How To Tell You Are a Week Out of a Marathon
Currently while writing this I am a little more than a week out of the Portland Marathon, but when its this close it all becomes a bit of a blur for me. As my husband always says a week out starts at least two weeks out :) mostly due to the nerves and constant second guessing of myself that I undergo.
So what does a week out look like for me?
Mileage: Well normally I start to decrease my long runs and would have had my last 18 miler three weeks prior to race day, however due to the craziness that seemed to be this training session I am feeling very behind and have brought my long runs up a lot closer to the GO date.
I finished up my last 18 miler last week and will be finishing this week out with a planned 10 miles on Saturday followed up with 13-15 miles on Sunday. Last weeks 18 miler turned out to be a bully of a run in which I thought why not go somewhere different only to be quickly reminded that the route I chose was extraordinarily hilly and always subject to a head wind. But that just meant killing two birds with one stone; long run endurance and massive amounts of strength training from the hills and headwind.
Nutrition This is a tough one for me currently because I am also training (currently 5 weeks out) for the Night of Champions open Bikini Competition in which my carb count is supposed to be a bit lower. Finding that balance of starting to increase my carbs for the upcoming marathon but not sacrificing all the hard work I've put in to stay lean is a tight one. There is that wonderful misconception that you need to carb load the day before a race; however carb loading the day prior will merely result in all those carbs just sitting uncomfortably in your stomach. I always begin increasing my carbohydrates about 8-10 days prior to race day and do so for about 3-4 days, this results in the carbs actually being stored as glycogen in your muscles so when your body needs it most its there.
Water While I already drink a large amount of water I make sure to maintain that upkeep and increase the amount of electrolytes and or BCAAs (branched chain amino acids). Nerves Ahhhh my husbands favorite part of my racing :)
I have a tendency to get really nervous and/or continually second guess myself the closer I get to a race. With this training not going as I had planned you can bet that my nerves are very high. I have not found the best way to prevent them from occurring and I honestly believe that you should always be a little nervous because that means you really care. It will all go away the second I touch that starting line.
Food for Thought Earlier this spring my husband bought me this really cool medal holder, in which I can more nicely display the medals that I receive, and on the medal holder is a quote that means a lot to me; "She Believed She Could So She Did". The other night we were sitting in the office and I looked up and glanced at the holder; what I saw was a line up of medals that were achieved because I believed. Sometimes it is easy for me to get caught up in the training and the racing but seeing that reminded me to sit back and believe, to do exactly what I tell others to do, believe in yourself and the strength that you have.
Running, racing, lifting, competing, it all might be a hobby for me but it also means something, it is proof that I have believed in the strength in myself and the strength that I have gained from my amazing Husband (whom I don't think I could do any of this without).
What is your game plan a week out of a race? Do you have any rituals that you specifically follow? How do you deal with the nerves of racing?
PS: NEVER FORGET TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF