Monday, October 28, 2013

The NYC Marathon: Tips, Tricks and Tomfoolery

Six little days stand between me and (allegedly) running the NYC Marathon. Three years in the making all comes down to these six measly days. Or 5 days and 22 hours, if we're being exact. And I think we are.

Schedule of events for this week:
* Eat all the food
* Work (while eating all the food)
* Freak out
* Calm down
* Eat all the food
* Watch baseball
* Pretend I'm not going to drink a beer
* Drink a beer
* Eat more of all of the food
* Freak out
* Calm down
Repeat above for six days

My parents come in on Saturday and will get to be part of a special, exclusive club that currently only has one member (ahem, Betsy). This club's main privilege is witnessing a special kind of crazy and listening to me talk about going to the bathroom. For 24 hours straight. Welcome.

The only other real task I am doing this week (aside from the regular taper activities of stretching, not running too much, water, food, repeat) is to prepare for what I am bringing the morning of the race. According to forecasts and historical data, it should be in the low 50s when I run after starting at 10:05am. Very comfortable and lovely, so let's assume that is the case (I have no contingency plan for bad weather). However, we get to the starting line by around 7 am when it is in the mid-30s. Grotesque!

My friends Kevin and Nicole got the pleasure of accompanying me to the store this weekend on two separate occasions to purchase cold-weather gear. Part of this will be used before the race (and then tossed to the side, collected and donated to charity) and part will be checked in a bag to use in between finish line and where I go to meet my family and shower. Sound simple? NOT. Not simple.

The inventory:
* Hand warmers (multiple) 
* Gloves (2 pairs)
* Hat
* Arm warmers (high football socks that I will cut the toes out of! Brilliance!)
* Thermal shirt
* Sweatshirt (2)
* Sweatpants (2)
* And the piece de resistance: The Old Navy Fleece Blanket

Nicole and I were very pleased about this addition to the list. My favorite part of the shopping trip was when she interrupted an Old Navy staff meeting to inquire, "Excuse me...I believe you once sold children's blankets. Do you have any? Preferably  in a ridiculous pattern?" A good friend indeed.

The other thing I am doing this week is reading all of the internet. Somehow I feel that if I have ingested as much information as possible it will naturally make me fast and all problems will go away. For those of you also prepping who may feel the same way, here is a brief round-up of some of the best things I've read so far:

Runner's World's 10 Tips for Running the NYC Marathon

Running and the City's great tips and strategies post

Official Marathon Neighborhoods Guides

This video that features a lot of the TFK coaches and made me cry

This NYTimes article from 2009 by the author of A Race Like No Other (which is also a book I recommend)

This Well + Good tips about...potty-related matters. It's IMPORTANT!

iRunner Blog post from 2011 about the Fort Wadsworth starting area

And when I have exhausted the world wide interwebs, I go back to reading:

The best one of all...   My very own...   ...marathon SUCCESS!

Let's talk it out:
Any tips I've missed?
What are you bringing to the starting line?
Will you be racing? Watching on TV? Or watching LIVE!?


  1. Great post and tips (and thanks for the linkage!!), i hope you have the best week ever!

  2. I WILL SEE YOU AT THE START VILLAGE. (and well corrals since we are like right next to each other!)

    All caps intentional btw.

    On another note: totally in denial that I am running this on Sunday.