Last Minute Marathon Advice

Whew it feels like it’s been forever since my last post but it’s only been two weeks! I really wanted to get a post written last week but I just started a new job at work which I love and am excited to dive into but I’m also wrapping up a few things with my previous role so it’s definitely been a balancing act this past week and on top of that there’s grad school homework calling my name. But no matter what, running finds its way into my routine. I’m a firm believer that people will make time for the things they consider a priority, running included.

Thankfully, my mileage has decreased a lot over the past couple of weeks (and I don’t even have the taper crazies). Want to know why? Because the Marine Corps Marathon is THIS weekend! Just the event I’ve been training for over the past 20 weeks, totally no big deal. (!!!!). I’ve got my race day outfit picked out my head, all the travel is booked and ready to go, and dinner reservations for the night before are made, just need to get packing and get to DC later this week! I had my final training run yesterday, an easy breezy 8 miles, with just a couple of short runs this week. All of the physical training is done, the mental prep is underway, and now it’s all a matter of keeping things as low stress as possible. Which will be a conscious effort on my part… those that know me know I have a tendency to stress. 🙂

So, a question to all of the marathoners out there before I’m off to DC: What is your race weekend /  race day advice?! Help a first timer out! Also – give a shout out if you’ll be at MCM this weekend!!

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6 thoughts on “Last Minute Marathon Advice

  1. For what it’s worth, based on +20 marathons (p.r. 2 hours 48 minutes).
    This is very much advice geared around those last 48 hours:
    (1) Don’t over-do anything. Even “over-watering” has killed people (while running).
    (2) You’re unique. Note your personal quirks and remember them next time.
    (3) E.g.: I’ve learned to barely eat the morning of the run (snack bar, gel, 1-2l Gatorade).
    (4) The day before, visualize the course once-through; imagine you’re doing it well.
    (5) Last 1-2 days: just light easy jogs. Try not to breakdance (e.g. no worming).
    (6) That last one – okay, you can go out, but take it easy when worming.
    (7) This carbo-loading ritual: don’t overdo it. It won’t make-or-break you.
    (8) Prep your stuff and get your mind off the run the night before (yeah right).
    (9) You’ve only slept 3 hours? Relax. Normal. You’re unbreakable. It’s just running.
    (10) Stay warm before starting! “Throw away” clothes or garbage bag. Wear ’em.
    (11) Vaseline. Could be sold for $200/dab at the start. Any place your skin can experience friction/chaffing. Don’t be stingy. Seen the guys with bloody nipples at the end? Painful. Seeing people tape or band-aid themselves proactively = normal.
    (12) Plan for extra time to find your start corral (or getting where you need). Don’t be surprised if you end up walking/jogging/sprinting to get to where you should be. No, this doesn’t just happen to me. Anticipate slow-moving crowds winding their way in various directions.
    (13) Enjoy the anticipation! The adrenaline, etc. You only want last-minute advice, right?
    (14) Again, enjoy. You’re lucky to be healthy enough & have the time & resources to run around for a few hours, right? Savor it! Pain = temporary. Glory = forever. At least for you, until the next one, when for some reason you do this all over again 🙂
    (15) To help get to sleep the night before, read my blog & articles: http://www.adamsulkowski.com 🙂

    • Adam – you rock! This is fantastic advice! I can’t promise that I will refrain from worming, but I’ll try to hold back the urge. Also, I have a new found love for vaseline so I can’t agree with you enough there haha.

  2. Cassie you will do just fine. I am not , have never been nor never will be a marathoner. But I have given birth to 4 children. I know what you are saying,… not the same! But, mentally, in some ways, it is.
    I have to agree with what Adam wrote above. Enjoy the anticipation.
    The pain is temporary. You will get over that, no problem.
    The glory, or the children in my case, are forever! Relish in that and love it!

    When I thought I could not stand one more contraction, and was begging for pain meds, my midwife said two things…..
    1. (when I was at my very lowest/worst) “It wouldn’t get any worse or more painful, it just would get closer together.” So see how you can spin that for a marathon…something like….It cant be any worse than the 20 miles and you’ve already done that! several times!
    2. I’m sure you have heard this before…. don’t think too much about how much is left, but what you have already done and what is waiting for you at the end….(Bill? lol- that seems familiar! he was there at the end for me too!)

    I’m so proud of you and you should be proud of yourself too. I’ll be thinking of you next weekend . Enjoy, Enjoy . Enjoy.
    Patty

  3. So excited for you!! I’m obviously not very experienced since I only ran my first marathon 2 weeks ago 🙂 But I can tell you what worked for me.
    1) The fatigue will ebb and flow so just go with it. If you need to back off your pace for a bit, do it, when you feel better you can get back to “your” pace.
    2) Enjoy!! Someone once described it me as being like your wedding day – you spend months planning for it, thinking about it and preparing for it and it’s over in the blink of an eye. At mile 21 I was really tired and backed off my pace enough to where I could be comfortable (as comfortable as you can be at mile 21!) and just enjoy it. The time and effort you’ve put into training is something to be so proud of and crossing the finish line is an AMAZING accomplishment.
    3) Wear your medal the rest of the day and to the airport 🙂 When my husband ran MCM it was so cool seeing the camaraderie amongst all the runners and I loved congratulating people wearing their medals. You earned it – bask in the glory of being a marathoner!

    • Katrina – this is great advice to hear from someone who just finished their first marathon (and has been running basically the same roads as me!) and definitely helps, thank you! I never even thought about wearing the medal to the airport the next day, I’ll definitely have to do that too!

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