Talking Shop about Marathons

Let me just warn you from the get-go…

If talk about marathon training, hydration plans, compression socks, or racing strategy makes you yawn in boredom, you may prefer to skip this post.

{If you haven’t been reading lately, the new update is I’m running the Minneapolis Marathon on June 2nd.}

Now that we’ve got that square, I’ll start by showing you how nutty I really am.


(Please ignore the ugly magenta red paint on our patio door. I’ve been meaning to fix that.)


This was me last Saturday upon return from 13.1 miles. I decided to do the complete half distance instead of 11 or 12 miles because I needed the confidence boost. I also wanted to try out several things on a 2 hour plus run, which I will detail later.

Even though I’ve done a 20 mile run and feel decent about my training, I know I’m light on the truly long runs.

Because I didn’t decide on this marathon until about a month ago, I’ve only done 4 long runs half marathon and longer. (Before that I did a lot of quality 10-12 mile runs, but I still wish I had a few more 15+ efforts under my legs.)

It is what it is, and now I need to focus on soaking up confidence from the miles I have run and the training paces I’ve hit.

On this long run, it was a rainy day on and off, and the wind was strong from the north. I chose a hilly route, and was fine with finishing in 2:05 while keeping my effort moderate in the semi-challenging conditions.

The one thing I didn’t have was heat — it was overcast and probably 55*.

We continue to have 50-60 degree temps, so my plans to acclimate to the heat aren’t going so well either. But, there is no point in worrying about what I cannot control. Besides, it’s looking like race day won’t be as warm as I feared (!!).

Moving on, you may notice I’ve got pink sleeves on my calves and neon bottles strapped to my waist.

I’ve had the compression sleeves for awhile, but I usually just wear them after a long run for recovery. After seeing more professional marathoners running races in compression socks I thought I should try them out during runs. Yup, jumping on the bandwagon.

I started wearing them for long runs a few weeks ago during a 17 mile, and I’ve liked the extra support they seem to give.

Whether it’s physical or mostly in my head, any boost I can get is worth it. I also ordered some compression socks (and cried crocodile tears about the price even at 30% off) that should arrive any day. I plan to try them out this week, and if I like them better than the sleeves I’ll wear them for marathon day.

The neon bottles are another story. I wanted to give my fuel belt one more chance, but I just don’t like the way the bottles jiggle and my waist gets extra sweaty.

It’s a nice option I will continue to use for long runs, but I don’t need it weighing me down for 26.2 miles.

One thing I have thought about is carrying a small throw away water bottle if the weather is hot. This way I can avoid the first few water stops crowded with marathoners and half marathoners. The race should really thin out once the half splits off, and then I can toss my bottle if/when it becomes a pain.

As far as calories go, I’m normally a Gatorade and gu girl. I like to alternate water and sports drink each water stop, and I’ll plan to take a gu every hour.

I found one remaining pack of shot blocks in my stash, so I also tried them out last weekend.


They settled fine in my stomach, and they will be a nice “snack” if I want something in between gels. I’m also debating bringing a pack of skittles as I did for my first marathon. They ended up making a sticky mess last time around, so I’m not certain on this.

I suppose now is the time for me to talk about my race goals.


I’m still busy thinking them through. (I will update before race day though.)

This post got long anyway, so I’ll just wrap it up with a picture.


I snapped this today on my last “long” run. I took a paved trail I’m familiar with, but I ventured on a new-to-me part over a little bridge. This gorgeous creek greeted me, and it seems like the right note to end on. 😉

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Talking Shop about Marathons

  1. Terzah says:

    I can’t remember when I started wearing compression calf sleeves, but it was definitely in the last year. I felt silly the first time, too, but I swear they help, and now I wear them for all long runs and races (I’ll even wear them in the Bolder Boulder 10K on Monday). So I think you’re making the right move there. I can’t wait to hear the race goals!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Compression sleeves are great, I wore them during training (I think 17-mile+ runs) and wore compression socks after. I liked the sleeves for the actual run so I could wear my regular running socks. I like Pro Compression and they run 40% off sales pretty often!

    Can’t wait to hear more about your race!

  3. My husband loves the compression socks. I haven’t tried them yet, but a bunch of people from my running group swear by them. Good luck!

  4. Heidi Nicole says:

    Where have I been? How did I not know about your marathon?! Have fun with it – sounds like your training is pretty darn solid!

    I have compression sleeves and socks but I’m not sure if they help at all. I’ve gotten into the habit of using them for warmth rather than compression – they are really warm!

    • Lisa says:

      Strangely enough, I think the warmth will be ok for this June race. Right now it’s forecast as overcast with a low of 48* with only highs in the 60’s. Perfect running weather!

      • Heidi Nicole says:

        That will be great race weather! I had 60s and overcast/spitting rain at Fargo. Doesn’t exactly sound pleasant but it was perfect for running. Good Luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s