Marathon Week Preparation

It’s another marathon week in the And Her Little Dog Too world! I can’t believe 3 weeks ago I crossed the finish line in Chicago and this weekend I will be running the 5 boroughs of NYC! So exciting!

I wanted to put together a little list of what I am up to this week in terms of prepping for the race. In no way am I any form of an expert on anything marathon, as I have only ran one, but this is just what works for me before any big race.

1 – War Paint – One of the first things I do during a big race week is paint my nails a dark color. It is sort of like putting on my war paint. Since I can’t get a pedicure until after my races are over, its something I like to do to pamper myself.  My favorite dark polish is Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI

Anyone else do this?

2 – Wash my shoes. This might be weird, but I like my shoes to be pretty on race day. I like them to look their whitest and brightest.


After all my recent trail running, they were starting to look a little rough, and I only got them a few weeks ago so I like to spiff them up a little bit pre-race!


3- Find all my racing technology – I have a habit of misplacing all my important running technology that I depend on before a race, so I now like to get all that together a few days prior.

Things I definitely need for a race include my Garmin, my iPod shuffle, my point and shoot camera (as well as all their respective chargers), which can sometimes be harder than it sounds! I have a tendency to loose things right before I need them so this is important to me. I don’t want to be rushing around looking for lost things right before I leave for a race weekend! 

chi 589

4- Just as important as getting all my technology together is getting the rest of the race day outfit together. I have put aside what I am going to wear as well as other race day necessities – running socks, Road ID, fuel, recovery socks,  hat, sunglasses and anything else I decide I need.

I put everything I will need for the race aside early and know not to use it the rest of the week so everything is clean and fresh!

5- The week of the race I do a little light running to ward off the craziness from taper madness. My training plan calls for a few 2-3 milers during the week to relieve some tension and keep your body loose. A little bit goes a long way!

6- The week of the race I will be keeping off my feet as much as possible. It’s seriously easier said than done because I get so excited about the race!

mas pics 845

If I am travelling to the race, like I did for Chicago, there is so many fun things to see and do that I just want to be out there exploring but it’s important to save your legs.

7- Map out ahead of time where my support system will be throughout the race and talk about my expected pace. This way my Superfans will know where I  will be and I will know where they will be. Less stress for everyone involved day of!


It is also important to remember not to depend on seeing anyone at certain points. I know Chicago was complete craziness for my family to get around, even on the metro system there and I expect NYC will be just as nuts. Know where to look for your friends and family, but keep the mentality that if you don’t see them for some reason everything will still be ok. 

Don’t let not seeing your loved ones affect your race.

8 – Eat nutritious and delicious food the week of the race. Good fueling is so important leading up to race day and it can affect my performance. I try not to eat anything too new or crazy before a race because i never know how your body will react.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry!


9- No booze during race week, but if I must indulge in a drink or two the week of, keep it light and DEFINATELY no drinks for me 48 hours prior.

Save it for after 🙂

odd 082

10 – Watch motivational movies and read inspiring books about the race. My NYC Marathon motivation looks something like this:


11- Check, recheck and triple check the weather! The weather can make or break a race! I have been lucky enough not to have to deal with much rain on my races, even though I did run my first Half Marathon in the rain. Either way, its always good to be prepared for any type of change in the weather! I make sure to pack for hot and cold scenarios!

Right now the weather for Sunday is looking pretty good for race day:

Partly Cloudy Times of sun and clouds – Highs in the low 50’s and lows in the upper 30’s

Fingers crossed it stays like this! (But I could stand for it to be a tad warmer in the morning!)


Those are just a few of the things I do before my races and how I will be preparing for my second marathon this week!

If you have any Race Week Tips to share, I would love to hear them! I would also love to know if anything I said above is something you do or something that might help you!

Stay tuned for more marathon week fun!

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  • Reply Becky November 3, 2010 at 12:31 am

    You must be getting excited about New York! You are ready for that 26.2 on Sunday.

  • Reply Lizzy November 3, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Such great tips- I agree with all of them. My fam and I are driving out to mile 12/13 on Saturday so we can have a clear first meeting point- but I know I may not see them again until Mile 23… NY is so crazy! Hope to see you Sat.

  • Reply Andrea W. November 3, 2010 at 1:53 am

    The NYC Marathon is epic. Congrats on qualifying. You must be so excited. And I agree, OPI would be on my marathon prep list as well. Do you like the recovery socks? I wear shin compression sleeves when I run, so I wonder if they'd help. Anyway…Good luck. Love your blog.

  • Reply ladypurpl November 3, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Great Marathon Tips! Getting excited about watching you race New York. Do you know that one of the Chile miners will be racing in New York as well as Jared, the Subway dude?

  • Reply Dori November 3, 2010 at 2:38 am

    I will be at mile 16 on 1st ave at 61st, southwest corner, cheering for you!!!

  • Reply livingoneday November 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    i dont run races, but I have loved LPAD nail color forever!! i also like lincoln park at midnight. opi is my favorite. you are so well prepared! i cant wait to hear how it goes for you 🙂

  • Reply maganda286 November 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I LOVE Lincoln Park After Dark!! I am walking/running my first race on Thanksgiving day and I am so excited! Love your blog, good luck!

  • Reply Alison (Ali on the Run) November 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    This is a great post with some awesome information! You're going to do great in the marathon. I'll be cheering from the sidelines!

  • Reply Jessica November 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Lincoln Park After Dark is my favorite nail polish. Perfect war paint!

  • Reply Nichole November 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I love that you are clearly not suffering from taper blues. You are going to roooock it!

    Great list! I don't ever wash my shoes,I'm the opposite paranoid version there:)

  • Reply nin November 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I am right there with you with collecting all of your technical things. I always seem to have to find things the day of the race around my apartment. GOOD LUCK IN NYC!

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