The Night Before

The night before my race, I organized everything I was going to need for my big day in one place. I had my race number, camera, pain reliever, sunscreen, shoes, singlet... Everything in one spot so I wouldn't forget any thing. This is a good idea, because races usually start in the early morning, which means you could be waking up as early as 4 a.m.! I know I can't think straight at that time of day. Also, be sure to get as much sleep as possible, which means an early bed time of about 9 p.m.

Here's what coaches Marjorie Speer and Tim Vinson told me to eat right before Race Day:

After You Finish

First thing you have to do is eat! Then you should stretch, but gently. When you get home from the chaos that is the finish line, an ice bath is in order. I know it sounds torturous, and it pretty much is, but it really helps with swelling. Not to freak any one out, but a marathon is extremely harsh on your body, and swelling and soreness will happen afterwards. An ice bath is the best immediate treatment.

christie, margy, and me

My Unforgettable Experience

Finally, I would like to leave you with a reflection of the race I completed. I was nervous in the beginning. I kept thinking I wasn't going to make it. There was no way. At the 13 mile mark, I changed my tune. I felt great and I had already made it half way. How could I quit now?

You also have lots of time to reflect during those long miles. I completed my race through Team in Training of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society . You raise money for the Society, while Team in Training provides you with a coach and clinics on equipment and fundraising. I just kept thinking about what people with cancer have to go through, and how the pain I felt during this race was nothing compared to what cancer patients feel on a daily basis. If they can fight thier way through crueling treatments as a sick person, I can fight my way through a marathon as a healthy person.

The end was bitter sweet. I was in pain, but I couldn't stop. If I stopped my muscles would tense up and I wouldn't be able to start again, but more importantly I had already gone so far- I would've been disappointed in myself for the rest of my life. I just knew it. So I did it. I finished a marathon and it was awesome.

If anyone else cares to share comments about a marathon experience or other thoughts about long distance events, please feel free.

  • Running is Hard! Oh, I hated it at first, but I found out it's amazing what your body can do when you put it to work! - Marie Gier, 4/15/2007
  • I can't believe you actually did it, Rach! That's amazing. Congratulations! -Laura Libert, 4/16/2007