A First to Remember

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

So, 2011 is the year that I am going to run my first marathon. And from what I hear, your first marathon is more than just a race””it’s a story.

According to Runner’s World, to ensure that you have a good story to tell, you want to choose a race with certain features:

  • Excellent organization
  • Likely chance of good weather
  • Fan-friendly atmosphere
  • Plenty of fluid stations
  • Safe, well-marked, well-staffed course

Well, it seems like Mal and I (ok, Team In Training) picked a pretty awesome marathon to run! :mrgreen:

Runner’s World selected 10 marathons””out of the nearly 400 held in the US each year””that cover these essential needs of a first-time marathoner. The Rock ”˜N’ Roll Arizona Marathon is one of those special marathons! Check out what Runner’s World had to say about it:

“Do you think a marathon should also be a party?
Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon
Phoenix, January 16, 2011

Point-to-point, flat, urban, shuttle buses, kid’s run, music, pace teams

First marathons are about having fun””you can fret about time later. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series practically invented the 26.2-mile party. Today, there are nine RNR marathons, but we say go to Arizona. Here’s why: The half and full marathons have separate starts and different courses, reducing congestion. In addition to the 27 live-music stages that line the route, cheerleading squads add another layer of support for the nearly 8,000 marathoners (and 20,000 half-marathoners). The flat course hits Valley of the Sun hot spots, including the Camelback Corridor, where you run in the shadow of 2,700-foot Camelback Mountain, and the historic art district of Old Town Scottsdale. Arizona also gets high marks for organization, from the ease and quality of the expo to the efficiency of buses to the start. Celebrate afterward at the free concert.

I am so excited– and insanely nervous. I had the strangest dreams about the marathon last night. Bizarro. The anticipation is killing me! Let’s get this show on the road already!


This morning’s breakfast was one of my favorites: peanut butter and banana slices on a toasted English muffin. Can’t go wrong with it!

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It’s also my pre-race breakfast (Mal’s too), so we’ll need to find a grocery store when we get to Phoenix to make sure we have our go-to breakfast for Sunday morning.

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Also with breakfast: iced coffee!

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I finished packing late last night. Mal did too, but it took him about 15 minutes.

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Thanks to everyone’s helpful suggestions and reminders, I feel pretty confident about what I packed.

My marathon packing list:

  • Sneakers
  • Socks
  • Shorts
  • Running pants
  • Tank top
  • Sports bra X 2
  • “Throw away” long-sleeve shirt
  • Headband
  • Hair elastics
  • Garmin
  • Garmin charger
  • iPod
  • iPod charger
  • Headphones
  • Spibelt
  • Camera
  • Chapstick
  • Vanilla Bean Gu X 5
  • Body glide
  • Tiger Tail 
  • Race confirmation
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Safety pins
  • Travel itinerary

Now that I’m all packed up, I’m spending the rest of the day with this guy:

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For some reason, I’m having major separation anxiety about leaving him this time. Murphy usually stays with our good friend, so I’m not worried about his safety or happiness. She’s the best doggie sitter ever. I’m just going to miss him A LOT!

Question of the Day

How about a little brainstorming session this morning?

Mal and I are buying iron-on letters to put our names on our TNT shirts for the marathon. I plan to put my first name on the front, but I want to have something fun on the back too.

What should I put on my shirt?

P.S. I’m hosting a fun giveaway on Trading Up Downtown today! It involves Lululemon and Larabars! 😀



  1. The live bands sound so fun and cool!

    Tina, from what I hear runners are NOT supposed to run with
    headphones/ipods in marathons.Usually in the rules and it’s about safety (not just for you ,but for other runners too!)

    Have a wonderful time and enjoy the experience -can’t believe how many people areound the world now have run at least one marathon in their lives,and you two are soon to be part of that club of achievers!!

      1. Ah, lucky you 🙂

        Be sure to “unplug” when going by the live bands though huh?!

        This is prob the one marathon you don’t really need ipods if there are really 27 live bands!!!Amazing

  2. I’ve been reading a handful of marathon recaps and it’s making me excited for my half but also really making me want to run one! Thanks! Good luck! I hope it’s awesome.

  3. If you have the time, by some felt instead of iron-on letters (which may come off as you sweat). Get white felt for your backing and then a bright color for your letters. I made one for my first marathon over 6 years ago and have pinned it on to my shirt at almost every marathon I’ve run.

    As for the back, I’d say your url but no one will see it long enough to remember it.

  4. Reading all your comments reminds me why I love the running community! They are always so supportive and provide just the encouragement you need to stay excited about it! AZRNR is a great race (this is my 4 year): definitely well organized, AMAZING winter weather (a high of 73 and a low of 52!) and a very safe corse filled with fans, cheerleaders and bands.

    I agree with the other readers, it should be something that makes you feel excited and motivated when other people read it or say it to you. TNT training is about raising money and race day is about you. I think you should put “1st time marathon finisher” because you are going to finish strong. Or maybe “1st but not my last” if you plan to do it again. Mal should put “Murphy’s dad” since we all know they have a special relationship 😉

  5. you guys are going to do great!!! so excited for you! I think putting that this is your first marathon on the back is great. I think you will get a lot of support throughout the race from other runners. Another suggestion is my mantra. I use the mantra “love the moment”… it’s not about the past, or what’s coming, it’s about loving where you are at that exact moment. I have it written on my road-id bracelet. have a safe trip and a great run! looking forward to your upcoming posts!!!

  6. Good luck on your marathon!! You’ll do awesome! Just think of the the post-marathon high you will have when you cross the finish line. I always looking forward to feeling on top of the world the week after a big race.

  7. I am soooo excited for you!! The feeling at the end of a marathon is kind of indescribable. It’s like – did I really just do that? Yes I did!!! You are going to rock. Make sure you stock up on water and gatorade in your hotel room the night before!!

  8. I am super excited for you and mal’s marathon adventure! It’s going to be amazing!! 🙂 My advice is to get some puffy paint and write the names of the people you are running for. I was doing my team in training for a few special people and honored them by writing their names on the back. You can also add a little bling! Here is a visual of what I did.

  9. Ahhh – you must be so excited Tina! What an awesome thing to be able to cross of your bucket list in a couple of days :). You should put your blog on the back of your top! Nothing like a little shameless self promotion – I’d say you’ve earned it!!

  10. . . . i think on the back of your shirt you should write “yell go Mal” that way if you two dont stay together you’ll still get to hear the crowds cheering him on too 🙂

  11. Our names have been on the RNR PHX bibs in the past, so remember that. And many people here to cheer you on by the name on your bib in phx (from what I have noticed). Put something funny on the back, like “you run faster than snot”, I always am forced to smile and laugh when I read something funny on the course signs heeheeeee

  12. Your marathon is getting so close!! Good luck my dear! You two will do great!

    Some of my favorite shirts that I’ve seen: “Do these pants make my butt look fast?” or “Run like you stole something” hehe. Or you can put something sweet like “I miss my Murphy!” 🙂

  13. Chicago 10-10-10 was my first and I had my name on the front and ‘First 26.2!’ on the back. It was a conversation starter and definitely elicited encouragement when I needed most between miles 18-Finish.

  14. I can’t wait for the race recap. I have yet to run a full marathon but I really want to. I ran the Rock and Roll half in Va Beach last year. It was super fun and def a lively, entertaining course. Good luck to you and Mal. I know you guys will kill it!

  15. Reading about your marathon dream and then making it a reality has really inspired me! After I have our baby (in March) and my Husband gets back from his deployment we agreed that we’re going to start running/training together. He doesn’t really like running but knows its something I want to do so badly and wants to be supportive. The tips on picking a first marathon are awesome, I’m so taking them into consideration! Good luck!

  16. I ran this marathon last year. It is SO much fun! You and Mal will have an absolute blast in Phoenix. Be sure to spend lots of time at the expo-it’s a good one! I brought a garbage bag with me to the start for a little extra warmth. Phoenix can be shockingly chilly in the early am. GOOD LUCK!

  17. I cannot imagine running a marathon without my ipod. Glad the rules for yours don’t say you can’t use them!
    For the back of your shirt, I would go with something that has to do with your blog or some short, inspiring quote that you like…OR just put a picture of Murphy on it. 🙂

  18. Good luck T! You will do great! I’m also envious of your (and many other bloggers’) ability to eat peanut butter before a run. PB is easily my favorite food, but I can’t eat it within 5 hours or I get terrible cramps!

  19. phoenix is really warm even in january. the sun soaks into you and is super bright. i didn’t see sunglasses on your list. 26.2 miles-you’ll be glad you had some.

    1. Sometimes, at the start of the race, it’s pretty cold outside, so you wear a shirt that you can take off and leave on the side of the course once you warm up. Typically, the post-race crew picks them up and donates them to a charity.

  20. You and Mal are going to have such a great time!!!! And don’t worry, Murphy will be fine, though no doubt you’ll miss that cute pug face!!!

  21. Ooohh! The anticipation gets to be too much during those final days. I was nearly crawling out of my skin before my marathon. On race day, I wore a shirt that had “Becky” on the front and “First Marathon” on the back. So many fellow runners and spectators were extra nice because they knew it was my first time. During those final miles, it really helped to have experienced runners offering their moral support to the rookie. You are going to have such an amazing, memorable experience!

  22. I have been reading for a few months now, but I am just starting to comment now. I love your blog! It looks like you picked a great marathon – I would pick the same one! I am using you as my inspiration in my weight loss and goal this year to run a 5k! Good luck!

  23. “RUN LIKE THE WIND”…that’s what my husband yelled for everyrace I’ve ever done and now it’s our little joke. I have it inscribed on my ROAD ID tag.
    Have fun! Good luck!

  24. I can never sleep on the night before a race!! So I am hoping you have better luck with that. I can only imagine the wondrful feeling before a marathon! Maybe you should put something about Murphy on your shirt since he’s missing out on all the fun!!

  25. Reading that article made me want to run my first marathon so badly! Especially after training for one last week and then having to drop back 🙁 I want to run Portland or Disney I think 🙂

  26. Good luck! I think I would be having separation anxiety too. Maybe it’s because running a marathon is already an emotional deal, so leaving Murphy feels worse this time.

    I would totally put CNC on the back – no shame in a little promotion!

  27. Ok so when I was waiting at the start of the Chicago Marathon this year, I saw the best slogan(and I’ve run 3 marathons)! The back of the girl’s shirt said – “26.2 miles because 26.3 would be CRAZY!” I made me laugh at the moment and then I laughed about it a few times during the race just thinking back to it.

  28. You really did pick the best marathon to start off with!! I am so excited. I really can’t even wait for the recap. You have done everything possible to prepare yourself for this race so realize that you are a rockstar and enjoy every second of it. Great packing list….you nailed everything. Have an amazing time Tina and next time you need a dog-sitter let me know:)

  29. How about an inspirational note for the runners behind you? I’m not very creative but maybe something like “run hard, finish strong”.

  30. Tina, you guys are so prepared for this marathon! Have fun! I always love the crowds at big marathons, the outfits of other runners and the bands along the way. Oh and the post race food and booths are usually great at the rock n roll marathons.

    I love how guys can pack in 15 minutes (my boyfriend is that way too) for a long trip and yet it will take women like 2 hrs. I just hate knowing that I might be missing something I’ll want once I get there.

    You could put a slogan about pugs on the back?

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