A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pre-Marathon Thoughts

I finally decided what I'm wearing for the marathon. See that photo up there? That's what I'll be wearing. My white Adidas visor, my red Oak Park Runners Club tank, my fuel belt with it's neon green bottles, and black shorts. I'll also have my black knee strap around my right knee but I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one.

I also bought iron-on letters to put my name on the shirt right above the OPRC logo.

For anyone who wants to look for my number, I'm 16190. You can also do runner tracking via text but I can't promise you how accurate it will be.

My goal is to run between 10:00 and 10:30 miles assuming my knee holds up and the weather doesn't freak out.

And with those logistical details out of the way, I thought I'd post the top 10 things I learned while training for this marathon. Next week I'll do a follow-up post that includes the top 10 things I learned while actually running the marathon!

So, without further ado:

1. I have to wear lip balm when I run. If I don't, my lips get this sort of dry, gummy film on them that drives me insane.

2. Long distance running is intimidating but you will surprise yourself with what you can do.

3. Don't take running for granted. Even if you have to slow down, you're still running.

4. A good support group of other, more experienced runners is invaluable.

5. My favorite pre-long-run meal is pasta with roasted broccoli and walnuts with the addition of chicken sausage and a piece of bread or a roll.

6. I have to stuff myself to an almost uncomfortable fullness the night before a long run. Follow that up with a white bread bagel with crunchy peanut butter no more than 2 hours before the run. If I have to eat earlier than that I need to eat half of a Clif bar 30 minutes before gun time. Yay for a fast metabolism?

7. Those long, crappy, slog-fests of runs where you cry and sweat and think you'll never finish so why are you even out there? They don't matter in the end. Don't let them get you down.

8. Understanding friends and family are key. Someone has to make dinner when you don't get home from running until after 8PM and you don't really want it to be you.

9. Planning race day logistics are almost as important as training for the thing!

10. You're allowed to be terrified up until you cross the start line. Then it's time to have fun.

Bonus! 11. Marathon taper brain is a real thing. Right now my brain is mush. I can barely remember my own name. Thank goodness my boss is letting me go home early!


Amanda said...

Erin, I love your insights. As a (very) beginning runner its helpful to see what kind of things I can look forward too as I progress. Good luck tomorrow! Reading your journey has been a real inspiration to me!


Michelle said...

Hi Erin,
Not sure how I stumbled on your blog but I did. We have a lot in common! I run as well (have run Chicago Marathon twice before) and I just moved from Oak Park this year to Westchester. And it's funny to me I see your "running routes" when you post them and I used to have a similar one myself in Oak Park/Forest Park/River Forest. I now run the Prarie Path, Salt Creek Trail, and all over Westchester and neighboring towns. Anyhow Good Luck this weekend but I think you will Rock it!


Anne said...

Thanks for posting this :)
Good Luck Erin...I know you'll do great!

Mica said...

Ha, all interesting revelations, for sure! I like your bright red top, and I know you love your running club. It will probably inspire you to be wearing something that is meaningful.

I always forgot how um...bloated (puffy?) I feel after a long run day. It's like my body gets dehydrated and then decides to hold onto EVERYTHING for the next 24-48 hours. Gross.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with all of those! Especially having supportive people in your life. Thankfully my friends/family were always so understanding with training, but it really can be very time consuming.

I'll be looking for your race recap come Sunday (or Monday)! Good luck, Erin - you will do GREAT - you've worked so hard to get here!

kilax said...

That is a great pic of you Erin! Are there any other good ones from that set?

Do you have to apply lip balm more than once?

This week I have kind of been like "Can I even run 26.2?" It's been so long since I ran long ;) But I know I can (re: 2)

I think I am will have to eat a lot tomorrow!


Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex said...

Good luck! :) I had many of the same thoughts when I was training for my marathon. Little things like chapped lips and wispy hairs drove me crazy (I apply hairspray like crazy because I can't stand it when hairs are sticking to my sweaty face).

Shannon said...

This is a great list! I may see you on Sunday. My goal is to run between 9:30 and 10:30. I am planning to start strong and fade. The hardest part for me is after China town. The area is dead and the sun is always strong (and the forecast keeps getting hotter and hotter!). I need to figure out something to motivate me those 4 miles before the big finish. Have a great race on Sunday! You have rocked training!

lifestudent said...

yay!!! good luck ;)

Johann said...

Nice list. I'm very precise with logistics. You don't need worries about that. Good luck, have a fantastic run!

laurissa said...

Hey Erin,

I've been following & enjoying your blog from California for about a year. Hope you have a great race tomorrow and looking forward to reading your update!

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

Hope everything went well today, it was really hot out cheering for everyone, hope you made it okay. Can't wait to see pictures! And yes, I have to apply lip balm before I work out too.

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