I ran the SF marathon today (26.2 miles) and actually ran it. This is the first one that I've completed without stopping, about 4 1/2 hours of continuous running/jogging. I did the SF marathon 5 years ago and completely "bonked" at mile 22. Today was a different story and felt good the whole way. There wasn't a swim and a bike beforehand so I didn't really have an excuse to stop running (which is why Ironman triathlons are much better than marathons).
- The SF marathon is a beautiful run, we hit the Embarcadero, the Piers, Marina/Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Haight/Ashbury, and AT&T Ball park. First half is harder/prettier than the second half. I recommend doing it.
- A half marathon is probably all anyone really needs to shoot for. A full marathon is quite a lot.
- I burned about 3600 calories for the marathon.
- My training schedule actually worked out ok.
- Experience does come with age — I had better pacing and my feet were already calloused up from years of running. Muscle memory kicked in too towards the end. It does become easier.
- Skip the post race massage (unless there's no line) and do an ice bath as soon as you can. That's 3 or 4 bags of party ice in a cold bath tub. You stay in there until all the ice melts. Otherwise, you're going to be all cramped up waiting in line and you're not going to be walking well for next 3 or 4 days.
- Body Glide and Assos cream really help to prevent chafing — nipples, under arms, and thighs.
- Thermolytes or sodium pills were great in helping to absorb the water I drank and helped prevent cramping.
- Low fat chocolate milk is a good recovery drink.
- I'm amazed that women can run with no or bad sports bras. It's not cute. There is a lot of eye candy at the SF marathon though, for guys and girls.
- Someone mentioned that within 30 – 45 minutes of an endurance workout, it's free calories and you can eat as much as you want. After that though, it's the same or worse in terms of burning off those calories. Seems to be right.
Next up is Cal International in December if I can make my running weight. After that, I'd love some recommendations. The 50 marathons in 50 States club is interesting I guess, about as cool as a Chess Club (yes, I was in a Chess Club). International ones would be cool too.
[No more marathons until I reach 170-175 lbs or less fighting/running weight. It's tough carrying around so much weight.]