Marathon Mantras

Edit: I meant to post this yesterday but then my free wifi at the airport ran out lol.

I’m writing this while waiting for my flight to leave for Chicago :-O It still doesn’t feel real to me. I don’t think it will until I am IN Chicago and walking around. It will be awesome to explore a new city!

A few days ago I asked people to share their race day mantras with me. I plan on keeping many of these in mind as I run 26.2 miles, and wanted to share them with you as well. Thank you to all for your input, and also thank you to all of you who have read my posts throughout this 18 week journey and provided support and advice!

One of my mantras I plan on repeating in Chicago is: Deal With It. I read about it in the book The Champion’s Mind, and really liked it. I plan on thinking this when I start feeling tired and want to back off.

Here are some of the others that were shared with me (and their respective blogs so you can go check them out too!):

Running a marathon (or any race) soon? Check out these race day mantras to help you get to the finish line! 

  • I don’t know how helpful this little mantra is but ever since my late high school/early college years of when I was a track/xc runner, my dad always would say to me to repeat to myself ‘lookin’ good feelin’ good’ (i think its from a movie?!) and it always made me laugh! So to this day I still use it :-) – Alyssa (Bits Of Everything)
  • Then toward the end of the race I tend to say “do you have anything else to give” the answer is usually yes and I’ll pick up the pace or at least hold my pace. -Amy (Amy Says So)
  • I ask for prayer requests from FB people and assign each request a mile. That way, I always have something or someone to focus on. -Lauren (Running Slowly With Kids)
  • My mantra is : “the body achieves, what the mind believes.” Helps me everytime! -Daisy (Fit Wanderlust Runner)
  • My mantra is “Get There!” I have it engraved on my id band for my watch. It reminds me that my goal is to get to where I am going, it doesn’t matter what happens between the start and the finish if I get there I am a winner! -Missy (Getting Fit To Find Myself)
  • Your mind wants to give up before your legs do. -Katelyn
  • You can do hard things. -Sarah (Uplift Training)
  • Run THIS mile. — don’t worry about THAT hill or how far you have left to go – Coco (Got 2 Run 4 Me)
  • When any discomfort or pain comes up during a race I repeat “think, feel, relax.” I think about the exact area that hurts, really feel it, then tell it to relax and imagine my muscles healing themselves. You’d be surprised by how well this works! It’s a Zen Buddhist teaching :-) -Bri (Run Lift Yoga)
  • I always turn to Walt Disney when the going gets tough: “If you can dream it you can do it.” -Kathryn (Dancing To Running)
  • You can crumble or you can conquer. -Carmy 
  • I can do hard things. -Courtney (Eat Pray Run DC)

How good are all of those? One of my all time favorites is “The body achieves what the mind believes.” If you’re looking to improve your mental strength, I highly recommend checking out The Champion’s Mind. It really has opened my eyes as to how much your brain affects your performance.

Okay…time to get ready to board. HERE WE COME CHICAGO!!!

Edited to add: We are now actually in Chicago and it has been awesome lately. Heading to the Expo today! :-O


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My Marathon Training Must-Haves

If you’ve run a marathon, you certainly have your own “must-haves.” So I wanted to share mine with you. It’s funny how every runner is different. Some people swear by GU and others swear by ShotBloks. I personally am a GU Vanilla Bean fan ;)

If you’re planning on running a marathon next year, perhaps try some of this stuff out and see if it works for you! PS – this post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase something I make a small commission…could help me register for my next race ;)

Okay, here we go…

Marathon Training

Garmin Watch

I have the Garmin 405, as seen below, but it’s been discontinued.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.29.32 AM
I debated between getting this one and the Forerunner 10, but that one doesn’t show you multiple things on the screen at once, and I believe also rounds your pace to the 5′s (so 8:20, 8:25, etc.). I wanted to be able to see distance, time, average speed and more on one screen (or have the option to). A similar watch might be the Garmin Forerunner 210. Or if you just want something simple then try out the Forerunner 10.

What’s the difference between this and an app like RunKeeper? I like being able to glance at my watch when I need to (I don’t carry my phone in my hand), and I think it’s a little more accurate than RunKeeper. It’s all preference really!

Spandex Shorts

I cannot run in anything else anymore. I used to run in looser running shorts, like those Nike shorts, but then it started riding up in the front and I just was uncomfortable. I’m all about lululemon “Groove” shorts now. I actually just bought this pair with a giftcard Dan gave me:

lululemon groove short

I think they’re the perfect length and fit. I love the waistband because it never digs in or sits awkwardly. I have also found great, similar options at T.J. Maxx…hey, I even wrote a whole post about it ;) I love that you can now shop online at T.J. Maxx.


S!Caps by Succeed! were probably the best thing I could have discovered before the New York City Marathon last year. I had been looking for an electrolyte supplement because I didn’t really like Nuun or GU Brew. Drinking something carbonated while running long distances did not work well for me.

Somehow I found S!Caps:

I forget how I even found them, but I was a bit wary at first since their website isn’t necessarily the most technologically advanced ;)

But I gave them a shot and they were amazing. I took them every hour on long runs and during the marathons, and never had the issues I had in the 2011 marathon…no excessive salt collecting on my skin, no extreme thirst or dehydration, no water sloshing around in my stomach. It’s all the electrolytes + salt you need in 1 capsule. I can’t recommend this product enough if you’re a heavy sweater like me.

Nathan Hydration Belt

I use the Nathan Swift Hydration Belt:

Nathan Hydration BeltI am not a fan of hydration belts with multiple bottles – I feel like it gets in my way or feels to bouncy. So last year I bought this belt, and figured I could refill it at every other water station during the marathon (which I did no problem). It’s super light and you barely even notice it’s there. The water bottle is also a bit bigger than others which I also liked. And the pocket is huge! Perfect for fitting in your GUs and other stuff.


I wrote about the FlipBelt a couple months ago…and I have not stopped wearing it on runs since. For shorter runs where you don’t need fuel, this is seriously the best thing you could invest in.

It has multiple pockets all around the belt, and I’ve been able to fit my keys, phone, tissues, etc. no problem. It does not move AT ALL. I have already had friends buy it off my suggestion who have told me the love it. I wear this most days on my runs. I used to just hide my key in my wheel wells (don’t judge me), but now I can always have it on me. You can buy the FlipBelt in different colors and sizes.


Everyone needs a recovery drink, especially during marathon training. My protein powder of choice is PlantFusion. It’s a plant based protein, and trust me, it doesn’t taste chalky or have a weird after taste like other plant powders out there. I like the vanilla bean flavor because it mixes well with anything, and it’s good enough to have plain as well. My friend really likes the chocolate flavor. There is also cookies n’ cream and unflavored. It’s all preference.


I had to end with GU…because it’s obvious! So many runners use GU in their marathon training – me being one of them. I only stick to Vanilla Bean though, but I do want to try the Salted Caramel Pretzel.

GU energy gel
I while ago I wrote about my fueling strategies, which may be a bit different than others. I take GU every 3-4 miles with water. That’s what works for me, but it takes experimentation to find what works best for you. Some people love ShotBloks but I cannot chew while running. It is so hard for me for some reason. Just try it all out!

Wow this list ended up getting a bit long. When I started writing it I figured I’d come up with like 3-4 things. I genuinely love all of these products, whether I’m marathon training or not. I’m always recommending these things to my own friends, and have turned a few of them into PlantFusion and FlipBelt fanatics! ;)

What are your must-haves for marathon training & running in general?

Are you loyal to one certain brand for fuel or you can use whatever?


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NYC Marathon Training Week 17

17 weeks in the books! Wow…cannot believe it…The last 3 weeks of this training plan have not gone as planned, however. I had to cross train all of last week, and this week I took it easy because of my shin…but at least I am back to running! It’s a lot less than my training plan called for but do you think that will make a huge difference?

Here’s last week’s info:


Supposed to do 6×1 mile at 10 sec. faster than goal marathon pace.

Cross-trained instead.


I think I was supposed to do 6-7 miles. It was my first day back to running in 8 days, so I eased into it with an easy 3 miles. Felt ok but definitely felt more “tired” while running than I usually do.


Easy 4 miles…felt pretty good!


Needed to do 1 mile warm up, 10 miles at goal pace, 1 mile cooldown.

This was obviously not happening. I did half mile warm up, 6 miles at goal pace, half mile cooldown. Pace was ok…kind of slower than it needed to be (10:18) but it was hilly towards the end.


Easy 4 miles. No pain…felt pretty good.




Needed to do 6 but I was EXHAUSTED from not sleeping Friday night. Took off =( At least I got a full body massage though!

So now it’s taper time…I ran significantly fewer miles than my plan advised…do you think this will affect me?

My biggest fear right now is starting the race and feeling tired and heavy and out of breath by mile 3. You know those runs? I hope this doesn’t happen.

My sports chiro said my leg feels much looser, and the pain has gone away…but I’m still very nervous!!! I plan on hydrating this week, but also making sure I take care of my shin. Elite runner Jenny Simpson even offered me advice!

I had such a good training cycle up until Week 16…I keep trying to remember all of that but I can’t help but feel nervous and scared that I won’t finish.

Have you ever felt like this before a race? How do you banish negative thoughts? Help!!


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