The offer came in 2018: “How’d you like to run the New York City marathon?” Without thinking I blurted out “YES” and immediately began Googling training plans. This would be my first marathon…ever.
Now, something like 365 days later, I’ve completed said marathon just hours before writing this and am still reeling from what felt like the longest, hardest, most humbling day of my life. Prior to this, I’d run a handful of half-marathons. Some with training, some on a whim. Some steadily tracking my pace, some without my watch at all. I had assumed my cutoff was 13.1 miles—a distance I could run without really worrying about nutrition, hydration or the anatomical construction of my socks (more on that later).
Don’t get me wrong; I’m by no means immortal. It just wasn’t ever something I had to think twice about or strategically plan for. Twenty-six point two miles, on the other hand? This is where we get back to being humbled. My first 16-mile long run left me nauseous and shaky, crying alone on a curb in Central Park while my boyfriend hoofed it uptown to bring me a Gatorade. I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be like every other race I’d done before. If I was going to run 26.2 I had to get smart. Do my research, be more mindful and invest in the products that would help me get to the finish line.
So that’s what I did. Eighteen weeks of training and multiple energy chews later, these are the ten products I couldn’t have survived my first marathon without.