Confessions of a Reformed Marching Band Geek

Crazy Vacation Post: Unsolicited Marathon Advice

on January 7, 2013

For those of you who have read more than one of my posts, you know that I’m running my first marathon this week. Am I starting to freak out? Maybe a little. Do I need advice from EVERYONE as to what I need to do? Not really.

Unsolicited Advice #1: So I’m on the plane on our way to our vacation destination. The guy behind me mentions that he’s running the Disney Marathon next month. I mention that I’m running it as well and that it was my first. He asked how my training was going (so far, not too weird). I mentioned my tweaky hamstring and that I’d had to pull back on my training to let it heal some. He asked how my last 20 miler went. I had to admit that I didn’t get that far due to an injury. He then proceeded to tell me that I should have had at least one 20 miler (if not two) and really should have a 23 miler under my belt before a first marathon. I assured him that I was aware of that, but felt that it was better to be HEALED before I went than STILL INJURED with good miles. He went on to tell me that he trains marathoners and new runners and he would never let one of his runners start a race they weren’t ready for (good thing he’s not MY coach. I’d never run a race again). He then when on to drill me about my stretching and rehab (thanks. I have a DOCTOR I’m working with on this). Awesome. Luckily I have a twitterverse of cheerleaders who told me to ignore the running nutjob from the plane. Not easy, but done.

Unsolicited Advice #2: I thought I’d be safe while listening to a time share sales push. Not so lucky. If you missed the story of the time share debacle, be sure to read the vacation post on how bad 90 minutes can be. This woman was the picture of gloom and misery. She was overweight and complained throughout the session about how much her knees were bothering her (I’m no supermodel so don’t take my comments as a statement here other than to give you a picture of where this advice is coming from). She asked where our next trip would be and we mentioned going to Orlando for the marathon. She became animated and launched into a story about how she owns a yoga studio and that I should be adding Hot Yoga to my cross training routine. Without it, my training would be incomplete. I should really check it out while I was in town and get in as many sessions as possible between now and the marathon (OK. She didn’t say it exactly like that, but my pained head heard it about like that). I smiled and thanked her and got out of there ASAP.

Unsolicited Advice #3: My husband’s family joined us on our “vacation alone” for the week (see the first post of this series for more details on THAT). A family member has run one marathon (as far as I know) and a few other little races. I was telling her about how excited I was about the medal (I have a picture posted on my fridge for motivation). She told me that she doesn’t really care about the medals and either gives them to the kids to play with them or throws them away (mine are all displayed on an awesome rack in our stairwell. In chronological order). When I mentioned that the race gives us seven hours to finish so I wasn’t really worried about finishing, she told me how her sister finished her last marathon about and hour and a half later than she anticipated (implying that I wouldn’t finish in less than 8) and then stated that the worst thing that would happen would be that I wouldn’t finish. WHAT? Not finish?! Yeah, I’ll crawl across the finish line before THAT happens!

Unsolicited Advice #4: By Tuesday night I was less than willing to mention the marathon to anyone ever again. I had ordered some running things from a company in Arizona (see picture below. It explains so much) just before we left. She offered to ship it to the resort rather than our house so I could get it and enjoy it sooner. Awesome! When I went to pick up my package from the front desk I opened it to make sure that everything was there. The gentleman at the concierge desk noticed the shirt I ordered and asked if I was a runner. I admitted that I was and my marathon plans. He was actually really nice about it and invited me to come run the Arizona Marathon next year (it’s in February. It’s really hilly. I live in Chicago. We can’t even pretend to train for that). He also told me he knew the nutjob from #2 and that she lost her yoga studio (he said she wasn’t very good at it) along with several other businesses over the past few years. It made me feel a little better.

Marathon weekend will be here before we know it. If I don’t keel over from the stress…or the continual advice!


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