So much happened during this marathon that I wanted to make sure I did a second post (24 hours after the race).
26.2 Lessons learned
1. If I'm not running a race with someone, it is cool to run in a pace group.
2. Running in a pace group is great - practice running through the water stops (this was a challenge).
3. It would have been helpful to have music with me during a few of the miles toward the end (this wasn't actually a problem because I talked with a bunch of different people while I was walking.
4. The Galloway method is my chosen way of running marathons (or 1/2 marathons).
5. Felt great during most of the race, but as the the weather got more severe it was difficult to keep up with my original pace (lost the 5:15 group).
6. Having friends text is effective, but I need to give them more feedback about how I am really doing.
7. The spectators at the #rundonna are incredible (like none other that I have experienced).
8. Next time I have a race with a dramatic climate change (either way colder, or way hotter) I need to change my goal accordingly.
9. It is important to make sure I stick closer to the plan and make sure that I don't skip the mid week runs (I missed more than I would like to admit and I think that made a difference).
10. I want to stay in really good shape for life and be able to run a half marathon with short notice.
11. I'm more of a "half-marathon" type of guy, but this race was incredible.
12. I will run this race again in the future and I want some of my friends to come with me next time :-).
13. The beach portion was fun and that was when I talked with a couple different people. I wouldn't do anything different here.
14. I really enjoyed seeing all of the different communities and how they really support the race.
15. This is a world class event.
16. It was so cool to meet Donna and Tim Degan before the race (at the VIP reception) and being able to finish the race with them.
17. I also saw Dr. Perez (Mayo Clinic) and I finished with her (in addition to Donna and Tim).
18. Meeting Joan Beniot Samuelson at the VIP reception was surreal. I asked her "what would you suggest for someone who is young like me to focus on for my running." She responded by suggesting that I focus on 5 and 10k races and then go back to the marathon. I told her that I recognized her from the Spirit of the Marathon.
19. I met the Marathon Man and he gave me his business card. He said something about not making excuses, but we didn't run very long together (I hit the "bite me zone" a little bit before that, but it was still very cool to meet him since I've heard about him before.
20. The "bite me zone" does exist but it can be overcomed by sending a text to Facebook. I felt better after that.
21. The rain really wasn't that bad and that wasn't what made the last 6 miles so difficult. The humidity was what made it so challenging.
22. There were a few very emotional spots for me. The biggest surge of energy I got was at the end when I joined up with Donna, Tim, and Dr. Perez, but the other big surge was when I ran past a band that was playing along with a fairl large crowd.
23. There were so many police involved in this process and I thanked as many of them as possible.
24. Using the run/walk/run was so helpful to me and is the only way I'm going to run marathons going forward.
25. Future plan this year is to run the Bird-in-hand half marathon in September. This is the only race I have on the schedule, but I still plan on running 5-7 miles (at least) on Saturdays.
26. I'm moving a little slow today, but if I would have run continully I wouldn't be feeling as good as I do now (from my experience from my first marathon - MCM 2012).
26.1 Raising money for a cause I believe in makes it all worth it. I love the running community.
26.2 I am blessed with my amazingly supportive wife and without her there is no way I could have accomplished as much as I have so far.