Calling all marathon runners. My pre-race jitters have my brain swirling, and my newbie status has me wondering a lot about race day. Any feedback would be helpful! I know the golden rule is to race like you’ve trained, but I’ve done a lousy job of recording how I trained this time around. I have tons of questions I need to answer before Sunday.
#1 – Hydration. I’ve been running with a camelback on all my long runs (13+ miles). I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. Prior to the extra long distances, I’ve always ran with a hand-held bottle. I know I’m not going to rely on water stops along the course. I want to carry my own water. Camelback or handheld? Camelback pros – I wont run out of water. Camelback cons – It’s heavy and can make me feel like a turtle. Handheld pros – Less weight. My husband will be along the course to switch out bottles as I need it. Handheld cons – am I going to get sick of holding a bottle for 26 miles. Gut instinct – hand-held.
#2 – Fuel. The race doesn’t start until 8:30. I plan on eating my normal breakfast – english muffin with peanut butter and banana slices. I will also bring a banana to start line with me. I’ll be running through lunch time. Even without running I’ll be ready for lunch by 11. How do you fuel during your race? I use the honey stinger chews, but on my 20 miler I was starving. I still haven’t figured out my winning combination. Gut instinct -honey stingers mimicking what worked on my 18 mile run PLUS have bananas and orange slices with my husband.
#3 – Pace Groups. Love them or hate them? Should I line up and run with the 4:30 pace group? Gut instinct: None.
#4 – Anyone have any miracle cures for congestion and cough? I still can’t shake this bug. I feel fine, I’m just coughing like crazy. I coughed a ton on my 8 mile run saturday too, and it was not fun. (and I did go to the doctor hoping for that miracle cure. It’s just viral and my lungs sound clear.) New Mantra: I feel great, and I will continue to feel great until after race day.
#5 – Outfit. I have no clue what to wear. I thought I had it picked out. Capris, tank, arm warmers. I did a test run on Saturday in my outfit. It was way too hot, and right now the weather forecasts are identical. Gut instinct: I’m now thinking shorts, tank, and throw away long sleeve? And my new cute green head band keeps falling off the back of my head (UGH!).
#6 – Music. I don’t run with headphones. I haven’t carried them with me on any of my training runs. Should I bring them just in case I need a break from my own mental chatter. Miles 16 – 23 are very quiet miles. Gut instinct: the cord will drive me nuts.
#7 – My Garmin. On my 20 mile run, it let me know the battery was low. I don’t think it will make it to 26.2. I’ve done some research and the battery life of a garmin reduces it’s ability to hold a charge by 25% every year (meaning they really only last about 4 years). It is supposed to last 8 hours. It had a low battery before 3.5 hours. I set my watch to only display mileage bc I like to run by feel (and seeing my pace makes me question too much), so if it dies it won’t be the end of the world. I just really like the feedback I get every mile. And I love know my exact distance. Any tips or suggestions??? (and I really want record of my marathon – I want the charts, mile splits, and other fun facts!). Would you buy a new one or hope for the best?
I think that is all I have for now. Am I forgetting to thinking about anything? I have an official case of the marathon crazies.
(A BIG HUGE thank you to my husband for being my personal camel on race day. He will be on his bike with his timbuk2 bag stuffed full at every single mile marker I highlight on race day. He even carries his own cowbell!).