Alright, so I bonked (quite possibly one of the hugest bonks in running history with still being able to finish) in my first marathon. Even so, there were a few things that I did get right:
    Hills! I was totally ready for hills. I got to the end of the Nashville marathon wondering where the hills were. I appararently trained on mountains, because I did not feel like the course was very hilly. My newest Nike Free Run 2’s along with toe socks and the rest of my attire were great! No blisters and minimal chafing, which was quite an achievment since I was at it for quite awhile! And even though I chose to eliminate my longest run in training due to an ankle injury, it was a wise choice. I feel that had I pushed through, I would have made the injury worse risking not running the marathon at all.
    I consumed 4 of the Hammer Endurolytes during the race, and I did not cramp at all. I think I will continue to use these as I train for the second.

    I knew going into the marathon, that I did not have adequate training time—only a couple of months. I have been a runner for quite a few years, but am new to longer distances. I needed more time to try different fueling options. The two pretzels that I couldn’t swallow in the second half of the marathon, are first on my list! For a brief moment, I was not nauseated. I realized after this first one, that I do not want anything sweet. The thought of gummy bunnies still makes my stomach uneasy!
    I had chosen not to run with any water bottles. I could have used them during the race. I have a Camelbak hydration system that I am going to try first. If it is too hot, I may try a belt with bottles on the side.
    I had a normal stopwatch that I used during training and the actual race. I thought it was broken during the race, but it was actually my brain not functioning! I wasn’t able to perform simple math either. I could not ever figure how many miles I had left! I don’t think it would have mattered if I had had a watch that keeps pace and distance, but I do think it will help as I train.
    Having longer to train (the race is not until November), I will be able to experiment with different foods and hydration. I am also going to cross train with my old Cannondale bike. I will be training on and off road. I am going to add some drop bar ends and skinnier less knobby tires to make it a little more road friendly.
    I knew that I did not consume enough or hydrate properly mainly due to nerves and being overwhelmed by the number of people (including a lot of walkers). Also, due to the lack of training time, my body has not been trained to tap into burning fat as efficiently once glycogen stores are empty. Being able to do more long runs and bikes, my body will adapt and learn to tap into this vital energy source. 

    Most races start at 7 am. I typically run around 10 or 10:30. I am going to do my longer training runs at race time, so that I can simulate race day. I think this was definitely a factor in my performance during the first.
    Hopefully with these modifications and time, I will get closer to my goal pace.
    As always, run happy!

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