Thursday: Support and a Pleasant Surprise

I can't go marathon week without giving praise to my biggest supporter.
The wifey.

She has been there since the craziness to finish a marathon started and stood by me as I continued to run almost 2 years later. During that time she has woken up super early on every race day (minus a single 10k this year... shhhh). That's right, she has been out there to support me for 2 full marathons and 4 half marathons.

Prior to each race we'll look at the course map and figure out mile points where we can meet. It's always a great energy boost when I see her and deep down inside, I think she likes to see me too. On full marathons she'll also carry some extra supplies for me, which is always a life saver. I run with a runner's belt that holds water, energy gels, pretzels (for the salt), etc. But often time I may need more of a particular thing. If it starts off as a cold morning then turns to a hot day, I may need more salt or energy drinks — so when I see her I can re-stock for the upcoming miles. So, on Sunday, she'll be out there at 5:30 in the morning, standing on the sidelines cheering me on with her cowbell in hand. Thanks love.

A pleasant surprise: I had the chance to help out a friend and superb blogger recently. She asked for some help in developing a new logo for her LOST blog. Being a LOST fanatic, fan of her blog and frequent commenter, I was more than happy. And here is the pleasant surprise: Thursday I received a very nice thank you card along with a generous iTunes gift card. You know what that means... more songs for the iPod. Pre-run I plan to purchase a some new songs that will be great additions to the marathon play list. Kudos to you my friend and thank you. 

She also has a pop culture blog — which is awesome — and I'm hoping there will be some in-depth info about the great anticipation surrounding the masterpiece graphic novel being turned into what looks to be a remarkable movie:  The Watchmen

Wednesday: Checklist

Now is a great time to make sure you have everything you need for race day - here is a rundown of the basics you may need:

Running shoes: Should not be a brand pair. They should be a pair that is broken in, but not worn out. At this point, you should not be worried about getting blisters mid-run.

Running shirt: Should be a comfortable running shirt. Cotton is bad. You should use one that you know does not irritate you in any way. When running for over four hours, you want to make sure your shirt doesn't cause chafing.

Running shorts: Same rules as a shirt. Rubbing is your enemy. Runners will often use a glide gel or put some Vaseline where rubbing may occur. The worst thing would be to have a skin irritation occur early on in the race. Sounds pretty huh?

Running belt: Runner's will often use these to carry items they'll need during the run. May include gels, salt packets, water bottle, Gatorade, shot blocks, peanuts, pretzels or other items a runner might need during the run. May be a good spot to carry a cell phone or keys also.

Accessories: Depending on the location, these could include running gloves to keep your hands warm, sunglasses, hat, music player (if the course allows) jacket and sweat pants to shed before the run. Prior to the start, it is not uncommon to be in the cold waiting for the official starting time — it's always nice to stay warm and loose pre-run.

Those are the essentials - if there is something you need to buy, don't wait until the last minute. If you need to do some laundry, now would also be a good time before it gets too late.


Tuesday: Loading the iPod

In having to run for over four hours, it is important to have the right music. Some runners prefer to run with music and others without. When I am running with a group of friends, no matter the distance, I will run with no music and enjoy the conversation with those around me. However, when I am running alone, I feel the need to get lost in the music I am listening to.

All artists have one song on my iPod (unless otherwise listed). I also added the names to songs that I think are fantastic songs to have on a run. These add a little pep to my step if you will. So here is the music that I have chosen to listen to Sunday at the RunSF Marathon:

Alicia Keys
Benny Benassi & The Biz: Satisfaction
Blue October
Coldplay: Viva La Vida
Corey Hart
Dashboard Confessional: Vindicated (SpiderMan2)
Del the Funky Homosapien
DMX: Party Up
Eddie Money: Take Me Home Tonight
Eminem (2)
The Federation (3)
The Game (2)
Hieroglyphics (3)
Hoobastank (3)
Incubus (2)
Jay-Z (5)
JET (2)
Justin Timberlake (2)
Kanye West (4)
The Killers (2)
Linkin Park
Lupe Fiasco (4)
Marilyn Manson
Memphis Bleek (4)
Modest Mouse
Naughty by Nature: Feel Me Flow
N.O.R.E (2)
Obie Trice (3)
OneRepublic (2)
Papa Roach
Paul Wall (3)
Pitbull (6) : Go Girl
Ray J: Sexy Can I
Rick Ross (5)
Scary Kids Scaring Kids: Snake Devil
Shiny Toy Guns
Sia: Breathe Me (Six Feet Under)
T-Pain (2)
T.I. (2)
Timbaland (3)
The Ting Tings
Val Emmich
The Vines
The White Stripes (3)
Ying Yang Twins

As many runners will tell you, this is a rotating list - many songs will be on my iPod for a month or so then removed and eventually put back on. (You can only listen to the same song so many times) So tell me by way of leaving a comment, what songs on this list surprised you and what didnt?


Monday: The Final Countdown (Think song by Europe)

With less than a week to go until the RunSF, San Francisco Marathon, I thought it would be a good time to give a glimpse into what a runner goes through the final week in order to be prepared for a marathon.

People often think that there are a multitude of things to do in getting ready to run a marathon and that the week before must be a hectic scramble, but it is actually almost the opposite. We have been preparing for this race and getting everything sorted for months. With a week left, the one thing I worry about the most, is whether or not the alarm will go off on time. Seriously. I, like many other runners will set the regular alarm along with the alarm on a cell phone in case there is a power outage in the middle of the night. Another good tip is to have a fellow runner call to make sure you are up and ready in case an alien from outer space has sneaked into your bedroom to destroy your marathon dreams (It could happen).

Hydration. This week is an important opportunity to make sure you are well hydrated for the race. Drink lots of water throughout the week and throw in a Gatorade or two Friday and Saturday.

Food. Not a good idea to have a feast this week. Your body is a temple, treat it like one. Stay on the normal eating pattern that has gotten you this far and stay away from eating junk food that won’t benefit you for the race or in the long run (Insert joke about the marathon being the race and the long run). The day before be sure to include plenty of carbs in your food, which are stored in muscles as glycogen — more to come on that subject in the future, and a good amount of protein. You’ll need both to be successful.

Run. That’s right, you have been running like a crazy person for the last few months, why stop now? But here is the key factor: don’t overdue it. Each runner has what they would call an ‘easy run’... do those. Whether it is 1 mile or a 5 mile run it might not be a bad idea to get at one in this week. Mine is a 3 mile run with Mika. It is a nice easy run that is familiar to the both of us. We get to the corner and Mika knows, this is where to turn. She also knows that when my watch beeps (at a 6:1 interval) it is time to walk or run. Funny, huh? My last running day will be Wednesday so that I have Thurs-Sat to get my legs rested so that they feel refreshed Sunday Morning.

Rest. Personally, I wont run more than twice this week and may only get in a single run to keep the blood flowing. Stay off your feet and don’t lift or do anything strenuous. That last thing you want to do is injure yourself moving a couch with less than a week to go.

Those are the general ones for now. Each night this week I’ll be blogging about “The Final Countdown.” As the race gets closer I’ll get more specific on daily activities, so if you’d like a closer glimpse into what it is that we go through - come on back.

Next Post: Tuesday: Loading the iPod


26.2 Reasons I Started a Runner's Blog

Thank you for taking the time to read the very first post in my newly created blog. I have been thinking about creating a running blog for some time and I figured I should give you some of the reasons why I made this decision, so here is a list of reasons why I started a runners blog. Enjoy.

1. Everyone else has a blog, why can't I?

2. When you run for over 4 hours, you have a lot to think about.
3. Runners keep a running diary - mine will be Doogie Howser style.
4. To create an alternate forum for runners I know to communicate.
5. Want to know if I'm still running? Here you go.
6. Because Mika (my dog) wants to be famous.
7. Because you needed one more email list to be on.
8. To post topics about running that you might find interesting.
9. Another tool to keep me motivated to run.
10. Always looking for running routes, know any good ones?
11. A great place to organize a group run for the weekend.
12. Because running is addictive.
13. I talk way too much to begin with, why not type it out?
14. Wifey said I should start a blog and she is right 99.9% of the time.
15. Another reason to be in front of the computer.
16. Always looking for running music, any suggestions?
17. To stay up to speed (no pun inteded) on local running events.
18. Because maybe by reading my awesome running tales, you'll join me.
19. Gives me a reason to design another logo.
20. Running is healthy, stress-relieving, and fulfilling... is blogging also?
21. To find out if I actually have something to say.
22. Around mile 22, you may expect to hit "the wall."
23. If you don't know what "the wall" is, this blog can be informative.
24. I'm horrible at grammar and spelling, maybe this will help.
25. Along with being amazing, 'Super Lori' gave her support for this blog.
26. I think I have the potential to be really good at it.
26.2 - Because like marathons, 26 isn't enough... you need the .2

Please feel free to add to the list through comments or come up with some reasons why I should never blog again. Have a great week folks, thanks again for your support.