Sunday, February 28, 2010

The hills are alive.....

I decided to run a hillier route that I enjoy for this weekend's long run. It has been awhile since I had tackled the hills, and I paid for it. The majority of the hills are in the first 4 miles of the route with one long one at the end that is the entire final mile. I was dragging my butt up them and I just had no bounce in my step. It might be that I did my first hard workout since the marathon on Thursday (5 miles of intervals) and the legs were still recovering. Either way, it was a beautiful day out and I got in 9.25 miles. I snapped a few pics along the way.
Candler Park: Sky so blue!

Non-runners out for a walk and brunch.
I did notice during my run that I am supinating a lot. This is causing my poor little toes to get crushed during runs and bleed (no bleeding today though). Also the outside of my foot was hurting a bit. So I'm definitely in the market for new shoes and hopefully that will improve things.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and all the races are going well!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fuelin' up Friday

Today's Fuelin' up Friday report is subtitled "Luna Moons' Wrappers are not digestible."

I enjoy Luna Moons as prerace fuel. I don't really like them midrun because they tend to get really sticky once they've warmed up in my sportsbra and then I spend the next 2 miles picking them out of my teeth. On last weeks long run, I only had a pack of Moons with me, so I had one or two midrun and tucked them back in my fuel belt. When I got home, I tossed my fuelbelt on the counter and took a shower. When I got out of the shower, my fuelbelt had fallen on the floor but looked undisturbed otherwise. I didn't think much of it because my roommate (who I have eluded to several times) is a little clumsy and tends to not put things back where she finds them. Anyway, I unpacked the bottles and put my belt away until next week.
My Roommate: Mia Monster
A few hours later I noticed my roommate was more rambunctious than normal. Usually requiring minimum 18 hours of sleep a day, she was awake and forcing me to play will her even at 11pm. The thought crossed my mind that I didn't see that open package of Moons when I unpacked my fuelbelt, but since I didn't see the wrapper anywhere, I assumed I just forgot where I put it. It wasn't until 3 days later that I discovered what happened to it:
Turns out that Luna Moons' wrappers are not digestable and the roommate barfed it back up. Frighteningly enough after spending almost 72 hours in her stomach, the wrapper looks the same as when it went in. Anyways, that brings us to the 3 lessons of Luna Moons:

1. Luna Moons are good energy for humans and canines alike (though I am not sure they are the best source for canines, but I'm no vet).
2. Luna Moons' wrappers are not a good source of energy. No matter how hungry you get on your long run, only eat the moons.
3. Fuel wrappers are not digestible so don't eat them.

*Note: This is a true story and an all too common one at our apartment. No canines were injured.

Hope you all have a good friday! Good luck with all the races!! Fuel well, but only eat the fuel.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Marathoning Limbo

So I finally got around to unpacking and reorganizing after Birmingham. This included the ceremonial take-down of my training program from the fridge:
Please ignore the plethora of other fridge clutter.
Even though I didn't follow it perfectly or even closely, it served as a great reminder and motivator every time I passed by (which is often because I hang in the kitchen a lot). But now my fridge is naked and I am in need of a new carrot so to speak. I really want to build on my Birmingham energy and sign up for another marathon, but my life is a little hectic for the next few months (I am hopefully finishing grad school in May and my job ends around the same time). Since I don't know where I will be living in 4 months (scary and exciting) its a little hard to plan for any races after May. So now I am in marathoning limbo. Probably a good time to work on the new crop of goals for the marathon (strength and pace) and some old favorites (bloody toes).

Anyways, can anyone recommend a good marathon training program? Do you all use training plans? I am determined to stick to a plan next time and I figured I would start looking around for one now. Any advice would be great!
Hope you are having a good week!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

On the Road again.......

Just couldn't wait to get on the road again!

The weather here in the southeast is fantastic this weekend! We finally have a few days that are rain and snow free with lots of sunshine! To celebrate I headed out to the Silver Comet Trail and joined a friend for her first double digit run ever! She is one of a group of friends headed down to Disney Princess Half Marathon in a few weeks and she wanted a little company for her 10 miler. I tagged along with my fuel belt (or the running mini-bar as she refers to it) to provide fluids/snacks and mindless stories. We couldn't have asked for a prettier day.

The run was really nice. Her pace is a little slower than my usual, so it was a nice way for me to stretch the legs out and see how the toes are doing. I have to say, her pace is incredibly consistent and her attitude was excellent! She is going to rock the race. My toes hit their limit around 10 miles and I ended up having to give them a little extra TLC in the afternoon. After significant drainage, the toes are feeling a little better and are hopefully on the road to recovery.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend! Can't wait to hear about all the races.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fuelin' up Friday

No new fueling news to report. I consider Birmingham a success with 2 gels taken (1 vanilla at mile 6/7, 1 Raspberries and cream at mile 14/15) and a half dozen or so orange slices. I did capture this fun pic before the race of everything I stuff in my sportsbra (well, besides me). I always joke that my sportsbra is the ultimate carry-on because I have extra room for whatever else I need. Sometimes I even put my camera in there along with my keys, but sunday it was just food, ID (for the free beer in case, I have priorities), and the room key. I was definitely sporting a b-cup at the start. Maybe that is how I got all those running buddies!
Gels make the perfect waterbra.
In other news, I went for a nice 3 mile recovery run yesterday. I decided to run on the dreadmill to make sure my unbridled running excitement didn't take over and I could control my pace. Body feels good for the most part. Legs were still a little tired and baby toes still resemble cherry tomatoes (be happy I didn't post pics of those), but all in all I'm doing well.
Also, Brightroom posted race photos from Sunday (note to self: don't wear long spandex in a race unless you are prepared to see them from every angle). High comedy as usual. I think they only took pictures of me from mile 23 on. I am just bummed they didn't get a photo sequence of me around mile 6 trying to take off my longsleeves. I managed to get one arm out before I realized that I had pinned my bib through my shortsleeve shirt as well (huge rookie mistake!). Needless to say, I created a yard sale of stuff across the course at one point as I dropped my longsleeves, iPOD, and gloves all while I had a mouth full of safety pins. Good times.
Hope you have a great friday and good luck in all those races this weekend! I can't wait to hear all about them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Birmingham Review, Part Deux

Busy week, but I wanted to still share my thoughts about Birmingham.
Part one I focused on my experience, but this time I figured I would review the race as a whole for anyone who might be interested in running it. Its the smallest marathon I've run and it was the first time I've run a double loop course.

Pros: Its inexpensive for a full ($65 for the full through New Years) and they don't skimp on much. It was one of the best aided courses I have run. I am sure the double loop format made it easier, but there were tons of water/powerade stops, other aid items (oranges, gummy bears, cookies, beer, mints), and 3-4 gu stops. Even on my second loop, there was still plenty of stuff. The fans were great. I am sure the double loop helped this too. Lots of posters, bells, several bands and DJs, and there seemed to be more fans the second loop around (maybe there were just fewer runners for them to cheer for). Super post race party! Within a few hundred feet of the finish line (which had the typical finish line food, drinks), was a huge indoor civic center with everything you could want (bbq, free beer, massages, live band, Jumbotron with live finish line footage--all free to runners). They really put a lot of effort into this part of the experience and it was a really nice touch.

Cons: There were no pace signs in the starting corral. It wasn't a huge race (6500 runners total), but its such an easy fix! I feel like its silly not to have them. Everyone seemed a little confused about where to stand at the start. Elevation map on the website only showed one hill around 10/23, but it was a series of hills for about 3-4 miles each loop. It wasn't a huge deal for me because I was coming from hilly ATL, but it would have been if I came from a flat city. The roads were a little rough in parts, but I had no trouble dodging pot-holes since the race is small (and I am a HUGE klutz).

Overall: Well aided and thought out event without the hassles of a big marathon. Next year is their 10th anniversary, so I am sure the party will be even bigger. An enjoyable course that is uncrowded and PR'able as long as you have a few hills in your training. I definitely recommend it if its on your list.
Hope you are having a good week! I am swamped, but isn't that they way it always works?!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Birmingham Recap, Part 1

*Sorry for the formatting issues with this one. Every time I fix it, it just goes back to wacky.*
Where to begin. I’ve decided to split it up into two reports: one about my race and one about the race itself for those of you who might be thinking of running it. This one is long, so get comfy.


Can basically be summed up by a series of fails! Not even kidding. When we left Atlanta it looked like this:

I was so worried that the roads were going to be a mess in Birmingham because they had got the same storm. Luckily, it was a sunny day and there was a HUGE melt. Phew. Drive and Expo were fairly uneventful. We did pass by Talladega, but I saw no signs of Ricky Bobby (I know nothing else about car racing). Dinner was the scene of the first big fail. We went out early (5pm) to get some pasta and the restaurant already had over a 1.5 hr wait! Damn you Valentine’s weekend. We called an audible and went to the next closest place that was seating. So prerace meal was nothing like what I wanted and I ate a veggie burger and fries. Yes, I would pay for this. We got back to the hotel to find out that the convention center attached to the hotel (where the expo was) is having a Black Eyed Peas concert along with 2 other events that night. Hmm. Let’s just say the tweens were not so quiet and I didn’t sleep well at all.

Morning of the race I woke up with a few tummy issues (really shocking I know) and wasn’t really in the mood to eat, which got me really worried. I choked down a quarter of a bagel, a banana, and a cup of coffee. Definitely not as much food as I had hoped. At this point, the forecast was still calling for rain/mix midmorning and heavy clouds, so I picked out my outfit accordingly. I decided to go with some sweet pigtails to cheer myself up a bit. I was in good spirits heading to the start and was determined to put the morning’s fails behind me.

I told you they were sweet.


Miles 1-7: I chewed down a pack of Luna Moons in the starting corral and started to look for the 4:15 pace group. My goal was to run with them for at least the 1st half to keep my pace even and conservative. I teamed up with the 4:15 pace ladies around mile 0.5 and just tucked in behind them to settle in. After about 2 miles I was already feeling a little hot, but I figured it was because the sun surprised us and came out, but by mile 3 I figured out what was going on. The pace ladies came out of the gate a little excited and we went through the 3 mile marker in 25 flat. I saw the clock and just went ‘Oh Sh*t’. Instead of dropping the pace they just kept chugging along and I was not in the mood to lose them yet. By mile 5 we were over 6 min ahead of pace. They had us on track to go sub-4 and then some. I was starting to worry I was going to PR the half while I was at it, and knew that was NOT a goal I wanted to accomplish today. So basically my ‘conservative’ start was way out the window. Once seeing our mile 5 split, the pace ladies slammed on the breaks. I wasn’t in the mood to drop gears that far, so I went on in an even pace with what I had trained for (9-9:30ish). I did not see them again until sometime in the 20’s. I took my first power gel (vanilla, tasted like pudding) around mile 7 (Success)! The weather remained perfect for the rest of the race (mostly sun with some clouds, temps around 50). Too bad I didn't have my sunglasses.

Miles 7-12: Shortly afterward, I was joined by a nice gentleman who was also frustrated with the 4:15 fiasco (He was tall, dark and handsome, let’s hear it for speed dating). Alex was from Birmingham and running the half due to ITBS, but had run the full several times. He gave me a guided tour of the neighborhoods we went through and told me a few things to remember for the second half (it’s a double loop course). He was a huge help (besides his desire to push the pace)! The elevation map showed only one hill on the course at mile 10/23, but it really was a series of long hills for about 3 or 4 miles from 7-11/19-23. Alex told me which one was the longest (1.5 miles long) and where to play it safe. We parted ways at the split around mile 12. I came through the half around 2:02 and was happy with my pace, but wanted to reign it back in for a little bit knowing I would have the late hills again.

Miles 13-20: Around the half-way point, I was joined by a runner named Joe running his first full. He was looking for someone to pace with, and I was looking to put on a breaks a bit, so we were a good match. Joe amazed me with how strong his training was. He ran 3-22milers and 2-20milers. I admitted to him that I ran one 19miler and a bunch of 13-15 milers. If anything, I think it helped his confidence. I took another gel around 14-15 (right as planned) and then we were joined by Rachel, another victim of the 4:15 pace group. Rachel was running her 7th marathon and determined to finally break 4:15. Rachel and I ran the rest of the race together and really help each other keep a good mindset. We lost Joe around mile 18 when we started to push the pace back up a bit. We kept it comfortable through 20, both knowing that that is where the race really begins.

Miles 20-Finish: It was only after mile 20 that I let myself actually think about what I had left to do. I was really proud that I never had the “15 miles left” thoughts at any point in the course, and it worked really well for me mentally. My word of the day was patience, and I think I totally (beside the pacing fiasco) accomplished it. Rachel and I took it one mile at a time from 20 in. Since most of this was in the hilly section, we did walk during aid stations just to make sure we got our powerade in and give us a mini-break from the hills. That was the only walking for the entire race though. Around 22, I got a shout of from one the cops, “Pigtails! You’re back!” which was really surprising but fun. I thanked him and replied that I wasn’t coming back for another loop. I did not take my 3rd gel at 21 (mini-fail), but I did consume many oranges along the course and never felt any major sugar blues (WIN!). This was probably one of the best-aided courses I have been on. I have tons of good things to say about it, but more on that in my next post.

Rachel and I made it through the hills in good time. Afterwards we had a long straight away in a warehouse district for miles 23.5-25. Unfortunately a head wind had kicked up, so these miles were a little more challenging. At 24 I felt the pop and let out an “Oh no!” and then explained to Rachel my blister/toe had just exploded. She quickly glanced at my feet and responded, “Yeah, don’t look down”. At mile 25 we had over 11 mins to get Rachel to the tape under 4:15 and we started to move. We had been joking earlier that mile 26 is the longest mile ever, and unfortunately it was literally true. My mile markers had been slightly off on my garmin all day, and they fixed with a long mile 26. Instead of having 1.2 left we probably ended up with closer to 1.4, which was just enough for us to miss 4:15 by about 1 min. Either way, we were both ecstatic coming across the line with big smiles and were incredibly happy with our race. The 4:15 ladies finished about 100 feet in front of us with their yo-yo pace.

Post Race: This was by far the best I have felt mentally and physically during a marathon. I loved every minute of it and tried to smile at every camera I saw (I tend to have angry looking race photos)! I finally feel like I get the marathon and now am very excited to run (and really train) for another. It was a huge confidence boost. Now I want to start tackling time.

Race goals: Two out of three ain’t bad.

1. Fuel: Though I only took 2 gels, I did supplement with probably 4-5 orange slices and the wall never even crossed my mind. HUGE WIN!

2. Feet: Um, yeah. I eluded to what happened at mile 24, but here is a pic. Thank heavens I didn’t look down until after the finish. I actually had quite a bit of foot pain from 20 miles on. BIG FAIL.

3. Brains: I had tons of fun and was full of smiles. It was either the smiles or the pigtails that got me all my running buddies along the way. I really felt like my head was in the game the whole time and thanks to Rachel for making me push at the end. HUGE WIN!

Have a great Monday! Thanks to everyone for their support and stay tuned for a pros/cons about the race as a whole tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

She went the distance....

Full Race Report to come, but I just wanted to let you know things went well today. There are many fails and many wins to tell about, but I am still a little runtarded. Overall, a good day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fuelin' up Friday

First, Big THANKS to Tall Mom for the high-five today! If you’ve never checked out her Friday high-fives, give it a look. It’s a great idea and it always puts a smile on my face.

Today’s fueling report is about pancakes (again). I am travelling to Birmingham tomorrow with two friends who are both running the half (their second). To wish us all luck and help us carbo load, one of their roommates is throwing us a Pancake/Good luck dinner tonight with a whole bunch of friends! You all know how much I love pancakes/all things breakfast related, so I was elated when she asked me if it was a good idea! I probably should mention that she is also the brave soul who is dog-sitting for me this weekend. I think she is up for Friend of the year! I don’t think I’ve ever had such an exciting send off before a race! I just have to remember to pace myself with the pancakes! Don't want to pull anything in a pancake induced furry.

I’m sure some of you have noticed that the south is getting another visit from Old Man Winter today. As a transplanted northern, I quickly learned that there are a few things southerns can’t handle: snow and living without the ability to deep-fry. The snow only seems appropriate since it snowed the day before my last race and nearly shutdown the city. The good news is that it is a straight shot on I-20 from ATL to Birmingham (Yes, that same highway 20 ride that the Zac Brown Band sings about), so we only need the main roads to be clear. As long as I get there, I can make it work.

Hope you all have a great Friday and a good running weekend! I promise to do my best to keep you updated about the race and take some pics!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Goals for Birmingham

I have focused on 3 main items this round of Marathon training (#5), and I have a race goal for each one. You’ll notice that I have no time goal for this race and its mainly because I knew there was a good chance my training would be erratic due to life (grad school, work, thesis, etc), so I focused on improving 3 things that have ‘plagued’ me in my past marathons. I also tried out a ‘less is more’ training plan and I am curious to see how I feel throughout the race.

1. Fuel. I hit the wall hard in my first marathon and have never developed a good fueling plan or routine in any of my marathons. In previous fulls I have fueled little to none and I've paid for it. I have detailed all my fueling attempts in my Fuelin’ up Friday reports and I really appreciate everyone’s recommendations! I have a plan and a fuel that work fairly well for me!

Goal: Don’t hit the wall. In fact, don’t even flirt with it. Its Valentine’s Day, flirting should occur at the post-race party.

2. Feet. In all of my previous marathons I have had bloody feet and even bled through my shoes twice. For the most part my bloody toes haven’t been too painful, just gross. However, after Goofy a few years ago, my feet were a disaster, complete with toenail loss and some crazy blood blisters. Since I have to wear closed toe shoes at work, it was a hard recovery week. For this marathon, I am running in a full size larger (9.5) than Goofy (8.5). The bigger size felt like clown shoes for the first few runs, but when I put on some old 8.5s to walk the dog the other day, I really noticed how much better the clown shoes fit my feet. I've still had some blistering, but I think it is mainly due to my feet being fat and there hasn't been any bleeding.

Goal: Don’t have bloody feet. Some blistering is acceptable.

Trust me, You don't want to see what's inside. That wasn't even one of the toes that lost a nail!

3. Brains. I’ve had confidence trouble in the late miles of previous marathons. I think a lot of this probably had to do with very low blood sugar (see goal #1), but nonetheless it was still something I wanted to focus on. I did all of my long runs solo (with a few guests for 3 or 4 miles). I really focused on staying calm and consistent, and not letting any little things trouble me. I think I had more quality runs this training cycle and I am really excited to see how it turns out on race day.

Goal: Keep my head in the game (or race).

I had my last date with the elliptical this morning as well as a nice long stretch. Legs feel good and attitude is ready. Now I just have to remember to pack all the essentials.

Hope everyone has a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What to wear.......

With race day rapidly approaching, I find myself going over all the details to make sure I am ready:
Extra Fuel purchased..............................Check
Registration Confirmation.....................Check
Hotel confirmation..................................Check
iPod +Garmin charged............................Double Check
Dog-sitter arranged.................................Check
Race day outfit clean and, not sure?

The weather for race day has been bouncing around like a pogo stick, so I can't for the life of me figure out what to wear. It looks like it is going to be a game time decision at this point. I'll have to pack everything from the long spandex to shorts, but I guess if that is my biggest struggle for the next few days, I don't have anything to complain about.

Now for a quick game of high-point/low-point:
(Its a game we used to play to process our day and check in with each other when I was volunteering abroad).
High-point: I figured out today that Birmingham is in the central time zone! This means it won't feel as early on race day when I get up for fueling!
Low-point: I woke up this morning mildly congested. Not even kidding. All day I have been mainlining airborne and doing lines of EmergenC off my desk. Keep your fingers crossed.

Hope your week is going well! Feel free to share your high-point/low-point. I think its a great way to think about your day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lazy Eight

Happy Super Sunday to everyone! Today I am hoping for a PR in Guacamole and Queso consumption. Wish me luck!

Under one week until the big day (just in case you aren't counting down like me)!

Yesterday I went out for my last pre-race tune up. I headed out to Silver Comet Trail which is delightful for longruns. They took about 60 miles (it goes all the way to the AL border) of old railroad tracks and converted it to an exertrail with no more than 2% grade (genius idea). There are periodic parking areas (some with real toilets!) so you can start at various points along the trail. I usually start at the bike depot and haven't run all parts of it yet, but I really would like to bike it from end to end one day this spring. Its great for people like me who tend to do a lot of their runs solo because there are usually a few tri and running groups out there on the weekend and it doesn't feel like the city. I hang out there a lot on Saturday mornings. Anyways, yesterday I ran 8 at a nice even 8:30 pace, a little ahead of planned marathon pace, but my legs felt good. I am a little worried about coming out of the gate too quick on race day, so I am thinking about running with one of the pace groups for the first half, but more on goals and race plans later this week.

Hope you all have a good remainder of the weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fuelin' up Friday

Quick apology for Wednesday’s whiny tirade on Mother Nature. She does the best she can and I didn’t mean to freak out on her. The good news is that the forecast has changed and ice cubes are out of the forecast! Now I just have to worry about finishing 26.2 miles!

On to Friday’s fuel report.

As I mentioned on Sunday, the double latte powergel just might be my go to. The taste is a better coffee flavor than the Gu Espresso Love gel I tried a few weeks ago and the texture was WORLDS better. I was half way through it before I even noticed. Since it does have 50mg of caffeine, I will probably have a few of the fruit flavors that Redhead (Thanks again!) recommended as well.

Unlike previous marathons, I actually have a fueling plan for race day! This is a huge step for me because fueling has been mostly absent from my previous races. Though I can get away with it in the half, not fueling in the full has really shown. This blogs not called Running on E for nothing folks. Pre-race I will probably go with my standard Elvis (peanut butter and banana on a bagel). During the race my plan is to eat a gel about every 7 miles (as water stops allow) with a caffeinated one around the halfway point. This should create some impressive bra stuffing with my powergels (its like a poor girl’s water bra). I may even be a B-cup at the starting line, which should also help with my quest to get a Valentine’s date. I may carry a pack of chewy fuel (beans or sharkies) as well, because there is plenty of space in my bra for extra and you can never have too much. Post race I plan on having a free beer or two to rehydrate and celebrate. I'm getting excited just thinking about the race!

Anyways, Happy Friday to all! We've got a rainy one here in the ATL, but I'm ok with that because Mother Nature is my girl.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Confronting Mother Nature.

Mother Nature, we’ve got to talk.

I’m not sure when our relationship went bad, but you’ve taken it too far. When you produced that bizarro Wizard of Oz inspired day for my Halloween Half (70*& cloudy at the start, then by mile 2, 50* & raining so hard my shoes were squishy for the rest of the race), I nearly froze to death and was an odd shade of blue at the finish. I was running with a first-timer and not worried about time, so I forgave you. Then when I volunteered for the Thanksgiving Half and you produced a perfect running day, I was bummed to not be running, but enjoyed the sun nonetheless. And then this past January, when I ran the Red Nose Half and you decided I didn’t need water or feeling in my facial features, I forgave you because I was just using it as a training run.

But this time you have taken it too far. When I looked up the weather for my rapidly approaching full and saw this:

I knew it was personal.

What the hell is that anyway? Are you going to be throwing ice cubes at me all morning? Is Vodka on the rocks going to be falling from the sky? Does this mean that the heavens finally got their icemaker to work? Ug. I’m serious. I am a good, earth friendly person. I walk to work everyday. I recycle and I pick up my dog’s poop. I volunteer at races and encourage others to start the sport. Give a girl a break and stop picking on me on race day!

I am giving you 9 days to fix this.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Speed Dating

Since the Birmingham Marathon is on Valentine's Day, they are having a promotion to marry some lucky couple on the course. Its a cute idea, but its been done before at various marathons (Vegas does a mass wedding, there was a cute mid-marathon wedding in London a few years back, etc). The more I thought about it, the more I thought that the folks in Birmingham really missed a moment to show their creativity and get some free press. Think about it: You've got a huge crowd of folks with a common passion, all in prime marathon shape, wearing nothing more than a little spandex, dri-fit, and bodyglide. How about showing a little love for us single runners on Valentine's Day?

So here is what I'm proposing. Nothing too intricate or complicated (heavens knows single people don't like things to get complicated), but just a subtle way to identify other singles in the race. Maybe put our names in green on our bibs (green means go after all). It would be totally voluntary, but wouldn't it be nice to know that the cute guy in your pace group is looking for the 4 hour Marathoner of his dreams? Or that hottie you huddled for warmth with in the starting corral is hoping for a little spark in his life? You've got 26.2 miles to go, might as well multi-task. Plus, if it all goes well you can celebrate over free beer at the post-race party!
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