*I think the first 6 miles being on dirt helped my legs not be so beat up during the marathon and after. Sure, they were tight and the quads were a little sore going down stairs but all in all, they felt pretty good.
*My legs also seem to enjoy a rolling course vs. a flat one. I think I do better with hills in a race. Makes it more exciting.
*The article that Jason sent me on how to run downhill helped a lot. I am getting better about running down hills more fluidly.
*Wearing a crazy outfit while you run a marathon gets you lots of attention and encouragement. One of the aid stations voted me best dressed! And my running skirt was a big hit with little girls.
*I felt a bit like Xena, Warrior Princess, while I was getting dressed before the marathon and I feel that if an outfit makes you feel good, then it's all good. Even if it is wild! Maybe especially because it's wild. I am a little irreverent when it comes to cycling and running wear. First it has to be functional but then I like colorful and different. Why be the same as everyone else?
*Wearing compression gear helps me more mentally than physically. Because you know, losing 150+ lbs at the ripe old age of 42 means that things aren't as *cough* tight as they should be. But that's one of the hazards of losing weight I will happily live with as long as I can always run in a good pair of compression tights or shorts!
*Only once during the marathon (after I realized I had the blister) did I ask myself why I was doing it. I just said to myself "you know why!" and kept running.
*I actually don't remember much inner dialog going on. I think I was in the zone and just running and watching and looking. I'm kind of a nosy person and always curious about what's going on around me.
*I never contemplated stopping or walking. I was totally focused on getting to the finish.
*I enjoyed talking to other runners before and during and I wish more people ran without their ipods.
* I passed a few people in the last mile and that was a great ego boost.
* I didn't have any stomach issues during or after and that's probably the thing I was most worried about.
*I take that back, the thing I was most worried about before the marathon was that I was going to have to go see Gnomeo & Juliet that weekend with my niece. But it never worked out and I was very relieved. If that makes me a bad aunt, so be it!
*I lost a few seconds in mile 15 because I dropped one of my waffle halves (I ate a half a waffle at miles 4, 8, 12, & 16 and that would have been for 20) and turned around to go back and pick it up. No littering! But I said "what are you doing, get back in the race!". And felt guilty for a while about it.
*I was so happy it was cloudy and cool but I kind of wish we'd been able to see the sunrise out there in the desert. I heard from previous years that it is spectacular.
*I love the desert. There's nothing like a big, wide open sky to make you feel like you are a part of something bigger. And though some people think the desert is ugly and boring, I find it beautiful. It's a harsh beauty and I think that makes it all the more interesting. It would have been nice to be running with my friend, Libor, who is a birder so he could tell me about some of the birds I saw.
*I think I ran a smart race. I've been asking myself if I could have run even faster and I don't think so. Yet. I think I gave it my all without blowing up and that was what I'd hoped for. I was good and tired at the end and I have to say, that is a great feeling.
*One thing that helped going into the race was this article, "Why You Should Expect The Worst", by Matt Fitzgerald for Competitor. I really loved what he said at the end:
Going into races with confidence in your ability to achieve your goals is a good thing, because true confidence is inherently realistic. But going into races expecting to feel any better than wretched in pursuit of maximum performance is a form of self-sabotage. Expect every race to hurt like hell and you will race better.I reminded myself of this before and during the race. It's not supposed to be a cake walk. If it was, everyone would do it. I think the "hurt" during the race, makes the PR feel that much sweeter.
*Finally, I am proud of myself. Even though this was my third marathon, I feel like I can finally say "I ran a marathon". Not just survived it, not muddled thru, but ran. I trained hard for this and worked with Jason to make it happen. I got a new PR and beat my goal for the race. February 20th at the Lost Dutchman Marathon was definitely a day to remember!