I'm feeling a little sore but figure I'll try to run a few miles tomorrow to get back into the groove.
I really am planning on running another soon, not sure which one yet but at least I'll be a little better prepared for what to expect so if you ever put a marathon on your to do list - here's a little heads up:
2. Anticipate delays, crowds and leave early. I had so much anxiety because (even though we rented a room with-in a few miles of the shuttle to the start) we sat in bumper to bumper traffic the 1/2 mile to park. We made it. But, if we hadn't stayed close I could see easily being too late and what a bummer that would be. Not only would you lose the $100+ dollar registration fee but the disappointment of not getting to compete would be devastating.
3. Have a plan but be flexible. I went in swearing I'd run 4-6 miles before walking, "no matter what." Well that was before realizing it was going to be a record busting million degrees (really 90+) with humidity. We ran pretty hard for the first 3 miles and then realized if we were to live thru this race and not die of heat stroke, we would have to adjust. So we walked and then ran, then hydrated and ran and walked. It wasn't the fastest time but we didn't die and we made it to finish line.
4. Just 'cause you got to the finish line, doesn't mean it's over. At the Jersey Shore marathon, it was a good 1/2 mile walk back to the shuttle bus line and then we had to wait on line for a full hour in the sun. This was worse than running 13 miles. Luckily, we found water and my friend Amy bought a bag of frozen peas to help me cool my over-heated body. I don't even know how you prepare for such a thing but a little heads up.
5. It's hard, a challenge and everything you think running 13 miles might be but it really can be fun if you find the fun. Running with Angela was great. We laughed at the homemade signs, ran thru water sprayed hoses like giddy kids, thanked the Gods for the occasional good breeze. We admired gorgeous homes and even pulled a few disco moves as we ran to keep things goofy but interesting. Like anything in life - it's all about attitude.