Last week, NextGame Nation member Nathan Wentworth accomplished what thousands of us can only dream of doing – completing the NYC Marathon. It’s difficult enough as it is to be chosen to participate, but to complete the 26.2 mile race is no mean feat. Now that Nathan has finally caught his breath, he has agreed to answer a few questions for us. Enjoy!
What made you decide to run the ING NYC Marathon?
We had some friends running in the 2010 ING NYC Marathon and went out to support them. At that point I had been running recreationally for about 2.5 months. Seeing the race first hand is truly inspirational! I decided then and there that it was something I wanted to try and be a part of. I entered the lottery and the rest is history.
What obstacles did you face with training?
The greatest obstacles I faced were time and fatigue/soreness. Most marathon training programs are 16-20 weeks long. I choose a popular one that was 18 weeks long. It required three weekday runs (Tues, Wed, Thurs) and one weekend run (Sat or Sun). In the beginning it wasn’t bad but as the mileage built up it became harder and harder to find the actual time to squeeze in the runs. Getting up at 5:30 am to run 10 miles before work was tough. Once the weekly mileage started adding up so did the fatigue/soreness. I had to start giving myself more rest days than the plan called for in order to stay healthy and not hurt myself. I think it’s a common problem and most of the literature I read said if you need to rest then rest.
How did NextGame help you in your preparation?
NG helped in a couple of ways. I was able to coordinate runs with friends using the app. I was also able to help them with a little free advertising by wearing their tech shirts while I trained.
26.2 miles is a LONG way to run – when did you feel some struggles and what did you do to overcome them?
There were many struggles during the race! My biggest regret is that I set too fast a pace for the first half. The energy and excitement of 45K people running together is incredible and it is easy to get caught up in that and go too fast. I realized about halfway that I had gone too fast and was going to need to regroup. Getting a chance to run the race was such a gift. I tried to remember that each time I hit a rough spot. I knew friends and family were watching, too, and didn’t want to let them down. The race is really you against the course. There will always be faster (and slower) runners. I also was inspired each time I came across someone with a disability who was racing. They were truly inspirational.
Did you ever achieve the runners high?
I have but not during the marathon. I think if I get the chance to run another marathon I’ll be at a better place to experience that.
What did you eat after completing the race?
A small bowl of chili, some fresh fruit and a beer. I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I thought I would be.
Why did you decide to raise money for Livestrong?
A friend suggested Livestrong. Since I already had an entry into the race the fundraising minimum was only $500. Livestrong is a great organization. I have a couple friends who have been helped by them. They also give excellent gear! I have been able to raise close to $5,500 and I am so appreciative of all the support.
Any more races on the horizon?
I do. I’m currently registered for three half marathons (Austin, 13.1 NYC and Asbury Park, NJ) as well as one 5K Turkey Trot (Lake Placid, NY). My plan is to try and do at least one race a month for 2012. I’m calling it my “12 in 12 Program”. Once you get the taste for racing it’s hard to stop. I also want to try a triathlon in 2012. Not sure when but stay tuned!