Well, after a lot of back-and-forth with myself on when and where to try my first full marathon, I finally took the plunge and signed up for the 2012 Bayshore Marathon. I’m very happy that local running blogger extraordinaire Megan will also make her marathon debut in this race. My wife will be running the half marathon, we have family members and Twitter friends who are running the 10K and half marathon, and I’m sure there will be plenty of other runners we know who are running one of the Bayshore races (10K, half marathon, and full marathon). The races take place in late May, which should give me plenty of time to train outside even if we have a rough winter in this area. I’m very excited, but also very nervous and anxious. One piece of advice I’ve often heard and read is “Respect the distance,” and I intend to respect the hell out of it.
I have no idea what to expect, and I probably won’t even begin to truly comprehend it until I’m running the second half of the race. But I hope that once I begin training for Bayshore, I’ll get at least somewhat of an idea of what I’ll be facing. That’s still a little while away though, so in the meantime I plan to build a strong base, do long runs consistently, and figure out what/how to eat and drink during that long of a run. I never eat and rarely drink during races (I include taking gels or other energy/fuel products in my definition of eating), because I’m afraid those things will mess with my stomach and cause mid-race issues. But 26.2 miles is a long way to run, and I know I’ll need to figure out a plan to get enough liquids during the race and take gels, chomps, or something else to give me a little extra energy for the latter part of the marathon…ideally without causing me any stomach issues. I have plenty of time to work on that stuff and figure it out before the race, but I want to make sure I have all the bases covered by the time I start training. I plan to get some real coaching help for this race which should help me a lot, though I’m sure nothing short of actually running it will fully prepare me for how tough it really is (physically and mentally) or help calm my nerves. Regardless of how it plays out, I’m sure the journey to 26.2 will be memorable (and fun, I hope) for me!
Have you run a marathon? If so, what are your tips for first-time marathon runners?
Do you follow organized training plans and/or use coaching services to help you prepare for any of your races? If so, how have they helped?