Keeping Calm Til Marathon

Good morning!  I am back in Chicago and things are starting to get really action packed around here.  The marathon is just a little over 3 weeks away!  Last night we had our Wednesday group run and were so lucky to have Chicago Marathon race director Carey Pinkowski come to meet and speak with us.  With the race looming in the distance I can only imagine how busy he must be.  But he graciously visited with us and even waited around for late comers.  All I can say is this guy is a real stand up man.

As a group we did 10 miles last night, our longest midweek run.  I think it is a huge testament to marathon training when you get to a point where a 10 mile midweek run is just another part of your day.  Not too long ago this would have been considered a really long run for most of the athletes.  It is always important for anyone who is training for a marathon or any other race to remember to keep these gains in perspective as you progress.  Sometimes in the weeks leading up to a race you start to lose touch with that and can start to feel anxious or worry that you haven’t improved.  We always need to step back and take a look at those giant gains.


Last night one of our athletes also decided to do her 20 miler because she will be away this weekend.  She arrived before the group and did half of her run on her own and then joined the group for the remaining ten.  I just have to say that I am super proud of her.  She pushed through and then as she finished we took a moment to celebrate.  This is a huge milestone.  It is important to remember that the 20 miler is epic and you have basically completed your training once you finish that run.  It pretty much all taper from there!

I do have to take a moment again and urge anyone who is training to please stick to your training.  I have now had three athletes in the last few weeks contact me because they have had major foot pain.  All three did some research or took a friend’s advice and got “the best” running shoe just recently to wear for their marathon.  They completely switched what they had to been doing for the last few months that had been working for them.

Seriously guys……keep calm and wait til after the marathon.  If you have trained all summer, you are just about to the start line.  You will be ready and you will finish.  New shoes now will not make you, but they might break you.

The other day I popped into City Sports to look at running shoes and overheard a sales clerk helping a girl get fitted for her first pair.  Sometimes I cringe when I listen to people trying to sell a new athlete their first pair of running shoes but this guy knew his stuff.  He was thorough and made sure she tried on a pair from each price point.  The pair the girl felt worked best for her were what she referred to as “ugly.”  The guy said he understood and pointed out that she needed to keep in mind these shoes were for running.  He told her to wear the shoes that make her feel best for her runs and then buy the pair she thinks looks good for everything else.  I loved what he told her next, “I’m a size 12 and the only pair of running shoes that work for me are bright red.  I look like Ronald McDonald.  But I’m not injured.”  Listen to the running Ronald McDonald.  He knows his stuff!


That being said, take a breath and relax.  If you are running a race this fall I know it can be scary and overwhelming at this point.  But take a second and look back at who you were back in May or June.  Smile for a moment at how strong you are now and how you can handle those miles so much better today.  Look down at those mangled feet and your strong legs and be proud!  Go ahead and get just a tad cocky.  Walk around with your head held high….runner!

And now I am off to prep for a super fun evening.  Team Momentum members are coming over tonight for a pasta dinner and to watch The Spirit of the Marathon.  If you haven’t watched this documentary and are running a race soon this is a serious must.  It is a great movie and will serve as inspiration for our team’s 20 miler this weekend.


A special congrats to my friend Beccah.  She took on 20 miles yesterday and seriously rocked it!

20 thoughts on “Keeping Calm Til Marathon

    • Thanks. There will be many marathons in your future. Unfortunately I am not running a marathon myself this fall. Just running to help others finish theirs. I am a bit sad myself but I know when the time is right I will be ready to do another.

  1. As someone who loves fitness and various forms of exercise, I have yet to fall in love with running…and I’m not sure I ever will. That being said, I love reading about runners and their training schedules, mindsets, and how passionate they are about running. I can’t even imagine running and prepping for a marathon – loved reading about your experience thus far!

  2. The shoe salesman was right – get the shoes that work best for your running, get ones that look good for everything else. It took me a long time to be happy about that but I never had much of a choice because I didn’t have many options. I always ended up choosing for comfort and capability and afterward just ignored what they looked like and admired other people’s shoes. It wasn’t until this last time I bought shoes that I found the best pair ever for me – they look awesome and they make me feel like I’m flying. I LOVE them! 😀

  3. Great advice. When I took my daughter to look for her first pair of shoes the first thing she mentioned was how pretty some of them were.
    The manager of the store and I gave each other one of those knowing grins and steared her towards the right shoe.
    I’m about three weeks out from my marathon also. We have our 22 miler on Sunday. I’m beginning to think I need to replace my shoes, but stay with the same brand and model. A friend suggested new inserts instead. What do you think?
    It is pretty cool when you can do a 10 mile run no problem.

    • I personally love my Superfeet inserts but I would recommend you wait to try them until after your race. Buy yourself a new pair of the exact same brand and style you are currently running in and start wearing them ASAP. But stick to your old pair for the 22. That is too much for breaking in new shoes. Have fun and good luck with your marathon!

      • Cool. Just what I was thinking. I’ve been told that the newer shoes (past 5 yrs or so) don’t really need breaking in.
        I’d never buy a pair the week before a marathon, no matter what they say.
        Enjoy your taper!

  4. I love Spirit of the Marathon! I watch it at least one time every marathon training cycle. It’s so inspirational. I can only imagine how inspirational it is for you as you’re gearing up to run Chicago.

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