Running Track:

6.5 mi


Arm Day



Okay, Homeslice G Biscuts… or whatever… The next two days I will NOT be blogging. I have to work a track meet all day today and then tomorrow I have our Drill Team Finale (THANK GOSH)!  So if you don’t hear from me, that’s why. Don’t take it personally, I truly love you all, it’s just that a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

And so in place of my blog, I’m going to reblog a post Skinny Runner posted a few days ago about first-time marathoners! Enjoy!



“Erin emailed me a question about how to pick your first marathon.

So follow me here: this advice is for first time marathoners meaning runners who haven’t yet run their first marathon.  Ya follow?  Good.

The first thing is to give yourself at least 3-4 months to train.  That means if you’re looking at races today, the Best Most Exciting Totally Free Marathon in the World in July isn’t going to work for you.  Reason being is that you don’t want to do your first one under-trained and have it be a completely miserable experience that turns you off from running.


{Neither I nor Monica’s first marathon; from Sunday’s race}

So make sure you have enough time to train; you know you better than anyone else so if you feel like 4 months isn’t enough, give yourself more time.  Then think about your training time table – a Spring marathon means you’re going to be training through Winter; a Fall marathon means Summer training.  If you live in the Land of a Thousand Bleached Blonde Babes Suns or Southern California as most call it, this won’t be as big of a deal.  But if you live somewhere with extreme climates, think about how and when you want to train.  (Is the treadmill an option for you?)

After you’ve picked a rough month/season, here’s a few other factors to consider:


This is a big one.  Usually the bigger the race is, the more expensive it is.  The NYC Marathon is nearly 3 large ones and that’s just registration, not hotels, flights, food, taxis and all the other expenses.  Consider your travel costs: a race you can drive to will probably be more cost effective.  This post is about how to pick a destination race on the cheap.


{New York City Marathon}


Do you want to race alone or with friends?  If you want your kids and family there, check out family friendly destinations like the Disney World Marathon.  Talk with your running buddies and pick somewhere you all would want to go (if you don’t want to race or travel solo).  My first marathon was in Las Vegas because I wanted my husband to be there and I had to bribe him with Black Jack and Roulette.

Rocknroll Las vegas marathon

{Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon at night}


This is your first marathon so I wouldn’t worry too much about time, but what does your dream race course look like?  Scenic and full of natural beauty or running through the packed streets of a big city?  The Big Sur Marathon is going to be a totally different experience than the Houston Marathon.  If big crowds give you anxiety, I’d stay away from large races.  Everything from the expo to the corrals will work against you.  In contrast, if you thrive on energy and busyness, a large race like Chicago might be your jam.


Everyone loves flat and fast, but if you train somewhere with hills, something like the Napa Valley Marathon might be great even though it’s not flat.  If you’re gunning for a specific time, I would look at races that are relatively flat, cool and fast like the Steamtown Marathon.  If you train in Florida, you might consider hotter weather races like the Maui Marathon.


{From the Napa Valley Marathon}


There is no perfect race so think about what’s most important to you and decide from there…

If you want your parents at the finish line cheering you on, look at races in their home state.

If you want to run for a specific cause, look for races that donate to that charity or check out Team in Training.

If you want a destination, weekend away with your spouse, think of locales that you both would love and are possibly romantic.

If you want to run with your best friend, research races together and pick one that you both are excited about.

If you want to celebrate a milestone or birthday, look for races across the nation around that specific date.

I like to find races on Marathon Guide because they have a really thorough chronological race calendar, and you can also read other peoples’ reviews.


If you’re a Southern Californian, Race Place is a good site, and Race Center is great for Oregon/Washington… you can tell where I do the majority of my races.

You can also Google something like “Nebraska marathon calendar 2013” or where ever you’re looking, and once you’ve found a potential race, look up some reviews on it.  See what others say about it.

Most of all, it’s your first marathon and you want to have a good time.  I’m closing in on 50 marathons and I still remember the first one and the sense of pride and accomplishment that I carried around inside all day long.  You never get that first time feeling back no matter how many you run so enjoy it!”

If you have run a marathon, what race and where did you run your first?

For those of you who haven’t, where would you like to?

Any first time marathon race recommendations?