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Albany Marathon Race Recap

March 4, 2014

“Marathons are the triumph of desire over reason.”

That’s what I saw on a sign during mile 11 of this past Saturday’s Albany Marathon. That mile flew by because I spent the entire time repeating this line over and over in my head so I could remember the quote. As I was running 26.2 miles, I realized how true that statement really is. Running a marathon defies all odds. It shouldn’t be possible, and yet, somehow we make it possible. We choose to finish. Running the last 6 miles of a marathon is hands down one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Every marathon is a miracle. When I crossed the finish line on Saturday, that is what I was thinking.

I went into this race with few expectations. I wanted to feel good. I wanted to run a consistent race. I believed I could run faster than all my other marathons, but it was more about finishing happy than it was about the time on the clock.

I am extremely grateful and humbled to have made marathon #6 all of these things.

I made the trip down to Albany, Georgia, around lunchtime the day before the race. It’s just a 3-hour drive from Atlanta, which I made with my good pal and race weekend soul mate, Teesha (you might remember her from our trip to Beach2Battleship or when she made her debut on my Nuun Hood to Coast video application).

Teesha and me on the way down to the Albany Marathon. We found this larger than life pig at a gas station we stopped at on the way down.
Teesha and me on the way down to the Albany Marathon. We found this larger than life pig at a gas station we stopped at on the way down.

I believe that a key factor in having a successful race is being in the right state of mind the day before and the morning of the race. For my past 3 big races (all of which I have run a PR), I’ve traveled with and stayed with running friends who understand that and who make me laugh and smile non-stop until the starting line gun goes off.  They also think it is normal to:

  • Analyze the color of our pee every time we go to the bathroom in the 24 hours leading up to the race to assess how hydrated we are.
  • Wreak havoc on every waiter at every restaurant by ordering custom food to ensure we get our perfect pre-race meal.
  • Discuss pooping at length – Did you go yet? Was it a good one? Do you think you’ll have to go again before the race?
  • Talk about running and race strategy every hour on the hour. And then discuss it some more.

Case in point.

When we arrived in Albany, we headed to the expo, which was small but easy to navigate. We were able to check out the finish line area and visualize a successful race ending.

I hoped I would feel as good at the finish line on Friday as I would after the race on Saturday. I’m proud to say, I did.

On Saturday morning, the race started at 7 a.m. I decided to run with the 3:45 pace group. They were running closer to a 3:40 pace, but it felt comfortable and I enjoyed the feeling of running with a team. I recall seeing the sun rise during mile 3, and it made me remember to enjoy the mile I was in and not to think too much about all the miles I had yet to run.

At mile 7, I made a deal with myself that rather than thinking about how many more miles I had to go, I would set small goals. The first goal was to get to the half marathon point (13.1), the next was to get to mile 17 (because that’s when you are finally counting down miles in the single digits), and then to 20 (because there is just a 10K to go) and then to 23 (because you can do anything for 3 more miles). Setting these smaller goals really helped me mentally.

I broke off from the pace group around mile 12.5 because I wanted to run the tangents more aggressively (this means taking turns in such a way that ensures you are running the shortest part of the course). We were already about 0.1 miles over, and I didn’t want to run any further than I had to. I had a burst of energy from miles 12 through 15 and felt really strong.

Photo source: PeachSports.com
Photo source: PeachSports.com

Around mile 18 or 19, I started to feel the distance. My leg muscles began to hurt, and I knew the ever-daunting last 6 miles were near. My goal was to try to hold onto my pace as much as I could and be as consistent as I could. I was wearing a pace tattoo, so I knew where I needed to be each mile to run 3:45 or faster.

I write positive words on my arms and hands to remind me to stay strong during the race.
I write positive words on my arms and hands to remind me to stay strong during the race.

Miles 22 through 24 were the hardest for me. I slowed my pace quite a bit and was simply struggling mentally and physically. The 3:45 pacer came back and passed me, but she was alone and stayed right in front of me. I focused on staying close to her, even though she was ahead of 3:45 pace. I started to envision the feeling of the volunteer putting the medal around my neck. I was thinking about how incredible it was that I was doing this. I was thinking about what a miracle it is to finish.

Photo source: PeachSports.com
Photo source: PeachSports.com

I dug deep, found some extra energy and got back to my goal pace the last 2 miles, even running a 7:19 pace for the last 0.4. I zoomed past the 3:45 pacer to cross the finish line in 3:44:10.

Photo source: PeachSports.com
Photo source: PeachSports.com

3:44:10. That’s more than an 8-minute PR.

I was overcome with happiness. I was amazed to be finished, but even prouder to have run a mostly consistent race. Here is what my mile splits looked like:

Mile 1: 8:13
Mile 2: 8:22
Mile 3:  8:16
Mile 4: 8:17
Mile 5: 8:34
Mile 6: 8:29
Mile 7: 8:24
Mile 8: 8:25
Mile 9: 8:30
Mile 10: 8:30
Mile 11: 8:25
Mile 12: 8:24
Mile 13: 8:31
Mile 14: 8:20
Mile 15: 8:29
Mile 16: 8:30
Mile 17: 8:26
Mile 18: 8:27
Mile 19: 8:39
Mile 20: 8:33
Mile 21: 8:33
Mile 22: 8:47
Mile 23: 9:02
Mile 24: 8:58
Mile 25: 8:35
Mile 26: 8:27
Last 0.4 (course was longer than 26.2): 7:19
Average pace on Garmin: 8:29/mile
Because the course was about 0.2 over, my average pace for the race ended up being 8:34. I finished 12th in my age group and 175th overall.

I write mantras and positive sayings on my hands and arms before a race so I can look at them when the miles get hard. The middle photo shows what I had written on my hand during the Albany Marathon.
I write mantras and positive sayings on my hands and arms before a race so I can look at them when the miles get hard. The middle photo shows what I had written on my hand during the Albany Marathon.

From a nutrition perspective, this is what my strategy looked like:

  • Breakfast day before the race: Chocolate banana protein smoothie with 1 cup almond milk, one frozen banana, one scoop of Jay Robb’s chocolate whey protein and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (see recipes for my favorite post-workout smoothies here)
  • Lunch day before the race: Spaghetti with tomato sauce and roasted chicken and a roll
  • Snack day before the race while traveling: Peanut butter pretzel sandwiches
  • Dinner day before the race: Plain grilled chicken breast with pepper and salt, heavily salted baked potato, rice and 2 rolls (no vegetables or high fiber foods)
  • Hydration day before the race: Drank water constantly ensuring my urine was consistently a pale yellow color (almost clear)
  • Pre-race breakfast: Everything bagel, heavily salted hardboiled egg, half banana, ½ cup strawberries and 12 ounces of water (ate this at 4 a.m. 3 hours before the race and went back to bed for 45 minutes after eating)
  • Pre-race fuel: Ate 100 calories of strawberry Clif Shot Bloks 30-35 minutes before the race and then proceeded with my warm-up
  • During the race: Ate a salted caramel GU every 45 minutes. I took the GUs with water but alternated between water and Gatorade for hydration on the course at every aid station. I did not take my fourth gel around mile 21 even though I probably should have and I did not stop at the very last aid station for water. Next time, I will force the fourth GU down. I think it might have helped during those last few hard miles.
  • Post-race: Immediately following the race, I drank 16 ounces of water and 8 ounces of Gatorade and ate a Marathon protein bar that was offered in the finish area (20 grams of protein and lots of carbs). I continued to drink water and then had a bowl of pasta with bread and salad about 2 hours after the race. I continued to hydrate for the remainder of the day.

I could not have been happier with this race or the performance. I have been so incredibly fortunate to have a personal best on my last 5 races. For this race, I think the biggest factors were perfecting my hydration and nutrition plan, creating a training plan that really works for me focused on high quality runs and cross-training with no junk miles, tapering for 2 weeks instead of 3 and having a strong base of running 13-14 miles for months before going up in mileage to 16, 18 and finally 22 miles in the last 5 weeks leading up to the race. In 2012, I was struggling so much with my running that I was questioning if I would ever get better. Like anything, running takes time. Learning what works for me to have an effective marathon took me more than 3 years to figure out. If you are struggling with your pacing, nutrition strategy, mental strength or any other aspect, I promise you that you’ll get there if you keep working at it and figuring out what works for you.

Teesha, me and my friend JR (@runningcoachJR) after the Albany Marathon
Teesha, me and my friend JR (@runningcoachJR) after the Albany Marathon

As a final verdict on the Albany Marathon, these are my key takeaways:

  • The course was great. It was mostly flat, with some rolling sections after mile 12. The course went through many neighborhoods with nice homes and along the river. The weather was a little warmer than I would have preferred, but it is typically very good for those who enjoy running in cooler temperatures.
  • The volunteer support and aid stations were excellent. All Albany Marathon volunteers were dressed in hot pink shirts, and the aid stations were plentiful and responsive. I would yell out what I needed and they would have it ready for me. The cups were filled to the perfect amount to avoid spilling. Although I didn’t use any of their fuel, they had oranges, bananas, Hammer Gels and Marathon bars on the course.
  • The logistics were seamless. The start was right by the city’s civic center, so there was plenty of free parking and we were able to use the bathrooms in the host hotel which were clean. The race started on time and since there were less than 700 marathon runners, it wasn’t too crowded after the first mile.
  • The race weekend was incredibly inexpensive. My friend Teesha and I split a hotel room that cost $90, we paid for one tank of gas and two meals that topped out at $15 each. If you live within 3 hours or so from the race, you can get in and out with just one night and the drive is easy. Since there is not much to do in Albany, I would not recommend flying in from somewhere far away just for this race unless you are planning to spend time in Atlanta or another nearby city before/after.
  • The gear check before the race was right next to the start line and you simply placed it on a platform. Afterwards, you got your own bag. This was great, but you have to assume no one is stealing bags. We easily found and got ours with no problem. I would recommend a little more security around the bags through the end of the event.
  • The finish area is next to a steep grassy hill, which every runner has to walk up after the race. This is NOT ideal for those of us with tired legs, especially if you have to walk back down, which we did.
  • The pacers were not very consistent. The one I followed started faster than they finished, and the pacer left the entire group and finished alone. I really enjoyed being with mine for the first 12+ miles, but we were running faster than pace. I noticed many pacers come through the finish after me who were alone and no longer with their group.
  • The course was longer than 26.2. With an extra 0.2, that slowed my overall time down. Had it been 26.2 at my overall race pace, I would have finished in 3:42:15. That is a little frustrating, but t lets me know I have more time to shave off in my next race.
  • There was no Albany Marathon merchandise for sale at the expo or after the event. The shirt was not attractive and didn’t fit well, so I would have loved to buy a pull-over or long-sleeve to remember the event. That is one thing I’d recommend the race organizers include next year. Additionally, the medal is not impressive. If you like to run races to collect awesome medals, you won’t find one here. *wink*

What have you learned about running that has helped you improve that you didn’t know when you started? Have you ever run the Albany Marathon or do you have any plans to run it?

Comments

Hailey
Reply

Congratulations on your PR and strong finish! :) I’ve also learned to focus on quality rather than quantity. And as far as having to walk up a hill after a marathon… I would probably have to have someone carry me!

Laura @losingrace
Reply

Congrats on the HUGE pr! You seriously earned every second!

Ashley @ Brocblog
Reply

Congrats on an amazing race! Amazing consistency and an epic PR, well done!
Also, thanks for sharing eats the day before the race too, sometimes I forget how important that part is.

Judith
Reply

I love that sign quote! I just ran my first marathon Sunday and would’ve loved seeing that one on my race course.

Congrats on your impressive PR!

rUnladylike
Reply

Congrats on finishing your first marathon, Judith! That is AWESOME! I hope you had a good race and enjoyed the experience!

Jenn
Reply

Congratulations! What an amazing race for you! You must be walking on air!

I’ve never run any marathon, but posts like this make me want to. Good thing I’m signing up for one in another month (ack!). I’m learning so many things about running I don’t even know where to start!

rUnladylike
Reply

I’m excited for you to sign up for your first marathon, Jenn! You will be great! Just give yourself lots of time to prepare and train and find a coach or group that can help provide guidance along the way. Keep me posted on your progress! xoxo

meghan @ little girl in the big world
Reply

Congratulations Jesica! This was wonderful to read. I love the way you broke down the race. At first the distances seemed random, but they make so much sense when you explain them. Amazing performance. You’re on fire! All your training is paying off and then some!

Cheri @ Overactive Blogger
Reply

Holy cow! Loved reading this recap, and your times are a true inspiration for me to buckle down on some speedwork, and get that time down. Kudos! Keep these awesome posts coming girl!

Kristin
Reply

you did great with keeping a consistent pace! congrats on your fabulous start and finish

Running Bear
Reply

Hearing how strong you finished, passing the 3:45 pace runner, its pure inspiration for a rookie like me training for my first full marathon (Pittsburgh). I focus so much of my training thinking about those last miles and how much I want to be strong crossing that finish line.

Thank you so much for sharing!

rUnladylike
Reply

Yay for your first marathon! I’m excited to see how many first time marathoners we have here in this thread! How is your training going? The last 6 miles are really tough. Just know that going into it and expect for it to be really hard … but also tell yourself that you will get through it … because you WILL! It takes several marathons to figure out how to manage those last 6 miles and to feel “good” during them. Start a little slower than you think you should so you have some gas in the tank toward the end. I can’t wait to hear how your marathon goes. Please keep me posted! Happy training.

Jojo @ RunFastEatLots
Reply

Those are some great-looking splits and a strong finish! I have only run one marathon, and since I was inexperienced, I started out too fast and faded in those last 6 miles.

rUnladylike
Reply

I think we have all done that on our first one, Jojo. My first marathon was Chicago and I had a terrible race. After mile 15 I had no gas left in the tank and had to walk run the rest of the way. I remember even walking during mile 25. It was miserable. With every race we learn a lesson for the next one. Happy running!

Kim W
Reply

Congrats on the awesome finish Jesica!!! I really love the way you kept pushing forward with your goals, doing whatever it takes to get it done! I am currently looking for my next marathon so I really appreciate your detailed reviews and “insider” tips! : ). Was wondering if you’ve run the Rocket City Marathon or have heard anything about it? It looks like a strong race from what I’ve read but I’d love an experienced opinion! : )

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you Kim! I’m so glad it was helpful :) I have not run Rocket City, but I have heard good things about it from friends who have done it. If you want me to connect you with friends who have run it so you can pick their brain, let me know and I can connect you via email :) Good luck with your training!

John Gregg
Reply

Congrats on the PR and on running such a consistent race. Those splits are nice. Really enjoyed reading the recap.

Kristen L @ DYL
Reply

Great recap!! I think it is always important to remember that if you don’t run the tangents just right, you won’t get exactly 26.2….but I agree that it’s hard to think about what you could’ve run had you been able to finish right at that distance. Congrats on the big PR, and strong race!

rUnladylike
Reply

Thanks Kristen! I have become a tangent freak! I ran them so hard at ZOOMA that my watch said 13.11 at the end of that race, which was awesome. It is something I am so cognizant about. I will try to write about tangents soon. Hope you are doing well!

Gabrielle from Austria
Reply

Congratulations (Herzliche Glückwünsche!) Jesica!
You are doing so well, and I can learn so much on your blog.
Maybe also an awfully slow runner like me can improve!
So far this has helped a lot: speed work (yes, I’m a tiny little bit faster!!!!), rest days, strength training.
I’d love to run a marathon in the USA . It’s on my bucket list.
Great recap!

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you so much Gabrielle! Come run with us in the US! On my bucket list is to run a race in Europe! You run with me here and I’ll come run with you there :) Good luck with your training!!!

Kat
Reply

What a rockstar you are! I just took a NASM Nutrition course so nutrition makes so much more sense to me now and you were super smart with your planning! I’ve also learned that you can’t just bust butt to run a fast rac e- all of the races you’ve run PREPARED you for this day! Congratulations!!

Maddison
Reply

Congratulations again on such an amazing race! It’s nice to know you have some wiggle room for upcoming marathons to keep getting faster!

Reading your race nutrition was really helpful and a well laidout plan of what to eat the day before and of the race. Thanks for adding this bit!

I hope you enjoyed the caramel GUs! The first time I had one, I was anxious for my next long run in order to eat it again. Definitely delicious!

Kristin @ A Mom on the Run
Reply

Congratulations on a great race, Jesica! I’m from a small town near Albany, so this race has been on my radar for a while. I was eager to hear what you had to say about it.

rUnladylike
Reply

You should totally do it next year since you are so close! They have a half marathon too!

Brynne
Reply

I don’t know if you remember, but I had mentioned that I was running a marathon the same weekend as you and you told me to keep you updated, so here’s the update!
I had said before that my goal for this marathon was to not underestimate myself and to not let my pace goal restrict me. I had a 7:45 pace in mind, but ended up really focusing on not thinking “oh no, I’m going too fast” and slowing down just because of the number on my watch. I ended up doing exactly what I wanted to do and I just went for it and ended up running a 7:40 pace for a 3:21.02 (a 13 minute PR)!!! There were times when I looked at a mile split and went “woh that was too fast”, but then I thought, nope, I feel good, I’m just gonna keep going.
My course was .2 miles long too! I was always trying to run tangents, but it was a 2-lane winding road and sometimes it’s hard to get the straightest line between multiple curves…It’s a little frustrating cus it keeps you thinking “I couldn’t gotten a better time!” but like you said, that means we’ve got a PR to easily smash in our next marathon!

rUnladylike
Reply

Brynne, Congratulations!!!!! You absolutely CRUSHED your race. I am in awe of your speediness and I’m so excited you had a perfect race day. Thank you SO much for keeping me posted on your progress. That made my day. I’m celebrating with you virtually! Maybe one of these days I’ll get fast enough to keep up with you. Way to rock it! Enjoy your PR high. xo

Angie
Reply

Congrats Jesica….you should be so dang proud of yourself! I had tears in my eyes at the end of the post….it must have been an incredible feeling you had when you crossed the finish line! I have never raced a marathon and as of now, have no desire too, but maybe one day! The most important lesson I learned this year about running is to recognize injuries and pains when they first happen, and to take care of them asap before they get out of hand. I had minor PF for years that I ignored until it blew up into a major injury which forced me to take 4 months offs of running.. It is now all better but it was a hard lesson learned!

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you so much Angie! You are a sweetheart! I really appreciate all your kind words and support throughout the training cycle! And your advice is spot on. Good luck with your tri training!!!

Victor Mariano
Reply

Love reading your race recaps Jesica!! as a reader, I felt right there in the mix! And way to go on another PR!! High five on the execution and consistency of your race. I think as runners when we can “think” and keep our wits about us during a race, it show that you have crossed into another whole level of racing. It has to feel so good looking at the splits knowing the wheels never came off, but just kept rolling.
I so agree with you about going the finish line to visualize the race ending before we run it. I recall NYC in the late stages of the race, I just wanted to know “where is the finish line?” and kept hoping it was around the next corner :)). So now I have to see the finish before any marathon I am running in.
I love it that you caught and passed the pacer again that had to feel great too. and I can relate on trying to memorize race signs. It sure makes the mile go by quickly… my all time favorite was “it’s ok to cry”

Any way…nice reading and congrats on a fine finish!!!!

Matt
Reply

Hey Jesica, congrats again on the PR!

In looking at your mile splits, I’m quite impressed with how consistent you were. My question is, since this is something we all deal with, how do you maintain goal pace while at the same time incorporating gel and fluids into the run? Do you walk at all when you take them, or have you mastered the run and chug?

Thanks!

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Matt! Thanks for the question! I wish there was a simpler answer about how to stay consistent during a race, but I truly believe it comes with a LOT of practice and trial and error over time. During my first 2 years of endurance running, I was all over the place. My mile splits were crazy. Just in the past year have I been able to find a level of consistency. Regarding staying consistent while fueling and hydrating, I used to carry my own hydration, so could drink at any time via a handheld bottle (which I still uses for training), but during races, I now use the aid stations to avoid carrying anything and adding weight. I keep running through every aid station. I grab the cup, pour out any liquid if it is more than halfway full, pinch the top edges until there is only a tiny little opening and drink. I probably take 2-3 sips and toss but drink at every aid station (alternating between sports drink and water). I don’t really slow down much, and if I do, it is negligible. In terms of fueling, I carry all my gels in my pockets and I pull them out and eat them before I get to the aid station, so I’m done fueling by the time I reach the water station to wash it down. I hope that helps a little. Please let me know if you have any other questions I can help answer. Good luck with your pacing!!!

Kristen @ Glitter and Dust
Reply

Way to go 3:44 and a PR! This is a wonderful race recap and I really enjoyed the pictures… I felt as though I was running right next to you the entire time! My mistake during my last marathon was paying TOO much attention to the pacers and where I was at. It became stressful and unpleasant at times. My best marathon and PR was when I had no idea where I was at (time-wise) and just enjoyed the run!

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you Kristen! I really appreciate you following along the journey and all your kind words and support along the way. I have made that mistake too. It adds so much pressure. Sometimes starting with a slower pace group and leaving them after a portion of the race can have the opposite, positive effect. Running unbridled is a great thing. Thanks again!

Leslie @ Triathlete Treats
Reply

BAD-ASS!! What a great race!! So consistent!! You dug deep for those last miles and came in smokin’ fast!!! I know I have told you this before but you are amazing and inspiring!! I can’t wait to see what you have next on your agenda!! I know you will do an Ironman one day!! I can feel it!! :)

rUnladylike
Reply

Thank you SO much Leslie. I am speechless by your kind words. I feel the same way about you and am so thankful I got the chance to meet you in Seattle/Oregon last year. I would LOVE for us to all run the same race one of these days. Next up is Ragnar Atlanta trail race, then RnR Raleigh half and Seattle half. Any chance you’ll be in Seattle for that race in late June?

Rob
Reply

Funny – I finished one place behind you (the blue blur in your finish photo). I was ahead of the 3:45 pace group the whole race and their pacer pushed me to the finish (I was slowed from about mile 16 on). I never looked back, but I thought she, the pace leader, was running by herself. You confirmed this. Also, this was my second marathon and I’ve never been able to get that last Gu in – probably should! Thanks for the write up.

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Rob! Thanks so much for stopping by! I’m glad you found me. Congrats on your finish! I remember seeing you along the whole way, especially those last few miles when I was just trying to hang on. You had a spectacular race, especially for your second marathon! Way to push through the tough miles in the latter section of the race to finish strong. I’m glad we could run together even though we didn’t realize it :) Do you have any other races on your calendar? Congrats again.

Rob
Reply

Thanks, Jesica. Congrats on your run, also. I was impressed w/ the steady pace. I had a goal to run smarter on this one, but still went out too fast. I feel a little better that there are some comments about it heating up more than expected. I probably could have gotten by w/ just one shirt and stayed a little cooler. Training in S GA, though, it might not have been much of an impact on my time. It’s interesting reading your specific nutrition and hydrating and comparing. No special races planned. I need to do the Gate in Jax, FL one of these years, but too soon after Albany for this year. There’s a steady stream of races, mostly 5Ks, in my area (Valdosta) and I’ll pick one in a few weeks. I don’t know that I’ll go longer than a 10K until fall – gonna try and set a new PR for the half marathon. Old PR was circa 1998, so this will be tough. I wasn’t as serious as runner then, but a lot younger! Probably planning my next marathon in about a year, when I think I can BQ for 2016 w/ less than 3:40. Need to check the entry requirements to be sure. A marathon a year is about all I think I can work in w/ age, work and life!

Kim W
Reply

Thanks Jesica!! I would really appreciate the connections and am grateful for your help!! You are so inspiring!! (Also appreciate how you keep it real….) Have an awesome weekend!!
: )

Nancy Cook
Reply

Amazing marathon my friend! You should be extremely proud of your efforts. I love your recap, your sharing of nutrition and how you attacked it mentally and physically. Love the smiles in all the photos and how you support your friends! Cheers!

Brianna @ I run He tris
Reply

Congrats on your huge PR! I was hoping for the Albany Marathon to be my first marathon, but life got in the way and I was not able to train for it this year. I only live about an hour and a half away so I will do it one day! Thanks for sharing your nutrition plan. I’m always curious to see what people eat before and during races.

Kristine @ Pink Cupcake Runs
Reply

Congrats on an amazing race! I loved reading your race recap and your nutrition! I’m currently training for my first marathon which will be June 1 and how to fuel properly is something I struggle with. Interesting that you don’t eat any veggies the day prior. My plate is always half veggies and I’ve heard I shouldn’t be eating them prior to a big race, but I don’t know if I can cut them out! I question my nutrition daily truthfully. I will be running my second half marathon this coming Saturday. I’m excited, but also a little scared since it’s only my second one!

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Kristine! Thank you so much for your kind note! I’m so excited for you to run your first marathon, and good luck with your race this weekend. Yay! Regarding veggies the night before a race, you want to cut out high-fiber foods before a race because it can cause GI issues, so it is less about not having veggies and more about avoiding foods that are high in fiber. Eating an iceberg lettuce salad or veggies that are more water than fiber are probably fine. Potatoes are also good. Everyone is different, so experiment and see when you feel best. But it is a pretty common rule of thumb to cut out high-fiber foods before a race.

elizabeth
Reply

CONGRATS!!! Super proud and excited for you!! Seems like you have really figured out what works for you and that is awesome. I will have to go back to all of my marathons and see if I ever ran them at exactly 26.2. I swear, I think it’s a miracle to run that far, perfectly, and not be over. I’ve heard great things about the course, but don’t have a desire to do that race :)

5K’s to 50 Mile Races | iRaced
Reply

[…] runladylike blogger PR’ed by more than 8 minutes at the Albany Marathon (GA) with a time of 3:44:10. Even though Snickers was a race sponsor, she didn’t fuel up with Snickers candy! Read her recap to see how she did fuel up for the marathon. […]

Richard
Reply

Jesica, is Boston a goal of yours? You’re pretty close based on this PR, right?

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Richard! BQing would be great but it is not a goal for me. Simply running well, feeling good, and improving overall is what my main goals are. I would never be disappointed running a PR that fell short of a BQ. My current PR is 3:44, so I’m a ways off of my 3:35 qualifying time. I do think it is within reach, but it is not what I will be training for specifically. Thanks for the question :)

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