Marathon Musings

With the Hartford Marathon a mere 9.5 hours away, I’m feeling oddly calm. I’m still secretly waiting for a state of overwhelming emotion to attack but it’s keeping away. Despite all my complaining over the course of these 23 weeks, this six month training cycle flew by and I enjoyed it immensely. I fell in love with running all over again and took my abilities to a new level. It’s truly incredible to see what my body is capable of and I cannot wait to continue maintaining this skill.

Even though it’s the night before the marathon, I still have a few open questions:

To run with a fuel belt or not to run with a fuel belt?
I’ll probably make this decision tomorrow morning because I keep changing my mind. The course is well-stocked with water stops at every mile, but I don’t want to get stuck in a crowd of people or choke with a cup in my hand while attempting to eat a Shot Blok.

What to wear?
I’ve been obsessively checking the weather and it’s not looking good. 60% chance of rain the entire time isn’t my idea of perfect running conditions. I brought a few outfits but am leaning towards shorts with a comfortable long-sleeved top (and possibly my rain jacket).

What to eat the night before?
One of my biggest fails this training cycle is not monitoring what I eat and how my body reacts. The truth is that I don’t really eat carbs. I’m not a fan of pasta (never have been), haven’t been craving bananas lately, rarely eat oats/rice/grains and beans, and apparently consume the majority of my carbs in the form of fruit. It’s worked out fine but I’m still worried, so I’ve been making an effort to carefully up my carb intake this week without overdoing it. I do think I ate too much bread and pasta yesterday because my stomach wasn’t happy today.


What to eat the day of?
Don’t even get me started with this question because I have no idea! As mentioned above, I’ve completely failed at monitoring my diet. Here’s the deal – I don’t eat anything before runs regardless of the distance. This is mainly because I would wake up, chug coffee, and set out 45 – 60 min later. In other words, hunger never had time to set in. The current pre-race fueling plan is to eat a piece of Ezekiel bread with peanut butter and banana slices about two hours before the race start. Oh and coffee is always a must!

What shoes should I wear?
Ahh the great shoe debate. I’m torn between my Saucony Cortana 3s and Brooks PureFlow 3s but am about 98% certain that I’ll end up in the PureFlows. My feet seem to feel best in them although there’s still concern about arch pain.


Will I be able to calmly sleep the night before?
Probably not…I still feel wide awake and it’s already 10PM!

What are my goals?
To finish healthy, happy, and pain-free! Time is irrelevant, I’m just there to enjoy the ride run.

By the numbers:

Total miles = 416.84

Total weeks = 23

Black toenails = 2

Bruises = 2, one on each ankle from foam rolling

Injuries = 1 significant one (arch of left foot) and a few minor aches/pains in shins and knees

Fastest run = 7:56 min/mile for 3 miles (week 6)

Slowest run = 10:29 min/mile for 19 miles (week 18)

Longest run = 20 miles (in hindsight I wish I made it 22 miles)

Highest weekly mileage = 36.21 (week 20)

Lowest weekly mileage = 0 (week 13)

Alright folks, whatever happens happens. It’s time to crash for the evening and do my best to sleep soundly before a long and rainy 26.2 miles through Hartford. Wish me luck!

♥ Irina


  1. October 10, 2014 / 10:28 pm

    Personally, I’m going to advocate for wearing the FuelBelt, because I find it allows me more freedom with fueling (because I chase my Shot Bloks with water. If you don’t do that, then I suppose this is irrelevant!).

    GOOD LUCK tomorrow, lady! I am cheering oh-so hard from you from here in Chicago! You are READY for this, and regardless of what happens, you will cross the finish line a changed woman. I am so, so proud of you and all the work you’ve put into this, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

    • October 13, 2014 / 7:29 am

      THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! I actually read your comment the morning of the marathon and it was the cherry on top of my ultimate decision to run with a fuel belt. Which, by the way, ended up being a fantastic decision 🙂

      CONGRATS on owning Chicago yesterday! Cheers to a sub-5 finish 🙂