1. Coffee is a diuretic. Yes, it’s true. I Didn’t know that before running my first marathon. It was cold, I was sitting outside for over fours in the chilly April air, and there was free coffee. Never again friends, never again. Let’s just say it was a very, very long day.
2. (In regards to Boston) Heartbreak hill is not tough. What IS tough about it is it’s position In The marathon… After feeling good after slogging through 16 miles..oh look! Here comes a hill!! Not cool race designers, not cool. So basically train on dem hills!!!
3. How important it is to have someone at the finish line. I knew it was “nice” that I had a friend to go and wait for me at the finish line, but I didn’t get how IMPORTANT it really was until I became violently ill and didn’t think I Was going to finish. (If someone had offered me a ride that day-I would have taken it, no doubt in my mind.) If my best friend hadn’t been at the finish line waiting for me-i wouldn’t have finished. I knew she was waiting and worried about me and that was what got me there.
4. That the volunteers for the water stops are amazing. From the local marathons to the all star ones- I’ve never seen a “bad” volunteer. Whether it’s the local track team, or your best friends mom, the volunteers are always so willing to help and will continue to tell you “go get me, you’re doing great”. That NEVER gets old. I always say a quick “thank you” to those who are handing me those delightful cups full of Gatorade.
5. That spectators can give you the little bit of energy you need to keep you going. Flash to the 2011 Boston Marathon: you know, the one with all the heat? An amazing spectator offered me a Popsicle. I swear to you- it was the best dam meal I have had in my life. Never had I been in need of a cool treat as I was at that very moment. Don’t forget to say thanks to your spectators, too. They offer you oranges, pretzels, candy, water..things from their own houses. It’s pretty awesome sauce to think of their generosity.
6. Marathon expos(for larger marathons) are SO cool, that if I had known- I would’ve saved all dam year for it! For real, the Boston marathon expo’s are the coolest thing I have ever seen..any runner could appreciate the range of sporting goods and products that can be found. Combined with free samples, awesome celebrity runners, free demonstrations, crazy weird runner people watching, the larger marathon expos are choc full of amazingness.
7. Afterwards, I am so tired. I cry. (From relief!) At my first marathon, I told myself I will never do this again. Clearly I was just kidding!! The feeling of crossing a finish line is incomparable. It is such a sense of accomplishment! Watch out! You could get addicted too!
8. I wish I would, for once, take a good race picture. Just once I want to look at the camera, have my smile ON- instead I look like I’m half dead. And MEAN, I look mean!!!
9. If I have a bad race, I always start thinking about WHICH marathon I can possibly sign up for NEXT to get a better time. Flash to like, all my Boston marathon times…this is usually when I make the decision to run a fall marathon!
10. The start and finish : they are incredible…
The starts: .always, the sound of the gun, the anticipation of “LETS FREAKING GO ALREADY” , and the Star-Spangled Banner being sung…are just amazing.
my last start of a half- all the runners joined in and sang. Talk about emotion.
The finishes: along the big marathons, the spectators are literally louder than your music is- so turn it off. Take in both the start and finish.
Enjoy every single second of your marathon, you’ve done the training, logged the miles: you’ve earned it my friend. Take mental pictures. It might be your first of many races, but you’ll never get THIS ONE back again:)