I enjoyed this marathon. It was like a festival which attracted almost two thousand marathon participants. We ran under the sunshine, towards the wind, with the seagulls, and along the beaches.
Most importantly, I finished it. I thought that I would have dropped out at some point, because one of my tendons or ligaments between my right hamstring and calf was over-stretched, and I had to cut down my training. But, I kept running; so many people were there running with me, I never had to feel lonely. So many spectators were lining up, waiting for me to pass them in order to give me an encouraging clap. So many volunteers were cheering me on, asking me to stay motivated. Therefore, I kept running and because I knew, at the finish line, somebody was waiting for me.
A marathon is hard and I am still a novice runner. Although I learned that pacing is extremely important for a distance race, I still ran faster in the first half than I wanted myself to. I am not a fast runner, and I hadn’t trained enough for this race. I told myself to stay at the pace of twelve minutes a mile; however, every time my ipod delivered me some song which I know how to sing, I ran faster. Every time a seagull opened its wings and glided above me, I ran faster. Every time I saw a mileage marker in the bright green St. Patrick color, I ran faster. For the first thirteen miles, I often ran between ten and eleven minutes a mile.
I felt great after finishing a half marathon, just like how I felt the first time in New York. Although my conscious mind had known that my pace was too fast, my body didn’t want to admit it until mile 15. When no more white angels kept telling me white lies, I started to feel very tired, and suddenly every condition seemed to work against me: the sun was too bright and warm, the wind was too strong, and the road was never-ending.
I had to use subtraction to keep myself motivated. “After another mile, you will only have 10 miles left.” “Once you pass the mile 20, it is just a 10K race.” “There are only four miles left. You can do it. Remember last time after you swam and biked you could still run at a pace of less than ten minutes?”
The subtraction trick kind of worked. I felt I was dying at mile 19, but I hang on for another mile just to turn the whole thing into a 10K. After that, every mileage marker was a relief. However, also after mile 20, I couldn’t manage my pace anymore. The only thing I could do was to run as fast as possible, and whatever pace I got was my pace. I couldn’t ask for more. Finishing the race was everything unless my body gave up first.
The last mile was extremely long, probably because I kept thinking “I am almost there,” therefore my mind was over excited. I kept wondering where the mile 26 marker was and where the finish line was. When I spotted them, they looked so remote, and I felt that I had to run so much harder to reach them.
I finished at 4 hours 45 minutes and 6 seconds based on the time chip. I can’t help but wonder “Oh, if I hadn’t had to go to the bathroom at mile 17, would that mean I could drop the damn extra 6 seconds?”
馬拉松不是件容易的事，而我認真開始跑步，也不過是近兩年的事。雖然我知道，參加長距離的賽事，配速是相當重要的，卻，前半段中，我還是跑出比想維持住的還要快的速度。我跑得不是挺快，之前也沒有針對此賽事好好訓練，於是，我告訴自己，前半段需得保持12分鐘完成1英里的速度。偏偏，每次ipod傳來熟悉的樂曲，我就忍不住跑得更快起來；每次海鷗展翅滑翔過頭頂的天空的時候，就忍不住跑得更快起來；每次看到因為St. Patrick Day而裝飾成亮綠色的距離標記，就忍不住跑得更快起來。結果，在前十三英里，得到的平均配速，界於十和十一分鐘之間。