By the skin of my blister, I completed the Vancouver USA Marathon on Sunday. It was my 6th. During the 26.2 miles, I came to this conclusion. Marathons are long. Without proper preparation they can downright suck. To make them suck less, I offer my 10 common sense marathon tips for the mid-pack runner. Be sure you are armed with my marathon checklist race day morning.
10 Marathon Tips for The Mid-Pack Runner
- Tapering running mileage is crucial to training. It is important to not exert yourself physically during taper week. For example, doing the 400 meter sprint with 25 lb bags of dog food on each shoulder while hurdling carts and small children to get to the check-stand at Costco before it’s your turn is NOT recommended.
- Don’t leave your race number at home. This is especially important if you live 45 minutes away. You are going to be in no shape after the race to owe any special FAVORS to your spouse who you may have to call at 5:30 on Father’s Day to assist in delivery of your forgotten bib when you promised he could sleep until his body was rested or the kids started drawing on his face with a Sharpie. (A special thanks to my mom who facilitated the retrieval by driving halfway to my husband and getting the number to me without complaint.)
- If the port-o-potty is foul, find another. Runners with the runs is not an uncommon occurrence. It took me almost a full minute of dry heaving after opening the door at mile 5. I’m not saying runner #212 was responsible, but……
- If you have 3 kids, don’t underestimate the power of a Poise pad. I discovered how well those suckers worked about a year ago. No this isn’t a sponsored post, but it totally should be. I am a huge fan of their product.
- Don’t wear anything new. This little marathon tip is included in every marathon tip list, but it bears repeating. Marathon day is not the time to debut a cute new outfit and learn it is possible to actually chafe your ass.
- Make sure your race outfit has enough pockets. I recommend investing in the new wave fanny pack marketed as a runner’s belt. I wish I would have had one during my second marathon as I now sport a permanent scar. I stashed a free Gu that was handed out race morning down the front of my sports bra because I had nowhere else to put it and totally forgot about it until I stripped off my sweaty clothing to reveal my very own boneless, skinless right breast.
- Clip the toenails you would like to keep. Dead toenails are a common occurrence and trust me when I say painting your toe is not the same as painting your toenail.
- If you rely on your GPS/timing device for feedback, make sure it is properly charged prior to your event. Since my watch died at mile 25 during the Vancouver USA marathon and it was fully charged, I guess I need to replace the battery or learn to run faster.
- Planning is crucial or you might find yourself in line at the ghetto Safeway at 10:00 pm looking to purchase your pre-marathon meal. I was almost embarrassed holding my banana and jar of natural peanut butter in the row of Boooze Hounds.
- Glide everywhere and then Glide again. Even if it’s not super hot or wet outside, 26.2 miles is a long time for body parts to sweat and rub. You don’t want to be the person caught by surprise in a shower that is comparable to water boarding.
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