The marathon was awesome--the crowds, the enthusiasm, the Marines--everyone was so supportive and for the most part cheered regardless of who you were. And with that many people running, there was always someone running past them, so they cheered constantly. A few places stood out to me as having really great crowds and energy: the start and first 2 miles through Rosslyn, Georgetown was great, the second half of the Mall by the old Smithsonian, Crystal City, and of course the finish. Having a Marine put a medal around your neck was an inspiring experience.
To be honest I'm a little disappointed in my time. I went into this saying I wanted to run one marathon and just finish (no time goal). Everyone says, how can you be disappointed, you just finished a marathon? I think after training for 6 months you build up in your mind what finishing will feel like which after 6 months of building up and building up, the reality may have a hard time living up. I posted my thoughts on the Run Like a Mother facebook page which is a book written by 2 women runners and mothers. One of the authors commented that she was only really happy after one of her 7 marathons. A bunch of other women were having the same feelings as me. Another posted this: "Congrats on finishing! I wasn't even across the finish line this past October when I was sure I wasn't happy with my time and was going to do another. I think it fits with the personality type of some of us..." which made me laugh because I'm pretty sure she's onto something. A few days out now, I'm feeling better about it. But during the last few weeks of training I was looking forward to doing something else exercise wise. Now, I really just want to go for a run. Hello Runner's Anonymous....?
Somewhere during all this, something changed for me and it became enjoyable and something I wanted to do it longer. Sure there were really really bad runs, but there were really good runs too. Another marathon isn't completely out of the question for me somewhere down the line. Will it be soon? NO! Probably not next year either but maybe the following (depending on life and other things going on). I'd like to get faster at shorter distances. Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes and a 10K in less than 60 minutes (this one will be more challenging for me). I like having goals or something to accomplish. I'd like to do a 1/2 marathon or 2 or 3 and then see what happens.
I'm still trying to decide if I want to buy a fancy schmancy GPS running watch the tells you your speed and distance constantly with my birthday money--last month I would have said "I don't need that!"
Also got access to the official marathon photos and trying to decide if I want to spend $15 per 5x7 or pay $90 for access to digitally download all of them. I mean I don't want all of them but seriously, $15 for a 5x7? And it goes up from there in cost.
My soreness is gone (and it wasn't as bad as people said it would be) so tomorrow I'm going to the gym for a quick run and some weight training. We'll see where this takes me...