Monthly Archives: April 2013

My Marathon Journey & Words of Wisdom

Hi there.  It’s been a long dang time since I’ve written anything on this blog. Did anyone notice? Maybe not…

Well, for those of you that are interested, I did actually complete my first full marathon last November. My official time was 4:38:56. Not too shabby for a beginner. I learned a lot along that journey.

A few nuggets of wisdom:

  1. Hydrate, and do it often. I opted to carry a Camelbak hydration system and it made a huge difference! I didn’t have to stop at the majority of the first pit stops and it saved me a LOT of time.
  2. Bring snacks. Jelly beans aren’t enough. I’ve learned to carry the 100-calorie packs of dry roasted almonds and a powerbar or two. When you’re running 26.2 miles, pace yourself and remember to fuel.
  3. Sleep. The night before the race is too late to get any rest. You’re going to toss and turn in anticipation. You can’t take a sleep aid in fear of missing your alarm in the morning. So, get a great night of sleep the previous 2 nights to compensate.
  4. Pace. It matters. I’m learning that slowly. When the race starts, I’ve been so tempted to run with the big dogs because the feeling is so awesome. After a few miles, it’s not so awesome anymore. Everyone says the wall is at mile 18. I hit it at mile 22 and it damn near killed me.
  5. Shoes. Get good ones. Don’t wear new ones to the race, but don’t run in shoes that have many miles on them from training. Even if you can’t tell they’re worn, they are. You’ll find out 26 miles later when your hip is blown, foot is bruised and knees burn.
  6. Rest. Boy, was I an idiot. I scheduled a race the day before I had to drive to St. Louis (about 200 miles) and then on to Nashville (another several hundred miles.) DON’T DO THIS!! Take time to rest, recuperate and heal. It took me nearly a month to recover. Next time, I’m taking the entire next week off work and I’m going to actually rest!
  7. Support. As difficult as training and the actual race was, there wouldn’t have been any way I would have survived without the support of my friends, family and co-workers.  It was awesome to see everyone at various stops throughout the route. THANK YOU!!!

So, I survived.  And I’m going to do this crazy thing at least one more time. I’m registering to run the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. If you can come out, I’d love that. If you can’t, your words of encouragement are certainly appreciated.

PS. I mentioned that I’m trying the marathon at least one more time…I think I’m more of a half marathon man. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Chuck Norris never ran 13.1 miles…just sayin’. I ran the Bentonville Half Marathon last weekend and finished with my second best time ever of 2:05:52. Got to run with a friend (who eventually outpaced me, finishing about 18minutes before I did) and I enjoyed every minute of it.  The folks in Bentonville know how to run a race!  I placed in the top 30% of 1600+ runners, so again, not too shabby.