What Harlem’s Alicia Keys Will Do On Marathon Sunday

October 26, 2015

imageOur friends at Refinery29 is ridiculously excited to present their very own TCS New York City Marathon blogger: the one and only Harlem girl Alicia Keys. As some of you may know, she’s a multiple Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, an actress (she’ll be a guest star on season 2 of Empire), a mom, an activist, and a proud Harlem, NY native. Follow along on Alicia’s journey to race day and get a taste of her training routine, her biggest challenges, and Keep A Child Alive, the amazing cause she’ll be running to support on Sunday, November 1.

So, it’s getting closer. A week away. The marathon is November 1! I’m flip-flopping between freaking out and feeling fabulous, and I’m pretty sure that’s normal.

I have to go to Europe for work, and I get back two days before race day. So I’m definitely upping the water intake — I don’t want be dehydrated on my big day. I’m also deciding on what I’m going to wear. I’ve been breaking in my Saucony shoes for a few weeks now. They feel good, and that’s the most important part. I have dry-fit socks, so my feet don’t get blisters. I’m figuring I’ll rock a hat and a ponytail. I want everything easy, so I can concentrate. I have this great cleanser called Profound Cleanser and a daily moisturizer called Heartfelt Emulsion, both by Dayle Breault, Goddess of Skin, that I’ll use to start my day and wake me up. I get cold really easily, so I’m thinking I’ll wear a hoodie for sure! And of course I have a fresh team jersey that reps Keep a Child Alive — lime-green and black, to keep me electric with each step.

I’m starting to focus on eating as cleanly as possible, to give my body the best. I always try to eat pretty clean, but there’s something about running that makes you feel like you can eat anything you want, since you’re burning so many calories — kind of like being pregnant! LOL. And that’s exactly the mentality I’m trying to break away from. I’ll probably eat oatmeal the morning of the race, because I want something that will sustain me but won’t be too heavy.

In preparing for the race, the hardest part for me is sleeping more. Some experts suggest that, while training, you should go to bed 30 minutes to one hour before your normal bedtime — especially for those last three pre-marathon days. I’m not very good at going to sleep early, and then when you add being in Europe with a six-hour time difference, it makes things really tricky. Not to mention the jet lag. But on Friday and Saturday, I’m going to bed with my son, Egypt, at like 7:30 p.m.

My last major preparation is affirmations: you know, claiming how I want it to go. Like, I’m going to complete the marathon and enjoy NYC in a whole new way, and, I can and I will! And, When I cross the finish line, my body is going to feel strong. I will repeat things like that to make sure I’m not letting any doubts creep in.

But, I’m ready. I’ve put my time in, and I’ll be with my friends and family, in my city, running for Keep A Child Alive. Because every child deserves a chance to live with nothing in their way.

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No better reason to keep me going!

Are you coming out to cheer?

Lots of love,


Editor’s Note: We’ll be posting weekly entries sharing her personal experience, fears, and inspiration through Monday, November 2 – the day after the marathon.

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