A smoky cannon, strong gusts of wind, and salty mists from the Vineyard Sound started my marathon this morning in Cape Cod. My dreams of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2017 (the cut-off date for next year’s was last month) were quickly dashed as hill after hill presented itself seemingly non-stop from miles 18 through 23.
In the first of what will be a series of vlogs, my adventures this morning were captured by my good friends, Jennifer and Kevin, who cheered me on throughout every aching mile. (Note that copyright infringement has prevented the video from being viewed in 243 countries. Luckily for most readers, the U.S. is not included :).)
- Prepare for hills. I had a great split at the half-marathon mark, averaging a 7:06 pace. Given a negative split during the latter half, I would’ve handily qualified for the Boston Marathon. The sheer amount of hills prevented such an outcome, which exposed major gaps in my training.
- Remember your reason. As you heard in the vlog, my inspiration for running doesn’t come from a desire to impress others or prove myself publicly. Instead, I run because of an intrinsic need to push myself to my limits, which running long distances helps to fulfill. During the race, however, I was so concerned about how the vlog would turn out that I took my mind off the task at hand (i.e. running a friggin’ marathon).
- Don’t forget to show gratitude. This was a lesson I learned from Dave during the half-marathon I ran earlier this year. Even though he was occasionally out of breath, he made a point of it to thank every volunteer and fan we passed by. Often runners are so dialed in that they completely ignore those who are cheering for them on the sidelines or directing them to make the right turns. It does much to boost one’s spirits to show appreciation for the hard work that goes into making a race worthwhile and enjoyable. This morning I waved, smiled, and said ‘thanks!’ almost every mile. That action alone will help me sleep peacefully tonight.