Planning to run a marathon, 26.2 miles, without training may be perceived as insane by most, including myself, however, with the adoption of a baby girl in December 2007, I was without time as many newbie parents would understand, to train for the highly longed feat of running a marathon without walking. I previously ran the 2007 Portland Marathon with 30 days of training and walled-out at 16 miles, walking the remaining of the run. Two weeks later I attempted again to complete the Olympian Halloween marathon and failed as a result of a hamstring pull at the 10 mile mark resulting in 3.1 miles of limp-running to complete the half-marathon.
Without running since the October run, the Eugene Marathon approached undesirably quick, and I was faced with the dilemma whether I would register for the run.
My decision is revealed by the medal that was bestowed around my neck, and I honestly can contend that I ran without walking. Prayer kept me alive and well during the run without incidence. At the 10 mile marker, without a Honey Bucket in sight, I was welcomed into a Eugene residence, who answered the door anticipating my need as they chanted me to and fro their restroom with “Go Marathon Runner, Go!” At the 20 mile marker, I pulled my hamstring resulting in a ball and chain drag affair that I thought would end my run. I pulled my heel to my buttocks hoping for relief and was stabbed with an intense Charlie-Horse that caused me to fall to the ground. A kind lady runner offered me Tiger Balm, which miraculously opened up the muscle and allowed me to stride for the remaining of the race.
On Saturday, one day prior to the race, I thought of Pheidippides, the Athenian, who ran from Marathon to Athens to report victory at the Battle of Marathon August 12th 490BC. Pheidippides was my motivation to attempt at the run, being mindful that I would resort to half-marathoning the run in case my body would fail me.
Having participated in previous marathons, I did have the benefit of knowing how I would prepare for the race to avoid injury and maintain my energy levels during the race. Below are a few tips that worked well for me:
1. Application of Vaseline under arm pits, between thighs and but cheeks to prevent chaffing
2. Application of Bandaid Blister Block on the bottoms of my feet in conjuction of wearing non-cotton polyester socks to prevent blistering.
3. An hour of stretching prior to the race
4. Losing weight (trimming 10 lbs) prior to the race relieving excess unneeded body weight and eating a light dinner to maintain the low poundage
5. Carbbing before and during the race at 6-7 mile increments rather than over-eating the night before. Two Premier Costco Protein bars before the race and one at every 6-7 mile marker.
6. Drinking water and glucose at every fuel-up station
Despite the long 5 hour 21 minute race time, I, with spiritual guidance accomplished what Pheidippides achieved, fortunately not perishing.
With plenty of cheer, music, and the camaraderie of thousands of runners, plus the Awesome Scenery, the Eugene Marathon is the best marathon of the three in which I participated.