Learning From the Marathon

I learned a few things running my first marathon, things I hope to remember next time I run one. Oh yes because the first thing I learned from the marathon is that I like it. Yes some miles were tough but I very much want to run another one.

The Training Plan

I decided early on not to be too concerned about my pace while training. I ran by feel instead. Oh I’m sure I ran some workouts too fast and some too slow but overall I did great and I don’t regret my choice at all. Now if I was trying to break a certain time then I may want to look at my times a little more, if only afterward to learn from it.

The Taper:

I frankly enjoyed it. It was good to give a rest to my body and have more time for myself. I’m glad I followed the training plan for it.

Carb Loading:

It’s impossible for me to carb load according to what I found I’m supposed to do. I simply can not ingest 400g of carbs a day. I did however get a lot of snacks that I munched on for the last two days prior to the race. Kashi’s oatmeal dark chocolate cookies, homemade trail mix, pretzels, etc. It worked out great.  I choose to cut off dairy a few days ahead. I missed it,  but I think that was a good thing for me to skip it prior to the race.

Pre-Race meal

I think I’d rather have a homemade meal before a race since it’s easier to control. I feel that I should have practiced a little more on what works best and kept a log of pre-long run dinners. I’d love to avoid an other porta potty break during a marathon (downhill didn’t help either). I think a little more plain food would have been better. I had pasta alla vodka which I think contained cream, that wasn’t my best decision.

Banana, bagel and almond butter worked out great in the morning

Race Fueling and Hydrating:

I think I did good when it comes to hydration. I didn’t care much for the electrolytes drinks when came the time. I was very thankful I had my hand held bottle with me. I could drink when I wanted and refill it at the aid stations. I learned that I can’t rely on meeting my husband on the course and it’s best to have everything I need with me.

Fueling I didn’t do so well. I’m terrible at eating gels when I should. I never eat as many as advised on the packaging. I did good for the first half, starting around 45 minutes and taking a sip every 20-3omns. But after mile 15 I just forgot to take some. I don’t know if I need to set myself reminders or practice taking them better during training race. I do think however that 1)I like Clif gels better than GU.  2)I do better sipping a little gel at a time rather than a whole packet at once. I am honestly surprised I did as well as I did with the little fuel I had during the race.

My the end of the race I was craving sliced oranges and icy cold water.


It will happen. I used a natural version of body glide. Most of my body part were fine. Some light chaffing on the lower back but nothing that I even noticed or felt until a few days later, so the SkinFood Topical Nourishment worked. I did experience some chaffing from a poorly designed seam on my sports bra. I could feel it at the beginning so I knew it would be a problem. Somehow my body tuned it off and I only realized it at the very end.

Post-Race Fueling and Stretching

Having my husband bring me a smoothie was one of the best post-run fuel idea I had. It was easy to drink and I know helped with the good protein/carb ratio.

Making use of the massage table is a must. I’m also glad I mostly followed my usual cool off/stretch routine.

Post-Race legs

Overall they felt good. However after 20 minutes of walking, during the first two days after the race, I had to sit down. It’s good to know your limits.

Recovery week

That would be my other failure (first one was fueling during the race). It’s not because you feel good that your legs have recovered. Recovery week is not the time to try out a new trail, especially not a technical one. I feel very stupid because my first two recovery runs went very well, so I was a lot more careless on my third and the result is injury. Lesson learned: no new trail (easy smooth trails are ok), no new shoes post race. I think I would have been better off logging a few more miles on my old trail shoes while my legs recovered.

What lessons do you take from race running? Any wisdom to share?




Food Worthy of a Marathon Runner (Which I’m Not)

De la Nourriture Digne d’un Coureur de Marathon (que Je ne Suis Pas)

When I ran a little over 13 miles, I had made plans to have hash brown and fried green tomatoes with goat cheese for brunch, with maybe an egg.

When I got home my husband had breakfast patties, a toast, a huge portion of hash browns ready. He was making an omelet for two with 6 eggs! (albeit small ones) and I still had the fried green tomatoes to make.

I looked at my plate and laughed. I couldn’t even eat the toast by the time I was done. Sure I run, sure I do long runs, but I don’t run that much! He must think I already run marathons…
I do love that he is my support crew with a great brunch pretty much ready for me after a long run though.

Quand j’ai couru 21km, j’avais prevu de faire des hash browns (patates râpées et sautées a la poêle), des tomates vertes frites avec du fromage de chèvre et peut être un œuf.

Quand je suis arrivée a la maison mon mari avait des breakfast patties (sorte de saucisse végétarienne), une tartine de pain grille, une énorme portion de hash browns déjà prêt. Il était en train de préparer un omelette pour nous deux a partir de 6 œufs (ok ils étaient petits les œufs). Il me restait encore a préparer les tomates.

J’ai regarde mon assiette et j’ai rigole. Je n’ai même pas pu manger la tartine. Bien sur je cours et je fais de longue course, mais quand même! Il doit s’imaginer que je cours déjà un marathon…
J’adore le fait qu’il soit mon équipe-support et qu’il ait un super brunch prêt pour moi après une longue course tout de même.