I don't love running. I love seeing what I can accomplish. I love showing up no matter what the conditions and having the inner complaints. I love learning and pushing myself to my perceived limits. Yeosu full marathon is the first one of the new year in South Korea. It is one of the toughest road courses in the country. Several big hills on the second half of the course and not to mention it is in the middle of winter.
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This was my second full marathon and my first time doing the training "correctly." There was an ultra marathon thrown in there in 2017 which broke me mentally in hindsight. During the 3 months leading up the to the Yeosu marathon I was running 3-5 times a week with one long run, a medium hill work run, a tempo run, and the rest slow bulk runs. I love sports so a lot of cross training opportunities are there. Riding my bicycle, playing basketball, playing tennis, or doing yoga were all things that I got into during those three months.
Surprisingly, the weather on that January day was warm for the time of year, no bonechilling cold to deal with. The course is right along the water which is beautiful but can get quite windy at times. Luckily, on that day we didn't face high winds. Since I live in Yeosu I was able to do a trial run a month before. This was an awful day for running which I loved.
Life Takeway: Preparing in the cold wet weather was perfect training. A life reminder that you can't control everything and that conditions are rarely perfect.
There was never an option to quit during this marathon although the thought crossed my mind a few times. What crossed my mind often was wondering why I was out there and what it was all for. While staring off into the deep blue sea I couldn't help but to switch back from internal dialogue of how the fuck I got to living in South Korea? to being so grateful that I was able to do these "impossible" things back to complaining about my slow moving legs. As I reached the 40% completion mark I was already planning what I could do better for next time.
During the race I was already planning what I needed to focus on for the next time. Nutrition was the biggest and more training knowledge would be a very close second.
My nutrition during training and life is subpar at best. I hear about carbo loading and believe I participated in it but wasn't really aware of its affects until this race. Stuffing my face with a full pizza two nights before the race and loading up in other meals I felt a lot of energy on race day. The issue came around 60-70% of the way through the race when it all disappeared. What was left? My tired legs. As I reached 80-90% through the race I was moving in mud. Just as my head was burying itself in pure exhaustion, a friend that I passed at the halfway mark came cruising up next to me with a big smile. He bounced around and was giving some words of encouragement. We were in the same race and right next to eachother but in totally different worlds. I was in survival mode and he looked like it was just a day at the beach. To me, he looked like he was on top of the world but how could I truly know?
Life Lesson: 7 billion people in this world and we are really in 7 billion different universes.
As I finished the Yeosu full marathon in 3 hours 43 minutes my mind was already onto planning how I was going to improve my performance for next race. Whatever that might be.