Last month, I finally did my first marathon! It has been more than 1 year that I was expecting to do it but due to injuries and cancellation (Montreal’s marathon was cancelled due to high temperature), I had to be patient and wait my turn. This time, the timing was right (and so the weather ha ha !).
I had the chance to run the Marathon des Érables at Mont Saint-Grégoire (45 minutes from Montreal) on April 28th. Here’s a picture just before the finish line.
I finished with a time of 4h09. Many runners told me it is a great time for a first marathon. 🙂 I expected to finish it in less than 4 hours but my main goal was to cross the finish line without any big injuries. I accomplished that task hands down! As you can see on the picture, the last 100 meters were a nightmare but I used the rest of my energy to do a quick sprint. I was exhausted…More mentally than physically.
Picture of me and my 2 year old son, Leo, after the race.
The 26,2 mile run was well organized (parking, getting to the site, handling the traffic) by Les Courses Gourmandes staff but it lacked refueling points and anomisity. Just before the start, there’s always a person/MC that tries to boost and motivate you. I guess that time, it didnt work! The vibes were low but I was ready in my mind. Really focus. I knew I could do this but never had the chance to run that far. I did many 5k, 10k and half-marathons but never went beyond that. I had that tought incrusted in my mind for many weeks. Going back to the running path, it was pretty flat with low elevation.
As you can see, the course had a couple (3 actually) of loops and I didnt really liked it. I prefer to do a run where you always see new environments and landscapes. It also keeps me focused and minded through those 4 hours of endurance. Maybe it is just how I see things… Refueling spots were also not enough during the race if I compare it to other races that I recently done. Refueling is important and can be crucial for runners that dont bring a lot of refueling gels/gums, water, electrolytes, etc… Some runners just dont like to pack plenty of stuff when running because it can be unconfortable and they only rely on refueling spots.
Im my case, I prefer to run with my gels/gummies and water bottles. For the first time, I used a Nathan Trail Mix Plus Hydration belt that includes 2 water bottles and a small pocket to stock my refueling stuff. In general, I was pleased with the belt and I will probably used it for my next big race. It was really confortable and didnt bounce at all. The only thing that hurt me a bit (I felt it at the end of the race) was the clip of the belt, it was rubbing on my back and created a small bruise. Note: You can purchase this hydration belt at Amazon by clicking on the picture.
For the energy gels/gummies, I went with a no brainer: GU. GU roctane gels are awesome, they gave me a boost when I need it and kept my body injury-less. I also brought some electrolyte caps but I almost didnt used them since you need to mix them with a lot of water, so I used the Gatorade-like drink from the refueling spots. I used the GU nutrition plan that you can customize on their website depending of your time and type of drinks, gels, gummies and caps that you want to use during the race.
picture of the gels here
I will never forget my first marathon and I know now, that I can improve and get better for the next one (I am doing the Montreal’s marathon next September). For my next marathon, I am expecting to finish it below 4 hours with a constant running pace between 5-6 minutes/km
For people that dont know or are just starting to run, you can monitor (using a fitness wearable) your pace during a course. The pace is actually the amount of time it takes you to run 1 km (or 1 mile). Since I am canadian, I got used to monitor my pace in minutes/km. To check my run more in details, I used Strava instead of Garmin Connect. Actually, I sync my data (from my TomTom Spark 3 GPS watch) with Garmin Connect and then I am able to export it in Strava (or other apps). Here’s my marathon data from Strava.
On Strava, you can check your best effort estimated for different distances (km and miles). The app attribute you some cool medals when you have achieve a personal record. This is sometimes motivates you for your next run! Below you can see my pace.
As you can see, my pace was great (around 5 minutes 30) for the first 26 kilometers but after than, it dropped below 6 minutes and even worst in the last 5 kilometers (more than 7 mins)! This is normal since I never ran that far (25 km was my longest run). My body (and mind) was trying to ajust at the end but my muscles were getting tired. I will definetely fine tune my exercises/run in the next months to keep my 5-6 minutes pace for a longer distance. I will add more posts about my workout/plan in the next weeks/months before the race.
So, are you a runner? If yes, what distance you ran? Do you use any fitness wearable? I will be happy to know more about it!