- I am still shocked I ran the whole thing. This never entered my mind as a goal, considering the furthest I had run straight before this was 2 hours (for my first half) and I had done 99% of my training runs as run 10, walk 1! I think I ran 1 hour straight ONCE in training
- I was also shocked with my form. I always have terrible form when I get tired but I was so conscious of it because bad form= IT band issues and I didn't need that pain back in my life! But my form was strong and my knee never hurt once. I think maybe good form kept me from getting tired too. I tried to keep my head up and forward the whole time, but wind and rain did cause me to have to put my face down now and again!
- There was a lady in front of me for the first couple kilometers who had one of those belts with the tiny water bottles attached and she lost the same water bottle THREE times in the first couple km. Every time she had to run back to get it. Some say she is still completing her marathon to this day with a run forward 10 steps, run back 5 routine. But seriously- had she never run with this belt before the marathon?
- On that note, I ran with my handheld water bottle (This one). I trained with it so I was very comfortable holding it. I loved avoiding the slow down at water stations! I filled it with Gatorade and it lasted me 36 km, when I thankfully found Steph, who topped me off with water. If I run another marathon I may just buy a 2nd and have someone meet me for a swap.
- I saw some funny signs from spectators (besides my friend Steph's!) such as "Go, Random Stranger, Go", "Your Feet Hurt Because You're Kicking Ass", and "I Trained All Week to Hold This Sign Up". I love the spectators. Especially when they read my name on my bib and yelled "GO CASEY, YOU GOT THIS. YOU'RE STRONG" and I would be like "YES I AM STRONG!!!! GO MEEEEE" (there is a good Oatmeal comic on this)
- I used two free apps for my friends and mom to find me on the course- Find Friends for Apple phones and Gympse for Androids. Both worked really well, but Glympse only lasts for 4 hours max. Also one of my friends using Glympse never saw me run by when the app said I was there. But it was a deary day out and I was all in black so she may have just not seen me :\. Cam said it worked well for him.
- There was a guy on the route in a full suit. But not any suit- an effing green suit with playing cards all over it. I found a photo for your enjoyment. I also ran for awhile behind a man in a tight blue dress. I imagine he was cold as it was not dress weather. Suit guy was probably loving the cold weather.
- I didn't wear the shoes I planned to. I always wear Asics GT 2000 in size 10 9I now have 4 pairs and I rotate them!) and had been training for months in my newest pair for all long runs, which are a stylish black and turquoise and are the 3rd version. However I read a few weeks prior that the 3rd and 4th versions are a tad smaller in the toe box. I tried on one of each (old and new), and lo and behold they WERE. That explains my half black toenail from my last long run! I ended up wearing my older white Asics and my toenails are all very happy. Not even a blister!
- I didn't listen to any music or audiobooks. I always have my headphones in and I even purchased the Hamilton soundtrack for the race (omg, I've listened to it 10 times now. It's amazing), but I decided to leave my headphones off for the beginning and just enjoy my first marathon- and I never had a desire to put them on! My friend asked what I thought about for almost 4 and a half hours and it's crazy but I have no idea- I think it was just "in the moment" things like "oh look a dog" and "hey that girl's shoelace is untied". And by the end it was just pure focus. The race passed pretty quickly and I was never bored.
- If you think my race photos look pretty good, please note that I always have terrible race photos so every time I saw the cameras (which was a lot as the marathon crowd was pretty thin so I was solo a lot), I made an effort to smile or wave. So I look like the happiest marathoner ever. Goal completed.
THE AFTERMATH AND RECOVERY:
I have had a lot of sweet tmessages from friends and family asking how I am feeling and I must say I am good, with the exception of my quads, which are angry still.
Right after the race I tried to keep walking as I thought my legs might stop working if I stopped or sat down. My mom had brought me dry socks and sweats, but I told her I honestly didn't think it was possible to get my shoes off and back on again. We walked slowly home and my legs started to loosen up a tad over the walk. I got home and usually I would stretch but I actually could not pick up my leg to stretch my quad and I just looked at my foam roller on the ground and laughed.
I got in the shower for a LONG time. I had to slowly increase the heat because even a little burned at first. I am sure my core temperature was super low. Eventually I warmed up and I was able to do a few painful stretches of my quads and calves. We went out for lunch and I took a long nap after.
Monday my quads were still really sore. I was able to do some stretches, but the stairs to and from work were brutal!! I got a massage in the evening and it was heavenly. It didn't help my legs too much, but my back was very happy after. It is now Tuesday night and my quads are still sore, but much improved. I can stretch pretty easily now and I am foam rolling twice a day. I have one last physio appointment on Wednesday. I think by the end of the week I will feel normal! I am hoping to do 5km on Friday just to stretch the ol muscles back out and get back into running regularly. Plus I have a 10K race on Sunday. Oops. But it is a tradition to do it every year and I am just going to take it nice and slow. 10K is nothing now!!
Only problem left to solve is where to put the 10K medal. Marathon kind of ate up all the free space. When in the world did I become someone with so many medals?! :D