Preparing to Prepare

I try not to say things like this often, but I really can't believe it's already the last week of May. For some reason I can't get my mind to understand that we're in the twenty-something dates, and not the teens. But here we are, and it's time to talk about what we're training for once again.
As many of you know, I ran my third half marathon a little over a week ago. As many of you know, I've shared nibbles and bits here and there about my intent to run a full marathon this year. With no other races on the schedule, even though it's about five months away, the marathon is what's next on my list.

My goal is to run the City of Oaks Marathon on November 1. I have an 18-week training plan all mapped out on a spreadsheet, and the registration fee is in my June budget. I have marathoner friends on speed dial and The Weather Channel bookmarked (because summer training is the worst decision I've ever made). But it's not yet time to train.

An 18-week plan means I don't need to begin my actual marathon training until the end of June. So what am I doing from now until June 29? I'm keeping my runs light and easy and low-pressure, and I'm preparing to prepare for the marathon.

How I'm Preparing to Prepare for the Marathon

+ Taping my fingers down to prevent myself from making alterations to the training plan I found, adapted, and "finalized" already.

+ Sampling Gatorade flavors to identify my favorite. When my training plan takes me to week 10 and asks me to run 16 miles on an August day, something tells me a few ounces of water just isn't going to cut it.

+ Buying more sports bras. I'm going to be training through the summer, and my long weekend runs will have me out for hours at a time in good old New Jersey conditions. (I'll sum it up for you like this: hot and humid.) I will not apologize for being that runner out there in short shorts and a sports bra, because heat stroke is not my idea of a good time.

+ Loading up on sunscreen, KT tape, and BodyGlide. The last half marathon I ran was the first time I realized that BodyGlide is going to need to become a part of my life. Short shorts and sweaty summer runner legs.

+ Building more running playlists. Never enough playlists. What are your favorite running/workout songs? I'm talking like 5-hours long playlists here, help a girl out.

+ Mentally bracing myself for hills. Be the hill. You are the hill. It's basically impossible to run around here without running hills, which is frustrating on a bad day and promising on a good day. Running hills makes you stronger, and I'm going to need to feel real damn comfortable on them before I get to Raleigh.

+ Fielding questions from people who believe New York and Boston are the only marathons. And explaining that no, I'm not running either of those for my first marathon, and that no, you can't really just decide to run Boston or New York and sign up. And then trying to get non-runners to understand that on any given weekend there are countless more races than they can be aware of going on all over the place. We're strong in numbers, we runners.

If you've ever run a marathon, what do I need to add to this list?

And now we want to hear from the rest of you. What are your summer fitness goals? How have you improved since last month's linkup? What's your fitness focus lately? Grab a button, link up below, and share with the class!


  1. You were right, I do love this :)
    I hate to be that person who is like "...but the marathon is SO different", is different. And it does require some different training (like prepping before you even start training). Like, going to a half was a big step for me but I didn't feel like I put a lot of thought into it other than "run a few times a week." But for some reason the jump to the full really required a lot of planning to get through. I guess what I'm trying to say is yay you are doing all the right things for a successful first marathon and I can't wait to watch you do it!
    High five for us both admitting to going out in a sports bra if need be ;)

  2. I mean, just sign up for New York or Boston. What, like it's hard? haha.
    Be the hill. You are the hill. - laughed so hard.
    If I was hot enough to run in short shorts and a sports bra (both temperature and looks wise ;)) i'd be all about that shit. comfort is key! meanwhile, 16 miles on an august day sounds preeeeetty horrible.
    i love the preparing to prepare. you are going to be a marathoner soon!! it's gonna be awesome, and i'm going to cheer you on from the sidelines.

  3. Your third half marathon, that's amazing! I've yet to run ONE haha. I've done the 10 miler five times, but not a half marathon. I do want to do one hopefully one day. Your training regiment sounds great. GOOD LUCK!

  4. Just linked up for the first time! This is funny...when I decided to run my first marathon, I was living in Boston and moving to NY and I decided to run one of those...then I realized that that wasn't possible ;) I'm excited to follow your training ! I'm running Chicago this year!

  5. As a former Marathon finisher, I think that it's important first and foremost to know what's in your beach bag. Other than that, you've got it all lined up. I am so excited for you and will be reminding you to stick to that training plan.

  6. I always like some old school Brittany Spears to get me moving, also if you haven't heard of Girl Talk I strongly STRONGLY recommend you give it a listen. I am in the "hates running camp" and girl talk got my butt through a 10k.

  7. I've seen you mention KT tape a few times - how does that work? I've been getting really painful shin splints recently after running (I think it's because I've gone from running on a treadmill to running outside now that the weather is perfect) and they've really been cramping my schedule!

  8. Look at all this planning girl! Love it! I am dying in the early morning hour heat here already for less then an hour of running...I cant even with you and your five hours haha!! My favorite running songs are anything calvin harris, lady gaga, and afrojack.

  9. i just get live DJ sets (electronica)...those are a good 2-3hrs per set. the Ultra music site has a bunch from the UMF that happened earlier this year. afrojack, zedd are some good ones.

  10. I started listening to podcasts on my runs - a nice alternative to music sometimes, and it helps distract me from the run sometimes ;o) Congrats on deciding to take the plunge! My first full is this fall as well, so I have no words of advice. Just...we can do it!

  11. I absolutely love that you're training for a full marathon and I cannot wait to see you run it and accomplish it. The training must be rough and I can only dream of a day when I would be physically able to do this but I have to say Im so proud of you!


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