So on May 2nd, I finally ran my first marathon. I survived it, and even though I'm disappointed I didn't meet my planned time goal of 4:30, I survived and I still crossed the finish line in under 5 hours despite the heat.
And yeah, that's the other part that really ticked me off about the New Jersey Marathon: how unstable Northeastern and MidAtlantic states weather gets in the spring! It was 80 F when DH and I arrived at Philadelphia Airport the Saturday before the race. And it only got hotter once I arrived at Long Branch to start the race, which began at 9 AM - much later than what I'm accustomed to. And you know what the kicker is? The temps got back into the 50s and 60s once I left NJ. Fuckers.
I'll say that my first-time marathon experience was an enlightening one. It taught me that the kindness of strangers can be incredibly helpful, because if it weren't for them, I may not have been able to finish. Many of the spectators were hanging outside of their homes throughout the marathon, hosing people down with water or handing out ice. While the race's water stations were frequent, I am still grateful for these folks who got involved on their own.
To sum up my feelings during the marathon:
Miles 1-16: Running at a steady clip. OK, hot, but not bad.
Miles 16-25: UGH! I'm hot, then cold, then hot... And constantly thirsty. Because I was getting a clammy feeling at around mile 13, I was beginning to worry that I was getting overheated, and may pass out. Then I got plain 'ol overheated at mile 16 onward. My running becomes jogging, then I decide to simply run/walk.
Mile 25: Pass my pace leader, who at the outset of the race said this was going to be "easy." When I see him here, he's walking very slowly and looking like death.
For whatever reason, something in me got jolted awake, and I began running at a good pace (around 9 min/mi) until I crossed the finish line... It felt close to an out-of-body experience.
The sick thing after this rather uncomfortable experiment is that I want to do another marathon. You'd think I would've learned my lesson after dealing with all this. But I never learn.