Rebecca Wade: Marathon Debut and WIN!
Rebecca “Becky” Wade grew up with a father who was a football player-turned runner. She, along with her 3 siblings, grew up periodically accompanying her father on jogs. She then sprinted and hurdled from 5th grade through junior year of high school before making a big move up in distance to her eventual marathon debut at the California International Marathon this year. She is currently living and training in Houston.
Until this past Sunday, the furthest you had ever raced was a 10k. What went into the decision to jump to the marathon?
The marathon has been a dream of mine for a long time. I thrive on high volume and long, sustained efforts, but never had the opportunity to focus seriously on anything beyond 10k in college. After I returned from a year of traveling, my coach and I discussed the possibility of a winter marathon and decided to go for it if the workouts went well and my body held up.
Why did you choose CIM as your debut marathon?
My coach heard great things about the course, weather, and organization, and the timing worked out nicely. I was able to get in 3 solid 4-week cycles and will have plenty of time to recover and get back into heavy training before the track season.
With a race well over 2 hours long, mental preparation tends to be of great importance. Walk us through your mental approach to racing before and during the actual marathon.
A lot of my visualization occurs on the run, as I imagine myself in a race, running cool and confident. I practice positive self-talk during tough workouts and also have a few favorite words and phrases that I write on index cards before big meets and flip through whenever I’m feeling nervous or antsy.
What about your preparation, if anything, do you think you will change in future marathons?
Along with my workouts increasing in intensity, my coach and I have lots of ideas that were too risky to mess with my first time out. In terms of strategy, next race I will focus on keeping a good rhythm in the miles 13-20, which is kind of a dead period and where I fell asleep a little bit in my recent race. I’ll also practice spotting and grabbing my bottles- I only got 3 out of 7 this time, so have some room for improvement there.
Where are you turning your sights next?
Everything depends on how I recover from this race, but so far, so good! I might run the USA Half Marathon Championship here in Houston in January, but definitely have my eyes set on the track season (10k, steeplechase, 5k, and hopefully a few 1500s!) and more road races. I’d love to balance a marathon and a track season a year, with plenty of road races in the mix too.
Written bu Alia Gray