> I'm running the San Francisco Marathon July 9. It's my first marathon, and
> I just need any advice or helpful hints you can give. Specifically, I'd
> like to know about the terrain, etc. I'm from South Carolina and have
> never been there. Thanks! Janice
The sleep you get on days 3, 4 and 5, especially days 4 and 5 will get you
through the marathon. Even if you were to be up all night before the
marathon or even if you only get 3 to 5 hours of sleep, it will be due to
the energy your body has stored by your minimal running 4 days before the
marathon. Knowing the body is on a 36 hour cycle, will allow you to run
the marathon no matter how little sleep you had the night before the
marathon. That is one less worry you have the night before.
Knowing it takes 3 grams of water to store 1 gram of carbohydrate in your
liver and the muscles, the water you drink on days 3, 4 and 5 is very
important. Should you not drink enough water, your body will use water
from the body to store the carbohydrates. So it would be possible to be
carbo-loaded but not well hydrated.
The day before the marathon, you will do nothing but hang around.
Remember that if you go walking and sightseeing, each mile you walk is
costing you 100 calories. Should you walk 8 or 10 miles, you will not be
able to replenish your energy stores in your legs by next day. Even then
you possibly wouldn't feel it until the last 4 to 6 miles in the marathon.
One runner I trained to break 3 hours at the San Francisco Marathon several
years ago, missed his sub 3 hour by 6 minutes. It was after an analysis
of the events the day before the marathon that he realized that he and his
wife had walked about 10 miles sightseeing San Fran. He was able in his
next marathon to go under 3 hours by about 3 or 4 minutes.
Do easy running for 3 to 4 weeks after the Marathon. After such an effort
to achieve such a goal, there will be a letdown. Expect it, as it is
normal. It is extremely important at this point to set a new goal for
yourself. The goal might be another marathon in 6 months; or the ability
to have a base mileage so that you can prepare for a marathon with the 16
week program; or a marathon a year for life; or assisting someone else
prepare and train for a marathon. Remember the marathon is a metaphor of a
lifestyle. You have proved to yourself that you could achieve a goal. You
achieved something that takes effort, time, commitment, focus and
determination. You now have a benchmark to measure yourself against when
you are confronted by the goals and challenges of life. You not have the
experience of having trained to accomplish what needed to be accomplished
to do what needed to be done. Read George Leonard, on Mastery. Read
George Sheehan's Personal Best. Your marathon has prepared you to live
your life. Life, Be in it. and Life, live it to the fullest and share what
you have learned along the way.
Remember you are using the marathon to see where you are not only
physically but also mentally. If you have listened to your body, you will
find that the training you have used for running a marathon: scheduled
training, pacing, hard/easy days, long/short days,--all apply to the
Marathon we all run--LIFE. During these training sessions, if all goes
according to plan, there will be nothing unexpected during your Marathon.
Well, almost nothing except what your mind can create to distract you.
The Marathon while run in the reality of the body, is made up of two
abstract concepts: TIME & DISTANCE (or space). We have created these two
in order for us to compare. While we are always comparing, in reality
since we are unique both in TIME & SPACE, we cannot be compared.
The Marathon is not something you will or will not do again. It is a
measure within yourself to see where you are at a moment in space and time.
You have learned something about yourself. Should you hurt yourself in
anyway, you may or may not have learned. If you are depressed, remember
your body has the right to feel depleted after such an effort. The purpose
of the Marathon is to teach your body and mind to run well. Your best
teacher is the student/teacher with yourself. LISTEN WELL.
Running is a dance done gracefully or clumsily. GO FOR THE GRACE!
Write or send an audio cassette and let us know about your marathon
experience. Your experiences will be of use as we get the next group of
marathoners ready for their first marathon.
International Association of Marathoners
2903 29th Street
San Diego, CA 92104-4912
Seriously, the SF course is challenging, but not brutal. The toughest
part is the Haight St. hill, which comes just after the 13.1M point.
After that, you have a slow rise along the Panhandle (entry into GG Park),
then the park is very nice and you can clip off some good miles if you
have anything left. Last year I was running 5:40's from 15 - 18 miles,
then you run a bit along Great Highway, where it can be very windy, then
it's back into the park for a bit, then out and back on Sunset
Blvd. (gentle rise), back into the park, a couple of small climbs, then
into Kezar Stadium for a great finish on the track.
I'd say that if you are in good shape, then the SF course is about 5-7
minutes slower than a flat course. Go out slow, enjoy the scenery, and
have a great race!
+ Software Engineer Premenos Corporation +