Race Recap: Grandma’s Marathon 2013 Part 1

Hello there! In case you aren’t following me on twitter, I am alive and survived my first marathon!! (although maybe not all my toenails survived). I’m splitting my race recap into a few posts…So here’s my preparation on Friday leading up to the start of the race. Enjoy!!

Friday: 8 am -11 am: Ivworked for a few hours then ran to the grocery store for peanut butter and a 6 pack of water (I should have packed some diet coke and sparkling water for after the race).

Noon: Grabbed an Herbalife Shake, Tea, and aloe shot for lunch.

Herbalife Lunch Before Marathon

3 pm: Arrived at Expo, the parking lots were very full, if I could have arrived at 1 pm, I would have been much happier. But I needed to work, so 3 pm was fine.

5 pm: Check into the Sheraton Duluth, which is a great hotel! I booked it in November, and had to pay when I booked, but it was worth it for the location! We were a short walk to canal park and right on the course! I made sure to take my time laying everything out so it would be ready to go in the morning.

7 pm: Drove to Dinner. We ate at the Scenic Cafe. It also happens to be on the course (around mile 12) so it was fun to drive up and see all the port-a-potties set up at the half marathon’s starting location. We had some mussles and duck confit as appetizers and I ordered the scallops which were amazing, and my friend Alex ordered a chicken and brie sandwich which we split in half and shared as well. We ordered dessert, and got a few bites, but my brother pretty much ate it all. I also had some Pinot Noir, which wasn’t my favorite but it was nice to relax with a glass of wine after a stressful week of planning and packing.

10:30 pm got back to the hotel room and went to bed! (which was later than I would have liked..but it worked out)

Saturday: Race Day!!

4 am: Woke up. Alarm was set for 4:30, attempted to fall asleep, had at least 3 dreams about oversleeping, looked at the clock again and it was 4:12 decided to cut my losses and start getting ready.

I put a ton of body glide on my feet and am happy to say I don’t have any blisters!! (although I do have some sore toes..) I forgot to put body glide on my thighs, but didn’t have any chaffing there either!

I wore nike capris, a target sports bra, and an old navy active tank top. I also wore a north face hat, and a light half zip sweatshirt. I ate a bagel with peanut butter and drank a cup of coffee. I used the hotel’s coffee maker because I knew they had a good one, but I packed my own toaster. It turns out they did have breakfast available starting at 4 am and it was the same as what I brought…but you can never be too sure.

5:30 am pick up by friends and driven to the DECC. Loaded on the bus and watched the train leave with runners on it. We noticed the back car was empty, so we could have taken the train, but didn’t want to risk having to stand for the duration.

Ready to Go at the Hotel

Can you tell I was not feeling the most confident while getting ready in the hotel?

6:15-ish At the start! Decided to take off the monster dash shirt and put it in bag check…but will rethink that at my next race! Then off to the port-a-potties, took pictures, and lined up.

Start Line of Grandma's Marathon…………………………………At this point I was feeling a little crazy/excited…………………………… I wish I had taken a more normal picture. But oh well!

My friends and I all lined up at different places depending on our goals and expectations.   I introduced myself to the 5:30 pacer, Sharon. She was really wonderful about introducing herself and putting us at ease. She explained that she would be running about 11:48 min/miles with 1 minute walk breaks at every half mile. Part way through her pre-race speech I almost started crying…I couldn’t believe I was actually at the start line and that I might finish a marathon. I knew I wouldn’t start with her, because I was worried about going out too fast and my body not being able to finish. But I hoped that if I took it easy to start with I would be able to make up that time later in the race.

I had considered walking the first half mile and once everyone started moving, I knew that I wanted to that. The crowd was pretty thick and I was afraid I would get swept up and go out too fast. After the half mile was up I started my run…

Check back tomorrow for more details on my 2013 Grandma’s Marathon experience!


  1. Normal pictures are overrated 🙂 I laughed when I read about you waking up earlier than your early wakeup time– I am always afraid I’m going to oversleep too and always find myself waking up before my alarm!

  2. Oh my goodness, isn’t the starting line of your first marathon the most amazing/ scary place??! I remember being oddly calm…not nervous, just like, “I can’t believe I’m about to do this!”

Don't be afraid, leave a comment!

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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