Hey guys, long time no see/talk, but I need advice and figured since there are some running couples on this blog that you could help me out. I also posted on LetsRun.com, but think most of the advice I get there won't be very useful...
I'm running the LA marathon next weekend with my girlfriend and need your help. It's her first marathon and we'll be shooting for 4hrs. As some background, I'm a 2:48 marathoner and have completed 4 in the past 2 years. I also ran middle distance in high school and college before getting into marathons. She has been running since high school on a more casual 5k/10k basis, completing a half marathon last year in 1:50. In other words, she is very new to this distance. I've done her 16-miler and 20-miler with her, so I have a glimpse into the emotional/physical pain she'll be in towards the end.
My plan for race day was to not register and jog alongside her. I'm doing a marathon of my own in late March, and really don't feel like paying for this one on top of that (Side note: I'm also flying from the east coast and am getting a hotel room because I'm not allowed to stay in her sorority house). I didn't think running with her would be a problem seeing as some big marathons like Boston don't care who is out on the course, but the LA marathon website states that unregistered runners will be escorted off the course.
So, I have three questions:
1.) Should I just pay the $100 and make sure I'm able to run the entire race with her? (I probably will end up doing this to make the start line and finish line logistics easier)
2.) What is a good walking break strategy - how would a first-time 4hr marathoners usually break up their walking? I've advised her to shoot for a minute of walking every 30 minutes, and one every 15 minutes past 20 miles. This is what she's practiced in her long runs.
3.) What can I do during the marathon to encourage her/take her mind off the pain? The past couple long runs when she started slowing down I think I've come across as slightly agitated and not supportive. On marathon day I want to be as helpful as possible.