Ahh, fall marathons. The best.
THE best fall marathon ever
While I enjoy training for a spring marathon because of the cooler temps, by the time race day rolls around it is usually hotter than I would like (alright I've only done one spring marathon, but you get my point). Fall marathons are different. While the training in summer may be less than ideal, for me, once race day rolls around the temps are nice and cool.
My marathon-iversary is tomorrow. Two years ago, I ran the Wineglass Marathon and officially became a marathoner. For those of you who have been following my blog for that long, you probably remember that my first marathon did not go how I planned. You may also notice that I am saying "my" and not "our".
Mike and I trained for our first marathon together, looking back on it we did not train very well. We probably got most of our training runs in, but I know that our long runs did not go well. There was a lot of stopping and sitting, before begrudgingly getting back up and finishing our runs. We cut runs short and we just fell apart most of the time.
One of my favorite pictures of us!
Still, we went into race day with big expectations (do not do that for your first marathon, your only expectation should be to finish).
I started out way, way, way too fast. Paces that I shouldn't have even been trying to run, but I was anyway. Why? Because I felt good! Well, duh, I felt good because I was only halfway through a 26.2 mile run.
Foolishly thinking I was doing alright
I didn't respect the distance. at. all.
So, the distance decided to be mean and take it out on me. My race started to fall apart at mile 13-14, when I first walked. I was able to hold it together for the most part, and I know that I still wouldn't have achieved what I wanted but it would have maybe been a bit better, if it weren't for the next thing that happened.
Around mile 18-19, Mike decided to DNF. And I saw him. He was on the sidelines, with this family who was spectating right outside of their house, and I, in my delirious state, tried so hard to get him to continue to run. He wouldn't.
I cried, I crumbled, I walked, I almost DNF'd as well.
This photo says it all
But, I finished. With a time that I, at the time, didn't think was respectable (about 5:01). For a long time I was ashamed of this race. Ashamed that I became a marathoner and Mike didn't. Ashamed that I fell apart so badly. Ashamed of my time.
Now that it has been two years, I look back on this race differently.
I have, 100% (alright maybe 95% since I still go out too fast sometimes), learned from this race. I have learned to respect the distance. I have learned to run my own race. I have learned that Mike and I will achieve different things at times, and that is alright. I have learned to trust my abilities, but to not set unrealistic goals. I have learned to become mentally strong.
In no way does this mean that I am an marathon expert. I don't think that I will ever be one. I will always learn from my races and experiences and use them to become a better triathlete and runner.
My last, stand alone, marathon finish. The sweetest of them all - so far.
I am excited to see what this fall marathon season holds for us!