I ran the NYC marathon.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to run. I also thought that people who ran marathons were nuts. Who tf would run 26.2 miles for fun? A nice little turkey trot before stuffing my face on Thanksgiving - cute! The marathon distance - insane. That was until March 2022 when I signed up for the NYC marathon. Possession is the only sound explanation because never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d willingly sign up to run a marathon — and what’s even more wild is how dedicated I became to it. Now don’t get me wrong, there were many mornings that I kicked myself for that simple mouse click. Why couldn’t I have chosen an easier goal, like winning the world poker tour or the Nathan's hotdog eating contest? Why was I waking up at 4:30am on a Tuesday to run further than I’d even drive? Hundreds of miles, billions of bagels, and many tears later, I’m really glad I did it — mostly because my beautiful family, friends, and wonderfully generous strangers helped me raise $162,000 dollars for Boston Children’s Hospital.I also get to tell Andy that I’m a superior athlete which I plan on milking for the rest of time.
It turns out that you have to train a lot to make it to the finish line on race day. I’d watched my dad train for endurance sports growing up (he’s one of those weird Iron men), but for some reason I thought I’d scrape by on the bare minimum. That was until I reached out to an old friend in Australia Rod Cedaro who gave me a program that included 50+ mile weeks on the schedule. Oooooffff. So off I went. Twenty weeks of running when I should have been hot girl walking instead. I’ll spare you the gory details *emergency bathroom stops in Africa* and hit you with things I learned and items that were super helpful along the way.
First, the mind is fucking powerful!!!
1. You can do whatever you set your mind to, even if it seems impossible. I’m getting all Tony Robbins on you here but there is something so incredible about pushing through tough moments because you know what’s on the other side. There were so many times during training and the race that I wanted to quit but I didn’t. I’ll always be proud of myself for that.
2. Have a good reason for running, it will keep you going. I thought about Romi, the son of my dear friends whose life was saved at Boston Children’s Hospital. I thought about all the children fighting for their lives. I thought about how many people had donated their hard-earned money. I thought about my awesome husband and kids who cheered me on every step of the way. When things get intense, you need to think about your ‘why’.
3. Running with a buddy helps. I did 90% of my training alone and while I love blasting music and processing all my jumbled thoughts, there’s nothing quite like having someone there to keep you going when it hurts. During the race, I had some really scary moments. At mile 3 I called Andy to talk me out of a panic attack, and at mile 24 I called my sister to talk me out of collapsing. I’m so grateful to them because they got me to the end, but it would have been really nice to have someone next to me. I wish I’d done more of that in training, too.
4. Run in the right shoes. I ran in Hoka Clifton sneakers and loved them. Super cushy and I managed to keep all my toenails. I almost switched shoes for the race because I was trying to be fancy but my physical therapist talked sense into me and I stuck with what I was used to.
5. Find a good physical therapist. Mine was based in Austin and he helped me stave off any severe injuries. My knee almost took me out at the beginning of training, but with the right treatment and a strength program, I didn’t have a single issue the entire race.
6. Strength training is super important. I know, an hour of conditioning after two hours of running is just plain mean, but I really believe that it’s a crucial element. A good strength program builds key running muscles and prevents future injury. It’s annoying… but you gotta do it. Here are some of my favorite conditioning apps and equipment.
7. Train your gut. Before I started marathon prep, I could never eat before running because it made me puke. Unfortunately you can’t get away with that during a marathon. Slowly but surely, I taught my sensitive lil tum to tolerate food before and during training runs by working with a nutritionist who gave me advice on running nutrition and an adequate carb load plan, which sounds fun but actually sucks. Think rice with honey, soy sauce, and a side of Gatorade. I’m certain it made a difference and I’m sooooo happy I didn’t shit my pants on 1st avenue like the poor guy behind me.
8. Get the right gear. Trust me - you need it.
When it comes to gear...
Invest in good running shorts, socks, and sports bras. I trained during summer in LA/Miami so the less I wore the easier it felt to run. Love these shorts. They’re a random Amazon brand but they’re well made and affordable. I’ve worn each pair of these socks a hundred times and they still don’t have holes. If you’re into ankle socks, the balegas are the comfiest ever made. This was my most used sports bra. Supportive (although my boobs are small), cute, and durable.
Drink water!! I know a million people have said this before but I will be the million and first — get yourself a Hydration Pack and drink more than you think you should. Don’t forget to add electrolytes. I like Cure because it’s got clean and simple ingredients and still tastes good.
Wear sunscreen. Sun damage aint cute. I was acne prone thanks to all the sweat and sugar that I fueled with, so this was the one I used.
Running Belts are great because you have to carry a lot of shit with you on long runs. You need something to fit your phone, keys, ID, Gels, and if you’re a weirdo like me your crystals. I used all of these on rotation depending on the length of my run. This one is the comfiest, this one is good for staying hydrated, and this one is like more of a fanny pack.
I’m pretty sure I’m a one and done marathoner, but never say never.
A summary of the running essentials.