This brings a smile to my face. I know you can’t see it but rest assured I’m smiling.
Before my first Reggae Marathon in 2008 I was a bundle of nerves and anxiety. It had been many, many years since I’d been to Negril so there was that anticipation and excitement about vacationing on the beach. The miles of white sand, the gently lapping warm Caribbean, the sunsets from our beach and Rick’s Cafe. My camera was going to get a workout.
I was a Reggae Marathon Newbie back in 2008. t was also going to be my first full Marathon! I’d entered a full Marathon years before but had a DNF. I’d run lots of 10K’s over the years, Half Marathons and even competed in Sprint Triathalons for a few years but I’d never successfully completed a full Marathon. At Reggae Marathon 2008 I was determined to rectify that nagging sticking point.
My training began about this time of year back in 2008. My basic plan was to follow the 10 and 1 Run/Walk technique (10 minutes running, 1 minute walking). My goal was to finish. I spent that summer and fall building up my long runs until I was over a 3 hour long run each weekend. As well I scheduled a couple of Half Marathons in September and October to build some speed. Staying focused on the goal of crossing the Reggae Marathon Finish Line in December kept me on track for the next 6 months.
As I got closer to Reggae Marathon race day I had another concern: Heat! It is nice and warm in Negril in December…perfect for a beach vacation. It can be a challenge if coming from the Northern US or Europe. I worried needlessly. First, I followed some advice from a seasoned running friend who advised me to run more slowly. As well I arrived in Negril a few days before Reggae Marathon to get in a few runs in the warmer temperature. On race day I was properly prepared: Waterproof sunscreen, head covering and hydration. I took advantage of water and electrolyte replacement available before the race starts and again at every Mile Aid Station along the entire Reggae Marathon route. I can’t tell you how thankful I was for those tireless volunteers who stayed with me through my entire race!
I followed my plan back in 2008 and successfully completed my first Marathon. I was bitten by the Reggae Marathon bug and have been back ever year since: This December will be my 6th consecutive Reggae Marathon. Look out for me around the Media Tent Friday night at the World’s Best Pasta Party at the Couples Swept Away Sporting Complex. Only 6 months to go…
Until next time…