(0) The number of aching muscles I have remaining.
(1) The number of medals I added to my collection.
(2) The number of times I plan to redeem myself in 2011.
Some advice as I reflect on my marathon...
- Test run nutrition with a later run. I can run at 5am without much on my stomach. A run at 8:30am, however, requires something a little more substantial in the early hours.
- Wear something that makes you stand out. It could be your name on your shirt - I still remember cheering "Linda" in the purple shirt across the finish. Or it could be something bright - like my lime skirt and socks. I got a TON of cheers for "Go Green Skirt" or "Go Green Socks", and I always felt like I had to pull myself together when I heard those words.
- If you have cheerleaders and they aren't going to travel the course, ask them to pick a point towards the end of the race (but not the finish). It's those last 6-8 miles where you are desperate for a friendly face and some encouragement. Usually at the finish, you are focused on getting to that line and then you're shuffled off for your medal or photos or whatever and you don't really get to see people that much.
- Bring a water bottle, even if you throw it away after 1 mile. You never know how delayed the start might be and/or how long it might take you to get across the start and to the first station.
Something I think I did right was not expend too much energy getting around people. I wasn't going for landspeed records, so I was ok with being a little patient until there was an easy path around. And I was really really focused on running the tangents and considering my Garmin only read 26.35, I think I did a good job of it (especially since they said upfront that the course was 26.3).
Even though I have a half-marathon on 1/1/11, I am officially on a mental break from "training". I'm going to run based on how I feel and leave it at that... for at least the next month. I'm looking forward to it. Although I already got the "where have YOU been" at the gym today from the staff.