Grandma’s Marathon 2013 Race Plan

So now that the Minneapolis Half is done I learned a few important things going into Grandma’s Marathon.

1. Packing: last weekend I forgot my ipod armband, my headphones, compression socks, and running sunglasses. I stopped at target for a new pair of headphones and put my ipod in a plastic baggie in my sports bra instead of having my armband. This worked just fine, however I really wish I had practiced with my armband, now I’m not sure if I’ll use it or not.

This means, I need to lay everything out and triple check that I have everything I want. I plan on having one my friends carry an “emergency bag” while she spectates the race so if I need anything for the last few miles, or after the race before getting back to the hotel she has it. The emergency bag will include: running sunglasses, compression socks, running socks, advil, sunscreen, chapstick, tshirt, sports bra, extra gu, and body glide.

I plan on wearing: shoes and socks (duh!) capris, sports bra, tank, hat, and carrying my waterbottle which will hold my id, and phone. I will carry gu with me, but haven’t figured out where all of it will go. My capris have a zipper pocket, but only can carry 2, maybe 3 gus, and I’m guessing I’ll need more than that. They may end up in my sports bra, or I may buy a spibelt, we’ll see.

In my gear check bag I will have, a long sleeve, sandals, extra socks, wash cloth, and a water bottle. (i may put an extra hat in my bag for post race also).

2. Water consumption! At the start of the Minneapolis Half my stomach felt heavy, I tried to go to the bathroom but nothing really happened. I put Nuun tablets in my water bottle to give them a try and must say I was not a fan. I sipped and finished the water bottle (with 2 tablets in it) during the 13.1 miles, but I really wasn’t a fan. The nuun laced water was fizzy similar to alka seltzer tablets. Water stations were every two miles and I was so darn thirsty I took three glasses of water at each station! For Grandma’s I’m going to fill my water bottle with plain water, and have 2 tablets on hand in case I want to mix it up later in the race.

3. Pacing…While I thought my splits from the Minneapolis Half were awful, they weren’t actually as bad as I thought…however somewhere in North East Minneapolis I got really bored and my heart wasn’t into running. I had started with walking through the water stops, and changed to walking through every mile marker, and there were a few other places where I took walking breaks. My plan for Grandma’s is to walk the first .5 mile to warm up my body. I know I’m going to want to run, but I really don’t think its a good idea, plus I hope it will help me from going out too fast. Also, I plan on introducing myself to the 6 hour pacer, I’m really hoping I’ll be able to talk to them on Friday at the expo, but we’ll see if they are around…

4. Mindset. I did a pretty good job with nerves at the Minneapolis Half. I was slightly concerned about what would happen to my body at the 10 mile mark since I haven’t had a 10 mile run all year (and my last race was a 10k)….but it was just fine! I was super sore in my quads, but overall I’m glad with how my body reacted to 13.1 and hope it isn’t too angry with 26.2! I have every intention of finishing the race, but I’m not stubborn enough to say I will finish no matter what. If I really feel that I cannot finish I’ll stop by a medical tent and see what is going on.

I’ve read plenty of places that the half-way point for marathons is not mile 13.1 but actually closer to mile 20. Since I’ve never completed more than 13.1 miles I have no idea what is going to happen to my body. One of the ways I plan to keep myself engaged and not bored is to the listen to the movie “Sex and the City” I have it on my ipod and since its one of my favorite movies I figure it will help me pass the time so I can really think about running the second half of the marathon.

Does anyone else have tips or tricks for making it through 26.2? I’m willing to take any advice into consideration!


  1. Grandmas marathon is one of my favorite marathons! Some races I dedicate every mile to someone I know and love. I take that mile to think about memories we have had, and funny moments! I usually begin at mile 14 and go up to 26. It helps with time!

      1. I wrote a list and stuck it in my short pockets! I also randomly started counting all of the golden retrievers I could find during a race one time…over 75!…Oh the things you do to make time pass by…

  2. i’ve never ran a full, as you know, but this plans sounds great! I think you’re going to do way better than you expect. I love downloading new music and not listening to it until I ‘hit the wall’ I would maybe look into a hydration belt. Mine holds 2 10oz bottles of water, up to 2 gu’s, my keys, ID, and chapstick. Then you don’t have to hold/carry so much stuff?? Mine is the Nathan Hydration and it’s pretty cheep if you get it on Amazon. it doesn’t ride up at all and is pretty comfy.

    1. I’ve got the nathan handheld and love it! It fits my phone which is most important (i’ve got a droid so its hard to find holders for them). But I’m definitely going to be walking around the expo for a while checking out all the different gear!

  3. Not everyone loves Nuun, but I have to say I wasn’t a fan at first either and love it now!

    For me, it got hard around mile 22. Luckily, the crowd support towards the end at Grandma’s is good! I love your idea to keep yourself distracted!

    1. I think it Nuun will grow on me. I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding it to my water bottle, but not until the second half of the course. The crowd support is one of the reasons that I decided to Grandma’s as my first marathon, I love that you get time along lake kind of in your own world and then it ramps up to a huge party at the end.

  4. Love the baggie in the sports bra usage 🙂 Seriously, it never fails me. I also ALWAYS race in capris and love it! You seem very prepared and well-planned out for the race, I am impressed!

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