Do you think I should carry my own water? I really do not feel like carrying a fuel belt for the whole race. Do you think the water station will be too crowded?
I too dislike carrying my water for the whole race. I’ve done it all sort of ways. Fuel belt the whole race – hated it. Fuel belt for part of the race – then tossed it half way through – hated it a little less. No water – got very dehydrated. And now what I think is the perfect combination for me – I carry a handheld water bottle thing. It has a zipper pocket and I put my chews in that. I use this water bottle alone up until about 5 – 10 miles when the water stations start getting less crowded. Then I start taking cups of water from them. (Don’t forget to pinch the cup into a spout – makes it much easier to drink out of while running and half of it won’t end up on your shirt) Then after about mile 20 when my water is out and I’m almost out of chews I ditch the bottle. Yes I’m throwing away $15 but for me a marathon is totally worth it – skip the latte on the way home and you have made up for 1/2 of the $15! I usually stuff extra chews in a little baggy and put it in my sports bra or a small pocket if I have one on my shorts. I use those ones for the last miles. So yes I do think it’s a VERY good idea to have your own water even if it’s just for the first couple of miles. YES those water stations are too crowded. Remember that Marine Corps has a very high level of first time marathoners so the first stops get crowded with people who don’t know to run past them.
What is the deal with throw-away clothes?!?! I have never worn throw-away clothes but then again I have never run a marathon. I plan to wear shorts and a short sleeved shirt for the race (or maybe even a tank top depending on the weather). I know it will be really cold when the race starts so should I just wear sweats and a long sleeve shirt and chuck them right before the race starts? Or do I really have to tear them off me like superman while I’m running?
When you are cold you body is using energy to warm you up – this is fine for a 5K where you likely have tons of energy, but not so good when you need all the energy you can get for the full 26.2! So you save your body the energy by keeping it warm. This also helps your muscles that can often time cramp up in cold weather. Shorts are always the best way to go for a marathon – unless of course the weather is literally at the freezing point. Tank or a short sleeve shirt is also the best option as well(Don’t forget to body glide). Your body will get cold, it will get hot, probably cold again – but it’s never good to be overheated in the last miles of the race – so you have to think about your temperature at the end. Perfect marathon weather for peak performance is in the low 50’s. Your race temperature will be at least 10 degrees warmer than the air temp – so if it’s 50 it feels like 60 to your body.
I would say no – you don’t have to be superman!! But yes wear old gross clothes – no need to buy anything new – just go digging through your old sweats and race t-shirts and find ones you don’t like. Wear those to the start, line up on the side of the corral(which is a good idea anyways to avoid the crowds and clustering that happens at the start) and ditch it a couple of minutes before the gun goes off.
Where are all the hills on this race (or ones that I will hate)? I know you said mile 26 so I’m prepared for that one and I’m ready to tell myself what you said about the stupid hill beating you so I’m going to try my best not to let that stupid hill beat me when I’m climbing up it.
So maybe it’s because I just ran Freedom’s Run so no hill will seem hard again or maybe it’s because there aren’t really too many hills that are bad. Really the only bad ones I can think of are at the beginning – another reason why you should pace yourself – and the one at the end. Everything else is completely manageable. Remember on the up hills it’s about even effort and not even pace. Don’t push too hard and make yourself over tired – it’s a long race – pace yourself! Check out the race elevation profile and course map before the race so you are familiar with where you are running. If you think this might scare you and prefer to not know then don’t look at either of those!
Do you think I should try to run with one of those pacing groups? I don’t even know if I can still join one. Or should I just start back a couple of corrals. I forget what time I told them I plan to do it in. Can I just hop in a slower corral or will they make me go in the one I’m assigned to?
This one is a hard one. Marathons are about doing what works for you. What works for me may or may not work for you. I am of the belief that you should start slow and finish fast – a pacing group does more of an even effort the entire race. I’m a ‘surge runner’ – so I naturally slow and then pick up the pace without even noticing it – so for me a pace group does not work. My friend Becca however is one of the most even runners I know – she can run the same pace literally for what seems like forever. So for her a pace group will probably be great. So I guess it comes down to what you think will work for you. I also don’t like being in large groups during a race so for me I try to steer clear of running with a group. And yes I think it’s not too late in the game to try and join one. Though to be honest I don’t even think you have to sign up – I see them at every race and no one asks if you signed up – you just get there and run with them.
As for the corrals – they have never enforced them in the years I have run it. It’s usually on the honor system for you to line up where you think you are going to finish. I would say don’t go too far back because then you will be stuck behind thousands of slower runners. So if you plan on running around 4 hours – then stick yourself in the 4:00 – 4:15 corral. There will people running 5 hours that put themselves in that corral so that should be enough to help you not go out to fast.
Hope that helps!!! And keep the questions coming 🙂 I love talking about MCM!!!