First Marathons

First Marathons: Personal Encounters With the 26.2-Mile Monster by Gail Waesche Kislevitz, is a 1997 collection of experiences told by a wide spectrum of runners. A few are famous or elite, many are ordinary folks, and some overcame staggering obstacles to have a go at the distance. At the back of the book half a dozen coaches each give one page of idiosyncratic advice. My favorite is the meta-counsel by Don Kardong who begins by noting:

The key to running a good marathon is to not listen to anyone's advice the last week before the race. That's when people tend to do stupid things that disrupt all the input and training of the previous months. They're looking for some magical food or special tip to improve their performance and it's just not going to happen that way. If someone tells you to eat a plate of kelp and drink a quart of eggnog to cut minutes off your time, just say no. Stay cool. I've known more people who say after the marathon, "That race went well, but gee, I shouldn't have cut my toenails at the last minute like my friend suggested, because they bled the whole time." Or, "Gee, I shouldn't have worn those new shorts that looked so great at the expo last night, because they cut into my thighs for twenty miles."

(cf. Running Advice (2003-10-02), And Then the Vulture Eats You (2004-12-09), Running Through the Wall (2005-01-23), Relentless Forward Progress (2011-06-13), ...) - ^z - 2012-02-18