Monthly Archives: September 2014

It’s Pumpkin Recipe Time!!

Fall is officially here, which means it’s time to for cooler temperatures, Halloween shenanigans, and of course pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING!!


As a major time saver for these recipes, I purchased organic pumpkin puree from Whole Foods. Kudos to those who want to roast and blend a real pumpkin! I’ve done it before many times with squash to make butternut squash soup, so I know it can be done. But every once in a while, containers like the one pictured below can really help! Also note that it’s in a carton and not a can. I try to avoid cans as much as possible because of BPA (Bisphenol A) concerns. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”

No worries if you can’t find this and have to use a can. In those cases, try to purchase organic and see if the can actually lists “BPA-Free” on the label.


Below you will see 5 different recipes including pumpkin as an ingredient! There is also a bonus recipe for homemade chili sauce – YUM!


1) Pumpkin Syrup Recipe (great for coffee or as a topping)

So, are you going to head to Starbucks for a pumpkin latte? I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to! What if I told you that you can AVOID the artificial, GMO, and sugar-laden ingredients  that Starbucks has to offer?!! I’ve got a recipe for you that you can make at home!! Not only will it be free of toxins and junk, it will also TASTE better!! 🙂



This was adapted from my Vitamix Recipe book. I modified or “healthified” as I like to say!


  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Puree, fresh or canned
  •  cup Coconut Nectar (or Coconut Palm Sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Allspice (ground)
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger (ground)


1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. 

2. Select Hot Soup program. 

3. Switch machine to Start and allow machine to complete programmed cycle.

***For those without a Vitamix or other equivalent blender use a saucepan on the stove!

Stove Top Directions: In a medium saucepan, add water and the coconut nectar (or sugar if using instead). Simmer on medium-low heat until the nectar (or sugar) dissolves, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and pumpkin puree. Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Remove from the heat and strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth or a clean tea towel. Allow the syrup to cool to room-temperature before stirring in the vanilla extract. Store in a mason jar or airtight container. The syrup will last for 1 month in the refrigerator.


Please note, this syrup also works on PANCAKES!! Check out the recipe for Pumpkin Pear Pecan Pancakes, on my friend Corine’s page, Zucchini Runner!

For very simple, Paleo pancakes, you can also check out a previous post of mine, “4 Ingredient Paleo Pancakes!,” where I’ve added pumpkin puree as a 5th ingredient and also used the pumpkin syrup as a topping!

IMG_5113 IMG_5114


2) Chili Sauce & Pumpkin Chili (2 recipes for the price of one! lol)

The Pumpkin Chili recipe calls for chili sauce. Instead of purchasing store-bought, I went ahead and figured out how to make my own using the same method as my homemade ketchup. I tweaked the ingredients to made sure it would come out like chili sauce!

Chili Sauce:



  • 1 container Strained Tomatoes
  • 1 Onion, peeled, quartered, root end left intact
  • ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cup Coconut Palm or Brown Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 3 tablespoons Himalayan or Real Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper, (or to taste)


1. Place the tomato sauce, onion, vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, salt, and spices in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce head to simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.

I love recipes that just simmer in a pot!


After the chili sauce is made, you are ready to make the Pumpkin Chili! As a time saver, consider making the chili sauce ahead of time. And don’t forget you can always freeze small amounts for future use! I went ahead and saved the onion from the chili sauce! Please note: this is chili has a KICK! Feel free to modify the amount of chili sauce you add and/or chili powder!

Chili sauce

Pumpkin Chili Recipe:



  • 1.5 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 containers of 16oz pumpkin puree
  • 1 (26.46) container diced tomatoes (I like Pomi)
  • 1 container pinto or kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (6 oz) bottle of chili sauce (*see chili sauce recipe)
  • 1 cup broth
  • 2 Tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons coconut palm or brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped


1. In a skillet, brown the turkey (instead of using oil, I like to use broth).
2. In a separate large pot, add in all the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat.
4. After the turkey is browned, add to the large pot. Let all of the ingredients simmer for at least 30 minutes.

I used ground turkey, but feel free to substitute with bison or ground beef!


Check it out – I reused the onion that sat in the chili sauce! Not gonna lie, it was a bit messy to dice LOL!image




3) Pumpkin Shakeology Shake

Not all things pumpkin have to be warm!! For a cool refreshing smoothie, check out my Pumpkin Shakeology Shake! Please note the amounts listed are for my 20 oz Magic Bullet cup. If you are using a bigger or smaller cup, please adjust accordingly!



  • 1 scoop Vanilla or Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ cups Water/Almond milk combo
  • 10 walnuts (can sub pecans)
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Puree (or more to taste)
  • ½ Frozen Banana


Please note: These are the measurements for a 20 oz magic bullet cup.
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend!

4) Pumpkin Bars (Refined-sugar-free, gluten-free)

I have to credit @mianutrition on Instagram for this recipe! These are a perfect treat for those watching their sugar!




  • 1 container Pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Coconut Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs


1. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then together.
2. Spread evenly in a greased 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.

To grease my pan, I like to used coconut oil!


I put my wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.IMG_4830

Then I mix everything together and spread the mixture on my greased cookie sheet.IMG_4833

Next, I used my bash and chop to make squares.IMG_4838
If you want to jazz them up, drizzle a little bit of the homemade pumpkin syrup on them!
5) Pumpkin Truffles (Refined-sugar-free, gluten-free)
My friend Susie put a picture of these on Facebook and my mouth started watering right away! I asked for the recipe IMMEDIATELY and she sent me the link to My Whole Food Life.
  • For the pumpkin:
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (or 1 can pumpkin)
  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    • For the chocolate coating:
    • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
    • ¼ cup almond milk


1. In the food processor, combine all the ingredients for the pumpkin cream. Blend until smooth.
2. Stick the food processor bowl in the fridge to firm up a little. About 10 minutes.
3. Using a cookie scoop, drop mixture onto a lined baking sheet.
4. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to firm while you make the chocolate mixture.
5. To make the chocolate use a double boiler method. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
6. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot with the water. Add the chocolate chips and almond milk to the glass bowl and gently melt the chocolate.
7. Once all the chocolate is melted, use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over each truffle.
8. Place in the fridge to firm up the chocolate.
9. Please keep these truffles in the fridge. They should last a couple weeks.
10. You can freeze them for longer storage. Enjoy!
 I put the ingredients for the pumpkin filling in my food processor!IMG_5007I let them sit in the fridge for 10 minutes!
Then I used an ice cream scooper to make the truffles!
I then put the truffles in the freezer to harden while I made the chocolate! My first time by the way – not to shabby!
Next, I used a scoop to “drizzle” the chocolate on. I say “drizzle” but it was actually still quite thick so I used the spoon and my fingers to get the chocolate coating on!
After sitting in the fridge for a while, they were READY!!
OMG, these were GOOD!!
Pumpkin Truffles collage
Wow I am so excited for Fall! How about you?!
Which of these recipes are you gonna make? Let me know in the comments!!

Did you know that GirlsRunFast and that I RunEatTweet?

Did you know that GirlsRunFast and that I RunEatTweet? Haha, what does that mean exactly?!

Girls Run Fast - Ambassador-logo


Well, some of you may or may not know that I am an Ambassador for a local, family-owned business here in Phoenix called Girls Run Fast. I had the pleasure of meeting them at a local 5k race back in March. When I saw that they found a way to combine running + jewelry, I was in heaven!!

Owner of Girls Run Fast

Their website describes them and their products best:

“We want you to look and feel your best while running, doing yoga, dancing, swimming, or gymnastics … and anywhere else for that matter! If you are looking for handcrafted sterling silver necklaces or other sports jewelry, we have it. Our sports jewelry has lasted through marathons, half marathons, 5k’s, 10k’s, sprints, surfing, yoga, recitals, meets and daily wear and tear. We’re not just about running!”

I have to say, I get so much use out of my beautiful Girls Run Fast products!

Whether I am running,

Fitbit and Girls Run Fast

doing my PiYo workouts,

Piyo Girls Run Fast

on the lake doing my Yoga/SUP,


Girls Run Fast - Yoga:sup charms in mail

Girls Run Fast Yoga:SUP

or even when I’m enjoying a night out!

Girls Run Fast jewelry

Top Golf

I even decorated my car with their 13.1 stickers!

Girls Run Fast - car sticker

And let’s not forget how handy the wine charms are!

Girls Run Fast wine charms

One exciting thing that I want to tell you about, is that they are currently having a giveaway contest so that you can win a Hydration Pack!! There are 3 easy steps that you can do to enter!


1) Like Girls Run Fast on Facebook (share and like the post)

2) Follow @GirlsRunFast on Twitter (#retweet & #fav)

3) Follow @girlsrunfast on Instagram (like the post)

Two winners will be chosen on 09/25/2014!  You can increase your chances of winning the more you like, share, retweet, and favorite! Good luck to those who enter! Also, if you’re on their website and see some goodies that you would like to purchase, you can use RUN14 for 15% off!

So I told you that Girls Run Fast, so what does that have to do with running, eating, and tweeting? #RunEatTweetAZ is a local runner/blogger group that I am involved with! I had the pleasure of meeting them this summer and recently I was made a CRO (Chief Running Officer)! We like to say that we are runners with a social media problem lol!

Speaking of social media, you can keep track of all our events by following our pages:

Here’s the group hiking Camelback mountain back in July!

#RunEatTweetAZ Group Photo Camelback 7.20.14

We meet at least once a month and we host free events all around the Phoenix valley! This past Saturday we went for a trail run at Papago Park!

RunEatTweetAZ Papago Park pic collage

RunEatTweetAZ Papago Park group collage

So that brings me to our next event coming up on September 21, 2014!! Check out the Facebook invite for “PiYo in the Park!” We’ll be starting with an early run at 6:30am, consisting of 2 to 3 quick loops around Mountain Vista Park. Just so you know, all walkers are welcome too!! Walk 1 or 2 loops alongside the runners!

If you don’t want to get up that early or just don’t want to run, then you can show up at 7:15am. Starting at 7:15am, fellow Beachbody/PiYo coach, Corine (Zucchini Runner), and I will be leading the group through some great PiYo moves to show you what this awesome exercise program is all about! (BE SURE TO BRING A YOGA MAT OR BEACH TOWL FOR THIS)

Here’s preview of some of the PiYo moves!

PiYo in the Park preview

After that we’ll be playing a game involving burpees, push-ups, etc. There’s a lot going on for this event so come to all or come to whatever works for you!

In addition to the very active and fun-filled morning, the founders of Girls Run Fast will be bringing some awesome giveaways!! Wow!! What’s not to like?! Free run, free PiYo, free burpees, and free giveaways lol!!! Oh and I almost forgot – there will be free food too!!

I hope you can join me and the #RunEatTweetAZ group on Sunday, September 21st and don’t forget to enter the Girls Run Fast Hydration Pack giveaway!!

Ultra Runner Scott Jurek Talks Nutrition & His Plant-Based Diet

In a previous post titled “Selfies with Scott Jurek & Matt Frazier at The Seed!,” I talked about what it was like to attend The Seed Experience in New York City on August 9, 2014. Thanks to Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete, I found out about this amazing and educational plant-based expo! There were not only many vendors sampling vegan foods and items, but also well known vegan advocates doing presentations! Once I saw that ultra marathoner Scott Jurek was on the schedule – I knew I HAD to go!!

In this post, I wanted to break down Scott’s presentation in which he shared anecdotal stories, the benefits of a plant-based diet, what his diet consists of, and race nutrition.

First we’ll start with the selfie that I took with his book, Eat & Run, as I eagerly awaited the presentation. 🙂

The Seed: Selfie at Scott pres

Scott started the presentation by talking about races he had participated in, such as the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run and the Badwater Ultra marathon. The Western States 100 is the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile trail race. It starts in Squaw Valley, California and ends 100.2 miles later in Auburn, California. Runners climb more than 18,000 feet and descend nearly 23,000 feet before they reach the finish line at Placer High School in Auburn. In 2004, he not only set a course record of 15:36:27, but he finished the course in the daytime which was a huge goal for him!


By the way, the temperature during this race can reach 105 degrees!  The picture below shows Scott at mile 78 – the best spot on the course! Photo courtesy of Scott’s website.


Scott also brought up the mostly plant-based diet of the Tarahumara Indians and how we could all benefit from fueling our bodies this way. For those not familiar, Scott was featured in Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, or better known as Born to Run, a 2009 best-selling book written by Christopher McDougall. Scott was one of the elite runners who was recruited by Micah True, aka Caballo Blanco, (White Horse) to run with the Tarahumara Indians in the Mexican Copper Canyons. Photo courtesy of Scott’s website.


Pictured below you can see Micah True (left) and Scott (right). (Photo courtesy of Runner’s World). In the article, “The Deer Remembers the White Horse,”  published on Runner’s World website, Scott reflects on his friendship with Micah who has since passed.


For more information about Born to Run and Micah True, check out this link about a movie that will be coming out called Run Free – The True Story of Caballo Blanco.

Scott then transitioned into the topic of how food can be good fuel.


Scott realized that fueling his body properly would help avoid injuries and prevent disease. He mentioned two books that help inspired him to improve his diet – Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman and Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD.

Scott used the analogy of putting fuel into a race car and how that applies to the fuel that we put into our own bodies. Sure, you can put whatever kind of fuel in a race car and it will go around the track a few times, but will it be better for the engine long term?  Just like the race car, we know that we can survive and even run for a while with unhealthy food, even unhealthy vegan food (think Mountain Dew and Twinkies), but how will it affect our health long term? This is where Scott wants to encourage us to put the best, highest octane fuel into our bodies (and this applies to all forms of food, not just plant-based).

Scott describes the benefits he’s seen from adopting a plant-based diet:

  • As an athlete, he realizes that he needs to take responsibility for his own health. We can’t just rely on doctors and technology alone.
  • Longevity is key for his health and his athletic performance. He’s hoping to prevent diseases like diabetes and he’s not looking for quick fixes that will make him perform better. In the long term, how is our diet affecting our heart health and cholesterol, and preventing diseases such as diabetes?
  • There is a great deal of satisfaction when you know what kind of foods you are putting into your body and being in control. It also serves as a performance edge when you are standing on that starting line knowing that everyone has trained similarly but knowing that YOU have an edge when it comes to how you fueled your body along the way.

Scott then made a joke, he said “Do we have any Paleo folks in the audience by the way? Did they let them in?” LOL. One thing that I really appreciated about that, is that he made a point of acknowledging that many types of diets bring their own benefits and that people of all diets should really get along! The ones that tend to be successful, however, are the ones that include a high amount of plant-based foods (i.e. fruit, veggies, whole grains, and legumes).

Next, he talked about how he used natural remedies to help heal an injury before a race including turmeric, bromelain, garlic, ginger, Vitamin C, ice, and compression. Our bodies go through cycles of inflammation and even though drugs can help diminish the pain, they can prolong that cycle. Plants have a lot of power and healing attributes in them and it’s important to see plants as medicine.


Scott gave tips for adopting a plant-based diet:

  • Integration: Instead of thinking about the foods he can’t eat, he thinks about what he can incorporate and use to replace old, unhealthy foods.
  • Quantity: If you are an athlete on a vegan diet and you don’t feel that you have enough energy, then you are probably not getting enough calories.
  • Quality: Once you have figured out if you are eating enough, then you can focus on quality and all of the nutritious foods to eat on a plant-based diet like quinoa and goji berries.

Next, Scott went into the “Scott Jurek Secrets” otherwise known as his own plant-based diet!


What does Scott’s plant-based diet look like:

  • 80-90% Whole Foods
  • 90% Organic. It’s important to purchase organic fruits and vegetables to avoid pesticides. Follow the guidelines of the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen fruits and vegetables from the EWG (Environmental Working Group).
  • Local Farmer’s Market, garden, homemade meals


  • 50-60% Carbohydrates (fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, sprouted whole grain breads, whole grain pasta)


  • 20-30% Fat (Omega 3 & 6, olives, olive oil,  avocados, almond butter, coconut oil & meat, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, sesame oil)


  • 15-20% Protein (tempeh, tofu, beans, edamame, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and protein powders such as pea, brown rice, and hemp)


  • Scott emphasizes getting your nutrient needs from food first, however, B12, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, and Iron are examples of micronutrients that those on a plant-based diet may be deficient in. Monitor these levels and decide whether you need to supplement.


  • Super Greens to incorporate into your diet include: barley, wheatgrass, chlorella, spirulina, seaweed and sprouts.


Scott also went into Training and Racing Nutrition:

  • Sodium = 200-400 mg per hour (this can vary depending on your individual weight)


  • Carbohydrate formulas:
    • Body weight in kg x 0.7 = grams of carbs to consume per hour (min)
    • Body weight in kg x 1.0 = grams of carbs to consume per hour (max)

When you are engaging in exercise that lasts longer than 90 minutes or 2 hours, you will need to replace glucose (carbohydrate) because you will burn through your glycogen storage at that point. Focusing on carbohydrates during training is important because that’s how the body will keep your endurance levels up.


Next, Scott got up close and personal with the audience during the Q & A!


Here are some Q & A highlights:

  • Food during training: As an ultra runner, running long distances day in and day out, it’s important to consume actual real food including bananas, potatoes, and bean and rice burritos. **(Side note: for more healthy and easy to make recipes to fuel your runs, please see my friend Zucchini Runner‘s guest post on MichRun4‘s site which talks about all Clean Running Fuel.)
  • Raw plant-based foods vs. cooked: Scott personally consumes about 30-40% raw foods (especially desserts!). He says being a professional athlete on a raw diet can be done, but suggested that you do what’s best for you and that more importantly, you make sure that you are getting enough calories to keep your energy levels up.
  • Post-exercise recovery: For workouts longer than 90 minutes, use this formula:
    • Body weight in kg x 1.5 = grams of carbs
    • Body weight in kg x 0.2 = grams of proteins

He talked about how important it is to consume carbs during a workout, and emphasized how important protein’s role is after a workout. Protein will help build the glycogen stores back into the muscles. There is also a time window of 20-30 minutes post-exercise that you should be following these formulas. Also take note that these formulas are based on weight. A 120 pound female will not be consuming the same as a 195 pound male for instance.


After the presentation I got in line to get my book signed!

IMG_3547The Seed: Eat & Run book

We even took a selfie!


All in all, meeting Scott was truly a bucket list moment! It was fascinating to not only meet him in person, but to actually hear about nutrition from his point of view and his experiences as an ultra marathoner! In the end, runners of ALL DISTANCES can apply his nutritional principles! It doesn’t matter whether you run ultras, marathons, or 5k races – EVERYONE can benefit from consuming whole, real, organic sources of fuel before, after, and during a run!

So how do you think YOU’LL be fueling your next run?! I know that I’ll be making some changes myself!

Also, if you’d like to hear videos that I took during Scott’s presentation, please visit my Facebook page, Cook and Run with Kristin.


Picking Your First Marathon – Guest Post by The Silent Assassin

Wassup gangeez! It’s The Silent Assassin here, member of #RunEatTweet. I’m taking over Cook And Run With Kristin today, talking about how to pick your first marathon. I met Kristin on one of our monthly group outings that #RunEatTweet puts on. It’s a cool group of bloggers who run and eat…or maybe its runners who eat and blog?! At any rate, there’s always some running, eating, and tweeting going on. I was surprised to find out when doing this blog swap that Kristin has yet to run a full marathon. So, today, I’m going to give her and you some tips and advice on how to pick your first full.

So, now that you’ve conquered the 5k, the 10k, the 15k, and the half marathon, now what?!  That’s basically the train of thought for runners accomplishing running goals starting small and gradually moving up in distance.  The most logical answer would be, a MARATHON!  Cool!  But where do I even begin?!

Well, even before mapping out a marathon training plan, the very first thing you have to decide is, ‘Which race should be my first Marathon race?!”.  Decisions, decisions, decisions…


There are thousands of marathons around the globe.  And there are all types of races that are of marathon distance.  Do you like road or trail?  Do you like to run in hot or cold weather?  Are you wanting to travel or stay close to home?  Do you want a flat or hilly course?  So many questions right?!  Are you getting knots in your stomach yet?  Well, don’t fret.  I’ve got some tips and advice on how to make your first Marathon as memorable as can be.  Well, let’s put it this way.  I’ll help you decide what will be your first marathon.  You make the memories.  Ready?  Set?  Let’s go!


Time of day for the race

What kind of weather conditions are you more comfortable running in?  Take the race aspect out of it for now.  We are talking strictly about training.   You should know, that based on your mileage, you should be thinking about 3 months out from your first marathon.  So 3 months out until the marathon, what will the weather be like?  Be honest with yourself and use your training to help decide the marathon.  Do you like to run in the cold, warm, or hot weather?  Do you perform better in the early am or maybe later at night…like when RnR Las Vegas starts?



Local or Travel

Along with race time, you need to decide if your first marathon will be local or if there will be traveling involved.  Traveling could cause added stress to your first marathon experience.  Not only that, you can almost guarantee extra costs for flights, rental car, gas, hotel, food, etc.  Plan carefully.  The lure of going to destinations for your first marathon could be costly.  Also, don’t forget that the destination may have different weather conditions and climates than what you are used to during training.  Traveling may also mean different environments, food and culture.  It might be hard to duplicate that part of your training.  But with all of that, you also get the benefits of visiting a place you probably wouldn’t visit if not for a race.  You’ll have to keep all of that in mind.

If you don’t want to deal with all of that (possible) added stress, you could choose to stay local.  Staying local means little to no traveling plans.  It means knowing the climate and changes in weather.  It also means sleeping in your own bed, showering in your own shower, and having the home crowd cheer you on across the finish line.  There’s nothing better than seeing familiar faces and family cheering you on at the end of 26.2 miles.


Size of the race

For your first marathon, do you want it to be a giant party?  Or do you want it to be intimate?  Some runners like all the big city races with the big entries and the big crowds.  The crowds, the music, the on course entertainment can all be big motivators.  Seeing crowds cheering you on or having bands on the course playing music when you have dead legs or thoughts of quitting can be quite the thing you need to push through.  If that’s not for you, then maybe you want the small intimate crowds and venues.  Maybe you don’t wanna feel like your engulfed by a sea of runners.  Maybe you don’t want to feel like a rabbit when the gun goes off trying to jockey for position.  And maybe you don’t like to wait 30 mins after the gun sounds to just cross the start line.  If that’s the case, maybe your first marathon should be a low-key marathon.  Low key and smaller crowds may mean getting into a rhythm faster and getting into your comfort zone quicker.  Maybe the thought of running alone keeps you at peace and focused.  There are pro’s and con’s for both.  Pick the size based on what you think you’ll feel most confident with.  Does this freak you out?!


And finally the Course

There’s a whole slew of course types to choose from.  There are loops, point to point, out and backs, trails, road, hard, easy, hilly, all downhill…again with the choices.  For me, the course selection is all about the scenery.  Ok, yes, it does matter to me if there are hills, but training should take care of that once you make the decision on the marathon of choice.  But for me, I’d rather look at beaches and nature than sky scrapers and city buildings.  And BQ’ing (Boston qualifying) should not be the goal for your first marathon IMHO.  So picking courses that are all downhill may not be the best choice.  Remember, you will want to design your training around the marathon you pick.  So picking Big Cottonwood because it’s all downhill also will mean finding the right training ground to mimic the drop in elevation.  Look at the profile for Big Cottonwood.  You’ll have to treat your quads to a special massage after this run.



So, using all of this information…my first pick for my first marathon was The Phoenix Marathon ’14.  The time of day, the size, the destination, and the course profile outweighed the beach scenery.  It made perfect sense for it to be my first marathon.  The race is usually ran during the end of February and beginning of March.  So, the weather and climate was perfect.  Its a local race to me.  So the stress of traveling and added expense was not a factor.  Plus, I got to sleep in my own bed to start off with and then have my family and friends cheer me on, to end with.  The size of the event is relatively small compared to a lot of the major big name marathons.  The profile is also all downhill.  I wasn’t trying to BQ even though it is a Boston Qualifier.  But after picking the race, I was able to train on the actual course. Win!  It’s not the best scenery, but being able to run in a location that I was familiar with was a big plus.


So, there you go.  Hopefully these tips will help you choose your first marathon.  The main takeaway for me was that I needed to have less stress and be able to enjoy the race.  You only get one ‘first marathon’.  You only get one chance to cross the finish line of your ‘first marathon’.  Trust the training you did, smile, and just have fun.


Stay Blessed Stay Fierce

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