Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Guest Post - Racing Your First Marathon

I first met Shane at the PRO Compression Shake Out Run prior to the San Diego Rock N Roll races. Although this was the first time I saw him IRL (in real life), I have to say, his personality definitely proceeds him :) I mean just take a minute and read his "About Me" section on his site.... HILARIOUS! He is a male blogger in a world of ladies, but ROCKS IT nonetheless! If you don't follow him yet, you better get on the train or you may be left at the station. He's a pretty amazing runner and wants to pump you up! 


So, originally when Carlee asked me to guest post, I was like "Heck yeah! Shweeeet! Let’s do this…" And then 10 minutes later, a little panic set in. I'm the new kid on the block... I gotta nail this! The ideas on what to blog about were swirling through my head...

Do I talk about my recent rise to blogging fame? ...meh, nah, I'll keep those secrets to myself. We don't need multiple alpha blogging males. 

Do I talk about how it is to be a male blogger in a women's world? ...meh, nah, I don't wanna discourage any future male bloggers or risk losing any female followers.

Do I talk about my pet peeves regarding having to pay for race photos or those GD race bandits? ...meh, nah, I wanna keep my first guest post relatively light. Plus, I wanna return as a guest blogger. No one really wants me to set it off in this hizz-ouse.

So, because I’m in marathon training mode, I’ve decided to share some of my tips for you first time marathoners out there… and actually, this would apply to you first time half marathoners as well. Now, I’ve run like over 15 half marathons, but the 2014 Phoenix Marathon was my first full mary… And it sucked ass. I ran a 5:05! A 5:05! That’s 5 hours and 5 mins!!! Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good time… and a whole 55 minutes before the cutoff. But that time is not at all indicative of my half mary times. I know there are many articles and blogs that tell you what to do or what not do for your first marathon. I just picked a handful of things that I know I will pay attention to for my next marathon. There’s a lot that goes on in 26.2 miles… I could write a 100 page post to cover everything that went on during my first full mary… but I’ll spare you the agonizing details and just hit some of the highlights =).

1.    Get to the race early. I would say at least an hour before the start. Find out the parking logistics. For the Phoenix Mary, there were shuttles that took you from the finish line to the start line. And… I missed all of them!! (don’t ask…) I literally had to beg a race official to get me up to the start line. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one. So a shuttle brought 6 of us up. 

      Unfortunately, because we were late, I wasn’t able to get through my normal bathroom routine. I wasn’t about to go rogue and find a bush, so I unfortunately, toed the line with a full bladder. I ended up using the “on course porta-potty” 3 times. Ugh!

2.     Mind your pace. During my training, I kept my pace at 9 min miles. Since I rushed to the start line, I really wasn’t able to get my mind focused. I was fiddling with my garmin, my ipod was hanging from my neck, and worst, it was starting to rain! The gun went off, and without warning, my adrenaline kicked in. 

      I ran my first mile in 7:43. Mile 2 was crushed at 7:30… I was humming at mile 3 at another 7:30. This seemed like cake… well, you know the ending result. Run like you trained, don’t deviate… at least for the first 20 miles. Mile 20 is where the proverbial wall is. If you can break through that and you’re still feeling good, then go ahead… run like a cray cray.

3.     For your first race, race to finish, not for time. I was told repeatedly by vets to just finish the race. Don’t think about a time, like breaking 4 hours. Yeah, the training clearly showed that I’m capable of sustaining 9 min miles and breaking 4. But, ish happens and some things you can’t control. Did I mention it rained? Like for the first 8 miles?! 

      I was so busy with the time, and all the negative thoughts that I barely remember any of sights and sounds of the race. I’m pretty positive that if I had tried to just enjoy the race, the experience and outcome would have been a lot better.

4.     Be thankful for the volunteers and spectators. If you focus on the race and not the time, I promise you, you’d be more aware of your surroundings. You’d be more aware of the volunteers and their faces. You’d see all the crowds and cheering and all the signs. Be thankful and give them a fist pump or a high five… or a golf clap. They are out there for YOU. 

      Even though they don’t know you, they want you to finish just as much as any friend or family member there wants you to finish. Even if time was of the essence and you’re on track to PR, a simple nod to the people is a great gesture to let them know you’re thankful. 

5.     Finish with a bang. You’re coming down the stretch. The crowd is with you. You hear the cheers, the cowbells… You hear the announcer bringing you home. You’re almost there, giving it your last few kicks. All the training is paying off for one single moment… when you cross that finish line! So… DON’T FORGET TO POSE homie!!! 

      This will be your only opportunity to capture that moment when you owned 26.2 miles. Yeah, you’ll have that medal and time as proof… but make sure you’re ready for your signature pose at the end… and have fun with it. You only cross your first marathon once!

So, those are just a few tips I can offer for you first timers. I hope you can take something away from this and use it to your advantage. And look, whether you’re running for time, or running just to finish, a very wise lady told me, “you only get what the day gives you”. There are going be some things out of your control, and like I said, ish happens. Good luck on your first marathon! Stay fierce, Stay blessed!


Meridith said...

This was VERY amusing! As someone who signed up for her first full in November (I'm at the WTF was I thinking point in my inner monologue) I definitely appreciate all that you shared!

Unknown said...

Amusing! I doubt I will ever do another half again after this injury. My body's just not digging it. My trainer told me to take a full rest week. Cross your fingers that I can do it!