The American Calgarian

Tales of a Midwesterner transplanted in Western Canada

One week before running a marathon…

..its important to do a few things.  When I say this, even when I’m serious, it makes me giggle.  Why?  Last year I ran the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon with a group of people from Wisconsin.  We had a coach with us, Dan, who has enthusiasm like no one I have ever seen.  He is an experienced runner and also full of good advice.  It seemed that he started a lot of sentences with something of the following..

  • When training for a marathon, its important to…
  • When traveling to run in a marathon, its important to…
  • Three days before running a marathon, its important to…
  • Two days before running a marathon, its important to…
  • When lining up at the start line of a marathon, its important to..

It became a little joke at Dan’s expense.  I think it started as we were devouring pizza and beers the Friday night before the race.  “Two days before running a marathon, its important to carb load.”  The next day, we rode the bus to beach.  “The day before running a marathon, its important to dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean.”  It went on and on.  Luckily, Dan is a good sport and generally nice guy.  And the day of the race, I needed him so very much at the 23 mile marker and he delivered.  Joking and encouraging, he stayed with me for over a mile, renewing my strength to complete the race.

So here I am, one week before the Calgary Marathon and I am starting to get the prerace jitters.

I thought of Dan today.  One week before running a marathon, I thought to myself, its important to relax.  I went for the usual 5k run this morning and then did a few things..

One week before running a marathon, its important to take on a new sport.  Rollerblading, for example. 

My boys have been asking for inline skates for a while and we finally had the opportunity to purchase them and skate around a bit.  As an aside, it is humbling to have your 7 and 8-year-old kids teach you how to do something.  It’s really fun and hopefully someday I will be good enough at it to venture past our street and we can all go rollerblading together.


Also, one week before a marathon, its important to let loose a little.  Go to an amusement park, maybe.  Take your kids on a roller coaster or something.  Now, I don’t like rides.  JB takes the kids on the roller coasters, etc.  When I go on a ride it is usually a kiddie ride and only because I have been begged by one or all of my kids to go on.  (See left picture of aforementioned kiddie ride and how could I say no to the adorable boy with me?)  I pretend to like it, like a mother will do from time to time.  Usually at the end of the day I will be asked why I only went on a handful of rides, while the kids and JB tore the place apart with reckless abandon.  The kids know I don’t really like all the rides.  Between us, I think they enjoy seeing me uncomfortable spinning, zipping and twirling through all of it.

Of course, these are not hard and fast rules.  I am hoping that no one actually goes out and starts rollerblading or recklessly riding roller coasters just prior to running a race.  I will say that the week before running a marathon its important to relax and find a way to calm your prerace jitters.  I just happen to do so with my family, trying to act as if I just have a usual group run in a week.  Only this time the group will be a few thousand people through the city streets, 42.2 kilometers and I get a medal at the end.

Here’s to one more week!


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6 thoughts on “One week before running a marathon…

  1. Good luck with the marathon – I’ll pop back for the race report!

  2. Laura on said:

    Run well and my your feet have wings.

  3. Dione on said:

    Sounds like your training went really well, and you’ve done everything you can. Your race will be great! One more piece of advice from Dano…. two weeks AFTER a marathon, start dating your coach. Or, maybe he only gave that advice to me… 🙂

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