Kolby is a fellow lawyer and runner and also a high school teacher, so his schedule allows him to take a three-week vacation in the summer. He just got back from spending the three weeks in South America and Mexico. Kolby and I got to hang out this afternoon for a bit and I got to live vicariously through his travel stories. He told me about the places that were so dangerous that he couldn’t leave the tourist areas, the amazing ruins he got to climb, and the beautiful islands where he went scuba diving. It was fun to hear about his adventures, especially when he got to hang out with the locals and go to places where they used golf carts instead of cars for taxicabs.
The other upside of hanging out with Kolby was I got to play with his cats. I’m definitely more of a dog person then a cat person, but his cats are pretty cool. They are sweet girls who troop over to me when I walk in the room and rub themselves all over my legs and bag. One of them likes to lick my hand. It’s pretty cute.
Kolby is my friend and he’s on the Tempe City Council. Even though I’m not a resident of Tempe, I really appreciate his dedication to that community â€“ listening to what residents want and focusing on improving the community. He’s up for re-election next March but just to get on the ballot, he has to get a certain number of signatures from registered Tempe voters. This number is based on how many people voted in the last election. The last election had a lot of state-level issues so turnout was higher (yay people are voting!) but the downside for Kolby is he has to get ~2000 signatures just to run. So he will be pounding pavement every Saturday and Sunday until November (when signature sheets are due), knocking on doors, to get the signatures he needs.
I tagged along with Kolby for a morning of campaigning. Kolby is super organized â€“ breaking the city down into manageable blocks to navigate. It was a toasty walk through this particular neighborhood, but it was fun â€“ I got to see Kolby in action and we got to catch up as we walked between houses. It was cool to see how many people were already familiar with him. If someone was home, they usually signed the signature sheet.
It was fun to walk a neighborhood of Tempe â€“ seeing what made each house unique. It seemed like most of the time we knocked on a door we were met with the sound of a barking dog or dogs. That made me smile because as one of my law professors Andy Hessick says, â€œEvery good American has a dog.â€ Â I couple of dogs came bounding out at us when the owner opened the door â€“ a few times I was afraid they might not be friendly, but there was one dog, a cavapoo named Penny, who was so sweet. She submissively sniffed around our feet hoping to be petted.
I’m glad I got to have this experience. I’ve never been involved in any type of campaigning before. I suspect most people have no idea how much work it takes just to get on the ballot at the local level.
Luckily, I have several friends who have run a marathon as a stand-alone race and/or as part of an Ironman. I asked them to share some advice with me and anyone else who is running their first marathon.
Absolutely nothing new on race day. No new shoes, no new clothes, no new foods, nothing.Â Race day is not the time to find out those socks your friend recommended chafe and you don’t want to discover at mile 15 that orange flavored Gatorade makes you nauseous. If you didn’t train with it, don’t race with it. – Ben Schorr, Marathoner
Put your name on the front of your shirt.Â – Peter Shankman, Marathoner and Ironman
(People will cheer for you by name if you do this.)
I would say to trust the training that you’ve done so far. Don’t overdo it the week before, but also be sure not to shut down completely. For me, I did an easy paced 5 or 6 mile run the day before the race with a long cool down and stretch. Get a long night’s sleep and make sure to hydrate well the morning of the race.Â – Marian Grucky, Marathoner
If you look to the right, and you are standing next to a guy from Kenya, you are in the wrong corral. Okay, some more practical advice.Â If you are feeling really good at mile, 5, 10, 15, or 20, DON’T speed up.Â Just keep running your usual pace.Â At mile 22 or 23, if you are feeling good, you can start to pick up your pace.Â – Kolby Granville, Marathoner and Ironman
My advice for a first marathon is to go to enjoy it.Â Go to feel out the distance and to see how your body responds to going that far. Stay well within your physical limits in the moment. Relax.Â If you want to push wait until the last 6 miles or so when you have a sense that you will make it. Run with someone who has done it before and is not bound to a time. – Debbie Rubel, Marathoner
Assuming you have a target pace in mind, if the race has professional pace runners, stick with them or near them. Race day excitement usually makes me start too fast, and pacers keep you on track from the start, plus they put you in the starting pack at roughly the right place.Â – Rick Ortmeyer, Marathoner
Thank the volunteers. The race would be much different without them out there to help us.Â – Ben Schorr, Marathoner
Don’t worry about your time — your goal is to finish!Â – Chad Belville, Marathoner
If you are reading this because you are preparing for your first marathon, have a great race! I hope you feel awesome when you cross the finish line.