10 Things I Learnt Running a Marathon

When I was running regularly (currently a distant memory!), I took the plunge and signed up to run a Marathon. I thought I would write a blog post to reflect on the experience and the things I learnt running  crawling those 26.2 Miles.

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Pre Race Smiles

1) Your mind WILL get you the finish. Regardless of how many training miles you put in, ultimately if you’re as strong willed as I am, you will make it to the end.

2) Food is your best friend. I need no excuse to eat extra Harbio, and I certainly ate my way around the marathon. From gels, to mini waffles, sweets to bananas, they all kept my energy levels up and kept me smiling.

3) It’s an emotional roller coaster. One minute you feel on top of the world, with bags of energy, the next your on the verge of tears and fighting to keep moving.

4) The journey is key not the time. Yes we all like to chase numbers, but it really isn’t about the time. It’s about the journey from start to finish, people you meet, things you see and the determination that gets you to the finish line. (3 hours or 30 hours – a marathon is a marathon!)

5) Thighs are made to chaff . Ouch. I should of worn leggings! (was my thought at mile 12). Despite lashings of Body Glide my thighs still managed to chaff.  I had previously tested the anti chaff stick before the big day, but I think the heat and extra distance resulted in painful chaffing. Next time, if there ever is a next time ,I need to carry this with me or wear longer leggings. 

6) I can run without headphones . I only found out just before the race that headphones were banned (due to a road safety) and I instantly went into panic mode. Rather unnecessarily, as I learnt I didn’t need music to keep me motivated. Yes, it would of been a great boost to listen to my beloved dance music, but I learnt I was capable of running without it! Something I would never have believed in previously.

7) It can be painful – I started off great and injury free, but by halfway I had a run in with ITBS making the second half super painful around my knee. This is probably in part my own fault as I left training rather late and had to ramp up the miles over a shorter time frame. To avoid this space out and slowly build training miles. 

8) There is always someone faster/slower/older/younger or worse off. Runners come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Just go at your own pace and (try to) enjoy it.

9) Don’t overthink it. The night before I was worrying about what meal to eat and how it would effect my performance the following day. I opted for the classic pasta dish, but added a glass of wine! Did the wine stop me running the next day – No! Of course be precautious, but the odd tipple of wine or dessert isn’t going to stop you getting to the finish line.

10) You will never want to run again.  I had fallen out of love with running. I had invested so much time in running over the past months that after the marathon I simply didn’t want to run again! I could pursue other sports and interests, and didn’t feel the pressure to run.

However I am slowly feeling the urge to get back running. I would love some advice on how to fall back in love with running.

All comments welcome.

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Obligatory Medal Pic

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. September 4, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    Great tips to keep in mind 🙂

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