For the Marathon Rookie: 9/15/12

Tips to running the best first marathon ever:
(as told by pictures which are already on Facebook--sorry)

--Carb load like it's nobody's bidness for the 4 days leading up to it. Bonus points if your pants stop fitting!
--Sleep like a bear 2 nights before; that's when it counts. Bonus point if you...make bear noises while you sleep?
--Sit by ultra-marathoners as you bus up. If they don't talk to you, it's not you. They're just worrying about beating their time of 2 1/2 hours and not quitting during the last half of the "horrific" 26.2 miles. And don't worry when it takes an hour to get to the starting line. You'll run fast.
--Lock the pre-race porta-potty door. But if you forget, when people walk in on you you'll get a panicked adrenaline rush and feel an especially deep connection with your co-runners. So it's fine.
--Run Top of Utah. Gorgeous, well-sponsored, downhill canyon perfection. Those aid stations just kept a-comin'.
--Bask in the energy at the starting line and all the way down. You're experiencing months and months of hard work paying off, and so are the 3000 runners surrounding you. Nothing needs to be said for everyone to feel the connection, but if you feel like making conversation, anyone you open your mouth to is an automatic friend . . .
-- . . . until mile 25 when you're neck-and-neck with the girl wearing all black and sporting Star Wars braids. You may have been friends 3 miles ago, but no more. Time to flip on your well-masked competitive edge.

--Eat a slice of fruit, drink a cup of Gatorade or water, and walk at every station. Your body will thank you when you hit your high as everyone else hits their wall.
--Train on hills and greet them as old friends. Old friends that you will destroy like a beast.
--Bring the best support crew, preferably one that will run alongside you when necessary and take stellar pictures so you don't have to pay 80 dollars for the official ones.

--Drink the chocolate milk at the end. TWICE. I don't even care if you have lactose intolerance because it's not lactose; it's champion nectar.
--Offer yourself little motivations: you get to take off your jacket when you see your family. You get to listen to music after that. You get to pee when the only other option is 'sploding.

--Run in front of hilariously loud pace-runners and behind cute guys. By the time you decide how you're casually going to start a conversation with them and which one will be the groom vs. best man at your wedding, 7 miles will have passed just like that and you'll find you've somehow left them in the dust. For the win. And also for the lose.
--Have juicy topics ready to contemplate in case you ever get tired of thinking "I'm doing whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?????????" I personally never moved on from this thought.

--Don't forget the anti-chaff stick between the cheeks. It's an unspoken (til now) necessity.
--Have flip-flops ready at the finish line for when you want to turn into The Hulk and tear your shoes off your feet. Have someone to take them off for you when you realize your body will not bend forward at an
 angle greater than 20 degrees.
--Try to avoid safety-pinning your number (2592!) to your underwear when you're just going for the spandex. That'll make for a frustratingly hilarious porta-potty experience en-route.
--Most importantly: Have a blast!! Remember how long you've trained for this and how awesome it is. Smile at all the spectators and their clever signs. Stay fueled and enjoy the route. This is a fantastic accomplishment.

Official Time:      4:29:13

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