26.2 Mile Race Recap

Happy MONDAY! TGIM! QUOTE OF THE DAY: “What one can be, one must be!” ~ Abraham Maslow THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: On Sunday, January 23rd, I ran 26.2 miles in a way I have never done it before. I ran it on my own terms. This was the 3rd time I have run this marathon distance. When I woke up on January 23rd, this quote came to mind. “What one can be, one must be.” I figured that if I could run 26.2 miles then I must do it. I pondered that if I wanted to run 26.2 miles then I should do it. I knew that if I could run 26.2 miles then I needed to do it. I figured it was part of my destiny. A dream that I could fulfill. Do you ever feel like you are living a story that is much BIGGER than you? Do you ever feel like a BIGGER story is going on around you? Do you ever feel like maybe the purpose for your life calls to you more than you are called to the purpose of your life? I feel that way about running. I feel like I choose running. But also that running chose me. And running is a big part of my life now and I hope to have it be a big part of my life for a long time. I woke up about 3:45 a.m. and went to the bathroom and listened to a short meditation. I had all my clothes laid out. I put them on and started to run at 4:39 a.m. Let me back up for one second here. In the back of my head, I knew that something would not go as planned. I knew that there would be a glitch or two this day. I did not know it would hit me so early though and try and throw me off right at the start. My main glitch was that my continuous blood sugar Dexcom meter (that tracks my blood sugars every 5 minutes) was giving me an error starting at 4:00 a.m. I was planning to rely on this device, as I do every other day, to give me good accurate readings. At about 4:00 a.m., it was giving me error messages. And it was giving me low blood sugar readings. In reality, my blood sugars were fine. But this was annoying at best. Ironically the last time I ran a marathon in February of 2020, the same thing happened with my Dexcom. It decided not to work. Interesting huh? I believe there was a spiritual force against me during this time trying to discourage me. So I turned the meter off and hoped and prayed that it would start working again. My plan was to run 5 miles and come back to the house. I felt so much joy and ease and excitement as I started out on my own journey around the neighborhood. This 5 miles was easy. These first 5 miles were fun. This 5 miles was great. The weather was near perfect at about 40 degrees. I got back to the house at 5:30 a.m. and went to the bathroom and made my morning smoothie. I drank part of my morning smoothie and was out for another 5 miles starting at 5:45 a.m. I had planned to leave the house at 6:45 a.m. so I was starting to get a little nervous like oh man I have to run another 5 miles and be back and get ready and leave for the race start at 6:45 a.m. I had told my wife I would be back between 6:30 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. I ran another 4.85 miles and got back to the house at 6:40 a.m. I took off my Dexcom sensor and left my Dexcom device at the house. At some point during my morning run, I was praying to God for my Dexcom to work. All I heard God say was, I will be with you every step of the way. And we left it at that. I tested my blood sugars and grabbed my snacks and gave my wife three kisses and headed off to the race start which was 3 miles away. What were your snacks you might ask? I had two packs of Black Cherry Clif Bloks and two Chocolate brownie kids Z-bars. I felt like I had not had enough water, so I mentally planned to stop at every water stop along the course. And I absolutely did this! At each water stop, they had NUUN and water. I grabbed both each time. Thank God for that! At this point, I would like to pause and talk about my playlist. Music is a very important part of my running. I only listen to songs that are at about 90 beats per minute. This helps me run to the beat of the music and keep my running cadence at 180 bpm. The following is a list of my running music that day: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/all-running-music/pl.u-Zmblxd1CN0qdp As I got to the race start at about 7:15 a.m. they were singing the national anthem. Directly after that, I put on my mask and headed to the running chute where the first 500 runners were. The race started at 7:30 a.m. I breathed a big sigh of relief that I had made it to the start of the 3M Half Marathon. I tried to look for the couple of friends that I knew were running this race but I did not see them. I looked at my Garmin watch and the distance was right at 13 miles. Perfect! As the horn sounded for the first 500 runners to start, I continued on the rest of my running journey. Elizabeth Buhro found me in about 3 or 4 minutes. We talked for about 20 minutes which was a nice distraction. My wife Christy and two daughters Emily and Anna were waiting for me at mile 2, which was really mile 15 for me.

I continued to run and just enjoy this experience for the next 4 or 5 miles.  I honed in on my music.  I ran to the beat of the music.  And I continued on my journey.  The one thing that I was not prepared for was the mental gymnastics I was doing at each mile marker.  I was a little disoriented with this and kept referring to my Garmin watch for my correct miles.  It was also a bit disorienting to know that everyone else in this race was only running 13.1 but that I was running 26.2.  But at the same time, it made the 2nd half of my journey definitely more interesting and it was super awesome to be out in Austin and running the course.  It was great to see all the other runners out there.  In fact, at about mile 19 I saw an old friend of mine Steven Elkins.  He used to be the CIO of CTM at the City of Austin where I work.  We chatted for a bit about working from home and running.  I tried to explain I was running a full marathon and was on mile 19 of my journey.  Steven said that I looked good.  That I was really looking good for running that far.  As I continued on my run, I noticed the fatigue set in.  And somewhere at around between miles 20 and 22, the pain started to kick in.   My sister Jenny was waiting for me at somewhere between miles 10 and 11.  I found her at about mile 24 and yelled to her, “Whose idea was this again?” I was definitely in pain.

My calves hurt. My right index toe was hurting. My feet were kind of hurting. But I forged on. I knew the pain would only be temporary. But the experience and the run and the memories would last for a long time. I took a picture with my sister and her dog. Her husband Eric was there as well. The next 2.6 miles I just had to endure. I kept listening to my music and somewhere around mile 25, I decided to smile. I was almost done. I smiled through the pain. I was running and I was almost finished. The race day itself is such a fun experience. But let me pause again and show you the mileage I had leading up to this. The picture below shows my weekly mileage starting Thanksgiving week. I hit 38 miles that week, 35 miles the next two weeks, about 37 the next week. Then 30 miles, 32 miles, and 33 miles. Then the marathon week is that final peak showing a total of 41 miles that week.
I had some really fun ten-mile runs. I ran 10 miles at a time about 5 or 6 times. I remember the run that I took on January 1st, 2022 in Cleveland OHIO where my sister-in-law lives. That was a really great run because it was on New Year’s DAY! And there were so many other shorter runs I did that were just pure joy. I ran with other people. I ran a lot by myself. Finally, I just wanted to conclude with this Scripture… Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Some final quotes: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” – Proverbs 23:7 “The mind is everything what you think you become.” – Buddha “As you think, so shall you become.” – Bruce Lee What you think about yourself is absolutely critical to your success. Today let’s live with courage. Today let’s live with wisdom. Today let’s live outside our comfort zones knowing that is where the real growth happens. Happy MONDAY! Let’s do this day with joy! From Coach Matt AFFIRMATIONS OF THE DAY: 1) I feel relaxed and calm today. 2) I am terrific just the way I am! 3) I believe in myself today. 4) I am as successful as I make up my mind to be. 5) I am filled with energy and enthusiasm. 6) Love is a miracle cure. Loving myself works miracles in my life. Share the Matt’s Motivational Monday love: 1) Support Matt’s Motivational Monday here 2) Or share this e-mail with a friend who might need some motivation or encouragement this day!