Running: Race Day Tips. Would You Like to Share Any of Your Tips, Too?


The Houston Marathon is officially less than a week away from today.  Are you ready?  You are.  It will be one of your life’s finest journeys.  As for me I will be on the sidelines cheering for you.  In the previous five years 2012 was my first time to be a spectator and cheer. It was exhilarating, and I am looking forward to doing it, again!  If you haven’t watched and cheered runners in the Houston Marathon, then I highly recommend you step out of your house with your coffee, curlers, slippers, whatever and offer support. As a past runner I can tell you it is so motivating to hear people call out, “Go Kerra.” No stranger ever pronounces my name correctly, but in the race it lacks importance.  Even if someone called me “Karen,” I was thrilled and would wave back and smile big.

Sunday, look for us around mile 7.5, then for marathoners we will be there, again, around mile 24.  Sunday, I bought poster board and markers, so this year we will have signs, as well as, my obnoxious hat and bell.  Cannot wait!!!


Anyway, it is part of my personality to be full of advice.  Ask my friend’s teenage son.  I have overwhelmed him with college advice, he may think I am a little off my rocker.  In the spirit of preparation and Karra’s awesome advice here are a few race day tips I have either read in Runner’s World or were verbally shared by my fellow runner friends, coaches.  Speaking of runner friends, please, feel free to add more because I know many of you have run 50X the number of races I have.

  1. Do not try a new outfit or shoes.  It could be a total disaster.  Stick to clothes and shoes you have worn in your training long runs.
  2. Men: Rub Glide on your nipples or cover with bandaids.  My guy friends who have experienced not doing it, really regretted it. Big time.
  3. Use Glide or vaseline in areas where your clothes are sure to rub.  You can decide where.
  4. Do not try new foods Friday or Saturday nights.  In fact do not eat any greens or fiber Friday or Saturday.  The last thing you want to do is interrupt your run with a little cha-cha-cha.  And, please, do not pull what I saw one elite runner do in the 2012 Houston Olympic trial run, –shat in his pants. Yuck!
  5. This advice was given from an elite runner.  Marathon 2009 Brian and I were volunteering for the Saturday’s Childrens’ run, day before race, Meb Keflezighi introduced himself and said if he could offer one bit of advice, then it would be: “Sleep with your feet upright, against the wall.”  He said it would help bring the circulation down from the legs and feet, making the run easier.  That night I forgot and did it an hour before getting up, didn’t really make a difference, but really, was I the right judge?  Little ol’ amateur me.  I remembered the advice in 2011’s Marathon, but, again, who am I?!  Anyway, who knows. Maybe, it will work for you.  And it came directly from Meb’s mouth, so I had to share it.
  6. If you have any aches, and I am not an M.D., so take this advice lightly, start taking Advil Friday and pack a couple in your pouch in case you need it during the race.
  7. It looks like there is a little rain in the forecast.  If it may rain, then wrap your shuffle in plastic wrap.  In 2011’s race I ignored that advice, and it poured basically from mile 1 to 14, so by 15 my shuffle was D.E.A.D.  Ugh.  No bueno.
  8. Relax. It is just a competition with yourself, unless you are an elite athlete, then, well, you are not reading this blog.
  9. Smile. Have fun with it.  Enjoy the crowds and support. You will be pleasantly surprised. I think, every year Houstonians get more and more involved with the marathon.


Good luck!  We will see you along the course, cheering you on with coffee breath, then possibly, bloody mary breath.

Here are a few more pics from last year’s Olympic trials…didn’t capture stinky pants, thankfully.


IMG_0889 IMG_0888 IMG_0885 IMG_0887


I am back!

Hi!  I am back from a long hiatus.  Now that the Gossip Girl series officially ended, and Scandal, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee are on break until January I have some time on my hands.  Seriously, something is wrong with me.  I haven’t watched this many shows, ever.  And, yes, I know, my show choices are another talking point, but I don’t want to hear it.  Perhaps, my husband’s love for TV has rubbed off on me.  However, he probably likes the “cooler” shows: Breaking Bad, Empire Boardwalk, Game of Thrones, Boss, etc.  Nevertheless, something has to give, and what better distraction than MARATHON training.  This Marino obviously needs a TV break.

Brian and I are running our first ever marathon outside Houston, so we thought we would pick a beautiful place to start, Big Sur.  April 28th.  Training began a couple weeks back, and I am totally stoked to be back in it.  As our fellow running club friends near the end of their Houston training, only to stop for probably 2 seconds before running another marathon, we are looking to you for inspiration and support.  I thought starting the blog, again, would help a few folks hold us accountable to our training and what we hope to be our best marathon, yet.  And, yes, we haven’t done that many Houston marathons (or marathons, in general), but enough to know mile 18’s belly dancers fail to distract the pain, mile 19’s beer isn’t appetizing, and by 21 the legs hurt so bad 26.2 seems another 20 miles away.  But, crossing the finish line is so worth it!

With this training we are trying a different approach.  It is taken from the Hansons’ training method, two brothers who train elite runners.  Their philosophy is your entire week’s mileage matters most, focusing less on gaining up to the one day’s big mileage and more on increasing your total weeks’ mileage.  They are convinced there is no need for a long run to be more than 16 miles (non-elite), as long as, your weekly mileage averages around 30-38 miles (again, non-elite runners).  The daily back-to-back runs, speed and pace workouts throughout the week allow the body to race the last 16 miles.  After running 3 marathons I know I can make it through 26.2, so the reason for a different regimen is I want to have a more pleasant marathon run.   I want my legs to feel less pain and body to have more strength to get through the final 10 miles.  Will the Hanson method make 26.2 more pleasant?  Brian and I will let you know April 29th, and along the way we will keep you posted with our progress.

Let me know if you have tried this sort of training and feel free to share any insights.  If you have run Big Sur and have any advice, then, please, share.

Until my next post, see you on the streets.