Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Less Than a Week

So this is it. It's marathon week. I can't believe how quickly the summer passed and how many hours spent out on the road have been archived in my watch's database.

The road to get to my marathon debut has not been all sunshine and happiness. I was reading my post from when I registered for the marathon a few days ago and reflecting on how this journey met, exceeded and deflated my expectations of how it would go - how does something do all of those things?! It didn't all happen at once. Much like the marathon itself, it's been a long journey of many ups and downs and a lot of even-keel, sweat-dripping moments.

If everything in life could be kept constant, marathon training would fit perfectly into anyone's schedule and not be an inconvenience to any of the runner's family or friends. BUT, such is life. And that's one of the reasons why training for a marathon is HARD. Many times my runs were planned around family events, which happen often in the summer months. This meant setting my alarm for as early as 4am to get my miles in before leaving on day trips, birthday parties, etc. As well as trying to make sure my long runs didn't interfere too much with our "normal" Saturdays. My goal was to try to be back home by 9-9:30am so that our weekends were not revolving around my long runs. This meant on almost every Saturday all summer I was setting my alarm for earlier than I did during the week. This became normal as the weeks passed.

Now that training is practically over (I have one more run and a 2 mile walk scheduled), I can say that I am running a marathon...on SUNDAY! The last few weeks of marathon training cut down on mileage and time on your feet (called "the taper"). I have thoroughly enjoyed the taper (aka the sleeping in), which came at the perfect time considering I started with a head cold the Monday after my 20 miler and was given an inhaler for bronchitis last week. In the runs that I have had since the taper began, I've really noticed a difference with my speed now that my legs have had a chance to recover after building the base that I'll need to push through 26.2 miles. I'm not looking to put that pace to use during my marathon, but it is fun to see the pace drop below a 10 minute mile consistantly and with relative ease (even with bronchitis!).

As I prepare for Sunday, Ive planned some simple meals, cutting out a lot of fats (even the "good" ones), oils and fiber to keep digestion simple and try to prevent any stomach upset and bloat. As the day get closer, I'm focusing on higher, simple carb foods, like potatoes (sweet and regular) and pasta (white, not wheat), oatmeal and yogurt and lean proteins like chicken...and lots of water! Doing this helps to build the glycogen stores that your body uses while running long distances. Once the glycogen stores run out, your body starts to use fat to process as energy, but it's not as efficient and often leads to exhaustion and "hitting the wall". There's no way to absolutely fill the glycogen stores in your body to fuel you all the way through, so that's why it's also important to fuel during the marathon, which I have been practicing during my long runs - thank you Honey Stinger waffles and salty pretzels!!!


One last push for CHaD Fundraising as well - TDOAY, October 14th at 5pm, the fundraising pages close for CHaD HERO. I am SO close to my $1,000 goal and would love to reach it to help CHaD continue to provide the amazing services that CHaD families so desperately need.
Please, if you haven't yet, a donation of $5, $10 or $25 can help tremendously!
I'll be wearing my CHaD HERO shirt and hat while I run on Sunday!!! I hope to see some of the fundraiser shirts out and about in support! :)
Click here to donate!

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