Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quick Hits for Marathon Week

don't panicHere we are -- 5 days (FIVE DAYS PEOPLE) until Cal International Marathon. :)

(In case you haven't been playing along at home, here is a list of posts chronicling my journey from someone who swore I would never run a marathon to someone who is now just a few days from doing it:

The Marathon & Me (3/20/11)

Marathon Musings (7/11/11)

Committed. (9/7/11)

Marathon Training, Week 2: In Which I Refuse to Trust Pace Charts (9/9/11)

Marathon Training, Week 3: In Which I Attempt Eating & Drinking On The Run (9/21/11)

Marathon Training, Week 5: In Which Dr. S. Tolerates My Extra-Special Brand of Neurotic (9/30/11)

The Last 16 (10/3/11)

Marathon Training, Week 7: In which I Feel Crappy, but Gain Confidence (10/19/11)

Taking Stock (11/1/11)

Marathon Training, Week 11: In Which I Manage My Expectations (11/21/11)

Clearly a CIM tag is in order.)

I've had a lot of time to deal with all the crazy emotions you might think I'd be experiencing at this point, so I'm actually pretty chill. I've worked out my pacing / fueling / hydration / transportation strategies, planned my wardrobe, managed my expectations, & I'm still excited about running. I'm also excited to hang out & have pre-race dinner with a bunch of fellow run-bloggers who are also either running or spectating CIM. Mad props to Courtney for organizing & putting folks up! :)

What this really means is that I'm pretty much past the point of thinking about any one thing long enough to write a real post on it. Instead, please enjoy a few snappy marathon week quick hits.

Live BF Support...

...being something I'll have at CIM for the first time. I never expect or ask my boyfriend to come to a race, especially a long one and ESPECIALLY an out of town one. He does not pretend for one second to understand how a person could actually enjoy running, and is also about as far from a morning person as you can imagine (particularly on weekends). But I must admit that part of me was kind of thinking of maybe asking if he wouldn't mind going, because I am kind of afraid of the state I'll be in after the race and am not 100% confident in my ability to perform key activities such as making decisions, staying upright, driving a car, or finding the sweat check area without freezing to death and/or passing out. On our way back home from my family's, though, he completely-and-totally-out-of-the-blue asked me if I wanted him to go. This pleases me greatly. :)


...being something I've done more of than I'd planned. Can you over-taper? I have always been a little concerned about the fact that I'd essentially have to start tapering five weeks before CIM because of running the Clarksburg Half on 11/13. In the last four weeks, I've run a grand total of 86 miles, due to traveling, various aches & pains, & general malaise. Despite the fact that I've cut way, way back on mileage, I keep waking up sore & stiff instead of rested & refreshed. Part of me kind of wants to just not run at all between now & Sunday. I'm kind of curious about what the effect of that would be.

water bottleHydration

...being a thing I am trying to accomplish better than I normally do. This week I am determined to carry my liter water bottle around with me & make sure to drain it twice a day, every day. As a friend once put it, ever eloquently & delicately, clear pee = race ready. I am also trying to drink less this week, but hell if I'm giving up wine with dinner. (Okay, I *guess* I can do without it the night before the race.)


...being something I have new ones of. For the last eight weeks or so I've been wear testing a pair that are fine but not spectacular; now that the test is over, I've got a brand-spanking new pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11's in Speedybitch Red (TM).

new shoes

GTS = "Go-To Shoe"

I used to worry about racing or running a long way in relatively new shoes, but after doing it several times, I don't anymore. I would probably not race in a completely new MODEL of shoe that I had NEVER run in before without spending a few weeks making sure it felt right; as I understand it, though, well-fitted, quality running shoes shouldn't require "breaking in." Still, it's nice that I have this week to run in them a little, just to readjust to how they feel compared to the ones I've been running in.


...being something I'm a bit nervous about. It's a rather easy week for me work-wise, so it shouldn't be hard to get plenty of sleep between now and Saturday. What I'm actually worried is getting to sleep at a reasonable hour the night before the race. I almost never do & routinely find myself racing on 3-4 hours of sleep. Part of it is probably nerves, and part of it is probably due to the fact that I normally go to bed around midnight, so my body is not used to going to sleep at nine or ten. Seriously; I can get in bed at 10 and lay there awake for five. Effing. Hours. A relative of mine has recommended just knocking myself out with Ny-Quil, which I'm thinking of experimenting with sometime this week. Then again, I'm pretty much completely and totally resistant to all forms of drugs everywhere so who is to say how that will work out.

carb loadingCarb Loading...

...being something I'm really glad that we as a running community have moved past as such, since eating large amounts of carbs for days at a time makes me feel absolutely sick. Still, I am making a real effort this week to make sure I don't get too hungry & do eat plenty of carbs relative to meat & dairy.

Right: This is how old-school carb loading makes me feel.


...being something I'm skipping this week. I re-learned this lesson the hard way the Monday before Clarksburg Half-Marathon when I decided to "just take it easy" & ended up pulling a hamstring freaking out for the rest of the week over whether or not I'd be healthy enough to run. Not this time. It's Wednesday night on the couch for me. :)

So that's what's on my mind.

Ugh...I guess I'll go try to run now.


  1. Awesome that your BF will be there and even more awesome that he suggested it. Good luck. I hope you have a great first marathon experience. I look forward to hearing about it!

  2. It sounds like you're set up to have a great day at CIM: You've sorted out race logistics, figured out your food/hydration, and you've got your boyfriend at the finish line. That last one is awesome, because you're right that you might be delirious. Plus, there is nothing quite so amazing as crossing the finish line of your first marathon, and to be ablet to share it with someone close to you.

    As for sleeping the night before, get what sleep you can, but don't worry too much. The key is to get plenty of sleep Friday night.

    You're going to rock CIM!