Marathon Running
Lessons Learned
By Lisa Ohlson
Oct 4, 2009 - 9:06:44 AM

MALIBU—I knew that eating a pound of cheese before going on a run was probably not a smart idea, but it was brie and brie is my favorite.  I just couldn’t help myself.  Half a package down and the sun was starting to set.  It’s now or never, so I tied up my shoes and raced out the door.  About 10 minutes into my run, my stomach felt heavy and ultra queasy.  I’m ashamed to say I’ve learned this lesson a handful of times now.  Do not stuff your face before going for a run!  That should be an easy thing to avoid, but apparently not when there is delicious cheese in the house.


On my way to Duluth, Minn. I stopped at the local running store to buy a new pair of shoes.  It was the day before Grandma’s Marathon.  I had been running in the same shoes for about a year.  They had been with me through a lot of muddy ground, two marathons plus all the training.  I weighed my options: run another marathon in the same shoes that were falling apart or commit a marathon sin by breaking in a pair of shoes the day of the Marathon.  I made the purchase.  


About 26.2 miles later, the back half of my left shoe was soaked with blood.  The shoe is stained forever to remind me of my mistake.  According to Runner's World, the rule of thumb is to run 300 to 500 miles before replacing your shoes.  How quickly the shoe wears, depends on your running style.  Bring your old shoes to the Malibu International Marathon Expo and we will donate them to the Nike Recycling Center.


Lake Tahoe Marathon & Half is one of the most beautiful and challenging marathons in California.  I stuck to the half marathon last year because of the daunting hills.  The morning of the race, I woke up and was in a full sprint, but not to the race start.   Hanging my head over the toilet, I realized the elevation may have affected me.  Dehydrated and dizzy I showed up at the Start Line because I couldn’t miss this race and the fantastic scenery promised.  I ended up walking the entire course and learned my lesson every slow step of the way.  I can always see the sights through the car window the next day.


MIM colleague, David Mac Vittie, takes the cake for lessons learned.  He could write a novel on this subject.  Leaving it to the last minute to register for a marathon is always risky.  The Big Sur Marathon sold out last year and the only option was to run the 21-mile race, which is meant for walkers.  Going back to the hotel, he was slightly disappointed but made the best of it and started preparing his racing gear for the next day.  At least his competition wasn’t going to be tough!  When he opened up his suitcase, he realized he forgot one thing: his shoes. The running stores in the area were already closed but he was determined to find something to wear.  I ended up calling a third cousin that I hadn’t spoken to in 10 years to see if he happened to have a pair of 11.5 size running shoes.  His father had recently passed away and he just so happened to be a size 11.5.  His father’s name was also David.  Was this a coincidence?  Or was his father a crazy runner who needed to run one more race before his shoes were officially retired?  Whatever it was, David and his 30-year-old running shoes were a sorry sight at the finish line.  The shoes officially had taken their last step.


Don’t forget your shoes when you come to run the Malibu International Marathon or Half and don’t eat brie for breakfast.  If you have any amusing ”ňúlessons learned’ please share with us at 

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