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Lessons Learned in Chicago

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By Ambassador Lindsay McClelland

On October 12th, I ran my 8th marathon, The Bank of America Chicago Marathon. While I didn’t PR (personal record), I did learn some important lessons that I’m confident will make the Chevron Houston Marathon a successful race! Chicago, like Houston has great crowd support and it’s always fun to run in a big city. So here’s what I learned:

  • Pack light (or bring a roller bag): I went straight from work to the airport and had way too much baggage. Between my carry on duffel and computer bag I was weighed down which left my shoulders feeling sore!
  • Trust your race plan and stick to it: By the time I arrived in my corral on race day, I was so giddy and excited that I let my race plan go out the window! I made a last minute decision to run with a pace group (with a totally different plan). In the end, abandoning my plan caught up with me and led to a painful race!
  • Train with nutrition and actually use it during the race: Goo, I hate it. So my solution was to abandon it completely during training. Bad idea. By not training with goo, I had a hard time stomaching the stuff on race day and definitely didn’t take in enough calories.
  • Don’t forget to look around: The best part about running a race is the crowds, scenery and the other runners. At a certain point during Chicago, I stopped looking around and it wasn’t as fun! Around mile 19, I lifted my head and got back to appreciating everything around me.
  • Make firm plans to meet friends: I knew at least five other runners in the race, but we never made firm plans to meet up afterwards. By the end of the race, l was pretty exhausted so making plans while hobbling around was tougher than expected.

With a few weeks of recovery under my belt, I’m hitting the streets again back in Houston. Cooler weather is making for some great runs and I’m looking forward to putting these lessons to the test in a couple months. What have you learned from previous races? Send me a tweet to @Lindsaylm and let me know!

About the Author: Lindsay McClelland
Lindsay is a 26-year-old PR & social media professional at MMI Agency in downtown Houston. About a year ago, she moved to Houston from Honolulu, HI to be closer to her fiance. While she does miss living in paradise, she’s fallen in love with her new city and it’s countless opportunities. She loves everything active, outdoorsy and fitness related. Her hobbies include running, crossfit, hiking, yoga, reading, dining out, writing, and traveling. She is a former collegiate swimmer and still loves to coach!  Lindsay has run seven marathons and more half marathons than she can count…she’s even dabbled in a few triathlons. Here in Houston, she trains with Kenyan Way. She comes from a very active family. Her father is also a runner and the Houston Half Marathon was his first half marathon ever, she had a blast sharing the experience with him last year. Her mom is a former professional ice dancer and is obsessed with tennis.
Twitter – @Lindsaylm
Instagram – @lindsaylm

One Comment

  1. May November 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Very helpful hints! So proud of your performance Lindsay – I can sense that a PR is coming in January! See you around!

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