Work It Out Wednesday (WIOW) and a 60 Day Countdown

After waking up pretty grouchy and dealing with one issue after another at work I decided that today's workout needed to be a quick but challenging 5km run. After a long day and mixed emotions when it comes to running I figured pounding out a 3 miler would do my mind some good.

Mission accomplished.

I also spent a part of my limited free time today thinking strategy when it comes to the marathon. With 60 days (OMG!) to go I want to make sure that I am as mentally prepared as physically because something tells me this is going to be a test of my wits as much as my strength and endurance.

Here's the deal:

It's a marathon so it's 26.2 miles or 42 kilometres. That's an insane amount of distance and I don't really want to think about it- at least not in those terms.

I'd rather break this bad boy into parts.

We start in the good ol' U-S of A and complete the first 6 miles there. That's the first objective: Just get home to Canada. Like it or not I can't quit for at least that distance because the Boyfriend doesn't have a valid passport and can't rescue me when I call him with a fake injury.

Next point of interest is that after the first 6 miles, the water stations are only a mile apart. Given that I have been training with 10 and 1s anyway and I walk through water stations as a general rule, this will divide the rest of the race up quite nicely.

If you are not quite following along, the plan is to run to each station (which ideally will take about 10 minutes anyway) then walk through the stations, thereby avoiding the almost inevitable water spillage and or choking hazard trying to run through them would cause.

Now, as far as fueling is concerned my body likes gels and Clif Bloks and does not like most liquid fuels (aka: Gatorade, eLoad etc) So the plan is to drink water and consume the electrolytes via the food-like stuff. I will take the first dose at the 50 minute mark and then another 1/2 every 40 minutes. All told that's about 4 gels total (assuming I stick to gels).

Given that I need water shortly after a gel and don't want to be weighed down by a hydration belt, I will probably change this up a little when I am out there. I will probably also make the Boyfriend bring me Cherry Blasters but that's just because I'll use any excuse to eat candy.

As for race attire I am thinking cropped pants and layers on top. The weather for the end of October is typically crisp in the mornings with increasing temps through the day. Seeing as I will be running for hours and hours and hours (and hours and hours) I will need to be prepared for an increase in air and body temperature. Clothes won't actually break up the race for me  but I kinda promised myself my first pair of Lulu pants for the occasion so I guess it can't hurt either right?!

So here it is; I've got eight weeks, which means 7 more long runs to practice all this genius planning and tweak it if necessary. Since I am not even remotely willing to risk having another race like last weekend, I am definitely sticking to the old "nothing new on race day" advice.

I'm determined to rock this so let the countdown begin!!

So tell me, what advice do you have for this rookie marathoner?


  1. Practice whatever you want to do...on your next long runs, take in gel - maybe a bit more than you think to see how it goes. Trust me...my first marathon took a lonnnnngggg time and I didn't eat nearly enough. By the end, break it down into 3km sections. I found that doable as by the end, even 5km was just too long to think about.
    And don't wear anything new on race day if you haven't worn it before. Even LuLu can hurt after 42.2km.

  2. For my first marathon in April, I wore shorts and a t-shirt.. it was chilly in the morning, but heated up to about 75 by the end of my 5 hours. I also ended up eating 6 gels (there were gel stations) and drinking 64 oz. of liquid or more. I wore a small Camelbak that held 50 and then I was drinking at almost all stations by the end.

    I would NOT advise sitting down after you finish, though it will be tempting. OUCH. Take an ice bath. And eat a good meal as soon as you can stomach it.

    Good luck!

  3. Sounds like a good plan. I have no advice as I've never run a marathon.

    I think breaking it down sounds smart, but it would still scare the beejezees out of me!!

    Good Luck!

  4. You have a great plan here. I LOVE that your first goal is to "get to Canada"! Actually I think you should consider expanding on this idea a bit more and having other landmark goals that's aren't mile markers. That way you'll be running a series of "shorter runs" not a "long, dreadful marathon." Just something to consider.

  5. great plan, sam.
    u can totally do it! yay

    i can be your virutal cheerleader!


  6. I have heard some people break the marathon into 2, 10 mile runs with a 10k at the end. The last 6.2 is the hardest part. I remember in my first marathon, there was a sign at mile 20 that read, your legs got you this far, now it's all mental. Take an ice bath as soon as you can after the race. Wear a trashbag over layers if you think you need one extra layer but can't afford to part with any outerware. I think I usually take about 4 gels and I always walk through water stops. I always pack a few wipes in case the porta potties are out of tp. Keep moving after the race.

  7. I'm so excited for you girlie!! I love your plan and think it will be a great one. If you aren't wearing a belt how will you carry your gu's? Just curious. I can't think of any newby advice at the moment, but if I do I will let you know.

  8. Way to rally!

    I totally try to drink on the run & it rarely goes well. =P

    I wore a SpiBelt for the 30K...apparently they hold up to 5 gels and it was very inobtrusive.

  9. Remember that this is YOUR race. Do things as you normally would. After km 38 you will feel amazing (and my amazing i mean its a spiritual experience, even if you're not religious! my first marathon I started to cry!). You can do it! I'm rooting for you!!!! Have fun, (and drink and eat lots!)