I was just looking back at the pictures of my first race 11 years ago. It was the Vancouver Marathon. No, I didn’t start with a 5k or 10k. I went straight to a marathon. Looking back, I don’t know what was in me to commit to this or any race, except that it was a challenge from my brother. And you don’t turn down those kind of challenges.
My first taste of racing and marathoning was after training mostly outdoors in northern Canada through the winter. I drove 1200 km south to Vancouver to race in May in the drizzle and miserableness that is typical of coastal locales. Totally different than the sunny but frigid training conditions. A definite shock to the system.
Of course I wore all the wrong clothes. Went out too fast. And wasn’t prepared to make quick decisions at the aid stations. And every couple miles vowed never to do this again.
But I finished and I was very proud of my 3:36 finish.
One of the lasting memories is doing that last mile saying “Just get this over with. I NEVER have to do this again.” Well that “never” didn’t last more than a couple years.
Eating the wrong recovery food. Yeah, that’s one lesson I learned that day.
And also, don’t drive 500km right after the race. It’s very difficult to extricate yourself from a vehicle after having just run a marathon.
Oh well, live and learn.