Things I wished I knew before I ran my first marathon

Hello and welcome to another post about one of my favourite subjects… Demeaning myself… Wait, no running. That’s the one. If you know of my constant posts you will know I have run a variety of races in my short running life. But my second ever race was, in fact, the Belfast marathon and my first was a 10km and that was because it was the lead-up race. How did that first race go? Did I learn from it? Well, let me tell you…

 

Try not to have lofty expectations

I was still very overweight and in a small part of my mind had no right doing this. I was insane, it is as simple as that. I could just about get to 10 miles running (slowly) and thought, well why not do the marathon, it is a few months away, it will be finneeee. Foolish Scott.

I thought I would get the whole thing done in under 5 hours and I was well north of 20 stone still at this point. Wearing heavy Karrimor trainers, basketball style shorts. I was comfortable and felt comfortable but I had no reason to be running a bloody marathon. I ended up walking a lot of the race because I hadn’t trained enough. But I finished 6 hrs 26 minutes. I finished.

So for that first marathon, unless you are a seasoned runner and have run multiple distances before, just remember, your aim is to finish, anything better is a bonus.

Have a training plan and be strict with it

I had no training plans, I was stupid and being dangerous. So please, plan this race, as far in advance as you possibly can, you want to be prepared in every way…

 

Prepare your mind for the war it is facing

Living in Belfast and more importantly, within half a mile of two points on the route, I had serious thoughts of quitting and just walking home and pretend I got injured or something. I wanted this nonsense to end, 11-mile point was tough. Just completing the arduous and seemingly never-ending hills, I truly thought of just rolling on home. The next stop was 8 miles later at mile 19, I just had to go 5 or so minutes walk and I would be home, not worrying about a marathon, nice and safe. My legs and mind were done, but I didn’t want to think of the shame of not finishing. I had to and I would do, fatigue be damned.

Have your loved ones there

Now, this might seem a little sad, but I didn’t have anyone I know there with me when I finished the race, in fact, it was only last year where I had someone close to me at the finish of the race. I have had one or two family members watch at a certain point, but never anyone there at the end to say well done.

I didn’t have anyone because I felt as if I would be in the way, wasting their time etc. But boy do I wish I had someone there to pat my back and say well done. So if you are doing a marathon, make sure someone is there, it’s worth it.

It’s okay to get emotional

I will openly admit I cried on that last bend onto the embankment at Ormeau Park, I had just run up Ormeau Road with revellers and finishers cheering me on and down the Ravenhill road with families and finishers still cheering me on. I knew I was finishing a MARATHON! A damn marathon I was finishing it! It didn’t matter what time it was to me, I was completing something I should not have been able to.

I could feel the tears in my eyes as I kept going and then on the embankment more people cheered and I broke a little. I was overcome with the raw emotion of doing something I knew people (and myself) said I couldn’t I ran with everything I had up the final straight hearing those remaining tears for the kind folks who stayed behind to cheer us last stragglers home.

It was so lovely and it was there that I knew that the running community was one that I wanted to be involved in.

Run for charity

I ran the race and as I came home, neighbours approached me and asked where or who I was running for, sheepishly I said I had chosen a little charity when in fact I hadn’t chosen any. They then proceeded to give me £20, which made it even worse as I knew I could have gotten serious money for a charity. I then found a little charity and give them the £20.

My point is, for your first marathon, get linked up with a charity and get a few coins raised up for them and do some good on this journey that you will be on.

If you enjoyed this post! If you want to chat more about any of my posts, please follow me on TwitterInstagram and also to receive updates, Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!

 

One thought on “Things I wished I knew before I ran my first marathon

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  1. Props to you for running a marathon – I’ve been a casual runner for a while and I’m working up the courage to do a half marathon. Maybe this year will be the year!

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