First Marathon Race
Running First Marathon
Running a marathon was always something I always wanted to complete. As a runner, the ultimate goal is to finish a marathon. I never attempted one in the past because of my anxiety. It always made me afraid to do things like this. Since I have been able to get help and manage my anxiety I had the will power to do this. I was really determined and wanted to accomplish this goal.
Half or Full Marathon
The question then, should I attempt the half or full marathon. At this point when I decided I wanted to do a race, there was only 7 weeks left till the race. I thought about it, for myself I did not think a half marathon would have been a real challenge. A half marathon (21.1km) was not outside of my running level or ability. I am sure I would be able to get a reasonably good time with a half marathon. But a full marathon on the other hand would have been a whole other animal. I have never attempted running anywhere near the distance of a full marathon (42.2km). It would be definitely something that would require a lot of training and determination.
Marathon training gave me a consistent outlet for my anxiety. Running helped me relieve stress and reduce the chances of getting anxiety. It provided me with a sense a freedom. Having that regular dose of running helped significantly reduce my anxiety through the past 7 weeks.
Considering I only had 7 weeks, I knew the training plan would have to be compressed and be very difficult. I however, do NOT recommend anyone follow this training plan. I specifically made this plan for my situation of only have 7 weeks of training.
I definitely felt the fatigue during the race. I think a combination of training in such a short time frame and not having enough time to taper and recover my legs contributed to the drop-off near the end of the race.
Here is a neat picture of my training runs showing the routes. As you can see, I run pretty much the same route every time, just different distances. The first one in the picture is the actual marathon race. The image was made with Strartwork if you are interested.
Scotiabank Calgary Marathon
I got my race gear the day before. I was feeling excited but very nervous at the same time. I was a bit worried about the anxiety. As large crowds can be a trigger for my anxiety. Luckily, I made a friend when I got there on race day. Gave me a bit a relief as I had someone who was also a first-time marathoner to figure everything out. I did not have any anxiety as I had someone I could relate to and talk with before the race started. I was glad I did not have to be by myself for the start of the race.
The marathon race was definitely an experience. The route was great and there was plenty of entertainment and people cheering along the route. The first half was great and didn’t feel difficult. I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself to quickly and the pace was manageable. I got to 21.1km after 2:05 which in my opinion was exactly where I wanted to be.
After this though the fatigue started to kick in. Also, my socked ripped and I started getting a blister on the bottom of my forefoot. Now I know why they say you should never wear cotton socks. I have never had sock rip before and today was the day. It wouldn’t be a marathon without all the challenges that comes with it right? I pushed on as there was nothing I could do about my sock.
At the 36km mark I really started to feel it. I had a dizzy feeling and my arms were shaking. Never experienced anything like this before. I sat down for a few mins and waited till the shaking died down. I kept going but it wasn’t easy from this point on. I think most of my struggles during the second half was due to fatigue from training and not enough training in general. My muscles did not feel sore. It was mostly joint paint, like ankles, knees, and hips. I have not run longer than 4 hours previously, so I was entering unchartered territory.
The last 6km were the toughest 6km I have ever run. The pace was slow, but I just kept pushing. Crossing the line, I felt a sense a relief that it was over. My body was pushed to the limit and it was the most difficult challenge (physically) I have ever had to overcome.
After completing my first marathon race, I can say for certainty that a marathon is no easy feat to complete. I honestly underestimated the difficulty of completing a marathon and I have great respect for anyone who completes a marathon race!