Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Workout Wednesday: Pep Talk for a First Time Marathoner

Dear JS,

Pardon the public letter, but I figured what I wanted to write to you would be helpful to so many embarking on this same journey.

This weekend, you will be running your first full marathon at RnR Seattle.  Part of you is probably pretty excited, though the other part that is full of scared shitlessness is likely overshadowing it pretty well. How clearly I remember the week leading up to my own full - so much of me was wondering if I had made the biggest mistake ever.  I didn't think that I was ready.  Because no one else was as excited as I figured they should be, I thought I was the only one who cared at all.  Right up until the end, I considered scaling back to the half.  I was that scared.

But a part of me was pretty excited too - after only a year and a half as a runner - I was going to become a marathoner!

And now you are going to join me in those ranks! I am so happy that I could be with you through so many miles of your marathon training!  It has been incredible and you have done so well every step of the way (even though you had to put up with me through it all).

So, with race weekend fast approaching, I wanted to impart some advice to you...feel free to ignore it...

Don't let your time goal be the end all and be all of your existence.  No matter how fast or slow you go - this will be your personal best at the marathon.   In fact - slower is better because then you will be easily able to beat it on your second one!

Don't forget to take pictures!  You will only have one first marathon and taking some pictures yourself will help you remember it from your own perspective.  Take dorky self portraits. Make a video of that really great band on the course. I am so glad I did this because they tell the story of my journey so much better than the photos hubby took from the sidelines.

High five an Elvis!  It will make you think of Edmonton last year and will be just like I am there with you!

Trust your training!  You are ready.  you have trained your ass off for this and you have trained so much better than I did last year!   Yes - the last 6k beyond your training will feel hard...but let the energy of race day carry you! 

It IS going to hurt.  More than you think it will.  This is normal and to be expected.   I took an extra strength Advil before mine and it helped with muscle pain.  If only I had been as prepared for toenail pain.  

Trim your toenails straight across and file the corners so they are slightly rounded.  I still don't know what caused my issues, but I think the filing might have been the key step to avoiding them.

You are so smart to have chosen a large American race for your first!  Having the crowds both on and off the course will be a big help to keeping you motivated!

If you are getting too obsessed about your time and the pace bands are frustrating you - rip them off and throw them on the ground. The freedom that buys may just give your feet wings.

Grin and throw your hands up when you cross that finish line - this is no place for quiet and humble!  You have really achieved something - it is hard but it does end.  

Don't be upset if you don't "feel" like a marathoner the second you cross the finish line.  I didn't feel like one until a couple of weeks ago when I read this post over at Deb Tris...just keep telling yourself that you are one and it will sink in!

Less than 1% of people ever run a marathon.   That makes you a pretty rare person!  Enjoy your full.  Celebrate it. Revel in it.  Buy the merchandise for it.  Wear your medal every day for a month.  Buy your official photos - no matter how bad they are.  Let yourself be excited about your achievement.  Once the pain fades, you will be damn proud of yourself.  And know that you have a cheerleader back home who is damn proud of you for taking it on!

Love you to bits!  Now go ROCK this thing!

Cori :)


  1. Aww, I've only met you guys once but this post kind of brought a tear to my eye. This is the kind of wonderful support I hope we all have with our running. I'll keep this in mind when I do my first in January!

  2. I'll be there to do your pep talk in person. ;) By then we will have been virtually training together for months and months!

  3. Thanks Cori! This was so wonderful! Thanks for being such a great friend and being there for so many (nearly all!) of my long runs!

    Jenny (JS)

    1. <3 I just want you to have an amazing experience, hun! You are going to be awesome out there as you sparkle up Seattle!

  4. good luck Jenny and great advice Cori come and run with us when you get back Jenny we want to hear all about it and we will be routing for you..


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