It’s Race Week!

Is it really here?

I’m down to the week I thought was SOO far away all this time. I’m running a marathon in 5 days!

Tapering has went pretty well…considering.

Week 1 of Tapering

This was just after I completed my last long training run of 20 miles. I got sick the very next day and it took 4-5 days for me to finally get rid of it. I normally kick a cold in 1-2 days. My immune system was definitely beat up because of all my training.

I made sure and took it easy that week, trying not to push myself too hard. I ran 2.5 out of 4 miles on Wednesday, (I completely missed my 5 mile run on Tuesday), and on Thursday I ran 3.5 out of 5 miles. I felt pretty good about it considering all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and drink tea…which I did a lot of afterwards. I made sure I got at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I think one night I even got 10. I drank lots of great tea and ate A. TON. of fruits and veggies. Filled up on Naked Juice, ate minimally processed foods, and I was back in the game for my 12 mile run on Sunday.

The 12-miler went well considering I was coming off a week of sickness. I did have to stop to blow my nose in the bathroom at the park though (TMI?). I was fine after that!

Week 2 of Tapering

After I’d gotten over the physical stress of being sick and I could re-focus myself on being well, I began to freak out. In every way possible.

At the top of my list was my recent realization that I would probably not be using gels during the marathon. During my 19 mile run in FL I somehow got an aversion to them and I am lucky to get more than a quarter of the packet now.

No big deal, right? They make lots of other nutritional supplements for runners. However.. this was TWO WEEKS before the marathon, no long runs left, and no time to experiment with chews.

The only experience I’ve had with chews was during the half marathon in April. I used the Clif Block Shots but they are so sticky and get stuck in my teeth. Attractive.

So my cousin recommended Power Bar energy blast chews. They actually taste delicious (strawberry banana flavor) and don’t stick to my teeth. Problem solved. Except I have no idea what the timing should be for eating the chews.

Since then I think I’ve figured out a plan, but I’ve not tested it so *curse.*

While all of this mental agony is bearing down on me, instead of being able to run to release stress, I had to run less. That is the point of tapering, after all. You can see how quickly I lost my sanity..

All in all, last week was a huge mental game. I started to doubt if I did enough (classic). Remember how I missed weekday runs because I had to run my long runs during the week because of all the traveling?

Again, I freaked out about nutrition and fueling during the race. Oh and just when I decided I was ok with using the chews, I realized I had nothing to carry them with. Therefore, I ended up priority shipping this baby to my house on Tuesday last week.

I also made a trip to Goodwill and got some sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a long-sleeve shirt so I can wear it to the starting line at 5:30am and then toss it at 7:30 when the race actually begins. Those clothes get donated back to Goodwill so it’s all good.

As far as actual running, I ran 4 miles Tuesday, 3 miles Wednesday, 4 miles Thursday, and 8 miles Saturday. Easy peasy.

Week 3 Tapering

So far, this week has been a complete turn around of last week.

I’m mellowing out (despite running even less), I’m getting confident, and I’m starting to realize that this will still be a great triumph, even if I do end up hitting “the wall” or I don’t finish in my time goal, as long as I finish.

Realistically, since it is my first marathon my goal should just be to finish. But anyone that knows me, knows that I’m too competitive with myself to accept ordinary. This I why I freaked out about the fueling aspect.

Beth’s mental talk, “If I don’t get it perfect, I’ll hit the wall.” “If I hit the wall, I’ll have to slow significantly or walk, losing minutes, losing reach of my time goal.”

If, if, if.

This is actually pretty hard for me to admit. I’m normally a really positive person. I work to block out negative talk from others because I believe if you’re surrounded by negative people, you’ll become a negative person, or at least develop those thoughts. And how happy is a life like that?

So.. I’ve been working on that and as I mentioned, this week is going much better and much more positively than last week!

I’m not quite sure where or when I began imagining that I could run like Kara Goucher or some ridiculously fast time. Probably because I read too many articles about running..from experts. Olympic experts. Duh – I am not an olympian. I mean, I know I’m small and mighty, but not that mighty. My 8:30-9:00 minute miles are still fast… just not that fast.

The running schedule for this week looks like this:

3 miles Tuesday

2 mile walk Wednesday

2 mile easy run Friday

I think I can handle that. 🙂

We leave for Savannah on Thursday after work. It’s 6 hours from our house, so we’ll get in at a reasonable time that night. Friday is the expo and I’m really excited for that!

We’ve organized who is bringing what for our homemade pasta dinner that night – yum! Carb loading begins on Wednesday!!

Saturday is going to be a super early morning. I will probably set my alarm for 4:45 or 5:00. Our shuttle leaves Tybee Island at either 5:30 or 6:00 (our choice) and takes a half hour to get to the starting line for a last minute stop to the port-a-potty. Eeee!!

I still need safety pins. Dang.

I can’t wait to share how the race goes!!

Thank you for all of the supportive comments I’ve got over the course of training, via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, on the blog, in person, etc.

While I do love to run, there have been times where it’s been a struggle to get out the door. All of your positive words have made a difference in my attitude, so thank you again. I’ll be thinking of you as I pass each mile marker. All 26.2 of them!

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T-15 Days!

Until my first marathon. Holy smokes. Seems like it was just last April when I signed up for this monster. Time flies when you’re training!

You probably know by now that last Sunday I came down with a cold. I’ve battled it all week and finally feel about 95% back to my normal self. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was sick. However, with all the traveling and training I’ve been doing, I’m surprised it is just now happening. Here’s a good article that explains why that happens and how to avoid it.

Thankfully it was just a head cold and I was able to run on Wednesday (2.5 out of 3 mi) and Thursday(3.5 out of 4 mi). Hopefully I’ll be able to run this weekend for my last double-digit run of 12 miles before race day!

I’ve also started my packing list! This weekend I’ll be making a trip to Goodwill to find warm/cheap clothes I can wear to the starting line then ditch once the gun goes off. It’ll only be around 50 degrees at 7:30am that day, but you can bet I’m not wearing winter running clothes during this thing!

On Wednesday I received my final confirmation packet with instructions and my bib #! I’m runner #12168. You’ll need to know that in case you sign up to follow me throughout the marathon. Now that I have the bib number it definitely seems more real. Not like running over 300 miles hasn’t made it real or anything.

Oh, I wanted to mention how awesome it was to run in NYC and Central Park while I was there! We (my sister-in-law and myself) ran from our hotel in Times Square to Central Park, ran around there, and headed back to the hotel. It ended up being an 8 mile run and it was awesome. If you ever get a chance to do these city running tours, I would highly recommend it. While we gave ourselves a tour of NYC, I think it’d be great to have a real tour guide..I want to do one for Boston or DC.

Hope you had a great week! TGIF!