JHill contacted me and offered me a marathon map print in exchange for review. All opinions are my own, no links are affiliates, though my readers can use my code for a discount!
Congratulations! You crossed the finish line! Maybe you finished exhilarated and ready to do it all over again. PS, If you’ve not yet raced, please read my letter to first time marathoners and half marathoners.
Or NEVER AGAIN.
But I say never say never.
Regardless of how you are feeling about that exact race at that exact moment, I urge you to do a few things:
For one: Don’t register for any more races, and don’t swear off running all together. Marathons are like childbirth–there is a lot of build up, a lot of planning, a helluva lot of effort, likely a decent amount of pain, some births take longer than others, some involve less pain. But at the end of the day, that experience is something that has changed you. Forever. I’m serious!
So while you should already have you post marathon plan in place, you should put that into play. Rest, recover, and return to the world for a little bit. But most importantly, now is the time to celebrate your accomplishment! While you begin the next chapter of your training and life, don’t forget to commemorate the work you put into the last chapter!
Five Ways to Commemorate Your Race and Accomplishment!
1) Race Day Photos
Yes, they can be expensive, but a professional race day picture is truly worth it. They are high quality and high resolution, you essentially own the rights when you purchase them (and thus can use them for just about anything else–like your blog, bio photos, articles, and cards for your family). These are especially great if you ran for a charity (Like Team Challenge! Read about my love for TC!) and received donations–take the photo, put it on a postcard, and send to those who donated!
Just don’t forget to mug for the camera–you know you can smile for a second or two in the midst of the pain. And you never know–smiling and taking your mind off the pain for a bit might make all the difference!
2) Race Medal Holder
I was so excited when Alex got me my medal holder for Christmas. My mother in law graciously offered to have my marathon medals shadow-boxed, but, unlike my big year-end horse show ribbons and awards, I didn’t want to do the same with my medals. For me (and as Joan Benoit Samuelson echoed in my interview with her), there is No Finish Line.
I wanted something that I could continue to add on to, not freeze myself in time. I loved that Alex chose the holder himself, and that it says “I Run These Towns,” so appropriate because so many of my races have been destinations, and I call so many places home! So find exactly what you want–buy one or DIY–and put your accomplishment up on the wall as a way to inspire you later on as a reason to get up off the couch and take the first step out the door, or to remember that moment when you crossed that line.
3) Race Shirt Blanket
Have you done a bunch of races? Why not take advantage of the awesome shirts that they gave you (that may or may not fit) and have them made into a t-shirt quilt or blanket? I personally wear mine, but I did this with my school t-shirts (from high school and college) and I love it. I get to keep my memories, they are awesomely worn in (you know how it is with cotton), and I don’t have to be “that person” working out in their sorority shirt from way back. There are lots of great companies, I used Quirky Quilts, and they did a fantastic job!
4) Ideas for Dealing with Bibs
I tend to accumulate bibs. Some I care about, some not as much. Some of my favorite ideas for commemorating my race bibs are:
- Race Bib Coasters (DIY or buy)
- Race and Bib Journals
- Check out These Race Bib Collections
- Lisa at Run Wiki has tons of DIY’s for Race Bibs!
I have mine in an accordion file at the moment with a bunch of other memories. Hopefully, I will get them sorted soon!
5) Personalized Art For Runners
I LOVE this idea: take the map of the marathon or half marathon (or otherwise!) and make it into a work of art. Jennifer Hill of JHill Design does insanely gorgeous map prints for both generalized travel as well as for runners. She includes the race, race time, bib number, and racer’s name as well as the map of the course or the location, using the colors of the race for fill. They also come in 3 sizes! There are a number of stock race maps for you to personalize, or you can have her custom make a print for you.
As Jennifer remarked to me, these race maps are the “ultimate humblebrag.” There ain’t nothing wrong with that!Be proud of what you've accomplished! 5 ways to commemorate your race #runchat #raceday Click To Tweet
JHill Designs Race Map and Sitewide Discount!
Jennifer has graciously offered one of my fabulous readers the chance to win an 8×10″ race map of their own. Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter below. Open from today (10/9) through October 23.Open to US, Canada AND the UK!!I can't wait to show off my race with a @jhilldesign race map thanks to @suzlyfe's discount! SUSIEXJHILL #runchat Click To Tweet
Don’t want to wait? Order one for yourself right now (you can preorder before your later race!) and get a 15% discount off sitewide throughout October with the code SUSIEXJHILL.
If you are in town for the marathon, go check out the maps for yourself and 15% in person at the JHill Popup!
Congratulations to all that have raced, and good luck to all that are about to! If you are running Chicago, tweet me and let me know so I can be looking out for you!
One last thing–Parking this weekend is going to be insanity, but I have secured a discount code with ParkWhiz, an app that lets you find and book parking ahead of time. Use Code SUZLYFE for 10% off!