First Marathon finished :> Whew! boy was it fun and was it awesome!
Portland Marathon Sep 28th, and i had a great time.
Thanks to everyone on rec.running for their posts and advice
i finished faster than my "ecstatic" goal time which got
me stoked (I set three goal times, a "acceptable happy day" goal,
a "awesome cool happy happy day" goal and a "Ecstatic Awesome
Triple Happy Day" Goal (yeah yeah, chesy sounding, but it works)
If you want to know details about my experience, feel free to
here are a few tips that worked for me (maybe more appropriate
for first timers)
- i sort of did a no-no and tried something new on marathon day...
i usually don't eat before a long run, but two hours ahead of marathon,
i had a small snack that I knew my stomach could handle.
For me, it's powerbars. I ate one powebar and half a banana. I
was not accustomed to eating before a long run (had done it only
once in my training). but if it's something my stomach is used to,
i figured i'd have no problem . I eat powerbars
quite a bit and had no bowel problems or anything
- i took two cups of liquid for the first 4 or 5 aid stations. after that
i had roughly three cups every two stops.
1 cup of gatorate for about every 4 cups water. I normally drink water
on all the long runs so i didn't want to chance having more gatorade
then that and it worked out fine. (yup! another no-no...doing another
"something new" on race day)
after the 5th stop, i just had one cup of water. i did feel like
going to the bathroom but didn't want to wait and i think i ended
up sweating it all out because after about 3 miles the urge to
go to the bathroom subsided.
- i started out slow! two minutes behind what I think my normal pace
could be, and do that for the first three to four miles. I found two
guys who were going the same pace i was and the three of us ran
together. These two also were first timers, and had similar goals ,so
it helped. really relax and enjoy the scenery. DO not think of it in
terms of performing well, but just relaxing and enjoying it. In a
recent Runners World in the "My Favorite Race" contest, one editor had
said something like "You never relive your first marathon. It only
happens once" or something. so make sure you enjoy it, and that includes
a very strong finish!..basically i figured if i were going to have
three "wall" miles , i'd rather have them be the first three then the
last three. The first three were 2 mins behind my "normal" pace.
The next three were 1 min behind my "normal "pace. i did take the
first half slower than i thought i could do but to be on the safe side
i forced myself to go slower becuase i wanted to have a strong finish.
- i don't remember anyone mentioning this so i'll say it..if you have the
energy, acknowledge the people who are cheering from the sidelines. They
know you can hear them cheering, they know that it's hard for you to
acknowledge. And as a runner, we do hear the cheering .. but when you
positively reinforce the people who cheer you on, they get more motivated
to cheer. This helps the runners behind you as well, but also some of
them will cheer more loudly and even call your number out as you run to
reinforce you back, and this gives you a huge boost. One example was
I directed some applause at someone who was cheering the runners on and
she then cheered loudly for me right afterwards and said "Number 742, you're
worth cheering for!". another time a guy had said "Yeah!! Another happy
runner here! Keep up the good work!". and it does help giveyou a mental
- have someone run with you. I don't think i would have finished as
strong without my friend running with me. She actually ran with me
from mile 11. and i was pretty hyper from that, and it carried over..
but esp afte rmile 24 when i started slowing a bit from sore feet, her
encouragement kept my mind on my goals and it helped a lot!
If you want to know more details, just email me!
p.s. (and Laurie in Oakland, if you read rec.running, congrats on your
PR!!! nice to have met you and thanks for helping me with my red tote
bag on the plane :) LA Marathon is Mar 29! :) come down and try it!)