I finished my first marathon Sunday in Houston in 4:50. That was about 20 minutes longer than what I thought I'd be able to do based on my pace for my long training runs.
The crowds out supporting the runners were great. They really added a lot to the experience.
Physically, I was surprised at how much hotter it was to run with a mass of humanity than it is running alone. Race time temp was 42 or so and I was sweating big time at the 5-6 mile mark wearing only running shorts and a short sleeve shirt - no gloves or hat. I took a little more water early in the race to try to compensate and should have probably taken more in the first 15 miles than I did. I had to walk/run from about 22 miles on in.
I have never had any issues with my feet while running or even afterward before this run. I ended up with several large blisters and a couple of toes that feel like they've been stepped on by a large human. Muscle pain is not really too bad.
I enjoyed it enough that I've already started looking at how to improve my time on the next attempt, so I guess I've found a new hobby at age 47.
Thanks to all of the posters here for their advice during my training. When you're doing something like this for the first time it really helps to hear from some grizzled veterans.
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