Thursday, 14 February 2008

Marathon reflections - a month on

A month ago I completed the WDW marathon. In that time I’ve had a chance to reflect on this experience, so what have I learned?

  • All that training was definitely worth it – I remember thinking this at about 19 or 20 miles, while I was still going and knew I would finish. All those endless loops, treadmill sessions, cold days… all SO worth it on the day.
  • Marathons are hard work but they can be fun and also very inspiring. I was expecting the atmosphere at WDW to be a little more competitive but I felt more camaraderie than competition. Well, at least way back where I started.
  • All during my training I was scared of being swept or of being last. Neither happened, I’m happy to say. I didn’t even SEE the sweepers or the back of the pack!

  • Music was a huge influence on my mood and motivation. I knew this from training but on the day it was great to have my MP3 on me but also to turn it off sometimes and enjoy the music from marching bands or speakers around the course. The right song at the right time gave me more of a boost than energy gels or drinks.

  • Having said that, I was glad I was carrying my energy gels. I credit them (and my training and pace) with the fact that I never hit any walls. Sure, I was tired at the end but not hopelessly so.

  • That slight slope down on the bridge between the Dolphin hotel and the Yacht Club is EVIL when you’ve been running for over 6 hours. I thought downhill running would be easy but NO!

  • It’s amazing what a well-phrased encouragement will do to my mood. There were lots of people out there shouting but I somehow remember someone saying “you’re not first but you’re not last!” That stayed with me until the end of the race and certainly helped my morale.

  • Speaking of encouragement, I loved it when people said my name. It’s almost as if they knew me and really wanted me to go on, to know that I was nearly there…

  • …but sometimes it was weird. I remember someone shouting “you’re nearly there” and we’d only done about 9 miles by then. Whatever did she mean?? Nearly there WHERE?

  • I love my running shoes. I had absolutely no blister issues, no black nails, nothing. I think my shoes are the best and worth every penny I paid for them.
  • I love World Showcase in Epcot and have walked around it many, many times. After the marathon and having to run the last two or so miles around it, I think I may never see it the same way again. These last bits on the course were the worst for me and I really struggled.

  • The moment I finished and got my medal is all a blur. I was so very tired but also incredibly proud but I don’t think it actually hit me until a few hours later: I was a marathoner!

  • I would definitely do that again. After all, 6.57 should be an easy time to beat if I don’t stop to take so many photos and actually run a little faster!


Lynsey said...

I don't think I'll ever run a Marathon but I will get fit!

Julie W. said...

Claudia, I'm so happy I found your blog!! CONGRATS on completing the marathon - YOU GO, GIRL!! Your husband and son must be insanely proud of you. :)


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