So, you are now registered for one of the 2022 Grandma’s Marathon weekend races. Very cool, so am I!
With the critical first step now accomplished, what comes next? Here are a few ideas based on my 25 years (or so) of running the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.
- Save the date of June 18, 2022 (and probably the day before and after)
Mark it on every calendar you use. Request any time off from work. Tell your family and friends. Not just to impress them with your running goals, but to make sure they keep that date sacred and don’t plan a wedding, family reunion, etc. (unless you want a good excuse to not attend that family function with your crazy aunt Sally).
- Start looking for a training plan
Much better to do that now than two months before race day. You may be overwhelmed with all the plans out there. I recommend talking to friends to find out what they have used. Or ask at your local running store, many of them offer local training groups!
- Build (or keep up) a solid base of consistent running
I don’t worry about following a plan (yet), but for the next couple of months, I make a commitment to myself to make sure I run 4-5 miles three or four days a week. If you are new or returning to running, start with easy walks and/or runs. It’s no fun getting injured!
- Integrate cross-training and stretching
My go to is yoga. It has made all the difference in my flexibility, balance, and preventing aches and pains. Find what gives you joy to balance your running days.
- Stay active and engaged on social media
Tag Grandma’s Marathon on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Share your good run days, bad run days, milestones, etc. and be sure to let us all know how it’s going!
- Find lodging
I live in Duluth, so I do not have to worry about this one. However, I do know that hotels can fill up fast, especially in the Canal Park area (where the finish line is at). On the Grandma’s Marathon website, there is an extensive list of hotels and campgrounds. I can’t imagine sleeping on the ground in a tent the night before a race, but people do it and live to tell about it. One option that may get overlooked is staying at one of the college campuses — Minnesota Duluth (UMD) or the College of St. Scholastica (CSS).
- Decide on your goal
Write it down. Is this the year you’ll aim for a PR or Boston Qualifier? Or is this the year to run with your cousin and help them across the finish line? My goal is always to have fun and run with friends.
- Find your mantra!
During training, I do two things — consistently remind myself that “I can do this!” and also visualize the finish line – hearing the crowd cheering, the music blaring, waving to family, and crossing that finish line! All with a smile on my face.
- Buy shoes you love
Having the right running shoes to train can make all the difference in the world. You may need more than one pair before race day. Just don’t repeat my rookie mistake and think you can wear brand new shoes on June 18. For a wedding, new shoes are fine. For a race, use what you have broken in.
- Congratulate yourself for making this commitment!
It’s a great day to be running in Duluth on June 18, 2022!
What do you do to get ready? Let us know!
Patti is one of our Offical Grambassadors for the 2022 Grandma’s Marathon Weekend. Meet the rest of the ambassadors here.
Favorite Grandma’s Marathon Memory: Growing up, I was the slowest kid on the block. I would never have dreamed that someday I would call myself a runner. But in 1991, I decided to join my brother in signing up for the inaugural Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. My brother laid out a training plan for me (on pencil and paper). I followed it exactly as written, and we were both surprised when I ran a sub 2-hour half marathon. I knew then I was a runner, all thanks to Grandma’s!
Favorite Running (& Life) Quote: “You’re doing the best you can!”
Note: This is the encouragement folks in Ireland give to runners. I like it better than the standard “You’re looking good” since that isn’t usually true.
I Won’t Run Outside If: It’s 40 degrees and pouring rain.