Even before I finished the race Sunday there were tons of things already swimming through my head. I learned a lot on Sunday, and here are just a few things:
- Trust your training! Everything I needed to finish on Sunday had been done, and I was ready. I’ve learned not to push myself past what I’m able to do (no need to implode on a race course).
- Success is not always based on what time you finished, but rather how you finish. PRs are icing on the cake, and can mark improvement, but a successful race doesn’t have to include an PR. Finishing with a sense of accomplishment, and with a smile trumped all of my PR finishes.
- Who the heck designed the course changes made last year? That was just mean! The original course that I ran in 2008 was manageable. Last year they changed the course to separate the 1/2 marathoners and marathoners, and give the elites a better traffic flow to the finish. The problem, they added at least 10 additional hills, some of which are just insane! Did the person who designed the course actually run it? This year’s course was by far the hardest marathon course I’ve ever run (and that includes Nike!)
- I was surprised that there was so little food left in the finishing shoot of the race. Walking to the start in the morning I noticed signs for chocolate milk, bagels, etc. When I went through they had crackers, bananas, and M&Ms left.
- For the first time I can remember everything was clearly marked, and the starting area was fairly easy to get around. The only problem I had was trying to get into the starting area since everything seemed to be fenced off
- the volunteers this year were awesome! There were course marshals all the way up at the MARTA station giving directions, and all over the course. It’s the best course support I’ve ever seen for this race!
- Some of the water stops were a little, um, understaffed. Seems like there should be more than 4 people at a marathon water stop, but do I know. I must sincerely thanks the folks at Chandler Park, on the crazy hills of Virginia Highlands, and the folks on 12th street. Your water stops were awesome, fun, and so encouraging. Thank you for what you do!!
- I am trying to patiently trying to wait to see my race pictures, but I’m dying to see my finish line photo. Please hurry ASIphoto!
- This year’s medal may very well be my favorite. It’s super snazzy in my humble opinion 🙂