I’m working on my full recap of the race, but it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Putting my first marathon experience into words isn’t easy.
Today, I figured I’d answer the questions y’all asked me on my Facebook and Instagram accounts. So here we go! If you have any other questions, be sure to leave them in the comments on this post. I’d be happy to answer anything I can. I’ll answer the Facebook questions in a separate post, to keep this from turning into a novel.
Questions via Instagram:
asked by @weeane: What are your favorite things to use for energy, fuel and nutrition during and after the race?
I tend to lean more towards using “real” foods for fuel. For this race, I ate half of a Snickers Marathon bar around miles 15 and 20. I also carried Sharkies chews and Starburst and ate those every mile or two. I wanted to make sure I never got behind on my nutrition. I have a bad habit of waiting until it’s too late to fuel. I carried grape Nuun in my handheld bottle, which I refilled with PowerAde later in the course and ate two bananas (supplied on-course). Around mile 20 I also took some salt tablets. It was getting warmer and I was worried about cramping. I know this all sounds like a lot, and maybe it is, but it worked. I wasn’t hungry and I felt like I had the energy to keep going.
After the race, I really couldn’t eat. My adrenaline was pumping and I felt nauseous. Once I got back to my room, I ordered a turkey sandwich so I could get some protein into my system. I could only eat half of it, but I was able to eat the rest after a nice nap.
asked by @gotogirlblogs: What motivated you the most during those final miles?
The TNT coaches along the course and the TNT spectators. Hearing “GO TEAM” and having a coach run beside me, reminding me why I run, encouraging me to dig deep, and letting me know they were here for me was crucial. One coach approached me during the final stretch through World Showcase and told me “You’ve carried yourself this far. Let the spirit of those you’re running for carry you the rest of the way. This is nothing compared to what they went through.” It was all I needed to keep going. Also, knowing I could get off of my blistered feet was great motivation. I was ready to get my shoes off!
asked by @callmestewie: What did you take away from this experience that you would do different for your next race?
I didn’t really make lofty goals coming into this race. My goal was to finish, whether it took me 5:30 or 7:30. For my next marathon, I’d like to set more of a time goal and have more time to enjoy Race Retreat . That’s really the only change. I felt like I had an amazing experience this time. I had fun, took photos (although I could always stop for more of those), spent time with friends, and took it all in.
asked by @2angelo: What did you do to prepare in the week prior to your race?
Rested and ate. Ate and rested. I didn’t go overly crazy on carbs, but I made sure I had some at every meal, along with lean proteins. I checked and double-checked my packing list, made sure to hydrate and started visualizing the race. Sounds corny, but it worked. I pictured myself at different spots in the race. I pictured myself strong. I imagined how I’d feel crossing the finish line. I still had my doubts, but I tried to push those thoughts out.
asked by @amandatinney: How much did you hold back in the last hour cause you had decided to stick with a friend who had stupidly run 22.4 miles in the days leading up to the marathon?
Rule one of having a #PRinFun is that no one gets left behind. Being with an amazing, inspiring friend as she crossed the finish line was way more important than finishing faster. I would do it all over again the same way. And besides, you weren’t stupid. You were just Dopey.