Race Recap: First Marathon Complete!
Manitoba Marathon – 4:31:12
I am so incredibly grateful for my finish. I am honoured to have felt pain like I’ve never had in places I didn’t know could hurt. I am thrilled to have made acquaintance with the meaning of “you’re stronger than you think”, and I’m inspired to dive further into the abyss of what I am capable of. I earned these legs of steel over months of training, and I have decided I will do this again – many, many more times, and yes, faster.
Anyone who has even an inkling to do a marathon should attempt it. You learn so much about how your body works, and even more about your mind. Every aspect in training was worth its weight in gold, even the moment a week out when I thought I might not be able to race. The dark winter nights of -35 celcius. Torrential downpours and wind storms. Good runs, “bad” runs, aches and pains. Despite the roller coaster that was my training, the marathon itself wasn’t at all the wild ride I was expecting – more like riding a merry-go-round – relentless forward pursuit with some ups and downs!
They started the Manitoba Marathon with Chariots of Fire. I KID YOU NOT. I laughed so hard tears were coming out and I had to ask another runner if it was for real! By 2km (yes, TWO) I had to pee badly enough that it warranted a stop at the port-a-potty. Most of what happens next is a blur…ran past friends handing out sponges at the 5 mile…met a marathoner dressed as a coke machine handing out pop to spectators…realized the walking bridge was about 3 miles further than I planned for…ate a twizzler!…wished I had brought sunscreen…cursed the Winnipeg roads!…saw some old houses. There were only mile signs, but I’ve been training in km, and I didn’t have a watch! My legs started to complain early but I had already learned, during a sprint home in hail after a 30km long run, that I could push them harder than they knew. Giving up never crossed my mind. I wanted to be FINISHED (did I ever!), but I knew I wouldn’t give up.
I wish I had realized what a social event it can be much earlier, and how much energy you can get from those watching. Chatting and laughing with the spectators was so uplifting! I kept a good pace to mile 23, high fived friends cheering from their front lawn. Chugged past mile 25 where my husband and his amazingly supportive family were holding hilarious signs, banging cowbells and honking vuvuzelas!
…and then I started to wonder…had I missed the Wall? The point when your glycogen stores are depleted and you hit the infamous Wall…thankfully I still can’t tell you what it feels like! Was it good fuelling? Good training? Good taper? All the delicious white bread I let myself eat the week before?!
I heard a spectator say it was just around the corner to the stadium (LOL, nothing is “just” at mile 25, and there was actually four corners until the stadium)… I started my push, and dug deep. I passed a few other marathoners – sorry, but that feels amazing – leaned forward from the ankles, and chanted a mantra to keep my mind off my wooden legs. Dodging the potholes on the construction road beside the stadium does NOT feel good right now (wtf?!), but I make it to the track. Only a quarter lap to go, the finish is so freakin close I can taste it. My race pics show desperation loud and clear, and for some reason I have to BEAT EVERY PERSON ON THE TRACK to the finish line….and I’m through, still smiling! Family that met me at the finish are going to walk with me to meet the 25th mile gang “just” down the street at Five Guys for the traditional post race burger. Hobble hobble hobble. Ow doesn’t even begin to describe it. But what’s one more mile, right? Can I get a piggy back maybe?!!?
Recovery plan: try to keep moving! Epsom salt bath and arnica cream on my feet. I could actually walk up and down stairs the second day, had my first 2 mile run four days after. A week later I consider myself back in action! It’s wild how quick the recovery was…makes me think I could have pushed harder! BOOYAH!
I want to thank my husband for all of his support, all the time. If he had any doubt or worry during my training, he never let on. Hubby even ran with me at mile 25 for what felt like almost 2 minutes (but was probably only 15 seconds)! I also want to thank my incredibly supportive friends and family who came out to watch me run, and cheered me on via facebook and twitter too!! I especially want to congratulate Mom-in-law and Dad-in-law on their 10km finish!