5 Things I Learned Running My First Marathon

5 Things I Learned Running My First Marathon

Last week I published a blog titled 5 Things I Learned Preparing for My First Marathon. It was fun to put together all that I had learned in preparation for running 26.2 miles. I was excited to call myself a marathoner, but as I was told numerous times, "you can't call yourself a marathoner until you complete a marathon." 

Well, I am pleased to announce that I am now a marathoner! On Sunday, December 10th I completed the Honolulu Marathon with a time of 3:00:35.

Olympian Nick Symmonds Finishes Honolulu Marathon

I am very happy with that time and proud of all the new things I learned during those three hours.

Here are 5 Things I Learned Running My First Marathon. 

1.) Hydration Matters:

Thank goodness I was properly hydrated before I stepped on the line. Honolulu was warm and humid, and I sweat A LOT. 

I used citrus flavored S.O.S to hydrate before the race and was DYING for more at the end. I can see why getting to choose your drink mix is so important for pro marathoners. 

2.) Rain Matters:

At two different parts of the race, I begged for and cursed at the rain. The race started out nice and dry, but around mile 12 the skies opened up. 

At the time, I was feeling overheated and the cool rain was very welcomed. However, it quickly soaked my feet, and my shoes became waterlogged. For the next 14 miles, all I could think about was how incredibly heavy my shoes had become. 

3.) Boosts Matter:

I felt great until mile twenty. It was around here that I wanted to stop. 

I had saved a little something in my back pocket for this moment. Right at mile twenty, I busted out a pack of Mint Run Gum. 

Certainly, the energy blend in the gum woke me up, but it was also really nice having something to focus on. 

As I slowly worked the active ingredients out of the gum, the act of chewing and focusing on the flavor allowed my mind to drift away from the pain in my legs. HOWEVER, I did learn that there are some very specific moments when regular strength Run Gum isn't quite enough. Perhaps it's time for an Extra Strength formula? 

4.) Hills Matter:

As someone who spent most of their career running around a flat oval it should come as no surprise that I hate hills. 

I don't like them in training, I REALLY don't like them in a marathon. 

The hill at mile 24 of the Honolulu course almost stopped me in my tracks. The next marathon I run will be totally flat. 

5.) Goals Matter:

Did he just say he's running another marathon?? 

Yes, I have been bitten by the marathon bug. 

Getting SO close to breaking three hours left me wanting more. 

I know I can break three and pretty soon I will choose a spring marathon to have another crack at it. I'll let you know in January which spring marathon I will run. 

Maybe you can help me decide...

Which spring marathon do you think I should run? Let me know on twitter.