Welcome back! This is the last installment….If you missed the first two installments, you can click Part I and Part II.
My First Marathon, Part III: Post Run
Immediately after the race is kind of a blur. I felt in a haze. After I crossed the finish line, I think part of me expected cannons to go off or confetti to be thrown. But as soon as I stepped over the timing sensors and stopped running, I just looked around, smiling to myself.
I did it. I finished a marathon. Me!
I worked really hard for about four months and my training paid off! I trained my butt off in between working full time and school.
I took the medal the volunteer was holding out for me, kept walking out of the shutte. I grabbed a bottle of water and more importantly: chocolate milk (my favorite post race beverage – it’s actually has the perfect about of carbs and protein for recovery, by the way).
I noticed the first aid tent on my right and actually did a mental check of my body. I was doing alright, tight and sore and painful, but doing alright. Since my camera and phone were both in my checked bag, I asked the pro photographer to take my picture under the finishers banner.
The next thing I did was went to find my checked bag; I needed to call my mom and my friends.
I obtained my belongings and limped to a tent with benches. It was raining hard again with the wind blowing. I regretted not grabbing one of the space blankets they were handing out at the end.
Before I did one more think, I
wanted needed to get those things off my feet! And by things, I mean shoes….I took off those soaked socks and shoes, not caring that my feet were then going to be cold and put on sweats and flip flops. Ahhhh, much better. I don’t like feet, so I will not tell you what they looked like.
I dug out my phone. I already had a message. It was my mom. She had been following me with text message updates that were automatically generated to her when I crossed certain points along the course and the finish line. She tearfully, but cheerfully, left me a message: “YAY! ….. You did it!” came out through her tears. It made me cry a little!
I called her back and we talked about the race.
Next thing: FOOD. I needed food!!! NOW! My stomach had started growling at about mile 23. I
trudged limped through the puddled lawn and spotted the runners’ food tent. I handed over my meal ticket and spotted the first thing on my menu: PIZZA.
The most delicious pizza I had every had. I’m sure it was probably pretty shitty pizza, but to me, that was the best pizza in the world. I ate one slice, then bashfully asked the guy if I could have more. His response: “you just ran a marathon, you can have all the pizza you want!”
YES! I definitely took him up on that. I think I also ate some fruit, a bagel and frozen yogurt and who knows what else!
Feeling cold and tired, and knowing I had a plane to catch, I thought it was about time to start looking for my car….yeah about the car….now where was that thing!?
If you grew up in Colorado (the Denver area in particular), like me, there’s one thing about us that others need to understand. If there’s no mountains, there’s no way I know where I am, where to go or which direction is north. Heck, I probably was so discombobulated that I couldn’t tell you which way was up and which way was down!
I found a volunteer (easy to spot due to the bright orange shirts that said, “ask me for help!”) She pointed me in the direction I needed to go and I limped off in search of my car.
It felt like the longest walk I have ever had to do, even though it was probably only half a mile! I hobbled along, being passed by grandmas.
I did eventually make it to my car, distracted from the pain of walking by talking to my special friend, as he wanted an update on my race.
I drove straight from the race to the airport. Finished packing my bags in the rental car parking lot, turned in my car keys and checked into my flight. I changed clothes and washed up in the airport bathroom – classy! I made my way through security in my new Vermont City Marathon shirt! Apparently they had already seen a few racers come through, congratulated me and told me they had met the guy who finished 3rd just a few minutes prior!!! I’m glad it was a super small airport; no way could I have walked all the way through Denver International that close to post race.
A few others wearing either the race shirt of medal were in my gate seating area. I chatted with a tiny asian lady about how she just started running a couple of years ago and now was part of the marathon maniacs group. She was interesting to talk to and we exchanged emails. Who knows, maybe I’ll see her again!
On the flight, I sat next to another gentleman that also ran (he only had a few more states left until he completed all 50!) and was also from Colorado. A past ballerina, turned runner (no joke) who now is a dentist. On our lay over, he offered me a beer to celebrate doing my first marathon. Great conversation! We talked about the best and worst marathons, hiking, and life.
The after: I actually recovered fairly fast. I was super sore immediately after. Having to sit constantly at the airport and in the airplanes left me ridiculously tight every time I had to get up to walk to my next gate, seat, etc. I got in from my travels to Denver really late at night due to a flight delay, and immediately went to sleep when I reached my bed. The next day: Not to shabby! Seriously!!! I don’t even understand. I was sore, sure, but I could walk! My mom even commented that I looked like I was moving a lot better than she thought I would be. The part of me that hurt the worst was my hips. They were really tight.
Then day two post, run: Great! A tiny bit of soreness remained but was easily loosened up by walking around.
The WAY after: I kinda got back to it a little to soon. I had weight training for school and I kinda ran Tough Mudder only three weeks after and then a half marathon on the 4th of July……whoops.
The major issues I have been seeing is hip pain and heel pain. The hips are just tight and during tough mudder, my left hip flexor hurt every time I lifted my leg. I could barely finish the race (don’t worry, I’ll have a whole separate post on that race). As for the heel pain, I’m a little concerned. I have decided is either plantar fascitis or Achilles tendonitis. It’s the bottom of my heel and the “tip” or rounded edge of the heel that hurt. “Hurt” may be the wrong word; when I do run, it’s a dull, irritating pain. And I can still feel it when I run on my toes/forefoot. Hmmm….
And yes, I’m taking it easy now….kinda. 🙂
Things I liked about the event:
-Very organized!!!!!!! So many volunteers to help out and signs to point me in the right directions. Great for the most direction-inept personal like myself.
-LOTS of porta-potty’s; before/after and along the course!
-Well marked course! And the course was beautiful! The run through the city was great and the neighborhoods were lovely. I especially liked when we were running along the lake. I can only imagine how much prettier it would have been if the sun was shining!
-The website is very easy to use and register with and has a TON of information!
-My favorite part: The Crowd! They were fantastic! Always people around cheering and screams and beating drums or cowbells!
-The swag bag: A nice shirt, stickers, soap (yes, Vermont made soap), snacks, honey sticks…and I think that was all. But it was pretty good!
Things I didn’t like …We’ll, I can’t think of anything right now!
Things I did right:
-Body glide!!! No chaffing! Sometimes I chaff on my thighs and arms, but I body glided up pre-race and only experienced a TINY bit of sports bra chaffing. Amazing considering the humidity! Also probably helped to have the rain coat.
apparently I chose the right outfit because I stayed mostly dry and the right temperature the entire race. My shoes and socks were drenched by the end, but I lucked out and didn’t have any blisters. As soon as I found a chair to sit in after the race, I took off the those wet things to dry my feet.
Things I did wrong:
-honestly, not that much! I had proper nutrition before, during and after the race…good cardio efficiency, etc
-I guess, if I have to put something here, I would say that I could have trained a little better. Maybe I would choose NOT to train for my first marathon during school….I didn’t get a good last long run in.
-I might also add to this list: Choosing my first marathon to be away from any family or friends. I would have been nice to have someone I knew waiting for me at the finish line.
Random things I learned:
-Some runners walked around with bags on their feet pre-race to keep them from getting soaked before the race even started. They looked pretty silly but I thought it was genius!
-In addition to the bags, I saw a girl just tape the top of her shoes to prevent a majority of water getting in. I’m sure it didn’t work 100%, but better than squishy socks! (and blisters).
-People do wear ponchos or trash bags when they run! I thought it would get annoying, but this was an even cheaper idea than my good will rain coat.
Conclusion: Ya know, I can tell the true runners and fitness advocates from the ones that are just doing it for attention – The ones who are really passionate for running and fitness asked me “did you reach your goal?” However the ones that are only into fitness for the attention/bragging rights asked me, “how fast did you do it in?!” My reply to them was always, “I finished. That’s all you need to know.”
BUT, in case your curious, here’s my results:
Additional Vermont City Marathon Info:
The Race Website – check it out! Maybe you all can add it to your race wish list!
Some photos from a bystander/local photographer
Another blogger was there! Check out: T-Rex Runner’s Recap