1. Pick your shoes carefully.
Shoes can change your stride and form. The wrong shoe can cause blisters and more serious injuries.

2. Wear the right clothing. A good wicking fabric is much better than cotton.

3. Wear bright colors. Always assume drivers can't see you, and try to make yourself more visible.

4. Wear an ID bracelet. This identification gives the basics like your name and emergency contacts ... just in case.

5. Don't wear headphones. Headphones blaring music cause you to lose situational awareness with both vehicles and other runners.

6. Prepare early. Don't wait until the last minute to get ready for a race.

7. Pace yourself. If you start preparing for a marathon but do too much too soon, it can lead to stress fractures. Slowly build up your miles.

8. Acclimate to the conditions. Heat and humidity really pack a punch; so you need to get used to running in such conditions. Also, know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses.

9. Drink plenty of fluids. Staying properly hydrated is imperative. But be careful not to over-hydrate.

10. Keep a cell phone with you. Cell phones are a really great safety device for running, allowing you to dial for help or a ride if weather conditions change or anything else goes wrong.

11. Use the buddy system. Either run with a partner or let somebody know your route and how long you'll be gone.

12. Stay within your abilities. Don't push yourself too hard or get in the mindset that you have to finish the race at all costs. There will be other marathons, other days.

-- Lt. Col. Amanda Preble