Tuesday, 1 November 2011

My First Marathon...

Just over sixteen weeks ago when I started training for my first marathon, my goal was simple – to get round the course and finish the race. Time was not an issue. But by the time I got to the start of the Dublin marathon I felt like I could do it in four hours or just under four hours. That became my goal and my race strategy was designed to achieve just that. Unfortunately, like I found out yesterday marathons can have a mind of their own.
I started the race well and for the first fifteen miles it all went according to plan, then it all started to unravel. At mile fifteen my legs just gave up on me. I just couldn’t go on. Nothing I did could get them going. The legs just wouldn’t move. For the next five miles I resorted to a combination of walking and running (running? More like a funny shuffle on dead legs). I got out all my mantras, consumed copious amounts of sports drink, water and energy gels. Still – nothing. During those five miles all thoughts of running a sub-4hr time were drained away. All I wanted at that point was to finish. I got scared I was not going to finish. I had to make up mind – I am going to finish this race even if I have to crawl across the finish line!
Amazingly, at mile 20 my legs came back to life. I started running steadily again. By mile 24 it was all looking good then I got hit with cramps. By now I’m thinking, what on earth is going on today? But I was not going to be denied so I kept going slowly – walking and doing the shuffle again until I crossed the finish line in what was by now a torrential downpour.
I had done it! – finish my first marathon.
Will I do it again? Run another marathon? Hell, yes!!

1 comment:

Scott Colantonio said...

I followed your training leading up to this race. Like you, I followed Hanson Running training strategies. Amazing how great plans dissolve on the course (physically, mentally). We learn from the experience and come back stronger. I wish you all the best with your running adventures. You inspired me to train harder and most important enjoy the experience. Cheers from Wisconsin!