Agony and ecstasy: 1st marathon complete!

This past Sunday, I completed my first marathon – an accomplishment that, even a year ago, seemed impossible to achieve. But I committed to the training, gave myself five months, and the result is there.

I didn’t want to think of a finish time, but somehow 4:40 became a default during training. I had to push in the last kilometre, but I sneaked in at a chip time of 4:39:21. I may have just beaten my projected time, but it certainly was not easy, and not the least bit steady.

The halfway split time is the evidence. 2:09:16 would have been a personal best for 21.1 km, but I had another 21.1 to complete, and it was obvious I had gone too fast. I’ll spare you the details of the 2nd half, but suffice to say that I hit the wall before km 32. I did muster just enough in the final kilometre to run it completely and finish with my arms in the air, and resist that temptation to stop my watch as many, many people have told me beforehand.

Don’t get me wrong with this over-analysis; I may have criticized myself constantly in the hours after for what went awry during the run, but it’s a learning experience, and I’m now basking in the glow that comes from completing the first marathon, and I’m ensuring that it won’t be my last. I do recognize the extraordinary commitments required to train for one, so I’m not entirely sure when I can next attempt a marathon, but I hope to try in the next 12-18 months. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to my next event, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in December.

Some numbers that I’ve compiled from 22 weeks of training for this marathon, which surprise me the more I look at them: 745 km (463 mi) run over 75 sessions; weekly totals ranging from 14 to 62 km; two calendar months (August and September) exceeding 160 km (100 mi) run per month.

After all that running, I should go rest my legs…

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5 Comments on “Agony and ecstasy: 1st marathon complete!”

  1. VancityBuzz says:

    Congrats! I wish I had that kind of will!

  2. Jhenifer says:

    Congrats on the marathon! What a huge accomplishment.

  3. Prabh says:

    Good job Eric. This should get me working harder in my training too :)

  4. […] year ago, I went into the Royal Victoria Marathon with a personal best at the half of 2:12, only 2 minutes better than my first-ever race. With each […]

  5. […] I can count one instance where a nagging injury really curtailed my running: after finishing my first marathon in 2009, I suffered from weeks of knee pain. I recall not taking it well; I ended runs partway, and […]


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