My brother has been an amazing client, one of the best I’ve ever had as a running coach. Maybe I’m biased because he’s my brother, but he did an amazing job of training for, and finishing his first marathon. Following along as he chronicled it for this blog as been a joy. Here’s his summary of the whole thing:
5 hours 34 minutes 55 seconds.
My official marathon time (even though Dr.Rachel’s Garmin put us at 26.85 miles).
I didn’t care it was raining and getting cold. After standing and walking for 45 minutes, all I wanted was to sit down and eat. The discomfort was manageable, but my mental focus just kept drifting. Exhaustion had caught up and still, I was proud of my accomplishment.
It was amazing to cross the finish line and be handed a medal with Dr.Rachel standing beside me. I couldn’t have done this without her and the rest of my family. Dr.Rachel helped with the training, nutrition, and pacing to keep me going through the race. Wifey put up with me being gone every Saturday and Sunday for months and my neurotic behavior about my mileage every night. The rest of the family was there to support, cheer, and encourage us on. It was a great experience.
It has also been a great learning tool. Through the training, I have learned a lot as a runner and improved as a runner because of it. Dr.Rachel originally asked me to chronicle the training. Much of what has been written are the lessons I have learned along the way.
So to finish off, here is a synopsis of some of the things I learned:
- Each new distance hurts (i.e. discomfort). Some old distances hurt every time. You just have to keep going.
- Benjamin Franklin is quoted as “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Yes, there is an element of physical health but it turns out running a marathon is just being more determined and more persistent than the road.
- Kits may not make the runner but they go a long way in making it comfortable to run. Invest in a set of high quality clothing for long runs (if nothing else).
- Chaffing happens; nip guards exist for a reason. Vanity doesn’t exist at mile 26.
- Food and water. Water and food. More food. Maybe a nap. Can you nap while eating?
- Bring extra gear – long pants, shorts, long sleeves, t-shirts, arm warmers, blankets, ponchos, etc. Weather changes and better to be prepared than miserable.
- Use training runs to make mistakes – try out different paces and fueling strategies until you find one that works.
- A finisher medal may seem trite but damn does it feel good; good enough to make all the other discomfort silent. If just for a moment.
- The best way to finish is to sign up for another race – I am already signed up for Detroit 2015.
- Brain Worms will consume you.