Saturday, May 5, 2012

Top 10 Marathon Tips

Tips (I could come up with) for Marathoners

(or Things I Think Are Important to Remember in a Marathon)

  1. Wear clothes you've run in before. You never know how a funky seam, bunching or shifting, or even a different length in new apparel is going to affect your performance. Wear comfortable clothes you like that aren't smelly.
  2. Don't wear brand new shoes. If you've been sporting kicks for 500+ miles, it's probably best to have a newer pair, but if that means getting them the day before the race, skip it. Just wear the old shoes. You want to try to have at least two weeks in the shoes you're using in the marathon

  3. Have a hydration plan. If you aren't carrying water with you, then take a look at the marathon's water stops. Plan accordingly. If it's hotter than normal on the day of your race, take more water. Drink from each water stop and throw some water on yourself, too. Also, when drinking from paper cups, pinch the cup to close it off so it doesn't splash, then drink out of the pointy side of the fold.
  4. Have a nutrition plan. Find out if the marathon is supplying any kind of energy gels, snacks, etc. If you haven't trained with that stuff, don't try it for the first time at the race. Take your energy gels with you and use those instead.
  5. Double-knot your shoelaces.
  6. Go to the bathroom before the race. If it's a big city marathon, plan to get in line more than a half hour in advance. You may have to wait for awhile.
  7. Lay out your race outfit the night before the race.
  8. Charge your Garmin before the race!
  9. Make sure you have a friend out on the course who can hold up a silly sign for you. It might just give you the push you will need.
  10. Relax and enjoy the work you put in to make this event possible! Have fun!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Last Longish Run

This past Sunday, I ran an awesome 9 miles in the morning before church. My workout was supposed to be 60-80 minutes easy and then the last 15 minutes push the pace to between 1/2 marathon and 10k pace.

It was 7:15am, Gregg and I started running from Peakland UMC parking lot, ran to Boonsboro Shopping Center parking lot, and met up with 4 other guys from Gregg's running buddies.

I hung with them for another mile, and then stayed loose and slow and they took off ahead.

After about 7 miles, I turned the pace up. I ran at about a 7:35 pace for mile 8, and then dropped a little faster to 7:30 for mile 9.

At about mile 8.5, I saw the guys again...they had run out farther than me, where as I was doubling back on my course, so I hadn't seen them since mile 2.

I heard some encouraging words from a few of the guys:

Lookin' good speedy!


Lookin' strong!

I finished back at the Peakland parking lot, where Gregg was waiting for me.

He looked proud. 

It made me feel good that he was standing there waiting for me. The following conversation ensued:

Me: I HAVE to go to the bathroom...maybe in those trees over there.

Gregg: You can't, it's a church.

Me: Let's go to Starbucks, quick.

Gregg: Ok.

Me: Hurry!!!

Gregg and I headed to Starbucks. He ordered the coffee and I headed to the bathroom to (well, you know...)

A local runner girl stopped me after I grabbed my coffee (yes, I washed my hands). She wanted to talk about my workouts. She said she needed to start doing that kind of stuff and wanted to do it with me maybe...I was flattered.

I mean me? The girl who used to be horribly inconsistent? She wanted to run with me?

It was a neat feeling. We talked about doing some workouts on the track and longer runs with tempos in the middle this summer. Granted, we all know I have to take a little time off after this marathon, but I can't wait to get started!

Best part is I have the most amazing running calendar for the upcoming year!

June: Chicago Women's Half Marathon

August: Hood to Coast Relay where I'll get to spend time with my friend Sarah who blogs here.

November: New York City Marathon Are you kidding me? Is this REAL?!

Can't wait to keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A long time ago...

in a far away land, a girl who was a hopelessly inconsistent runner began a blog. It was called Project Three Six Five ( and was to represent her public committment to run everyday for a year.

Well that gal made her goal, ran everyday for a year (2010), and kept right on running into the next year until April 3 (that's 465 days of running!). Then she got sick and had to take 5 days off. That was hard.

During that year of running, she married the best guy she could have ever asked for, had a 5k on her wedding day, and visited Spain and Monaco with her new husband on their honeymoon. She even ran every day on her honeymoon (which was difficult, since she almost ran out of time on that really long day of travelling from Lynchburg to Charlotte to Frankfurt to Malaga by plane and then Malaga to Estepona by rental car...)

That year was a good year...that 2010.

In 2011, she kept running and ran her first marathon in Pittsburgh in May of 2011. That was really fun and hard and exciting and emotional and fulfilling...her parents came to watch and she felt like she really achieved something that day.


Then in the rest of 2011, the girl who used to be inconsistent at running, realized she had become pretty consistent and was running faster than ever before. She ran PRs at most of her races in the summer, enjoyed running in some local races on the track, and wore out a lot of shoes.

She ran and ran and sometimes didn't run as much. In the end of 2011 she was a little bored of running, so the fall was a little slower and had not as much running. That was okay. She was happy. She still had super duper husband who always supported her endeavors to hang out with and to love.

Because of the amazing opportunities from her running store job...running girl was in Austin, Texas in December of 2011 for a running trade show. She made friends with a runner dude from Alaska. He was a manager at the running store there (The Skinny Raven)...and he would prove to be a good friend to have made.

That 2011, it was a good year, too.

Then 2012 hit. Running girl was up for a new challenge...she wanted to run another marathon. But this time, she wanted to run faster. Runner dude from Alaska wrote up a plan and gave running girl a nice little Google calendar to sync with her phone. She signed up for the Pittsburgh Marathon again.

This time she would run the marathon to benefit Solemates: the charity program for Girls on the Run. She wanted to raise $500 to help more little girls have the opportunity to do the program. She raised $500 pretty easily. Then she raised $1000. Then she set her goal to $2000 and she passed that goal too. (If you want to see her get to $2500, donate here!)

She had a plan.

In January, running girl started running more again. Then she started doing all kinds of new things she had never done before: tempo runs, hill repeats, intervals, track workouts, ice was a new kind of adventure and very challenging, but she liked it.

Running girl ran 20 miles in a snowstorm in Greensburg in February.

She swam 2 hours and biked for 1 hour to replace a long run when she was having Achilles problems.

She got a concussion while running on the track one day in April. The lacrosse players were taking down the nets that protect the track from the field. They are held up by big, heavy metal poles. A player had a pole in his hands and was walking toward the track. She was running around the back turn and the player hit her in the jaw with the end of the pole. He was a big dude. The pole was heavy. She was conked out for a few seconds...she went to the doc the next day when something didn't feel right. She was told maybe she shouldn't run the marathon. She had to take 5 days off work. Running girl was worried.

That was a big road block. Running girl had to take some time off running after the concussion. When she came back, she was having some headaches, but she felt better and better.

And then the time came where the marathon was only 5 days away.

Running girl was nervous...but she had lots of things to motivate her for a good day.

She had loving friends who inspired her.

She had an encouraging husband who knew she could do it.

She had super running reps who gave her fun running clothes to wear.

She had amazing people who donated to her campaign for Girls on the Run.

She had parents and family members who were going to come watch her.

She had a workplace that supported her and a boss who allowed her to leave for the weekend.

She had only 8 toenails.

She had a massage that week before the race.

She had a lot of water that week too.

She couldn't wait for the big day: Sunday, May 6th.

She was ready.