In addition to executing a great pacing strategy, I was well prepared to ensure minimal damage to my body from the elements (aka cold and later heat) and the impact from running. This post is an homage to the products that helped me get through my first marathon (relatively) unscathed.
Pearl Izumi Seamless Arm Warmers
I've sang the praises of my arm warmers before, and I'll sing them again. I bought these before my 1st half marathon, and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. They are great for running and cycling, but I've used them more when running (that may be because I run more than I bike =P). They do an amazing job at keeping me warm and dry when I run in the cold, and they are an easy way to regulate my temperature because I can pull them up and down while running. When it gets too hot, I just roll them down to my wrists and I can use them to wipe the sweat off my face.
Pearl Izumi Jacket (with removable sleeves)
This is the best purchase I've made since buying the arm warmers. This jacket is lightweight, but does a good job as an outer layer when it's cold or wet. The best part is that it has removable sleeves so you can turn the jacket into a vest when it gets too hot, or just unzip them partially for added ventilation. It also has 3 pockets, one of which is at the small of your back and because you can tighten it at the waist it doesn't really bounce around when you have stuff in your pockets.
I was worried about wearing a jacket during the marathon because I knew I'd eventually warm up and I don't enjoy running with it around my waist. I took a gamble because I wanted to also make use of the extra pockets and they were my saving grace. I used the big back pocket to stash my gloves and eventually the sleeves and buff when it got too warm. It didn't weigh me down, held all my gear, and kept me at just the right temperature.
bondi band buff
|see more photos of the buff in action|
As I was making my usual visit and rummaging through headbands at the bondi band booth at the expo, I stumbled upon this buff (pictured on right). At first I thought it was a piece of cloth that had not been cut into headbands yet and somehow got mixed in with the stuff for sale. I quickly discovered it was one of 3 buffs they had left for sale. (It must be a new product because it is not even on their website yet). I chose the black one because it's made of the same great wicking material as the other bondi bands I own and it goes with everything :)
This is a very versatile product that you can configure as a hat, headband, scarf, face mask, and anything else you can think of. I wore it during the marathon around my neck and over my head and face at the start of the race. As I warmed up, I'd move it down to my neck as a scarf, and as it got colder I'd move it up to serve as another layer over my ears and head. The best part was when my nose got cold and started to run, I simply put the buff over my nose. It quickly warmed it up and stopped the running. I cannot express how grateful I am that I found this and wore it on race day. It will also come in very handy when we start biking to work on cold mornings.
This stuff is amazing! I taped some to the parts of my feet I know are prone to blistering or getting tender on long runs, then I lathered the rest of the foot with body glide. I ran a marathon and do not have a single blister! Not even the beginnings of one -- though one of my toe nails looks a little bruised.
It goes without saying that body glide and my race ready shorts are a must have for every race regardless of temperature and duration. The products I discussed here are specially useful during the Florida winter when it can be in the low 40s at the beginning of a race and 70s at the end.
*Disclaimer: I did not get paid to endorse any of these products. I just do because they rock. But I would not refuse free stuff to try *hint* *hint*