Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Orleans Marathon - Post-Race, Lessons Learned and Pictures

If you haven't read the pre-race report, it's here. The race report is here.

As soon as the race was over, my dad led me by the shoulder over to the steps so I could change my socks and shoes. The band was playing, his phone was ringing and people were coming in in droves.

I sat down and tried to change my shoes, but I couldn't figure out what I was doing. I took my sock off and put a clean one on and then I sat there confused for a minute and didn't know what to do next. I mean I knew that I had to change my shoes, but I momentarily forgot how. In talking to some people afterwards, they thought I was malnourished at the end. I had to conserve my Clif Shots, even though I brought 6 and grabbed two Gu's during the race. I guess my mind was playing tricks on me.

Once I got that whole thing figured out, I shoved down a bunch of almonds and Clif Bars as a ton of Gatorade. I was starting to feel better. We sat for a couple minutes and then I got up to take some pictures (see below) and then we started back to the hotel. I was hobbling along for most of the mile walk, but was doing pretty well. It's kind of like when a tractor-trailer moves. It's tough to get it started but once it does, you can keep going without much effort.

We went back to the hotel and iced my knees and then I got a shower. At that point my knees were killing me and the ice seemed to help.

As we were walking back, I decided that I wanted pizza for lunch. And not just any pizza. I wanted the greasiest pizza with the most meat and the least nutritional value. And I wanted beer. And I wanted cheese bread. It's funny. After a race like that, all you want is food that's terrible for you.

That reminds me of a pre-race item. As we were waiting for the gun to go off, a woman mentioned that she's already having food fantasies. She was planning to use most of the time during the race to figure out what fatty food she was going to eat afterwards. Ah, the things we runners do.

OK, on to lessons learned.

1) I intentionally didn't use my iPod during the race. The race forbid them, but that wasn't the main reason. I wanted to experience all that the marathon had as far as sounds, etc. In retrospect, though I did get to hear things that I normally wouldn't have with headphones, I missed the music for its ability to distract me from the run.

2) Power on your Garmin early, especially if you've traveled since the last time you used it.

3) A marathon during the winter was a bad idea. New Hampshire has had one of the worst winters in history and that really made it difficult to train outdoors (and I hate training indoors). The sidewalks weren't shoveled. The cars were driving too close and the routes are limited. If anything, I'll save the long races for the fall.


1) I didn't have a specific time goal in mind, which I think was good. I expected that I'd finish around 4:30, but I wasn't too upset when I didn't. I definitely wanted to finish under 5 hours and I did that. Definitely good not to feel disappointed with the time, especially with my first marathon.

2) I secretly had a goal of not walking at all. I achieved that goal. Even though my run in some cases was a slow jog, it wasn't a walk. So, I can say that I ran a marathon. Stupid? Maybe. But it was important to me for whatever reason.

I'm still quite sore a couple days after the race. My quads are killing me and I'm having a terrible time walking down the steps (like an 80-year-old man), but otherwise, I'm good. I've been taking ibuprofen regularly (per Dr. Mom's instructions) and staying off my feet as much as possible.

I'm not planning to hit the roads until at least the weekend, if not the beginning of next week. I'm going to run unstructured for a while. I haven't had that luxury in quite some time and I'm looking forward to not having anything to train for.

While the marathon photographers are still in the process of identifying people and publishing their photos, I am posting a few that my dad took at the race. See below.

Ah, Marathon Elvis.

The Finisher's Medal.

Me after the race. Note the incredibly goofy grin that I couldn't get off of my face all day.

Last, and certainly not least, is a picture of me and my very proud father. In case you're wondering, yes, good looks do run in the family.


Nat said...

Congrats on the first marathon. :)

I did the Half in New Orleans in 2007 and found the same issue with my Garmin. (interestingly had no issue in Philly when I ran the distance run.) Funny that eh?

ShirleyPerly said...

Wonderful photos! Try going down stairs backwards, should be easier on your quads.

Susan said...

Great medal! And great race, Greg. Job well done!

Your dad's pride shows very clearly through the photo.

Do take some time off -- seriously. Now just run "for fun" for a few weeks until you get "the itch" for a different race (whatever kind of race it may be). And walk down stairs backwards to save your quads (but you probably already knew all of that).

I hope you enjoyed the pizza! You earned it.

CewTwo said...

Wow, man! I am so impressed. We have to talk about the training you accomplished.

You are an inspiration!

MarathonChris said...

Good lessons learned for your next marathon ;-)

Robert Barker said...

Awesome, great finish!

Jade Lady said...

Congratulations! it's such an amazing feeling to run a marathon, isn't it? Loved the comment on the food.

Maddy said...

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! Great pictures and job well done!

The medal is cool! I hope you will hang that next your J.D. degree!

J said...

Wow! Congratulations!!! you looked great. Actually better than you should have. LOL!!!