Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's all downhill from here

I just completed my longest run before my first marathon and now have an idea of what the actual race is going to feel like: PAINFUL, yet amazing. Now I just have three weeks of tapering to go before race day, so all the hard work's done! It should be a breeze from here, right?

Before I go on, here are a few stats from my training log:
# of weeks: 15
# of runs: 62
# of miles: 387
# of injuries: 1
Time spent on the running path: 56 hrs, 30 minutes

I also managed to fit in an average of 1 bike and 1 swim per week, so my first triathlon shouldn't be a total bust.

First of all, my marathon goal: to have the best marathon time on the SB team. To date my only record on the team is for the most number of flat tires in a single race (2 flats during a sprint tri!!), so I'm really looking forward to having the fastest time on the team. Even if it only stands until the fall, I'll still have 6 months of bragging rights.

Today was a chance to pull together all of my training and practice my race prep, hopefully to minimize the possibilities something will go wrong on race day. This meant a number of things:
-Eat a pasta dinner the night before.
-Get a full 8 hours of sleep.
-Get up 3 hours before and eat my race-day breakfast (bagel with peanut butter, wishing I had a banana around too).
-Drink Heed over the next couple of hours to top off my glycogen stores.
-Follow my nutrition plan for the run: 1 bottle of Nuun w/ dextrose per hour, alternating Gu Just Plain and PowerBar Tangerine Gels every 35 minutes. Total calories today: 900
-Break the run up into 3 manageable chunks and pace it at increasing splits. Today was 8/8/4, but the marathon will be 10/10/6.2. The first chunk will be slightly slower than my goal pace, the next will be slightly faster than my goal pace, and the last will be even faster. This was thanks to Mike's article on, so I'll blame him if I crash and burn at mile 22.

This spring I switched from eating Clif Shot Bloks as my workout food of choice to Gu and PowerBar Gels. I like the taste of Shot Bloks much more, but it's harder to carry 2-3 of them on a long run than it is to carry a bunch of the gel packets. So far I haven't noticed a difference in performance and most of the gels don't make me gag (except you Tri-Berry Gu, Damn You!!), so I'll probably keep using them throughout tri season.

The other thing I've started drinking in my water is Nuun. I've recently realized that the empty tubes are the perfect size for 1 tablet + around 90 calories of Dextrose, so I just bring these along with me for refills on the go.

I won't go into the details of the run, except to say that the last 2 miles were TOUGH. I'll save the rest for my race report on May 1st. At this point all the hard work's done, though. I've put in the training miles, skirted around a mild calf injury that took me out for a few weeks, have my nutrition plan, have my pacing plan, and have put it all to the test. Like I said: it's all downhill from here.


  1. "This [pace strategy] was thanks to Mike's article on, so I'll blame him if I crash and burn at mile 22."

    Oh gee thanks Chris :) So what happens if you blow away your expectations and totally crush it? :)

  2. Ha, good point. I'll be fair and give you some of the credit for however I do.
    BTW, here's a link to the article I mentioned if anyone's interested:

    One further point to add to my report above: VERY HUNGRY NOW.