This full marathon came at the end of the month and 3 weeks after my 70 km staged trail race. Somehow I placed 2nd in my first ever multi-day trail race. Also, my first ever video creation made it to the finals. My raw content and writing matched with my friends video camera skills put us in the finals. So, needless to say April was a fun month and it was the perfect ending to my third year in Korea. Hopefully this sets the stage for a fourth great year.
Anyways, Boseong full marathon weather was perfect. Springtime weather and green mountains everywhere. A couple sprinkles of rain here and there but that was refreshing more than anything. Somehow, I get caught up talking before these races and got distracted from stretching. Time just disappeared and all of a sudden the full marathon participants were called to the starting line. Just like that, we are off. We trotted off and I tried to center myself back to beginners mind. Starting from 0. Still, the second place finish was in my mind and was still on cloud 9. It wasn't really about the 2nd place finish. It was the whole weekend. What a great experience www.jejutrail.com put together.
For the first 10% of the Boseong race I wasn't feeling much. Just plugging away and not thinking about the past or getting ahead. Then somehow I let myself go wild. My energy was through the roof but not in a good way. My mind was a pinball maniac. One second I was envisioning David Goggins and the next I was spitting Kid Cudi lines. This was the clear opposite of equanimity. In the moment, I just didn't care. Just going for it and not caring at just over 5:00 a km. As I rounded the 50% mark, as is tradition, I was on cloud 9. Once again, I knew it, but I didn't care. This goes with a lot of things in life that we intuitively know we shouldn't do but do anyways. Some life lessons we have to learn over and over and over. Unfortunately, the energy burst after the 50% mark is one that hasn't been conquered yet.
I couldn't feel my energy slipping at the 60% mark but knew something was not right. Then all of a sudden it was like I could feel a slow leak in my tires. The road became tough and resistance became a bitch. Lack of energy. Not wanting to move forward. I was scratching and clawing for any type of positive energy I could find. Somehow there was ultimate clarity at this moment. I learned the ultra clear motivation behind why the marathon is so appealing to me. Going out for a mile run I don't feel much resistance but going out for 42.195 KM I know there are going to high points and low points and battles to get through. By the 70% mark I was cooked. Sometimes moving at 7:00 km and swinging back to 5:45 km.
Takeaway: When things got tough. Bring your attention to the smallest possible action. Meditation and specifically Vipassana Meditation has helped tremendously with this. When I was late in the marathon my mind would race to this thing or that thing and really screw me up. Big picture thoughts really can make you move in mud. It was like magic. As I focused on my breath and reeled in my thoughts to think only of the next step my pace quickened. Body scans left me knowing that the pain I was feeling was temporary.
Boseong marathon is a small race but it is in the perfect time of year and in a beautiful part of the country. Also, be prepared to be one of the only foreigners in the field. If you are looking for a flat course to test yourself and bring in the spring weather. This one is it. 30,000 won gets entry, a shirt, a medal, and an umbrella! Be prepared to accept free food and free alcohol post race as well. We were one of the last ones at the event and the volunteers offered to give us the extra buckets of alcohol.