Friday, October 25, 2019

Falmouth Bound: Cape Cod Marathon

IllumiNITE Long Sleeve Reflective Women's Piper Tee in Flo Lime/Graphite
IllumiNITE Long Sleeve
Piper Tee in Flo Lime/Graphite

Comet Running Tight
As you're reading this, I am Falmouth bound, and...I am so excited to be running the Cape Cod Marathon THIS Sunday! This is my favorite race weekend of the year, by far! Why, you ask? Because it's truly a weekend-long event!

A Facebook memory popped up the other week, reminding me that just three years ago I had completed my first ever 20-mile run. I was following Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Marathon Training Program (I still do!), and 20 miles was the farthest distance I had to run before marathon day. I remember that day clearly. It was rainy and dreary out and my right foot hurt like hell (I had flexor tendinitis), but I was excited. I ran with my coach Laura, my best friend Loretta who got me into this running nonsense (Read my I HATE Running post), and another running friend who was also training for her first marathon. I told myself: If I can run 20 miles with an injury, I can run a marathon. And I did!

IllumiNITE Unisex Velocity Mitten
IllumiNITE Unisex Velocity Mitten
Disclaimer: I'm not recommending anyone run with an injury. Injuries are no joke and should be taken seriously. I consulted with my physical therapist first. She put me on a strict no-running until marathon day respite after my 20-mile run. She also said she couldn't medically clear me to run the marathon. BUT she never knew anyone who had permanent injury from flexor tendinitis, so she understood if I chose to run it anyway. She was a runner so she got it. But I digress.

IllumiNITE Long Sleeve  Reflective Women's Piper Tee
IllumiNITE Long Sleeve
Reflective Women's Piper Tee
This will be my fourth year returning to Cape Cod Marathon. The first year, I ran the relay. The second year, I ran my first marathon. The third year, I did the Chowdah Challenge, which was my favorite! Thanks to my sponsor IllumiNITE, I'm returning this year to run the new marathon course! I heard this new route is much flatter than the previous course that had 17 miles of rolling hills. Phew! This will be a great training run before my Athens Authentic Marathon in just two weeks, which I heard has hills! I also heard Cape Cod's new course includes more running along the ocean. I LOVE running by water, so this is an added bonus for me.

What do I pack for a New England marathon in October? 

IllumiNITE women's reflective Bling Vigor Singlet in Charcoal
IllumiNITE Bling
Vigor Singlet in Charcoal

& Shortie in Black
Good question! I truly bring enough clothes to start my own pop-up store because New England weather is so finicky, as I've mentioned before. So I bring: 
  • tank top
  • short sleeve shirt
  • long sleeve shirt
  • shorts 
  • capris

  • post-race outfit and Oofos sandals

  • skeleton knee-highs for the Halloween Spirit!


IllumiNITE Tahoe Performance
Softshell Fleece Jacket In Graphite

IllumiNITE Graphic Tees  Grim on Black and Power Stretch Capri
IllumiNITE Graphic Tees
Grim on Black
(post race)
and Power Stretch Capri
IllumiNITE Waterproof Reflective Women's Colorado Jacket in Mimosa Floral
IllumiNITE Waterproof Colorado
Jacket in Mimosa Floral

IllumiNITE Ambition Reflective Women's Hoodie in Coral Glo Black
IllumiNITEAmbition Hoodie
in Coral Glo/Black

& Unisex All Over Glow Glove
When running distance, it's truly better to be over prepared than freezing cold for miles and miles. I just received my latest IllumiNITE shipment that includes warmer clothes, so I will definitely add the following to my suitcase to be safe:


  • hooded pullover
  • rain jacket
  • heavy duty jacket (for when I'm not racing)
  • gloves 
  • head covering 


IllumiNITE Waterproof Colorado Men's Reflective Jacket  in Graphite/Flo Lime
IllumiNITE Waterproof Colorado Jacket
in Graphite/Flo Lime
I never truly know what I'm going to wear until the morning of the race! My decision is always based on a combination of the weather, my mood, and what feels most comfortable at that moment. We marathoners are as finicky as fall New England weather, and it's most important to avoid any clothing regrets—the mind gloms onto the zaniest things when running for hours on end.

I also pack my hydration pack so I can carry:

  • my 2-liter bladder
  • 2 handhelds for electrolyte drinks
  • my albuterol inhaler
  • a second pair of contacts (once, a contact popped out during a 50k! I got it back in, but whoa!)
IllumiNITE Reflective Halo Unisex Knit Hat
IllumiNITE Halo Unisex Knit Hat

  • rewetting eye drops
  • chapstick
  • salt tabs

  • ibuprofen
  • acetaminophen
  • naproxen

My hydration vest also allows me to stow away any layers if I get too hot!

IllumiNITE Hartford Reflective Men's Jacket in Red/Silver
IllumiNITE Hartford Men's Jacket
in Red/Silver
& Endeavor Long Running Short 
I also make sure to pack:

  • Flovent inhaler
  • wireless headphones and back up plug in headphones

  • bacitracin and bandaids

Why do I LOVE Cape Cod Marathon weekend:

2016 Cape Cod Marathon
The Expo is so fun! I always run into all my running friends here because we're all heading to pick up our bibs and our tee shirts. Cape Cod Marathon shirts are my fave race shirts ever! I wear them all the time! The Expo also has vendors galore! So if race jitters made you forget to pack something vital, don't worry! You can easily find what you need at the Expo!

I love exploring all the various running essentials and discovering new products to try. This year, I'll be hanging out at the IllumiNITE pop-up store, so come on by and say Hello! I'll show you my favorite products and chat about all things running—and whatever else you'd like to discuss!

Run Your Health Cape Cod Crew
The Running Community is strong! About 30-50 people from my very first running group, Run Your Health, come together this weekend to run. It feels like we're taking over Falmouth. Relay teams, half marathoners, full marathoners, and yes, even the Chowdah Challenge runners. Our families and friends cheer us on with the signs we make Friday night! And we eat pre-race and post-race meals together. I don't get to run with this group often anymore because I moved to another town, so I really cherish seeing so many RYHers in Falmouth! I've also made quite a few running friends while running Cape Cod Marathon, including @trainerhelice and @2018bostonmarathon4dad and @btrfli4u. We stay in touch via social media throughout the year to keep us motivated. It's great to maintain a strong online running community to stay inspired!

The Falmouth Community is so supportive! I've run many, many races, but the Falmouth community is by far the most supportive of race communities! Hundreds, maybe thousands, of residents line the streets on the course offering water, oranges, Halloween candy, and other refreshments to us runners. Many of them dress up in costumes, play music, dance, and cheer us all on! One guy even let us runners pose on his lawn with his elaborate Halloween display. Falmouth residents, I love you!



The Food is the best! I'll admit, when I first heard that clam chowder was served at the end of the marathon, my stomach felt a bit queasy. But come race finish, when you're stomach is rumbling and your sweat is running cold now that you've stopped moving, hot clam chowder is just what you need—followed up with those amazing apple cider donuts! Cape Cod Marathon has the best post-race food I've ever had in America! I must give a shoutout to all the Falmouth restaurants who gracefully handle feeding the thousands of people all weekend. Food has always been superb and service has always been provided with a smile!



IllumiNITE Long Sleeve
Piper Tee in Flo Lime/Graphite

Comet Running Tight

What distance will you be running this weekend and where? Leave a comment below!

And don't forget, if you'll be at Cape Cod Marathon, I'll be at IllumiNITE at the Expo on Saturday or somewhere along the marathon route on Sunday! Please find me and say HI!

IllumiNITE photos by Matt Francis Photography

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