Thursday, November 30, 2006
When you read the article you will see that former Centura CEO, Bob Mauldin (and runner) is also disappointed to see the news. He says "It may not be held, but I'll be down there at the starting line with my daughters. We will run the Chase of Champions." It would be nice to have another 100 local runners do the same thing. So start spreading the word. The Rocky Mount Endurance Club will plan to run the Chase of Champions this April, with or without an "official" race.
We are a strong group of runners. There is no doubt that people in this town have taken notice of the bright yellow running shirts that were showing up all over town this past summer. I know you have had friends, and probably even strangers ask about what you were doing. Believe it or not, we a re a pretty powerful voice in the community.
So lets get this town talking about the Chase of Champions, and see what we can pull off. 2007 may be tough to get more than just a club run organized, but I bet by 2008 we could help organize the best Chase this town has seen in years!
As always, use the comment feature below to share ideas, and show support. I emailed the Telegram about this article, and provided a link to our site, so your comments below could help draw attention to the support that exists in this town to see the event continue.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
- Day: Saturday
- Time: 8:00 a.m.
- Where: Harris Teeter
- Distance: 18 miles (run whatever you prefer)
- Route: TBD
- Fluids: TBD
Monday, November 27, 2006
- Trek 2001; immaculate condition, 56 cm = Don's Bike Shop, Wilson.
- Quintano Rou (I have no idea how to spell that.); c. 5 to 6 yrs old; owner 5'7" tall; comes with men's size 9 shoes; can try it out; asking c. $500.00; owner, Mary Seargent, Wilson.
If you are interested, drop Kinnie an email, or give her a call. For those who were considering a triathlon in 2007, this is a great place to start.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
- Day: Saturday
- Time: 8:00 a.m.
- Where: Harris Teeter
- Distance: 14 miles (run whatever you prefer)
- Route: Link
- Fluids: BYOB
Friday, November 17, 2006
- Day: Thursday (Thanksgivining)
- Time: 8:00 a.m. -- TIME CHANGED
- Where: Harris Teeter
- Distance: 6-7 miles
- Route: Link
- Fluids: BYOB
Thursday, November 16, 2006
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Tracy P: http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event.asp?EVENTID=13797&BIB=2043&PWD=
Why are we offering this coupon so early? We'll, last year everyone on our production team went completely bald from the stress of trying to keep up with the Holiday orders. Some of them are just now sprouting new hair and would love to show it off to their family this Holiday Season. By ordering early, you'll not only save 15%, but you'll also help save our hair. Besides, smart people get their shopping done early. You like being smart...don't you?
As you already know, a Road ID is the perfect gift and training partner for the runner, cyclist, triathlete, or active person on your gift list. If you can't speak for yourself, your Road ID will. If you don't know exactly which Road ID to purchase, just order a Road ID Gift Card or an online E-Certificate. Also, if you haven't visited the website lately, come check it out. You may notice some new products and styles.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
- 03/18 Shamrock - Virginia Beach http://www.shamrockmarathon.com/
- 03/24 National Marathon - Washington - http://www.nationalmarathon.com/
- 03/25 ING Georgia - Atlanta (NEW) http://www.inggeorgiamarathon.com/
- 04/21 Charlottesville http://www.charlottesvillemarathon.com/
- 04/28 Country Music - Nashville http://www.cmmarathon.com/
Also, if anyone is looking to take advantage of their current conditioning here are some marathons that are just around the corner. Some are driving distance, others will require airfare.
- 12/09 Charlotte's Thunder Road http://www.runcharlotte.com/
- 12/09 Kiawah Island - http://recreation.kiawahresort.com/marathon.html
- 12/10 New Las Vegas - http://www.lvmarathon.com/
- 01/28 ING Miami - http://www.ingmiamimarathon.com/
Please use the Blog to post comments if you have plans to run any of these races. Even if you were not on the Richmond Training Team, you are welcome to post here. Use the link in the bottom right of this blog entry.
Although it will not be as organized, I expect we will have some Spring Marathon training groups still meeting at the YMCA and the Harris Teeter.
If anyone is interested, I can use the same training plan we had to create one for one of the marathons above.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
But most of you were out there and persevered. And that is what a marathon is all about. It is about learning new thing about yourself and about what you can do. How (to quote one of you) you may have planned on quitting at mile 13 but you realized you had it in yourself to push forward and do something so few people in this country do. Finish 26.2 miles.
Be proud of yourself.
Wear/ take you medal to work on Monday and let people know what you have done. You can even fib and tell them it is the medal the 6th place finisher get. (that is true, even if you weren't the 6th place finisher)
So go rejoice if you have not already done so.
It was a hot day and we did have several team members suffer from the heat. I am trying to follow up but have not heard from all of them. Hopefully they are ok.
One thing I always recommend is for you to (NOW) sit down a write you thought on the training and the marathon. It is always a good way to help you remember the process and reflect on why you decided to run a marathon and to reflect on what you have accomplished. If you do and are so inclined, I would love to get a copy of your thought. I am always inspired by you. If I get a good number I will compile them for others to read. (let me know if you don't want you name or story published.
Still to come (note most of what is below is for those in Richmond):
Reunion run....next Saturday /Sunday. The idea is to have a chance to catch up with your teammates. From the stadium at 8:00 next weekend. Run of 3-4 miles. And unsupported (i.e., no bathrooms or water).
Survey...over the next week or two, I will be sending a survey to all of you. Please take the time to respond. Your ideas on how to make the program better are so important..
Spring marathon. In 10 days or so (one I get room booked), I will have a "clinic" about how to go about running a second marathon in the spring (if you are so inclined).
Website.. the website has a write up on recovering from a marathon. And I have posted finishing times.
Finally....The RRRC will be doing a spring training group for marathon. Again, look for details to follow.
I enjoyed this season, I hope you did.
Thank all of you for the wonderful gift certificate presented at the pasta party. It is greatly appreciated and will be used
Thursday, November 09, 2006
At the finish line. Your recovery begins with your first step after the finish line. The finish area will make you keep walking. The will give you water and food. No matter how well you hydrate on the course, you will be somewhat dehydrated. So drink the water. Take plenty, get more. One test, keep hydrating until your urine is clear. You also need to start replenishing you body. As we said in nutrition, you need to begin replace the carbohydrates within the first hour after you finish running. So take the food they give you and eat.
If you have an injury, see the medical tent and they will see what they can do for immediate relief.
Your natural reaction may be to sit down and rest. Immediately after finishing, unless you have an injury, you will want top keep moving for 10 –15 minutes. (This will probably come about naturally as you walk thru the finish area, gather your checked bag and walk around to check on your friends.) After this period, if you sit, that is fine, just try not to sit in the same position of an extended time. You may cramp up.
Once you get to the hotel/home. If you have an injury or soreness, treat it. Ice, anti-inflammatories. Stretch, but do it lightly and make sure you do pull anything else.
Getting cleaned up. Hot shower/whirlpool/hot tub versus the cold shower. The doctors would say cold shower. Most people can’t do that. Just watch out with the heat. You are dehydrated and overheated from the marathon. Too much of the heat can worsen the condition. Take a nap if you wish. A lot of time people are so keyed up they can not nap, but if you can get a short sleep, go for it.
Late in the afternoon, you want to move again. A 15-20 minute walk to keep you loose. People ask about the post race party. If there is music and a dance floor, it is actually good for you to keep you moving. The dancing may not look pretty, but it will help on the recovery.
The next few days.
If you have injured areas, remember the ice and anti inflammatory.
The likelihood of you being sore is high. Coming down the stairs on Sunday morning may well be an adventure. This is very normal. Physiologically, the running of the extended time has built up a high level of lactic acid in you legs. The next task you have is to rid you legs of the lactic acid. Take a short easy walk. By doing easy, light exercise you help your body to speed up the process of getting rid of the lactic acid. A massage 24-48 hours after the race will help speed the recovery also.
Get plenty of sleep. Your body is worn down. Give it time to recover. Help you immunity system regain its strength.
Keep hydrating and refueling. Lots of water. Replace the carbohydrates. It is also good to get some protein back in your body. If you are meat eater, that steak you have been passing over for pasta may help (especially if you are iron deficient). Just don’t forget the baked potato and bread.
Getting back to running.
How and when you get back to running is highly debated. It is one thing that only you can know when to get back out there. How many years you have been running, how hard you trained are but two of the factors that determine your return. There are many schools of thought on when to start running. The vary from doing a short run on marathon afternoon to not running for a week or more after the race. You just have to listen to your body and do what is right for you.
My suggestion. On about Tuesday or Wednesday, go out for a hard power walk. You muscles will be stiff. The lactic acid will still be there. By try it and see how you do. If you survive this, in a day or two, go for a 2-3 mile slow run. Then over the next two weeks, gradually bring you mileage back up to you normal mileage (pre marathon training buildup). At least initially, be sure to give yourself plenty of rest days. Work on just running. Speed will come back with time.
You started out in the spring with a goal. You worked hard all summer and fall. You did it. You finished the marathon. The week after the marathon you are recovering and taking it easy. The second week you try to start running some. But it is dark outside. It has gotten colder. WAH….I don’t want to run.
So you are normal. After the race it is very common to lose some of your running motivation. It is hard to get back out there and keep running.
You did the marathon because you set a goal and you went about accomplishing that goal. To motivate yourself, you need to set another goal. Not another marathon in two weeks. You goal must be realistic. Pick a race 4-5 weeks after the marathon. A short race like a 5K or maybe a 10K. Sign up for the race (spending the money heightens the commitment). Think about what you need to do for that race. Once you get over the hurdle of getting back out and running, you are well on you way to becoming a life long runner.
Another way to keep motivated is to keep running with the friends you have made in the course of training. We will leave available the message board for a month or two after the race. Use it to connect with your friends and to find others to run with.
Find extra layers for the start if you need them. This year, temperatures will be higher then normal, so you will doubtfully need much after the gun goes off. Old cotton sweats or even a trashbag will be fine. Then, when the start cannon sounds, you can toss your insulating layers by the side of the road, where volunteers will pick them up and donate them to charity.
Race day should be a bit warm and humid. The temperature is expected to rise to above 70 F by 2:00 p.m. Don't let the forecast worry you. We have run on days MUCH hotter than this. Plus, the majority of your race will be run in the 50's and 60's. Regardless of the weather, you will do fine. Just be sure to stay hydrated.
Assemble your racing attire. Lay out your race clothing, including your watch, shoes, shorts, shirt, and socks. Be certain you have your race number and chip. Take the time to affix them to your race shirt and shoes. Lay out your bandaids and body glide. Anything you will need. . . have it ready. It will help you sleep better. Don't foget to empty the memory of your watch (if needed) so you can get your splits.
Prepare for post-race. You’ll also want to set aside the clothes that you’ll put in the baggage truck for after the race. A clean shirt and pants will come in handy you may want a hat as well.
Fuel up. Now’s the time to salt your food (unless your doctor has told you not to), eat high-quality carbohydrates, drink non-alcoholic beverages liberally, stay off your feet, and avoid stress.
Good luck! Have fun! Smile when you cross the finish line!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Hydration. One trick. It take the bladder about two hours to clear. Drink as much as you want up to 2 ½ hours before the race. That will clear out before the race. Then just take a small amount of water 15 minutes before the start.
Get there early. Don’t use your precious race day energy worrying about getting to the start, finding a parking space, etc. Get up early, get there early. Relax and visualize how well you are going to do.
Protect yourself. Don’t forget the sunscreen and Vaseline or glide. Guys, protect your nipples.
There are many things that can be said about race strategy. The main one to remember is patience. Start out slowly. You cannot “win” a race in the first few miles, but you can “lose” the race. Be patient in the first few miles. So what if you are a minute or so a mile slower in the first mile, you have 25 more to make it up. Don’t let the crowd at the start pull you out too fast. Don’t try to weave in and out of people in the first half mile. Let it spread out and then get your pace correct.
The first 16-20 miles of the race must not be at a push pace. You must be running comfortable. If you are pushing to keep up with a friend or to keep a certain time, you are done. If you push too early, you will lose all your energy and have nothing left for the final few miles.
If you are running with a friend, before you start, make your deal. Decide how long you are going to stay together. Decide what you are going to do if one of you has to stop for the bathroom. Decide what point you each will go you own way.
Go to the correct place at the starting line. If you are planning on running 11 minute miles, don’t be at the front of the pack.
Try to break the race into parts. Each person does this differently. Some people look at it in two parts, the first 20 and the last 6.2. Some people look at it on a mile by mile basis. Or every 5 miles. Mentally breaking the race into parts helps you concentrate on the smaller parts of the race and enables you to check where you are physically and mentally multiple times during the race.
Most of all, Have Fun. If you are a first time marathoner, enjoy the experience as you will never have a first time again. Cheer for others. Cheer for yourself.
What can you do to help you mentally focus on the race?
Think Positive. With all the training you have done, you are ready for this race.
If you remember the mental fitness clinic, focus on the positives. Forget the negatives. Have confidence in yourself that you can do this. No sweat…
Visualize the race. You have trained on the race course. You know the race course. Think about how you have conquered the whole course and how much easier it will be with the crowd of the marathon. If you are time conscious, think about your race splits. Think about your time at certain points on the course. (See Daily Ti[ #13 Below)
Mental concentration. This is one of the most important aspects. You will be on the race course a long time. During your training you have developed the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Keep that focus when you run the race.
Do Not Get Nervous. Most people get anxious before the race. That is very normal. Just do not let it get to you. You do not prepare for the race the night before. You have spent six months preparing. As you are ready, there is nothing to be worried about. Think of all of this as nervous energy. Use it. Channel it into your running to have a better race. There are factors that are not in your control (weather, for example). Don’t think of those. Only think of the things you can control.
Mental Toughness. I think this is one of the most important things needed for you to do well in a marathon. Everyone running goes through tough patches of the race. The last few miles for a first time marathoner are a new experience. You need that mental toughness to realize that a rough patch will go away or to push yourself through the last few miles when the body is questioning your toughness. Take control of your mind to control your body.
Race yourself. Yes this is a RACE. There are a few thousand other people out there. But in reality, you are not racing them. You are racing yourself. Whether you are racing for a specific time or racing just to finish, the only one who knows is yourself. Be happy that you are doing the best YOU can do.
You can visualize while you’re running or while you’re relaxing. Make a list of what you need to do to achieve your goal. The key is to picture yourself in the process of successfully negotiating the race course, not just finishing at your goal time. For most runners, a relaxed body, good running form, and an even pace are the keys to success.
No matter where you do your final runs—in Richmond or in Rocky Mount —give yourself the same mental rehearsal. While you’re running, imagine people cheering for you, and picture yourself supported by your running peers. “Keep focused on what you need to do,” recommends running coach Mike Keohane. “Keep a nice tall posture, swing your arms and elbows, and lift your heels and knees.” When dealing with hills, think of that effort as not so much pushing or forcing the inclines, but moving easily over them.
Picture specific points on the course. If you don’t have access to the course, you can still prepare by reviewing the course description from Don's description and the Richmond Marathon website. Identify landmarks, such as the James River, the Lee Bridge, The Richmond Braves Baseball Diamond, and others to help you break up the race into manageable chunks. Visualize yourself reaching these landmarks with your relaxed, efficient running form.
Imagine running through the tough spots. You can also use visualization to plan for less than ideal circumstances. Imagine your worst-case scenario, whether bad weather, falling, or hitting the “wall” at mile 20. You’re not actually in it yet, so use this time to put your disaster into perspective, and imagine yourself overcoming your obstacle and finishing strong.
Be aware of your thoughts on race day. On the morning of the race, take a few moments for meditation. Find a quiet space to sit and observe thoughts as they drift in and out of your mind. Release these thoughts without judgment or attachment as they arise.
Remember, the marathon is run one step at a time. Focus on passing the next mile and reaching the next landmark. Breaking the race down this way will ease the mental pressure of completing an entire 26.2—every moment brings you closer to the finish.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
You can lower your risk of becoming ill in these last crucial weeks, says Mindy Solkin, head coach and owner of The Running Center. Try to avoid air travel, she says, don’t use or touch other people’s phones and computer keyboards, eat healthfully, and put a moratorium on drinking and partying. “For these weeks, live like a marathon monk,” Solkin says. “It’s too many miles, training, and investment to blow it.”
Take time off to heal. If you do get sick, keep in mind this advice from running coach Mike Keohane: “Dealing with illness is like dealing with an injury,” he says. “Take care of it as soon as possible.” Keohane’s prescription: Rest. “If you feel a cold coming on, cut out extra activities, go home, and get some rest—it should blow over,” he says.
If, despite all precautions, you do come down with a cold, there are a few things you can do to feel better until you’re 100% recovered:
- Treat your symptoms. Most colds clear up in seven to 10 days. Meanwhile, you can treat symptoms to some degree. Decongestants can open stuffed nasal passages by drying up your running nose and analgesics offer relief from general body aches. Don’t dismiss the power of chicken soup and other tonics, full of garlic, onions, and other healthful ingredients.
- Push the fluids. Drink plenty of water, diluted juice, or non-caffeinated hot drinks to prevent dehydration and to help you expel secretions and speed up the healing process. Hot beverages, such as herbal teas and broths, can be soothing to a scratchy throat or congested sinuses. You may want to avoid coffee and regular tea because caffeine is a stimulant, and at this point you need all the rest you can get.
- Steam healing. At this time of year, radiators start clanking and hot air registers deliver baking air, creating a dry environment that can be especially uncomfortable when your health is compromised. To put some moisture back in the air, run a quality humidifier at home. Or assemble a modified home spa: pour boiling water into a large bowl, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil (known for its antibacterial properties), lean over the bowl with a towel draped over your head, and breathe deeply.
How sick is too sick? A short run should be OK if your symptoms are only from the neck up—runny nose, water eyes, or a mild sore throat. Do not run, however, if you have a deep cough or general body aches. Never run with a fever; heart inflammation could result.
It may be discouraging to get sick this close to the race date, but keep in mind that the bulk of your training is over, and you might even benefit from the extra rest.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Here’s what to expect after you cross the finish line.
You need to keep walking. The finish area is designed to keep you moving. Walking is the best thing for your body as it needs to gradually adjust to not running. Blood will flow from your muscles to your core; stopping suddenly can result in dizziness and nausea. Officials and volunteers will direct you to walk away from the finish line to areas where you’ll be awarded your finish medal, receive a HeatSheet, have the option of getting your photo taken, pick up a Water and Powerade, return your chip, and pick up a food.
To find your baggage, look at your bib. Your baggage will be past the finish line. UPS trucks loaded with baggage waiting for you. Depending on when you finish there is not a rush to get you bag. Look at the baggage truck number on your bib, then locate the truck with that number to retrieve your baggage. Only runners with bibs can enter the baggage area.
Family Reunion. The Richmond Marathon is like baby bear's porridge.; The size is just right! You will be well supported on the course and always have runners with you, but after the finish your family should be able to find you if they are paying attention, and know you predicted time.
Take it all in. You invest half of a year into the race. Before, during, and after, take time to look around. Enjoy!
There will be a lot to take in at the staging area in Richmond on November 11. Richmond SportsBackers builds a veritable village to feed, organize, entertain, and then send over 9,000 people onto the streets of Richmond for three different races. Being prepared for this large-scale launch pad will put you in a better mindset for your race and contribute to an overall better race experience.
Your goal should be to get to your start area, then relax and do what you need to prepare for the race. For most people, this includes sitting awhile, having breakfast or a snack, stretching, warming up, gathering in your corral, letting out a big shout when the gun goes off, and then taking off down Broad Street. The key is to relax and conserve energy—both physical and nervous—that you'll need on the course. The following information will help you do just that.
- Double-check your transportation now. You should have a transportation plan to get yourself to the start area.
- Arrive early. Plan to arrive early so you don’t have to rush and worry. You can also enjoy breakfast, use the bathroom, and stake out a spot to sit or lie down while you wait.
- Know where to go. Take time to look at the map of the starting area which will be part of your race packet.
- Show your stuff: Only officially registered participants and their guides are allowed in the starting corrals. Your bib number and chip must be visible in order to enter.
- Any baggage you carry should be in your clear goody bag; Find the UPS trucks at the start to check your bags. A bag check label will be part of your race packet.
- Check your baggage. UPS trucks will be in each color-coded zone accepting labeled clear plastic bags from participants. (Baggage labels are distributed at the expo, as are clear plastic goody bags.) Take your baggage to the truck number printed on your race bib.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
This ideal scenario could happen to you on November 11. But it’s just as likely that it won’t. Whatever happens, you can still meet your race-day goals and have a successful marathon. How? Have three goals, says Mindy Solkin, head running coach and owner of The Running Center.
Your first goal should be your time if the ideal scenario unfolded.
Your second goal should be your time if you make a good effort. “You may not be in tip-top shape because you had an injury or you were sick, or overloaded at the office, but you still run a good time commensurate with the training of the past month or so,” says Solkin.
Your third goal should be the one you switch to if your body or the weather do not cooperate. “You can still have the goal of a particular time,” says Solkin—just maybe lower than your original expectations. Perhaps you switch to finishing at your training pace, for example. “For most people, this is not the end of the line. There will be another race, another marathon,” says Solkin.
You can meet your goal and have a great outcome—no matter what your time—if you keep the following in mind.
Be realistic in your goal. Are you a first-time marathoner? Or new to the Richmond Marathon? Every 26.2-mile race has its unique challenges, and this one is no exception. It covers two bridges—one with an incline and, sometimes it seems, its own blustery weather pattern. The last few miles, when you’re at your weakest, cover an ascent that can slow you down (but lead to a massive downhill finish). To estimate the time it will take you to finish the Richmond Marathon, double your half-marathon time and add 15 to 20 minutes—it may also take you several minutes to reach the starting line.
Take advantage of the pace teams. With all the excitement of race day, it can be hard to hold back—and the density of the pack can make it tough to find your own tempo. Pace teams with a variety of finish-goal times can help you stay on target. A runner with a sign that displays the pace-per-mile and guaranteed finish time will lead each team. Sign up for a pace team at the Race Expo on Friday in the Omni. Free pace bands can be made a marthaonguide.com that can help you stay on target; wear one next to your watch for a reminder of when you’re supposed to pass each mile marker.
Plan for the worst-case scenario. Until mile 8 you were on pace, and then it started to rain, you developed a blister, you got a stitch that slowed you down—so much can happen along the course of a marathon! This isn’t what you want to have happen, but you should still be able to make the switch to your third goal. The ability to quickly reframe your expectations will help to soothe the disappointment of finishing behind your goal, or even dropping out. Most people find the marathon to be a life-changing event regardless of the outcome. Also, keep in mind that unless you have a major injury, the fitness you achieved training for November 5th will carry over for at least a month—if you feel fully recovered, sign up for another fall marathon.
Friday, November 03, 2006
There are a few exceptions, but not many.
If your shoes are old: You can buy a new pair of shoes this week, says running coach Mike Keohane. “If you’re happy with the shoes you’ve worn in training for the last few months but they’re getting to the end of their life, just stick with a new version of the same shoe,” he says. However, Keohane cautions, if you feel your shoes haven’t been supporting you in your long runs, or they’re causing problems, you may need something different.
If your shoes are small: Even runners who have been at the sport for many years may find that their needs change when they start training for a marathon. You may, for example, need a shoe a half-size larger. “If you’ve having problems with black toenails or a lot of blisters around the toes, chalk it up to ‘yes, things are changing,” says Keohane. “Make sure you’ve got about a thumbnail’s width, 3/4 to 1-inch, to spare, because your feet will expand that much.”
If you buy new shoes now:
- Plan your shopping expedition for the end of the day or after a run, when your feet are slightly swollen as they will be on race day. Wear the same thin running socks that you will on race day. Thin socks give your feet more room in your shoes—something you’ll be happy for at mile 23.
- Buy from a store where the staff knows running. Even if you’re going with a familiar make and model, try them on and have the salesperson check your fit—there can be variations in size with different production lots.
- Unless you are experienced wearing racing shoes at the marathon distance, steer clear of specialized, lightweight models. “People want to wear racing shoes because they think that carrying less weight will help them,” Keohane says. But this is only for runners truly experienced with racing shoes. “Having a shoe that will go the distance with you is more important than having a lightweight shoe that will feel great for the first half, and not support you for the second,” he says.
- It may be hard to resist purchasing an alluring new high-tech shoe at the marathon expo. Go for it! But save this pair for after the race.
If you buy new shoes days before the race: If the airport lost your luggage, or you didn’t get around to buying your race shoes and your current pair is held together by duct tape, or you bought the same trusted brand you’ve always worn, but for some reason this particular pair isn’t working out, you may be forced to buy a new pair just days before the race.
If you find yourself in this position, just bear in mind that with a brand new pair of shoes, you are more likely to encounter problems during the race, such as blisters and sore feet. You will have to adjust your finish-time goal. Follow the tips above for buying shoes. Pre-race, be certain to apply a lubricant such as Vaseline to blister-prone areas. The medical aid stations along the course have adhesive bandages and the staff will be happy to help you quickly apply bandages and get back on course.
But you can prepare your mind. One way is to study the course. Here’s how.
Compare the course maps. You can look at or download a road map of the course, but that tells only half the story. Also pay close attention to the elevation chart.
Now, compare the two so you can see where the hills and inclines are. While the course doesn’t have many steep hills, there are gradual inclines that will affect your pace. But if you are mentally prepared and plan for these bumps and bridges, you will take them in stride.
Know what’s on the course—and where. Once you have figured out the rhythm of your run with the course and elevation charts, make yourself familiar with the following details that will help you pace yourself along the way:
- Mile signs and clocks will be posted at every mile. Chip mats will be located at start, half marathon, 20 mile, and the finish.
- There will be photographers on the course. Be sure your race number is pinned to the front of your shirt and clearly visible. . . SMILE! You know your teammates are going to look up your picutre after the race.
- Water stops will be positioned at the start and every two miles until Mile 20, then every mile thereafter. Diamond Springs water and POWERade will be available at every water stop on the race course.
- At each fluid station, there will be tables on both sides of the course. To avoid the bottleneck at the first table, get your beverage from a later table.
- CLIF SHOT will be available at Miles 14 and 20.
- Marathoners looking for an extra burst of energy in the waning miles will want to make sure to hit the Junk Food Stop at Miles 16 & 22.
- Wet wash cloths will be available at Miles 17 & 23.
- Port-o-johns will be stationed at the Start/Finish and adjacent to every water stop.
- Medical attention is available along the course. -
- For your safety, take fluids and food only at these official stations. They will be protected by race security.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Most of the 4,000 people who will line up for the big event on November 11 fall into the first two categories. And, while the crowd may be awed by the top competitors who fly by at 5-minute-per-mile paces, those thousands of spectators stick around for hours in all weather conditions. Why? Because they’re awed by you, too.
Use the outpouring of support from the crowd. Plan on tuning in to the cheers. Knowing how to use the crowd can help you get through rough patches and help you maintain your pace and concentration. Here’s what the spectators will provide:
Distraction: Although you should keep your focus on what and how your body is doing, allowing yourself to experience the stimuli around you will help you manage and, to some degree, escape the physical tribulation of marathoning. So make a plan to look around during the race. Take in the size of the crowd, how noisy they are, and what they’re yelling. You’ll be happier for it.
A positive boost: What do marathon crowds look like? You’ll find out come race day. Clapping, cheering, blasting music—this crowd is there to keep you revved up and energized. Take the cheering personally (and there’s no reason not to) so that the crowd’s positive energy carries you through rough patches of disheartenment and fatigue.
Mileage management: The marathon covers a daunting distance. The best way to navigate it mentally is to break it down into manageable chunks—the first five miles, the first bridge, mile-marker 10, and so on the Interactive Course Tour will help you). But your best resource for breaking down or “chunking” the distance may be your personal fans, the ones who turn out specifically to see you. Make sure you know exactly where they’ll be standing (which street corner, which side of the street), and give them an estimate, based on your pace, of when you’ll pass by.
You can help your fans estimate your arrival times by giving them a Pace Band from www.marathonguide.com; or plan on seeing them at the three party zones on the course. Then, let your friends and family serve as your own landmarks. Knowing that familiar faces will be beaming at you at specific, pre-arranged places on the course will give you something to look forward to as you cover the miles in-between.
How not to use the crowd: Do not accept fluids except at official Richmond Marathon fluid stations, or any food except from the Cliff Shots provided by the marathon(unless you have your family members providing you something). Also, although you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so, think twice about high-fiving anybody. “It’s a total energy waster,” says Solkin. “It’s also really unsanitary.” Keep in mind, after a marathon you may be more susceptible to colds and flu while your body recuperates from the race. Accept smiles and cheers, but keep your hands to yourself! (Note from Michael. . . it is hard to pass up a high five from a screaming six year old, but use your best judgement)
Relief for muscle aches. During training, expect some muscle soreness, especially after long runs or speed work. Physiologically, stress on muscles actually creates small tears in the tissue. These tears heal tougher and more resilient, which is what makes you stronger. But not without some soreness, a bruised feeling that usually passes within a day or two. “Icing helps, and ice baths, though not very pleasant, really help the legs recover after long runs,” says running coach Mike Keohane. To ice a muscle, wrap ice cubes in a paper towel and rub the sore spot on and off for ten minutes. For an ice bath, sit for five to 15 minutes in a bathtub filled hip-deep with cold water and ice cubes.
If you must, you can use painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol is one brand) conservatively. Before the marathon or a long run, avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. These drugs can cause the kidneys to retain water and flush out salt, which could contribute to hyponatremia, a dangerous imbalance of blood chemistry.
When joint pain means stop. While muscle aches eventually result in strength gain, joint pain is another matter. Pain in the knees, hips, or ankles often indicates an injury that needs rest at the very least. When pain is severe enough to alter your running form, it’s time to take a break and let your body recover. If, after a week or two you still have discomfort, seek medical attention, preferably from a sports medicine specialist.
Pull over for blisters. Blisters can sideline any marathoner. If you get blisters during training, your socks and shoes are not compatible with each other or with your feet. Find a new combination—now. Preemptively, before the race, apply a lubricating agent to areas that are prone to blistering. If a blister starts to develop, pull over and try to fix the problem, whether it’s a bunched up sock or a crooked shoe tongue. Keep in mind that if you experience a serious blow-out, there will be medical stations near every water station after mile three.
Stretch for stitches. Cramps, muscular and abdominal, are another bane of runners. Muscular cramps result from insufficient oxygen reaching the muscle. They can often be relieved by gentle stretching and pressure applied to the cramp. Side aches, or stitches, are caused by inadequate blood flow to the diaphragm. To avoid them, make sure that you’re properly hydrated (urine should be abundant and pale in color), eat lightly one to two hours before a run, and ease into workouts with a light warm-up. If, despite precautions, your midsection seizes up, you may be able to run through it. Many runners find relief in deep exhalations, or by stretching one arm overhead while pressing into the cramp.