Monday, April 19, 2010

Marathon Pre-Race Prep

t- minus 5 days and the pre-race jitters are beginning. today, I went on a 1 mile run just to see how my foot would respond. I spent the whole run being terrified that my next step would result in pain, and this made it a very un-relaxing experience. My body responded with the physical equivalent of "WTF" - i was short of breath and my legs felt pretty heavy. But, my foot didn't hurt- though I am not sure if that is saying much after only 1 mile.

t-minus 4 days:today i went to spin class. nothing too intense. nothing too special. just a normal spin class. ate dinner with dad and other family. made dad start to read, "ultra marathon man" so we can share our opinions later.

t- minus 3 days: today, i took Luna on an hour long walk. cooked yummy chicken, green beans, and rice-a-roni. watched ghost whisperer. cleaned up dog poop in the back yard. all round success of a day.

t-minus 2 days: today i went to spin class. didn't push too hard because you aren't supposed to. otherwise normal. nerves really setting in.

t- minus 1 day: today i slept until 11. had a carb-a-licious breakfast. ate a picnic style lunch with a dear friend. picked up my race stuff (the t-shirt is GREAT- it's like a reallllll running shirt, not just a cotton t-shirt). Now i'm getting all my pre-race stuff together.

BUT there is bad new on the horizon, in the form of tornadoes. The email i received is below:

"After consultation with all the involved city authorities, due to the weather forecast in the Nashville area which is projecting severe afternoon storms, the MARATHON will most likely be subject to an abbreviated timeline.

At this time, there is a contingency plan to limit the marathon to 4:30 and under. Any runner who is behind this pace (10:20 per mile) at mile 11.2 will be directed to complete the half marathon course. This timeline may change based on the actual race day weather pattern.

While we know that this will be a disappointment to some (as it is to us); if implemented, this plan is in the best interests and safety of all involved, especially the participants and volunteers. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation."

Yeah, so where does that put me because at this point, i am set to finish in 4:20. I picked that time long before i hurt my foot. I have no idea if my hurt foot pace (aka how fast i can run after a few weeks of not running and how fast i will be if i have to run/walk bc of my foot) will be fast enough to finish the marathon. Perhaps this is a sign from God that maybe I am just not ready for the full. Maybe I should run the half, no big deal, and rest up for some good races in the fall.

OR MAYBE- i am just gonna go for it. Dorothy and Toto totally survived a tornado. No prob...... Sometimes I am a little too stubborn for my own good. it makes me mad that i trained so hard for this marathon and now it might not happen because of my foot AND and "act of God" (according to my race waiver). Thus, this anger makes me just wanna do it. So, in light of this ever burning fire within, I give you, my pre-race prep.

1. Eat lots of carbs the day before. (check, check and check-- thanks boyfriend!)
2. Drink lots of water. (check- thanks boyfriend for being such a pain in the butt about this one)
3. go to bed early.
4. wake up- 4:am
5. Eat breakfast: banana, cereal, little bit of eggs.
6. put on race clothes: black running skirt, pink under armor short sleeved v-neck, new brooks shoes, jacket, hair band, bobby pins.
7. get feet ready: little gold bond powder to help soak up germs and moisture, little vaseline on problem foot areas that are prone to blisters, blister band aid on my callous that came off the other day for extra protection.
8. get my body ready: sunscreen (YES), and vaseline in areas prone to chaffing (YES), chapstick,
9. gather gear check bag: Gu, Cliff bar, gatorade, keys, baggies of protein mix that my handsome and health conscious bf gathered for me, hand held water bottle, cell phone, ipod shuffle, extra t-shirt, toilet paper (YES), water bottle, garbage bag,
10. get ice chest ready: cheap-o cooler with ice so i can ice down my legs after the race.
11. put on race bib: number 15040
12. double check VIP potty pass is on my race rib. (most important prep of all)
13. wish my sweet luna were coming with me
14. leave house around 5 for LP field parking. Take shuttle to Centennial Park for race start. Enter VIP PORTA POTTY.
15. RUN

Other people have a lot of things they do too. Here are bit's of their advice. FYI- their is an ambiguous term. i took this stuff from lots of places, all you have to do is google it. My side comments are in red.

  • There's nothing you can do in the last week to improve your race time but there are a thousand things you can do that will hurt your time. (like hurt your foot, for example)
  • In the last two weeks before your race, don't run more miles in a single day than the number of days remaining before your race. (wasnt going to happen anyway, hurt foot, remember?)
  • Don't double lace your shoes, just tie the knot tightly and tuck in the lace ends. (not even sure what double lacing is. maybe that's double knot? well i'm gonna double knot mine anyway. hasn't failed me in all my years of running)
  • Stay off your feet as much as possible the day before the race.
  • Don't run in new shoes. (mine are kinda new, but i have worked out in them. just part of the whole, "need something to support my failing foot deal")
  • Get one hour extra of sleep each night the week before the race. (actually a big fan of this. i love sleep)
  • Get to the start early. Sit down or lie down and rest. (well, there is plenty of soft grass in centennial park)
  • Avoid stepping in puddles. (i thought this would be obvious)
  • Clip your toenails. (check, did that wednesday night- don't want to do it the day of the race because you might cut them too close)
  • Take a large garbage bag to wear at the start if cold or wet. (good idea, just added it to my gear bag list above)
  • Don't get a massage in the five days before your race. (no problem, can't afford it)
  • Sip, don't gulp, water on the course.
  • Take one gu (or whatever you're use to) just before the race and one each hour during the race.
  • Don't eat red meat for several days prior to the race. (interesting...)
  • Don't lace your shoes too tightly, your feet will swell during the race.
  • Drink 2 to 4 ounces of water every 20 minutes.
  • Run the tangents on turns but stay away from the very inside of turns because they tend to be too crowded. (too much detail)
  • Eat your final snack no more than 30 minutes before the start of the race. (you mean i get to eat more than just breakfast! woo woo!)
  • Make sure you have tried out the electrolyte drink that will be used during the race. (fail)
  • Review the map of the course. (very helpful so you can get an idea of where you are going, duh)
  • There should be no strength training the week of an event. (glad i read this one a few days ago)
These last two paragraphs are good for a little scientific info on hydration. Enjoy- i know i did.

Consuming sports drinks shouldn't be "saved" for late stages of the race, when significant fatigue is beginning to set in. At that point, sports-drink consumption actually has little effect on performance, since the carbohydrate in the beverage must make its way past the stomach, into the small intestine, across the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, and through the blood to the muscles, all of which take a lot of time (in fact, so much time that the runner may be across the finish line before the first drops of carbs actually reach the sinews).

Take a bottle of water with you to the start of the race. The most-important quaffing of sports drink actually takes place 10 minutes before the race begins, when eight to 10 ounces should be consumed. After that, five to six ounces should be imbibed every two miles or so during the race. Incidentally, one ounce is considered to be a normal, regular swallow of fluid. Don't forget to utilize this sports-drink-intake pattern during your long training runs, too.



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