Sunday, April 19, 2009

Things I learned by running the marathon yesterday.

Well, as you may have already read or realized, I ran in an actual race for the first time yesterday.  It was an intensely intense experience that had a ton of intensity.  There was a lot to be learned for my next race...

1. At the beginning of the race, you are not as fast as you think you are.  The first 3-4 miles of the race is less about running and more about dodging slowpokes.  Here I was, passing person after person, thinking I was the fastest man alive.  In reality, I was simply passing folks that were setting a very slow pace - but most of them were in my way.  It's a little bit like Frogger - you have to pick your openings and then dart through them.  It was this way for what seemed like a very long time.
2. People handing out water will hold it out for you, but it is perfectly acceptable to slow way down and just take it from them.  I had visions of grandeur of grabbing the water in mid-stride and then pouring all over my face.  Perhaps those that actually are winning the race do this, but honestly, the group I was in was perfectly content with walking over to the table and politely taking the water.
3.  At around mile 8, the people that you are running with start to sound like a bunch of exhausted horses walking up a steep hill.  You hear a lot of grunting, moaning and puffing and some of them start to walk.
4. There are quite a few bands/musicians that play along the route.  This was actually kinda cool - especially the 80 year old grandma barbershop quartet on 21st south.
5. There is much excitement/anticipation/adrenaline at the beginning and ending of the race.  The rest of the time, you are kinda just running. 
6. Never run right behind a jerkwad that looks like he may spit at any time.  He missed me, barely... this time.
7.  It is very humbling to run along side a 12 year old boy for most of the race.  It is also humbling to pass a 75 year old grandpa at mile 10 and think, "It took me ten miles to pass him?!  Really?  Ten miles?"
8. Drink lots of water and save some of that energy and adrenaline for the last mile of the race.  The last 3 blocks, I was totally cramping up and overcome with exhaustion.  I jogged to the finish, but everyone else was sprinting and passing me by. 
9. People that are in cars waiting and are "inconvenienced" this one time a year can be complete moronic terds.  
10.  When making an iPod playlist for the race, make sure you save some of the best motivational songs for the end of the race.  Don't waste all your best songs on the beginning.  
11. Of all the people cheering you on, not all of them combined feels better than seeing your own family at the finish line.
Oh, and if you win, don't expect a giant check. In fact, you probably shouldn't expect a check at all.


Tammy said...

These are great points Abe and if I ever decide to run a marathon or half marathon I will refer back to this post.

Seriously, though, I am so impressed that you can do this. Especially knowing that you've actually run a full marathon too!

Jana Banana said...

I wish I would have done that to my playlist...I didn't even think of that! Maybe next time....if my body ever heals from this!

Jana Banana said...

I just looked at that first picture of you running.....look across the way and you can see my mom and dad holding Luke! Very funny!!

Cheeseboy said...

Jana, my gut tells me that we will both be doing this again someday. Maybe not in the next year, but someday. That is funny about Luke and your mom - I didn't even see that.

Cheeseboy said...

Also everyone, when you make the first picture big, look at the guy right behind me. He must be at least 70!! Amazing, especially considering I finished 1,480 out of 4,200 folks.

Lindsey V said...

Sounds so intense.
I don't think I'll ever do that.
The way you describe a half marathon is how I describe a 5k. 3.107 miles is enough for me.

Tyler and Lyndsay said...

Dear Marathon Cheeseboy:
Congrats on the great achievement. We are proud of you. Sorry we weren't there to cheer you on.

Lori said...

Way to go, Abe! This is a huge accomplishment in my eyes!

Esther said...

Good job Abe! That's amazing that you ran it! I'm impressed. And yes, if you read this, I'll watch Lincoln and Calder sometime next week.