Happy MONDAY! TGIM!
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You can do anything you set your mind to.” ~Benjamin Franklin
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY aka MARATHON RACE RECAP:
On February 16th, 2020 I completed the Austin Full Marathon. That’s 26.2 miles in my best time of 4 hours 43 minutes and 56 seconds. I had run the Austin Full Marathon in 2014. This was my 2nd time to run this race. My original thinking about running this race came about when I was running one morning and training for the Run for the Water race. I thought to myself it is only late October and I am already training for a 10 mile race on November 3rd. I think I could run the Austin Marathon this year. I knew my sister Jenny had run it in 2018 and my brother- in-law Eric had run it in 2019. So for 2020, I thought I would keep the family tradition going. In the previous two years, I would run the Austin Half Marathon and then cheer Jenny and Eric on in the later miles of the race at mile 20 and 24.
I enlisted the help of a running/triathlon coach Briana Roehling. She has successfully written several other triathlon plans for me in the past. I asked her to write me a marathon training plan where I would spread out the miles through the week and not run any super-duper long runs. She gave me a plan where my longest run was 16 miles and I packed in lots of other miles during the week.
Basically I ran 6 days a week and had one day of mostly complete rest. I liked the discipline of getting a run in 6 out of the 7 days of the week. There is usually a point in your training where you are like. Ugh, I am tired of running and training and I hit that part too about 4 weeks before the marathon. But I endured it knowing that my taper weeks were coming soon and I would be running less and less from that point on.
The day of the race was pretty cool. To my surprise, I slept well that night and slept well most of the week. I really felt rested and ready for 26.2 miles on race day.
I woke up about 4:00 a.m. and did some short meditations and sent out a Facebook post about the race. I got ready to go with plenty of time for several bathroom breaks, hydration at home, and ample anti-chaffing measures. My efforts paid off because I had zero chaffing after the race.
My friend and running buddy Jason Buhro picked me up promptly at 5:35 a.m. and we drove down to the race. Eric Calder was also with us and he was doing the half marathon. Jason was doing the full marathon. We got there a little after 6:00 a.m. and walked over to the race start. We parted quickly as I choose to use the first set of portapotties I saw. I went pee and walked about the pre-race area. I took a couple of pictures and we then did a warm-up lead by Camp Gladiator at about 6:35 or so. After the warm-up, there were some other announcements and at some point we learned there was going to be a 20-minute delay in the race start due to a safety or traffic issue on the course. After the race the Austin Marathon emailed us this:
“We would like to apologize for the delayed start of this year’s race. The delay was due to traffic safety concerns beyond our control. Our team collaborated with the City of Austin and Austin Police Department to ensure that the issue was fully resolved before the race started. We appreciate your patience while this took place.”
It turned out to be a full 40 to 45-minute delay before we actually started the race. That was a bit of a bummer but we could not do anything about that and in retrospect I am glad the course was safe for us to run on it. I went pee again during this further waiting time.
The temperature that morning was about 53 degrees or so and a little bit humid. Once the race started we all were definitely ready to go. The first 3 miles are a slow up hill on Congress and I made sure not to start off too fast. It is definitely my tendency to start off too fast but I held to my pace of about 10 minutes per mile at this point. I dialed in my preselected music selection which was a podcast called Above and Beyond Group Therapy Electronic Dance music episode 365 the last 30 minutes of that which rolled right into Above and Beyond Group Therapy episode 364.
My wife and kids were waiting for me at mile 5 and I dropped off my long sleeve shirt with them. I also gave them my dexcom continuous glucose monitor because it had decided to stop working today. That’s right folks this is the part of the blog where I tell you I am diabetic. My wife said see ya in 2 hours because she was going to be at mile 17. The next miles were pretty good. I enjoyed the people cheering me on and got and gave as many high fives as I could along the course.
Some of the fun signs I saw during the race included, “You Run Better than our government.” “You could have slept in an extra 40 minutes.” “You thought they said RUM. Didn’t you?” “Toenail lost and found ahead.” “Go random stranger”. “You are awesome.” “Only have 3 more miles to go. I am bad at math.” “Tap here for a power up” “You paid to do this” “That’s a lot of work for a banana”
At mile 12 there is a fairly steep downhill followed by a steep uphill. My friend Mireya said she would be there and I looked for her. I found her and I gave her a high five. She ran up the hill behind me shouting motivational things at me like “You are the strongest runner out here. You got this. You are so awesome. You look so strong. Go Matt!” It was pretty awesome. After mile 12 I saw my sister at about 12.5. That was great too. At this point, about half of the people are turning to finish the race for the half marathon and the running field slims out quite a bit. I ate a picky bar at this point and felt a little sense of relief and almost a little bit of a second wind. I was like I am about halfway done. I got this.
I turned my music selection to my motivational music called fearless motivation “World Off Headphones On.” This music had several advantages. It is motivational rap music at about 90 beats per minute. The optimal running cadence is about 180 steps per minute so this provides a natural running cadence along with motivational music. It eases my mind and body a bit to be able to run at a good cadence without having to think about it.
I took one official potty break and went pee again at like mile 14 or so.
Camp Gladiator was at several points along the race and I made sure to get high fives and encouragement there. My mom and step-Dad Gary were at mile 15 and that was good to see them there. There was also this one guy at about mile 16 who was actually cheering runners on as he passed them encouraging them that they could do it! I continued on to mile 16.5 or so where I saw my wife and kids again. They greeted me with a warm greetings, a poster board sign, and gave me some orange juice. This was a good thing.
My sister was going to be at mile 22 and I was getting a little tired by mile 18 thru 20 or so. But around 20 or 21 miles in the 4:35 pace group came by me and caught up to me. I was revived by their presence. When I saw my sister at mile 22, I was like look at me I at meeting my goal. I am going to finish this race at this pace. I think I shouted 4:35 pace group at my siter. But alas that did not last very long. At about mile 22.5 to mile 23 I slowed and eventually came to a walk and then walked and then ran the rest of the race. You might say I experience “the wall” during this point of the race. I experienced a lot of pain in my calves and legs and feet during this portion of the race. I thought wow this hurts! But I just kept going. I thought ugh am I permanently damaging my body. But I don’t think I actually did.
I hit mile 26 or so and there is a steep last uphill climb and then you finish. I was halfway up this hill and I had stopped mainly because I felt one of my toes going a little numb. A lady asked me if I was okay. I said yes I was fine. But what I really wanted to say was something like, “Lady I am on the 26th mile of this marathon going up the last steep hill of the race and my calves are killing me and my index toe was feeling a little numb so I stopped to walk for a minute.” Ha!
I finished the race and my sister and brother-in-law Eric were there. It was a great race with a great finish. They gave me a ride home.
Total food consumed during race:
A pack and half of energy Clif bar bloks. One Ah fudge nuts picky bar. Several orange slices along the way at two or three times. Half a thing of an orange juice that my family gave me at mile 16.5. Liquids at almost every aid station that was Nuun and water. One Oreo cookie. One pretzel stick. That made my mouth dry. Two gummy bears.
Thanks for reading and support Matt’s Motivational Monday blog! I know this was a long read. But I appreciate you.
Doing this event proved to me something that I believe and that is you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Is there something you want to do? A race like this? Or maybe something else?
GO DO IT! GO FOR IT!
You only live once!
From Coach Matt
AFFIRMATIONS OF THE DAY:
I love taking care of my body.
Each cell in my body radiates with brilliant health.
I am grateful for my body.
I choose foods that nourish me.
I choose activities that make me feel alive.
I trust the wisdom of my body.
I am in control of my health and wellness.
I eat for health and nourishment.
My body can do amazing things.
My body is a vessel for my passions and gifts for the world.
I love my body.
I love myself.