40TH in October!
While I know that my ultimate goal is still 7 months out, for now I’m allowing myself to feel accomplished and pleased with my race. I plan on taking it easy this week, and picking up some running again this weekend, depending on how I feel. My coach (AKA my dad) is working hard to help me come up with a solid training plan for my next phase. As soon as it’s completed, I’ll happily share it.
Till then, happy running!