I completed my first marathon today, the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama. I registered in September and began a training program that would help me get ready by mid December. I kept on schedule through my 18-mile run, but then life got crazy and I was not able to run much the last four weeks before the race. I had considered not running, but decided I had worked too hard and so I pressed into it and finished. The first question I get is “Would I do another one?” The answer is yes, but I have learned a few things about marathons that I would do differently if I did another one.
1. If you have to spit every few feet, spit long and hard. I hit my shirt a few times.
2. Do not drink 2 cups of coffee and a triple-shot latte’ prior to the race. It woke me up, but I had to stop at the first six porta-potties.
3. The Rocket City Marathon needs more porta-potties. I waited at least 3 to 5 minutes each time I stopped.
4. Girls take longer in porta-potties than boys do.
5. Starting is easier than finishing. The first four miles make you feel you could run forever. Do not be deceived. (Of course, that statement is indicative of a lot of life.)
6. A little encouragement goes a long way. One little boy yelling “Keep going” made the difference for me at one point.
7. Learn to stretch. I never have and it caused cramps towards the end of the race.
8. Cheryl is a great wife. I would not want to do a marathon without her.
9. I get nervous the night before and slightly cranky.
10. Nothing beats the feeling of crossing the finish line and knowing the race is over. At that point, who cares about their time?
If you are looking for a flat course and fun marathon, consider the Huntsville Rocket City Marathon. I should of course mention that I could not have made this race without God’s help. The last three miles I said “Thank you, God. Thank you, God” over and over again, because there were times I didn’t think I could complete it. So, Thank you, God.