I'm believing that the aim of long distance running is almost over when you stand at a start line of a race, because you must have kept doing everything what you can for months, or for years, in order to run the race. I finished a full marathon today, and my time was 3:46:04. The time was not too bad, but I totally could not race well. I did finish the race, but could not run all through it. After 35km, both of my legs sometimes cramped up, so I had to walk very often (even as I NEVER wanted to walk). I tried to stretch the muscles with my hands, but they did not say yes to me. Many runners passed me away, and I was just like a drowned mouse.
I can call many reasons for my failure to mind. I caught a cold just before the race, after the half-marathon I ran early this month. The air temperature was very low during the race, and I could not fully address it. The road surface was unexpectedly hard and deteriorated (the race was held along a big river and the road looked as paved long before). My pace was too fast during the first half. And more and more. Anyway, the most crucial thing is that I could know my exercise was not enough to finish sub-3.5 hours (I secretly tried to finish within 3:30:00). I'd like to get revenge someday, as soon as maybe.