Margaret Moffett Banks and the most FAQs

Quite often, I find myself out in public. Like regular folks, I visit the Harris Teeter, the pharmacy, the Krispy Kreme, where I try to convince management to use only whole grains. And when I’m out, people constantly quiz me about my running regime. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “Margaret, how in the world can you possibly maintain such a grueling workout schedule and stay so youthful in your physical appearance?” Wish I had an answer.  It’s all in the genes. You either got ’em or you don’t.

Anyway, I thought those of you who have not had the benefit of meeting me in person would like to read answers to some FAQs. If your FAQ is not listed below, please contact the management at

Exactly how long is a half-marathon? 3.8 miles.

Who will you be wearing on race day? Several options have presented themselves … several designers coming forward with ideas. Right now we are leaning toward the gray tank from Target and whichever pair of running tights is clean. There might be some in the dryer right now, actually.

You’ve mentioned recently that you need to stop by the store and buy supplies for the race. What will you be purchasing? Thanks for asking. Bananas (extra unripe), a Kashi bar, peanut M&Ms and something that rhymes with ker-plodium.

Can you confirm the rumor going around that your husband unwittingly scheduled himself to go to a conference during your race? I prefer not to talk about my personal life. I wish him nothing but the best as he drives back from the beach late, late Friday night in anticipation of Saturday’s 8 a.m. starting gun.

Some people, especially those in your head, have said that taking walking breaks makes you “less of a runner.” How do you respond to those critics? Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. I couldn’t be less of a runner if I tried.

Will you next train for a full marathon: Well, training to run 7.6 miles is a totally different drawer full of beeswax from 3.8. I’m not sure how my body would adapt to such distances. But who knows. I’m not ruling anything out.


Posted on March 17, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. This is your funniest post yet!! I’m downstairs in hysterics and know as soon as I go upstairs, the husband will look at me like I’m nuts!!!!!

  2. I think you could do the full marathon next time around. It is best to express such confidence BEFORE your half marathon when everything seems so impossible.
    The full marathon is easy-peasy until you get to mile 6, often described as the wall (“teachers-leave those kids alone!”) I made it through the wall like an old superman episode but a bit later I think my pre-race regimine of Ben and Jerry’s kicked in and as some sort of joke the City Of Oaks folks had no “rescue stations” for miles (I guess mile 6.3 in Margaret-Miles). I was lucky to find some nice thorn bushes to hide in and review my race strategy. Here I received my only race related injury, scratches up and down my ankles that looked liked the Hare had opened a big ol’ can of whoop a– on this middle-aged Tortoise. So I not only finished my first marathon. I achieved wonderful humiliation and rewrote a children’s fable. Bite me Dean Karnazes-“Marathon Man”!

  3. hysterical, loved it. Please don’t stop blogging after Saturday. I think you are selling your self short regarding doing a marathon next- ULTRA trail run should be next on your check list

  4. Too funny, Margaret! I know you are going to do great. And those 3.8 wont feel a bit longer than that. Thinking of you every time I hear a commercial for the run!

  5. Chris: Pre-race regimen of Ben & Jerry’s … You are my hero. You know, some flavors don’t contain white flour!

  6. I am so excited for you!

  7. Too funny!! Here’s an idea – get your husband a little thank you gift for the support (if there’s been support) in your running. For my first race I went with the gift of the “My wife ran a marathon and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” gift. Feel free to copy. And good luck!!!

  8. as the running son of one of your neighbours i have been following your running exploits on your blog and enjoying your perspective quite a bit. i applaud your tenacity and perserverence in the face of your earlier illness and back pain. i also have run the loop around the school on occasion and enjoyed it. it’s a nice, simple and easy way to get some mileage in. i gotta ask, though- did you run it clockwise or counter-clockwise.

    i have to agree w/ MC who also commented on this post about a trail ultra. you mention you will be taking an early walk break in the half- well, i have seen ultra races where the majority of athletes START the race walking and then they slow down. there is the great trail system north west of town off of the parks you already run in that are ideal. and there is even an ultra race on them in oct. i would recommend. running on the trails is so much more fun than the roads it is a good cure for the running blahs.

    i wish you good luck and full frontal fun this saturday. i’ll be observing your race from the left coast. harpy tails, eric clifton

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