This year I was determined to watch more Oscar nominated movies than ever before. But how to fit all these movies into an already packed schedule? One answer was to schedule an all-day in-theater movie marathon. A few Saturdays ago I left my house and spent nearly twelve hours down around the local theater seeing a handful of films that I hadn’t yet had a chance to see in anticipation of the Oscars. Some of you may already be marathoners, but for anyone new to the sport, I figured I’d offer some suggestions (based loosely on runners’ advice).

"Happy endings only happen in the movies." Georges Melies to Hugo Cabret
  1. Lay A Foundation: Digital Dudette on the Run suggests that, before anyone starts training for a marathon, they should have an established running base. As she says, “We don’t build our houses on grass… concrete, people, CONCRETE!” Well, it’s the same for anyone training to “run” a movie marathon. Kids, don’t try this at home. And then don’t leave the house until you’re sufficiently prepared. How to do that? Movies, people, MOVIES! And lots of ’em. Rent them from Netflix, Hulu, On Demand… Watch them on HBO, Showtime… even <sigh> cable if you have to. When you’re up to 2-3 movies per week, you’re ready to move on to tip #2…
  2. Get Support. WomenRunningTogether.com suggests that runners enlist support from family and friends because “it makes your journey easier.” I couldn’t have completed my marathon without the support of my awesome husband, who (despite his and our kids’ incredibly busy schedules) agreed that I ‘needed’ to run this race (ahem, sit on my butt for an entire day). I also e-mailed every local friend I have who might be interested in going with me. Most of them thought I was absolutely insane. (Hey, who can blame them? They have busy lives too). So tip #3 is…
  3. Be Ready to Go It Alone. Although I was lucky enough to have someone join me for my last two movies, I did watch the first one solo. Little did I know what a sign of commitment this was! Jessica at Pace of Me thinks it’s important for runners to run alone, especially when training for a big race. She says “You are pushing yourself to go farther, to run longer or faster, to get stronger than you are today.  This requires mental toughness as much as it does physical strength.  To be successful at it demands that you believe in yourself.  That you know without a doubt that YOU are the one responsible for putting one foot in front of the other.  For not giving up.” Yeah! What she said! And booyah to anyone else still waiting to buddy up just to see a movie!
  4. Dress accordingly: Sir Jog A Lot offers a lot of well meaning advice on good shoe selection. This is great for real runners, but for those of us who will be spending the day on our derrieres, shoes are less of an issue. I choose to wear lots of layers and pants that would allow me to consume the maximum amount of concession stand food while still feeling comfortable. Which brings us to tip #5…
  5. Eat Like a Champion: One of the Runner’s World writers tells runners, “To run your best, you need to eat differently than the rest of the population.” Well, movie marathoners, I couldn’t agree more. Did you know movie distributors make most of their money on concession stand sales? Who knew junk food purchases could feel so good? Buy an 85 oz. tub of popcorn and a 3.5 oz. box of Sour Patch Kids and you too can help support continued movie exhibitions at big screens across America!! (BTW, that’s no joke, I truly believe in that cause, although, of course, there are arguably better ones).
  6. Hydrate: Finish-First-Marathon.com offers lots of advice on fluid replacement, minimizing body weight loss, hourly sweat rates, and all kinds of other super-serious-sounding tips. They lost me at hyponatremia. But hey, that’s because for us movie marathoners, there are really only two drinks of choice: a 32 oz. SODA (for use during each event, see tip #5) and a 4 oz. glass of WINE (for use in between events or as necessary… for my friend and I this was after viewing GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO).
  7. Have fun! Zen Habits tells marathoners to stay relaxed for this life-changing event. He shares this experience from one of his past races: “At one point, running past the choppy ocean waters with the colorful early morning light surrounding us, I said loudly, ‘What a great time to be alive!'” Well, amen to that! I too had similar feelings during my transcendent movie experience. At one point, walking past the other people in the audience with the flickering lights of the projector in the background and the crinkly sounds of snacks being opened and consumed all around me, I too thought, ‘What a great time to be alive!’ 😀

So what about you? Have you seen any movies in anticipation of the Oscars (which, BTW, are Sunday, February 26th)? If not, there’s still time! If you have, which ones? Have any predictions you want to share? Don’t forget to cast your own Oscar ballot at PW’s first ever Academy Awards Contest: Click here and enjoy!!!