Marathon day is just a few short days away! I’m feeling excited, ready and nervous. A pretty standard trio of feelings for me leading up to a big race.
This training cycle as a whole has been very solid. It’s been unique in the sense that I only ran 5 days a week with one cross-training day on the spin bike and one day fully off. My mileage never was higher than 54 miles for the week. I never stepped on the track. I did a lot of runs from the house. I incorporated hills as much as I could. I had solid, good workouts, but never did more than 6 miles of work. I also pushed hard but found myself recovering quickly. I didn’t have a ton of hands on knees type of workouts…and I think that’s ok. We will see how everything unfolds on Sunday, but feeling really confident in the plan Lance put together for me and feel fit without feeling burned out.
This week leading up to the race, I’m keeping things light and focusing mostly on all the small details: lots of water, early to bed, compression socks, rolling, massage (Tuesday before the race), Epsom salt baths, visualization, and rest (trying to do minimal outings and work around the house).
A lot of what I’m doing this week, I wrote about a few years ago. You can read that here.
In that list, I mention a workout that builds confidence and strides. Both of which I did and continue am doing this week.
My confidence building workout was 3 mile warm-up, 3 miles @ goal marathon race pace, 2 miles cool down. My goal race pace is 6:24. My 3 miles were 6:08, 6:17, 6:32. So not at all even, but that’s how the race is going to be. Definitely not expecting to run perfect 6:24s all the way through. The 6:32 was partially thanks to wind and also me intentionally trying to stay as controlled and comfortable as possible. I really focused on just being at home with the pace. If I’m honest, 6:24s for 26 miles still feels a bit intimidating for me. I know it’s possible for my fitness level but still makes me a little nervous. And I think that’s why it’s the perfect goal.
Strides I am tacking on right when I finish a run. I am doing just four strides on our street. Strides are never something I crave to do, but I know they are important.
Nutrition and hydration is also a big focus of this week. Both of which I am not great at. I am drinking lots of water, coconut water, and other electrolyte supplements. I am eating things like pasta, shrimp, rice, ground turkey. I remember two nights before my SF marathon eating a steak with potatoes and a glass of wine. Might need to recreate that meal for 2 nights before. The night before I’ll have a simple pasta dish with chicken. Since we are on the topic of nutrition, for breakfast morning of race I’ll do a bowl of oatmeal with either peanut butter or almond butter and slices of banana. And coffee of course.
For fuel in the race, I’ll be using Maurten gels. My good running friend and neighbor so kindly gave me a bunch of salt stick powders, fast chews, and capsules. Thank you, Kristin! I have used salt stick before and loved it. Plan is to test it out on my short run tomorrow to make sure it settles well and will probably also take a few of the fast chews with me.
Last detail, but important: race day outfit. On race day, I’ll be wearing a navy blue New Balance jersey with our family’s Let’s Go Chia brand on it (I have been using our chocolate peanut butter protein for recovery on every workout and a lot of longer runs), Beyond Yoga camo biking shorts (not a typical choice, but Lance gave me these for my birthday and I’ve had a lot of good workouts in them), Ciele hat, and of course my vapor flys.
I am just really thankful I get to run this marathon. I am thankful for a solid training block with no injuries or even a single missed run. I am thankful to just be at this start line healthy and excited. After almost exactly 3 years, 2 pregnancies and 1 baby since my last marathon, my heart truly feels grateful for the ability to race 26.2 miles. I have no idea how everything is going to come together on Sunday, but I certainly hope that I can stay present and feel the joy of each mile. I hope I can “roll with it” if I hit a hard patch or an unexpected twist and ultimately, I hope I can make my little boys proud of their mom that pushes and purses her goals. I am VERY excited that all three of my guys will be there plus my parents and sister. It is definitely not Boston, but it feels so special that I still have a huge support system, regardless of the race.