As you may already know from reading about my training and my Baltimore Marathon recap, I ran the race with my wonderful hubby. This was his first marathon and I’m very excited to share his experience with you. Here is his recap:
The Baltimore Marathon was tough. It was without a doubt the toughest thing I have ever done physically. THE HILLS IN BALTIMORE WERE OUT OF CONTROL!?! Picture this, you’re at mile 20 your feet and thighs are protesting in pain and you’re greeted by the beautiful Lake Montebello. You see that it’s roughly a mile and a half around and that it is immediately preceded by a mile long uphill. How is that for discouraging?
Despite that, running the Baltimore Marathon was one of the most rewarding and gratifying things I have ever done in my life. All those training miles leading up to the big event, crossing that finish line, and having that medal placed around my neck, there was no better feeling of accomplishment.
Running with my wife made all the difference. Not only was she a great coach and motivator, but on race day she made it so much more fun. I think if I ran the Baltimore Marathon alone I would have been bored out of my mind and it would have been much more challenging. If you can train and run with a buddy or significant other, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
I’ve discovered that running is addicting; I relish the days when I have a great morning run and that positive energy takes me sailing through the day. Needless to say, I am hooked on running. I do not know if another full marathon is in my future, but I look forward to many more running events.
Here are my takeaways from the Baltimore Marathon:
- Bring a running buddy: Training with my wife and running with her during the marathon was a big part of my success.
- Pace yourself!
- If this is your first marathon, stick with your usual training pace for the first 18-20 miles.
- If you feel good at mile 20, increase your pace a little bit, only 6.2 miles to go
- Slow your pace on the hills. You can burn a lot of energy on the hills if you decide to attack every one.
- The goal of your first marathon should be to finish strong, not to break any records.
- My wife has mentioned this before but I want to emphasize it: SHOES, SOCKS, AND CLOTHES EVERYBODY!
- If you haven’t already done so, get fitted for running shoes at a knowledgeable running shoe store. If the shoes they recommend are not working out well, it is okay to get fitted again and let them know what is bugging you. I did this and it led me to the Mizuno Prophecy, which has the great shock absorption that I need and love.
- Running socks are great at preventing discomfort and blisters. Not to mention they tend to be odor resistant and moisture-wicking. I’ve had good success with the Under Armour Streamline Running Sock and the socks from Road Runner Sports
- Running shirts and shorts are important to keep you cool, dry, and light. For the men out there, I cannot stress how much I love Under Armour underwear for running. I like the Men’s O Series Boxerjock with the 6 inch inseam.
- Bring your music and make sure it is comfortable and accessible. It should not be moving around too much or getting in your way. It should be easy to navigate between songs without interrupting your run. I made the mistake of handing off my iPhone at mile 13 because it kept bouncing in my pocket. By mile 20, I was in desperate need of a distraction.
- Be aware of the type of course you will be running.
- Urban courses involve broken pavement, manhole covers, and different kinds of surfaces.
- If you know the course involves a lot of uphill running, then adjust your training accordingly.
- You may want to bring your own hydration gear. I was not a huge fan of the water stops, in the future I may bring my own fuel belt. Figure out what works best for you.
- Most importantly have fun!
- Take in the scenery, feel the vibe, stay loose, and interact with the spectators.
- I wrote my name on the front and back of my shirt and all the support and encouragement I received (especially towards the end) was awesome.