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5787 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Aug 5, 2009 6:56 PM by crl8686 RSS 1 2 Previous Next
RyanActive Active.com Staff 87 posts since
Jun 4, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 1, 2009 4:53 PM

Crossing the Finish Line...

I recently stationed myself at the finish line of the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon, and watched for about two hours.

 

I watched people cross, particularly the first-timers, and observed how they reacted to finishing a grueling 26.2-mile run. It was really neat to watch.

 

Lots of people put two arms in the air, their last drops of energy. Some let out a scream straight from the gut. Lots of people grab the hand of whoever they ran next to and raise them in the air. About 10 people grabbed their children out of the stands and crossed the finish line with them. A lot of people struck a pose for the photographers who are on hand to take pictures of everyone's great moment (muscle flexing is popular here).

 

Of course, every marathon has their nuts. Consider the most entertaining from San Diego:

 

--One guy in a costume pranced around the area in front of the finish line and pretty much refused to cross it until all eyes were on him. Then he did a little dance and moonwalked over it. He was probably about 10 feet in front of the finish for about 45 seconds.

 

--One girl jokingly got down on her hands and knees and crawled over the finish line, which was great except the medics were alarmed and went over to assist her.

 

--One of the 100 or so Running Elvises (Elvi?) came to the finish line in under 3 hours, and spent the final 200-yard straightaway veering from side to side, prancing, hopping with his arms in the air and bringing a lot of attention to himself. It was hilarious, except there was another guy trying to kick to the finish who was no doubt irritated by the king himself getting in his way.

 

It wasn't the odd balls that stood out, though. It was the feeling of self-accomplishment that I saw over and over as these runners crossed. I was inspired, touched, motivated--all of the above.

 

My question is, what do you remember feeling the first time you crossed the finish line of a race you worked so hard for?

  • AndyJD Pro 143 posts since
    Feb 10, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 1, 2009 8:40 PM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    I just ran this race and it was my first marathon so there were two thoughts that crossed my mind.  First was THANK GOD IT'S FINALLY OVER!!!  I hit the wall around mile 19 so the last 7.2 miles were as grueling as it gets and were it not for my great support group I had out there I don't know if I would have made it physically since I felt mentally that I wasn't.  My second thought was that I missed qualifying for Boston by 22 seconds.  22 FREAKING SECONDS.  I was so bummed until I saw my name in the newspaper today as a top 250 male runner!  It just means I'll have to run another marathon and I'm okay with that, but still, to come so close and not make it such a hard hit to take.  Lesson learned?  Don't run your first half in 90 minutes when you only need 3:10:59 to qualify     Hard work definitely pays off and I don't scoff my accomplishment for one minute given it was my first marathon.  I hope others still felt a feeling of accomplishment after finishing what is definitely a harder race than any shorter distance race.

     

     

    ~Andy

     

     





    First marathon: 3:11:21......soooooooooooooooo close to Boston!  Next time.......

    Boston and NYC Marathons 2011 or bust!

    http://www.marathonmovie.com/home.html

  • Run Coach Robert Legend 782 posts since
    Jan 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jun 1, 2009 9:19 PM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    Ryan,

     

     

    Thanks for this post. I have never watched a marathon from the finish line but now know I am missing out on something great and will make plans to do it sometime soon. I typically cross the line, then head straight for the refreshments to wait for results.

     

     

    My first race was a 5k. I had just lost about 60 pounds. As I crossed the finish line, I not only felt a sense of accomplishment, but I also thought about how I could have run a better race. This is still one of the first thoughts I have as I finish a race.     

     

     





    Robert Martin

    NFPT Certified Personal Trainer

    NFPT Endurance Specialist

    RRCA Running Coach

    SPINNING Instructor

    GRAVITY Personal Training Instructor

    GRAVITY Group Instructor

    Power Plate Level II Instructor

    2010 & 2011 Team Aquaphor Sponsored Athlete

    Gatorade G Series PRO Lead Ambassador, San Diego

    http://www.hardcoretrainingsystems.com

  • Run Coach Robert Legend 782 posts since
    Jan 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 1, 2009 9:21 PM (in response to AndyJD)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    Andy,

     

     

    Find a way to get to CIM. We'll sub 3:00 together!

     

     





    Robert Martin

    NFPT Certified Personal Trainer

    NFPT Endurance Specialist

    RRCA Running Coach

    SPINNING Instructor

    GRAVITY Personal Training Instructor

    GRAVITY Group Instructor

    Power Plate Level II Instructor

    2010 & 2011 Team Aquaphor Sponsored Athlete

    Gatorade G Series PRO Lead Ambassador, San Diego

    http://www.hardcoretrainingsystems.com

  • fitmama29 Rookie 7 posts since
    Apr 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jun 2, 2009 11:29 AM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

    That's really cool you were able to observe peoples finishes.  There is a small percentage of people who are willing to taking on 26 miles!  Most people freak out about  running one mile!  Like most people it's that feeling of "Thank God its over!"  It's a huge accomplishment

  • Active Giselle Active.com Staff 21 posts since
    Jun 4, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jun 2, 2009 4:47 PM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment (obviously! ) that was overshadowed in the moment by pain (as was clearly displayed on my face) and then a million other emotions hit me ranging from "Thank God it's over" to "I can't believe I just did that" to "That was amazing" to "Where's the water?! I NEED water!"

     

     

    What an experience to say the least!

     

     

  • AndyJD Pro 143 posts since
    Feb 10, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jun 2, 2009 4:54 PM (in response to Active Giselle)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    I remember thinking about needing water once I started walking towards the cool down area too!  That and where's food!  I was sooooooooo hungry I must have grabbed several protein bars, bananas, apples, bagels, pretty much whatever food was offered I took it.  I also took several chocolate milks, cytomax sports drinks and bottles of water.  By lunch in the family meet up area?  Psh!  Not where there's free food for us!

     

     

     

     

     

    Attachments:




    First marathon: 3:11:21......soooooooooooooooo close to Boston!  Next time.......

    Boston and NYC Marathons 2011 or bust!

    http://www.marathonmovie.com/home.html

  • cyndi t Legend 1,061 posts since
    Aug 11, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jun 3, 2009 10:26 AM (in response to AndyJD)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    Andy,

     

     

    Been wondering where you've been....congratulations on your marathon.....top 250....that is awesome...especially for the first one....

     

     

    Sorry about the 22 seconds.....that really must have been disappointing but I know you'll make it next time.  When is the next one scheduled for? 

     

     

    What woudl you say is your biggest tip to date for training for longer distances?

     

     

    Cyndi

     

     





    TRUST THE TRAINING!

  • RunTedRun Pro 58 posts since
    Sep 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jun 3, 2009 2:30 PM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    San Diego Rock and Roll was my first marathon.  My results:

     

    Warren Ted Hoyt #14441

    San Diego, CA

     

    Age: 41 Gender: M !http://results.active.com/images/a2/clock/digit_4.gif!!http://results.active.com/images/a2/clock/digit_58.gif!!http://results.active.com/images/a2/clock/digit_5.gif!!http://results.active.com/images/a2/clock/digit_2.gif!!http://results.active.com/images/a2/clock/digit_58.gif!!http://results.active.com/images/a2/clock/digit_5.gif!

    Distance

    MAR

    Clock Time

    4:59:35

    Chip Time

    4:52:59

    Overall Place

    7416 / 13370

    Gender Place

    4583 / 6866

    Division Place

    658 / 937

    Age Grade

    44%

    Pace

    11:11

    Ttlrace

    13370

    Ttldiv

    937

    Ttlsex

    6866

    10 Km

    1:11:10

    Half

    2:29:10

    21 Mile

    3:59:19

     

     

     

     

     

    I was just going for fun, and fun I had!  My initial reactions crossing the finish line?  It was really cathartic for me.  The last few weeks have been hard.  A kitchen remodel so my diet was shot, I had to put my dog Kayla down after being lucky enough to have her as my best buddy for the last 15+ years, I was physically exhausted and changed shoes two weeks before the race (to the model I first started running with) and had a blister starting off.  I guess what I am trying to say is an excuse for going into the race not trying as hard as I could of.  I was hoping for a 4 hour finish as my halfs have been just over 2 hours.  I ended up saying "scew it I'm just going to relax and have a good time" and started off in corral 14 with the 5 hour pace group.

     

     

     

     

     

    The race was awesome, the funnest yet of the half marathon, 10ks, 5 ks that I ran over the last year.  I had a friend bandit with me from mile 19 to mile 22 which motivated me to leave the 5 hour group at mile 19 or so.  I also met a really cool running Elvis "Mr. T" at mile 19.  After my buddy left T and I stuck together from 19 to 25.5 (the gates of MCRD).

     

     

     

     

     

    Right before the gate, the last half mile or so,  there was a real fit femal runner who i could tell was in the "I am not going to let Elvis pass me" mindset.  Me being competitve I kicked it up since I was following Elvis doing my best to even keep up with him the last 3 miles.   Elvis, the fit runner, and myself ended up racing it a bit.  I managed to get ahead of them, somehow.  I ended up being a screamer "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH" and basically gave the last quarter mile all I had and gained some ground on them. 

     

     

     

     

     

    I remember the last 100 yards before crossing the finish line that I was using this day, this very moment, as a motivation for continuing those long *** slow Sunday 18-20 mile runs that took FOREVER and hurt.  How over the last year I transformed my body and mind, even losing almost 40 punds.  I was now going to accomplish something that a year ago I never though I could do.  How I changed my mind from "try" to "do."  I started remembering how I used to picture this exact moment of crossing the finish line while I was on some long or tough runs, and remembering the sense of accomplishment that I worked so hard for was only another 30 seconds or so.  Being away from my wife all those days running.  My girl Kayla popped into my mind and for a few seconds I even pictured her running next to me.  I savored the 10 seconds right before the line.  By the time I reached the finish line I was quietly sobbing.

     

     

     

     

     

    My wife had volunteered for the event and was handing out medals.  I was so tired then at the end and in a bit of physical pain.  My quads were screaming.  I looked ahead and saw Julie.  She ran up to meet me and put the medal around my neck.  I basically lost it.  I came apart emotinally then and I'm sure we made a bit of a scene.  All the emotion from the last few months just sprang up and I could not stop for a few minutes.

     

     

     

     

     

    I pulled myself together and made plans for meeting her later on after I went through the swag line.  Luckily I caught up with Elvis "Mr. T" and even took a picture with him.  I feel a sense of friendship with the dude now, I even agreed to run as an Elvis next time! 

     

     

     

     

     

    Right after the marathon I could never imagine putting myself through that again.  Now 3 days later I'm absolutely choking at the bit to go for a run (went up Cowles Mountain Tuesday!) and am planning on America's Finest City half in August and deciding between if I want the Rock and Roll Vegas in December or Surf City in February as my next marathon!

     

     

    Attachments:
  • AndyJD Pro 143 posts since
    Feb 10, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jun 3, 2009 3:34 PM (in response to RunTedRun)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    Great story Ted!  I wish I could say that my run was just as cathartic.  I feel the same as you though and cannot wait to do the next one, mostly b/c coming so close to qualifyin for Boston is just too much for me not to finish the deed

     

     

    Cyndi - Three things come to mind for any advice I would give to a first time marathoner. 

     

     

    First, give yourself ample time to train.  I started my training in the middle of February so pretty much I had 14 weeks of training to get used to running longer distances and to get up the speed to finish in as fast a time as I wanted.  In as much as you need plenty of time to train for a marathon, I kind of have to agree with all those experts out there who stress that the first marathon should be about finishing and not on any particular time.  Personally, I knew I had a strong enough foundation from my cross training to transition over and put in a competitive time, but because most people do not have that same advantage, the real goal is to stick to a program long enough to build up the mileage so that you can finish a marathon and finish strong!

     

     

    Second, adhere to the long runs set out in the program and do at least three 18+ mile runs.  I did one 18 miler and one 20 miler for all of my training and averaged about 35 miles a week during my training.  Doesn't sound like much, does it?  When I reached mile 19 I knew I was in trouble because my legs were starting to give up the pace I needed to finish and qualify for Boston.  At mile 21 I was still on pace, but pretty much I had no choice but to run/walk the rest of the way.  Walking gave me a chance to rest my legs enough to pick it up harder, but it also cost me precious seconds that ultimately prevented me from hitting the magic number.  Were it not for my friends out there cheering me on towards the end and telling me I could still do it I would have just walked.  Really, I just wanted to walk those last three miles.  My friends wouldn't let me and because of them I came so close to doing something that takes many people several marathons to accomplish.  Anyway, doing more longer distance runs trains your body to use muscle glycogen more efficiently so that you don't hit the "infamous wall" that I did at mile 19-21.  Plus, with GU gels and sports drinks out on the course, your body will never quite reach the point of depletion so that it's running on fat the rest of the race like my body had to do. 

     

     

    Third, pace yourself.  I cannot stress how much pacing matters when it comes to running and I'm sure you hear it time and time again.  I got so caught up in the excitement and adrenaline out there that my 10k pace was a 6:47 mile and my half marathon pace was a 6:55 mile.  Pretty much at the half way point I was 10 minutes ahead of my target time and it caught up to me at mile 21, an 8:20 mile pace the rest of the way.  Call it youthful exuberance, call it a beginner's mistake but either way, I would strictly adhere to a pace if you do have a certain time in mind that you want to meet.  Most people I talk to stress doing "negative splits" where the second half is faster than the first.  Adhereing to that strategy may have made the difference of 22 seconds, but who's to say really.

     

     

    So that's what I learned from this race.  I hope when you do a marathon you don't hit "the wall" the way I did

     

     

    ~Andy

     

     





    First marathon: 3:11:21......soooooooooooooooo close to Boston!  Next time.......

    Boston and NYC Marathons 2011 or bust!

    http://www.marathonmovie.com/home.html

  • sobko100 Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jun 5, 2009 7:38 AM (in response to AndyJD)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

    I haven't posted here yet but I love the topic. My very first race was a 5K and I remember I had to tie my shoe three times! Rookie mistake. Afterwards I felt proud and impressed because I went much faster than I thought I could. I just finished my first half marathon in April. The night before the race I was so nervous I almost regretted signing up and I told myself if I finish this one, I'll never have to do another. Then right after I finished the race (1:59:00) I remember feeling so elated, so proud, I wanted to run out and sign up for another right away! So this is the opposite feeling from some of the posters. Anyway I'd love to watch from the finish line sometime too!

  • htrost25 Rookie 1 posts since
    Feb 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jun 9, 2009 10:26 AM (in response to sobko100)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

    GATORADE.

  • Kyle39 Legend 202 posts since
    Sep 8, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jun 9, 2009 11:15 AM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    My first marathon was the Richmond Marathon in 2007.  I remember being tired but I managed to run the whole thing.  I had thought about my pace and what I needed to finish in my goal time up until about mile 21, then after that I really didn't think about much but just keep running and don't stop.

     

     

    When I crossed the finish line, I thought "is it really over - I can stop now?" quickly followed by the realization that "I just ran a f****ng marathon!"  Shortly after that, I felt pain rush through my legs and my body go cold and shaky - physically I was a hobbling wreck looking around for fluids and food, but  mentally and emotionally still quite happy about what I'd accomplished.  Very well worth it.  And I ended up hitting my goal time of 4:45 on the nose (well, within the minute - 4:45:22).

     

     

    My second marathon was the Marine Corps Marathon last year.  I was much faster, but developed evil muscle cramps in my calves and then even my quads that locked me up so bad that my 5K splits went from 29-30min to 37-38min and finally 45 min for my last 5K.  Ended up finishing in 4:52 (only seven minutes slower) even with the disaster.

     

     

    That time, I was just relieved to cross the finish line and be over with it.  But after getting over the disappointment of missing my goal, it did feel great to finish another marathon.

     

     

    This year I'm coming back to Richmond to try it in 4:29, and maybe next year I'll give MCM a rematch.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Hel22Run Amateur 22 posts since
    Jun 5, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Jun 9, 2009 12:05 PM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

     

    My first marathon was the Dallas White Rock Marathon and the longest I had ever run before was 15 miles.  (What's another 11.2 miles right?!)  I only told one person that I was running it, and that was the person that dropped me off at the airport and picked me up.  My goal was to qualify for Boston and that meant running a 3:40.  I felt great until about the 18-19 mile mark where I had to begin taking scheduled walk breaks.   For the next 6 or so miles I was glued to my watch, calculating how long I could walk for and still come in under 3:40.  I told myself that I couldn't fly back home to Boston without getting that qualifying time.  Somehow I did it and ended up crossing the finish line in a time of 3:33.  I remember tears rolling down my cheeks as I crossed the finish, something that was probably the combination of being overcome with emotion as well as the severe lower back pain that  I experienced immediately upon stopping.  The sense of accomplishment I felt that day was absolutely amazing, and to this day I don't think I have felt anything better. I  just completed my 7th consecutive Boston this past April with a PR of 3:16, but nothing compares to that feeling of fininshing that  first marathon back in Dallas

     

     

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jun 9, 2009 12:37 PM (in response to RyanActive)
    Re: Crossing the Finish Line...

    The finish line at a marathon is an awesome place to experience pure emotion!!! It's what made me want to do my first marathon last year.  Two years ago my son ran his first marathon so we went and followed him around the course and then stood for over any hour at the finish line and watched people finish,  what an amazing thing to see, raw emotion, jubilation, relief and tons of pride.  I had goose bumps the whole time.  Last year I got to experience it myself,  I waved to my wife, almost came to tears, felt huge pride and relief and thought. "Now that I know how it feels, I can't wait to do it again even better"!  Now i'm hooked!! Very cool post!!





    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

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