It's been ages since I wrote a Take it and Run Thursday post. I guess I was just out of my routine with the whole summer business that was going on.
Well, today is a crisp sunny day that feels solidly like fall so if I'm ever going to get back to a routine, today would be the day to do it.
So. Take it and Run Thursday. The topic this week is spectator tips:
Now that we're heading into the fall and winter marathon seasons, and we've talked a lot about how to prepare for races, let's talk about spectators. What do you like and dislike from spectators out on a course? Are cowbells good or bad? Do you prefer to have someone waiting with food or Gatorade? What tips can you give for people who are just out to watch the race and not participate?I haven't run a marathon since 2004 so I have to really dig back in the ol' memory box for this one! Hmm . . . what did I like? Well, I was lucky and had some great spectators, namely my husband who mapped out several places to meet me and cheer me on along the course. He also met up with some other friends and family members along the way. To me, just having people out there for me was the best. They didn't need to do anything other than smile, wave and give me a little cheer to bouy my spirit.
But if it is specifics you want, it is specifics you will get:
- In any race (marathon or not), having people cheer you on by name rocks!
- So does being told that you are running strong.
- Reminders, like "relax your shoulders" and things like that can work, too. A spectator said that to the runner just ahead of me in my 5K on Monday and I immediately relaxed my shoulders and felt looser.
- Telling runners that there is a specific distance left or something useful about the upcoming part of the race is helpful. For example, saying, "half mile to the finish" or "there's a sharp left after this hill" is good. Saying, "you're almost there!" when you still have a way to go is not.
- Music can be fun. In a 15K that I've run a few times, there is a tough hill just past the 10K mark. Runners are fading by that point. But there is always a couple who park their car half-way up the hill and play motivational music (theme from Rocky, maybe?), dance like maniacs and cheer people on. It's terrific!
- Cowbells? Oh, I don't know. Yes, they show that the spectator is exuberant. But they are also loud and sharp and jarring.
And now for the speed. I switched my workouts again. I was supposed to do the speed work yesterday but I felt sluggish and didn't want a repeat of last week. So, I ran easy instead and pushed the speed work to today. Nothing like a little mid-week procrastination . . .
I'm going into today's workout with a MUCH better attitude than I had last week. I can do it!!!
One last thing before I sign off: Mel -- Tall Mom on the Run is having a v. cool giveaway on her site. Check it out! And have a good day, everyone!