Marathon Week Thoughts

Things you worry about in the week leading up to your marathon race:

Weather. OBSESSIVELY checking the weather.
There is a chance of rain in the forecast on Sunday, but the % keeps decreasing every day. Let’s pray that by Sunday, there is a big sunshine in this place on weather.com!

weather for the Chicago Marathon

Cross your fingers for sunshine!

Carbo-loading.
I read a few articles, like this one from Laura at 50by25.com, about the proper way to carbohydrate load the several days leading up to the marathon. These articles say to go low-carb for a couple days, followed by eating a carb-rich diet the 2-3 days before the race. After being depleted of carbs for a few days, your body holds on to ALL the carbs it can, so you’ll have more fuel in the tank.

I wish I could have tried this out during training. As it is, I don’t want to change up my routine now, so I’ll just stick to extra carbs on Friday and Saturday, before the race on Sunday.

Fueling during the race.
I didn’t get to do many of my longer runs beyond 17 miles, so I was unable to experiment much with fuel. Shot Blocks have always been my go-to, so I know I’ll definitely be bringing those along.

My favorite run fuel!

[source]

I also like the Jelly Belly Sport Beans, but they are a little too sweet after a while, so I’m worried about eating them in addition to the Shot Blocks. I wish I had room for a PB&J sandwich to carry along with me! Maybe I’ll bring some pretzels, for easy carbs + salt? Any other recommendations?

Drinking during the race.
I’ve taken my water belt with me on all my long runs, so that’s what I plan to do for the marathon, of course. I know there will be Gatorade along the course, so I’ll drink some of that when I’m not washing down Shot Blocks. In past races, when I take Shot Blocks + Gatorade, the sugar doesn’t make my stomach feel great; I’ll have to be careful of that.

Running during taper week. [Or, the lack thereof.]
I’ve read over & over that most people worry/get antsy/turn into psychos the last week before their race, because there is so little running during the taper.

It’s okay, Ryan Gosling. It’s always okay…

[source]

Me? I am embracing the fact that I only run a total of 7 miles this week! Wahoo. Maybe my tune will change as we get closer, but I am a believer in rest, and know all my hard work has gotten me where I’m at already. There’s nothing more I can do now. So, hopefully this rest time will only help me perform better on race day.

Race day wardrobe.  
I’ve only been worried over which pants/shorts/capris to wear. Shorts always have a chance of chafing on my thunder thighs, so I’m leaning towards capris. But, what shirt do I wear? Tank top? T-shirt? Long sleeve? What about throw-away clothes? And a garbage bag to keep me warm til we start?! Ahhhh. I guess I’ll check the forecast as we get closer & bring back-up clothing for all scenarios.

Race day shoes.
I have three pairs of shoes I rotate through, but only two I’d consider for the long haul. Pair #1 has tons of stability but not a lot of cushioning, so even after just 13 miles this weekend, my feet were howling at me. Pair #2 is nice and cushy, but they have less stability, and with the hip issues I’ve just overcome, I feel like I should take all the stability I can get. I’m leaning towards pair #1, and considering getting some cushion inserts to try out this week. Again, I probably shouldn’t throw anything new in at this point, but my feet were SO achy after 13 miles on Saturday, I just don’t know if they can take 26 miles without some added padding.

Sleeping the night before the race.
What if you don’t sleep well the night before the race? Well, I’ve had a couple longer training runs before which I slept like crap. In fact, I only got 5 hours of sleep before this past Saturday’s 13-miler. I felt a little more tired at the end than I probably usually would, but I’ve always been able to complete my runs feeling decent, either way. I also read this article last week from Runner’s World, which says that your performance won’t really be hindered by a bad night of sleep before race day. So, I am going to focus on getting as much rest this week as possible, so come Saturday night if my nerves keep me up, I’ll have charged up as much as possible before then.

Those are all the things going through my mind this week as I mentally prepare myself for the Chicago Marathon on Sunday…

What are you thinking about, worrying about, celebrating about, or obsessing over? 

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