It’s been a few weeks since Goofy Challenge, but I’ve been spending time reflecting on the (many) lessons from it – specifically from the marathon (my first marathon). Here are some of the biggest lessons for me:
- It’s amazing how mile 2 of a 5K and mile 20 marathon felt the same – This is about the time I realize how much your mind plays into running: about 3/4 into races I just feel burnt out and want to stop, no matter what the distance and no matter how much training I’ve had. I’m able to power through the “mind crash”, but no matter the distance I always feel like How am I ever going to finish this race?
- Water is your friend – Honesty time: I don’t really train with water (bad Ali, I know). I haven’t found a hydration belt that I like and carrying a water bottle makes me run weird. Because I’m used to not really training with water, water stops I usually pass through until towards the end of the race. I’ve realized that when I start feeling like I need water at these stops, it’s usually because I’m already hydrated. With this marathon, we made it a point to stop at every water stop and I felt much more energy at the end of the race.
- Bring your own food - I think I was making up my own marathon map, but I could’ve sworn food stops were almost every other station beginning in the early teen miles – nope. I learned the hard way I need to start packing my own food and fuel, rather than depending on what I think is going to be on the course.
- When you sign up for a marathon in January, you’re going to have to run outside in January - I signed up for Goofy Challenge in spring thinking, It’ll be so nice to be in Florida running in the middle of the winter! However, I didn’t think when you sign up for a marathon in January – you need to actually train…aka go running in January. Prior to this experience I hated the treadmill, but after training I’ve come to like it (dare I say – I want one now?), and I’ve realized how much of a baby I am with Minnesota weather. Under 50 degrees? Running outside is not happening.
- Arrive 90 minutes earlier than you usually do for big races - Goofy Challenge was my first real big race, and I didn’t fully understand how busy it would be getting from bag check to the corrals (I actually missed my corral start during the half marathon). I already arrive normally an hour to 90 minutes early, but with these Disney races I found arriving 2 1/2-3 hours early better (and I had more time to hang out with friends and check out the entertainment!)
- Extra one – beer tastes (even more) AMAZING after 26.2 miles
As I start back up with marathon training – which starts 2 weeks earlier than I originally thought! hooray! - I’m going to take these into consideration. Another big hurdle I think I’m going to have to overcome with the next race is accepting the fact that it isn’t a Disney race, and it’s going to be completely different than a Disney race. I’m hoping that there will be a lot of entertainment/spectators along to way (they help keep me distracted and motivated to keep going so much), but I need to prepare for secluded sections and overcoming my boredom.
QOTD: What big lessons did you learn from your first race?