i'm running a marathon tomorrow (yes another one). people ask all the time if it's my first one. no, it's not. it's actually marathon #10. that's a little bit crazy. i have definitely learned a few things.
the start of the race can be a little chilly (especially here in utah where you are usually on the top of a mountain). cut the toes out of men's tube socks and use them as arm warmers. they are much cheaper than real arm warmers and can be thrown away a few miles in when you warm up. i also usually start with a pair of cheap gloves (think $1) rather than nice running gloves
people have all kinds of ideas about nutrition during a marathon. i personally can't do GU or shot blocks the whole time. gatorade makes me sick so i really have to pay attention to fuel. for most of the marathon i do a combination of clif shot blocks, jelly beans/licorice, and real food like a peanut butter and honey sandwich or tortilla. i'm constantly looking for something better so please let me know if you have any ideas.
1. buy a GPS watch. yes they are expensive, and no you will not regret it ever.
2. restrict yourself from looking at your watch. it's super helpful to know your pace and distance, but it will drive you crazy to look at it constantly. i wait at least 3 songs in between checking my watch.
3. TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN. i swear the training is just as much mental as it is physical
4. make some friends. find people to talk to along the way
5. hydrate your body starting up to 2 weeks before the race
6. eat really well (during the week and during the race)
7. make a good playlist (ask friends for suggestions and think of them when that songs comes on)
8. dress appropriately (don't dress too warm)
9. positive self talk is key. tell yourself you can do it, and i promise you can
10. have fun
running is such a crazy thing. no matter if you run around the block or a 100 mile race, being a runner makes you part of a community. while the tragic events of the boston marathon completely shook me up, it also made me incredibly proud to be part of this large community of runners. marathon running isn't for everyone, but if you want it to be for you, i promise you it can be. if i can do it, anybody can.