You Always Remember Your First

Posted by Filed Under: Races & Racing

dianna_after_web.jpgMarathon season is upon us, and many runners are about to attempt 26.2 miles for the first time. In light of that auspicious moment, I’d like to share the last-minute words of advice I’ve been known to pass along to runner-friends as they embark on their first marathon quest.

  • Support. Invite friends and family to come and cheer for you. Seeing a familiar face along the way is a great morale booster.
  • Soak it up. Make a race day friend, sing along with the bands, high-five the little kids, thank the volunteers. Make your own race day memories.
  • Trust in your training. You worked hard. You put in the miles. You tapered. You carbed-up and hydrated. Now let your body (and mind) run the race that is handed to you on race day.
  • Smile. Flash your best smile for the crowds, the cameras, your personal cheering sections. Even if you don’t want to smile, just doing so can make you feel a little lighter.
  • Finish strong. Cross the finish line with as much strength as you can muster. Then, remember that moment … the emotions, the sights and sounds. Revel in it. Breathe it in. You worked hard for that moment—it is yours to own.
  • Receive your medal. Wear it proudly for the rest of the day, or week.
  • Cool down properly. Let the volunteers remove your chip. Then take and wear the crazy silver space blanket and slowly sip some water. There’s a reason that all of this is available at the finish line—be a smart runner!
  • Post-race essentials. Pack a post-race bag with flip-flops/comfy shoes and warm, dry clothes (including a dry hat). Include some “handi-wipes,” if access to showers will be delayed or limited. Then, eat some food, drink fluids and get a post-race massage.
  • Nap. Take a long, long nap. Be sure to leave your medal on. And have sweet dreams.

12_di_mom_cry-1.jpgCongratulations Marathoner, you’ll never forget your first!

About Dianna

Dianna, also known as the Running Chick with the Orange Hat (Running Chick for short) moved from being a periodic gym rat to a runner in January of 2003 during a botched New Year's resolution. Her newly rediscovered fondness for running quickly blossomed into a full-blown obsession. Within a year and a half, she went from suffering through two miles on the treadmill to running a marathon. Cotton was discarded for wicking fabrics and gel was no longer something she put in her hair. Since then, she has continued to challenge herself, first with achieving her Boston Qualifying time, then running a PR at Boston and doing an occasional sprint distance triathlon. Future endeavors include a trail marathon and longer distance triathlons. Dianna has been blogging about her running adventures since April 2004, even getting an article 'published' online at Runner's World as well as capturing the attention of a local news channel. She can discuss all things related to running, swimming, and biking, at great length, without ever getting bored. In her free time, she enjoys pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, with her husband and multi-racial canine in Connecticut, U.S.A.

  1. Mark Iocchelli on October 4th at 9:38 am

    I loved this, Dianna. 🙂

  2. Joe Ely on October 4th at 2:20 pm

    And a very famous photograph as well, Di!!

    “Soaking it in” is great advice. Don’t be so “cool” as to miss the bands, the fans, the wacky costumes, the odd things that go on. Smile and enjoy it.

  3. Melisa (Irish Blue) on October 6th at 5:34 pm

    Thanks for reminding us it isn’t just about training, planning, getting a PR. It’s about joy…friends & family…making memories that will last a lifetime.