Monday, September 22, 2008

How to run a marathon...and enjoy it!

Well, he did it. My husband completed his 8th marathon on Saturday, along with two of his brothers. This picture was taken after the race. They all look like they're trying really hard to smile. I've already established how much I love watching marathons.
This was the first race (as a spectator) that I didn't spend the whole thing driving madly along the course to find a spot to scream at Joe as he ran by. Instead, my friend Katie and I slept in. Well...sort of. Joe thought it would be a good idea (before leaving) at 4:30 am to put Mr. Ornery Pants back on the mattress he'd fallen off of. Which led to the awakening of the Angel Baby. Which led to a party in our room for the next hour before everyone finally settled down and went back to sleep.)
Katie and I did Turbo Jam, ate breakfast, then shoved 5 kids in her van to meet our husbands at the finish line. I felt slightly guilty for not being more supportive. Until I found out that if I had been somewhere along the course, Joe would've climbed in the car and suggested that we go home. Starting at mile 13.
So yes, my friends, Joe survived. But if he'd actually trained (5 weeks really doesn't count), he could've enjoyed the race...not just survived it!
So here are some tips for any of you considering running a marathon...or a half-marathon...or any race, for that matter. (Since I'm so experienced with ONE marathon under my time I'll follow my own advice)!
  1. GET NEW SHOES! (I'm pretty sure Joe wore the same shoes in this race that he wore in his last half-marathon and full marathon. Maybe his lack of training is the reason they've lasted so long...he's definitely due for a new pair, though). As a general rule, replace your shoes every 300-500 miles, or every six months.
  2. TRAIN FOR AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS leading up to the race.
  4. RESPECT THE DISTANCE! 26.2 miles is a LOOOOONG way to run. Training is important. Long runs are crucial for physical and mental preparation! Joe ran 15 miles 2-weeks before the marathon. Several long runs (up to 20-milers) are necessary.
  5. FOOD IS FUEL! What you eat while training will either slow you down or speed you up! Just because soda's available at work at your disposal doesn't mean you have to drink it!
  6. CROSS TRAIN! To his credit, Joe frequently rides his bike to work. This definitely helped build his stamina and overall ability to even survive 26.2. Weight-lifting, cycling, dancing, and even Pilates and Yoga will help prepare your body for the race. Runners who do a lot of core work are better able to keep proper form throughout the race. Cross-training is also important at the first sign of injury while training. If injured, ride a bike until your body heals!
  7. TAPER! Since Joe only ran for 5-weeks leading up to this marathon, he really didn't feel like he had time to ease up during the last 2 weeks pre-race. Tapering helps the body heal and recover so you can arrive at the starting line healthy, rested, and ready to run!

Watching runners cross the finish line is AMAZING! Joe crossed it 17 minutes slower than his best time. Assuming I'd missed him (because it was taking longer than normal), I left to look for him and missed his finish! I was so disappointed! Regardless of his lack of training, my husband is amazing! I don't want to sound at all disappointed in his performance...I'm so proud of him for running marathons over and over! I just wish he'd train a little better so that I wouldn't have to stress out so much while he's running thinking that he possibly might not make it!

As always, after watching a marathon, I've caught marathon fever. I'm thinking of running this marathon in April. Who's with me? (There's also a half-marathon). It's 7-months away...we start training in 3! Seriously, people!


Evelyn and Art said...

Congrats to Joe and his brothers. I think I'll leave the marathon running up to you, sista! I'll cheer you on though!

Michael said...

I'm convinced my foot would fall off after a marathon. I get bored after three, so I don't know how I'd manage a marathon.

Congrats to Joe.

Michael said...

*Three miles, that is.

Kimberly said...

Are Michael and I related or what? I ran four miles the other day and thought that was tough! Way to Go, Joe!

Melissa said...

That is so awesome. I admire anyone who runs a full marathon. I'm so glad he wasn't injured.

arynandrachelle said...

Tell Joe awesome job, I am super impressed! Also, I am with Michael and Kimberly...3-4 miles at a time is PLENTY if you ask me. The only motivation to run a marathon would be to say that I had done it and somehow that is not enough to make me run over 26 miles!!

Diane said...

Yay for the Music City Marathon! Who cares if you run...just come!! Way to go Joe! I'm really proud of you!

Missy said...

I've never run a marathon. I don't KNOW if I actually have a bad knee, never had it looked at. It just does some really weird stuff sometimes. I always like running. Dunno about running a marathon though. I know how hard it is to get the family all together on a project or goal too; there's just so much life that gets in the way. That would be another reason why I am considering doing this with you honestly. I feel like fiddler on the roof "this hand, that hand" and what-not. I don't know, I will tell you I am a definate maybe here.

Erin said...

Running is one of those amazing things to me! I don't know how people do it!

I would love to start training for a problem...I think wearing Depends would slow me down...and do they have changing stations along the way?

Michael...if only I could get BORED does that happen? I'm too busy freaking out thinking how am I going to not pass out? :)

carla said...

Im with melissa in the ADMIRATION!

big big admiration.

some day for me...