Lessons Learned: First Marathon

I thought it would be fun to look back on my past 7 marathons as I’m prepping for my 8th one next month! I don’t always love when others compare their lives to their ‘past lives’ because changing, maturing, moving, growing is a part of life, but I love to reflect on the lessons that we have learned along our journey!

When I look back on my first marathon the first thing that comes to mind is hard. It was so unbelievably challenging covering that distance. I was totally unprepared for how much it was actually going to hurt those later miles of the race. I remember getting to mile 14 and honestly wondering how am I going to cover 12 more miles when my legs already feel completely spent?!? In all honesty- I also went out way too fast the first half. We’re talking sub 10 minute miles (it was downhill!), when I should have been going more like 11 minute miles. No wonder my legs felt like lead.

I also remember thinking how beautiful the course was. I signed up for this race because I needed a goal to work towards when I first moved to Steamboat. I had no friends there at the time and wanted motivation to get out the door. I saw the ad in the paper for the local marathon (and a discount code) in December and just signed up on a whim. I had no idea what I was doing or how I would train through the winter, but that didn’t stop me!

TBT to my first hike when I arrived in Colorado in November! Yes, there was already snow…

TBT to my first hike when I arrived in Colorado in November! Yes, there was already snow…

I also remember how challenging it was training through the winter months. I had never run longer than 14 miles, so having to get in 16,18, 20 mile runs with the insane amount of snow we got that winter was pretty challenging. I remember walking A LOT during my training runs and wondering how people got in this training when working full-time, having families, having any sort of life. My life basically revolved around marathon training and working part-time at the ice arena.

Carbo-loading become the center of my life. I ate way too many carbs and thought that before every long run, I needed to have a lavish (very heavy) pasta meal. Ha. Oh, how far we’ve come!

The biggest takeaway that I took from my first marathon was how surprised I was when I crossed that finish line. I really did not think I would get there come mile 14, so to cross that finish line in 4 hours and 45 minutes was really special. I also was really surprised with how much it hurt walking down stairs post-race. Living in a three-story condo= I really planned out my trips to go upstairs to use the kitchen or laundry because I did NOT want to go back down those stairs more than once.


There’s nothing like your first marathon.

What lessons did you learn from your first race?

Anyone else consume way too many carbs during training/ before your race?

Do you remember what you had as a post-race meal? I’m pretty sure I had macaroni and cheese because I was way too exhausted to do anything besides lie on the couch and watch TV. Ha.