Marathon Wrap-Up

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get to writing about this.

In short, the first 15 miles were great – very fast.  I hit the 13.1 mile point in 1:58:something, faster than I’ve ever run a half-marathon.  Despite the fact that I was having stomach cramps from the shot bloks I was trying to eat, I had a great time.  Then, somewhere between 15-17 miles in, my left knee’s iliotibial band began to ache, a pain which only got worse over the next several miles.  By mile 23 I was nearly in tears, hobbling through Crystal City and wondering if I was going to have to walk the last three miles.

Fortunately, after I stopped to stretch several times, the pain began to recede and I was able to lurch back to a run (though my stomach protested with a wave of nausea that slowed me down again).  I finished in 4:20:34, about 20 minutes faster than my first marathon.

Lessons learned:

  1. Marathons are about dealing with the unexpected.  As a runner, I tend to have tunnel vision – I like to do things by my plan and not deviate from them.  While running a marathon, things will come up that need to be dealt with immediately.
  2. I probably went out a bit fast.  Should have reined myself in a little until the 5k mark.
  3. Should have ditched the shot bloks (which I hadn’t used much in training) and brought another GU.

All the speed work I did leading up to the big day totally paid off.  I’m pretty glad of that.