Taking Care of Me

Yesterday I indulged in all the things I should be doing for myself every post race zero week.

First stop, The Foot Store in Mount Pleasant to get new kicks!

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I was so due for new sneakers at this point.  I didn’t particularly care for these either.  I made an attempt to go a little lighter weight and now I know for sure it just isn’t for me.  So I said good bye to the Brooks Pure Cadence…

After watching my gait and measuring my feet the super helpful man working with me determined what I had been pretty sure I knew.  I am an over supinator.  That is super rare.  Most people are over pronators (the exact opposite).  I had noticed at work one day I felt like I was walking on the outside of my feet.  I thought it was just something I did when I was working with patients being fidgety, but apparently I do it all the time.  Luckily he spotted it, got me in a wider shoe and put a lateral wedge in the heel to try any prevent me from walking/running with this gait pattern.

I ended up back in Asics in the Gel Nimbus 16.  I have been in Brooks my past few pairs but I feel great about this return.

A little bright but atleast they won't look so dirty

A little bright but at least they won’t look so dirty

After checking this off the list I headed to get a massage.  It was perfectly painful.  Not only did she nearly bring me to tears working on my quads but she worked out a disaster in my upper back I didn’t even know existed.  I have never gotten a massage in the few days following a marathon but those days are now over.  Ironically my leg soreness is gone but now my upper back and shoulders feel like they ran a marathon of their own!

Tomorrow (according to Hal Higdon) I am cleared to run again finally.  Only 2-3 miles but I’m excited to take the new wheels for a spin!!

What are your post race week staples?

Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon

Well after another long weekend of traveling I have another marathon in the books.

Saturday morning I got up and made our every Saturday pancake breakfast, had a cup of coffee, packed up and headed over to pick up Mary Ann.  We hit the road around 11:45, had a very uneventful drive (thankfully) to Raleigh, making it to the expo around 3:30.

The expo was less than exciting so we were in and out in about 15 minutes, claiming our shirts, chips and bibs.  We headed over to the hotel to check in and relax a little bit before trying to find some dinner.  Luckily our hotel was right next to the mall and since neither of us were familiar with the area we took a gamble that it would have some Italian food.  This mall ended up being one of the most ridiculous malls I have ever been to.  There were about 30 restaurants to choose from and the directory signs were touch screen and interactive.  So ridiculous.

After dinner we headed to Gap to get Mary Ann some new tights for the race due to the insanely unpredictable weather for the weekend.

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Once we got back to the hotel, we put in a good stretch session and headed to bed early.  We both slept great and thanks to the perfectly placed time change woke up pretty well rested.  We dressed in many layers, stuffed a bagel in and scavenged for coffee on the way to the race.

IMG_0092The sign couldn’t have been more appropriate.

Once we finally made it to the start line on NC State’s campus I decided on one final wardrobe change (actually in favor of less clothes which I never do).  We made a final drop off at the car, hit the potty and headed to the start.

We ran the first 11 miles just under pace, feeling great, mentally in a great spot.  The miles flew by through downtown Raleigh; it was beautiful though a little windy but nothing that made me uncomfortable.  My plan in marathons is always to stay right on pace from miles 10-20 then kick in with whatever I have left for the final 10k.  In mile 11 I told Mary Ann my philosophy, we agreed to go with it, then immediately started running downhill.  This part of the race was on a Greenway where we would go out and back, hence any major downhills were going to become major up hills, in the >20 miles.  By mile 16 my calves were trashed from running down hill and already dreading the future waiting for us in a few short miles.

Mary Ann had been hoping to qualify for Boston if possible, but if not just finish since it was her first.  We had been on pace until about 16 where I told her I was starting to feel not so stellar and she could go ahead whenever she needed to.  She agreed that finishing was the new goal.

We turned around and started heading back, every step bringing us closer to the 21st-24th miles of misery.  Once we hit the final brutal climb Mary Ann and I split up, but not enough that we were out of each other’s sight.  It is hard to run hills like that any way but what is comfortable for you so I was trying to get to the top then slow down to let her catch up for a little but after doing this a few times I got to the point that I felt like if I slowed down I would stop.  So for the remaining 4ish miles we ran together but apart, each looking for each other every few minutes.

I was counting down the end of the trail like it was the end of the race and with two miles to go it wasn’t too far off.  No more than 17 minutes left at that point I told myself, no big deal.  Eventually those minutes were over and I was able to smile through the finish and collect my medal in time to turn and cheer Mary Ann through her finish 45 seconds later!!

Please Ignore whatever is going on with my hair here!

Please ignore whatever is going on with my hair here!

I felt pretty trashed at the end so we walked around for a little, grabbing some snacks and water before heading to the car to hit the road home.

Crazy Medal

Crazy Medal

The acorn spins!

The acorn spins!

Despite this being the hardest marathon I have ever run we both had a great time and Mary Ann still wants to do another one so mission accomplished!  We went 17th and 18th female overall and 3rd and 4th in our age group.  Pretty awesome for ridiculous weather conditions and even more ridiculous hills in the worst miles of a race.

In the end, this race goes to you Mary Ann!!  I am so honored to have been there through your first.  CONGRATS!!

Best Day of My Life

Yesterday was quite possibly one of the greatest days of my life. I can hardly believe it really happened. Not only did I have my best race I will probably ever have, I truly, honestly enjoyed every minute of it.
The day started with a 5:50 am wake up call where I was for sure I missed my alarm. Apparently the sun rises a lot earlier in Boston than in Atlanta so it was actually light out at 5:50 which was scary. I got all decked out in my outfit and blanket (which was amazing) and headed out the door with breakfast of a bagel, banana and PB in hand. I picked up a quick cup of coffee and headed to the T.
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Once I got off and hit Boston Common, I immediately became overcome with emotion. Standing in line waiting for the buses I actually cried I was so overwhelmed.
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This quickly passed when I got on the bus and met my new friends for the morning. Michelle, Maryann and Renee took me in and I stayed with them all morning in Athletes village. Renee and Maryann were veterans and filled me in on everything on the bus. What to look for, what you had to see, when to speed up and slow down, literally everything they could think of.
After getting off the bus, we staked out some territory in Athletes village to wait out the next almost two hours. We had an incredibly emotional moment of silence and a flyover by Charlie Company helicopters that flew over the entire course (in 15 minutes no less).

With my new friends in Athlete's Village

With my new friends in Athlete’s Village


When the time finally came for us to line up for wave 2 my stomach actually dropped. Renee and I got up, she attempted to calm my nerves and we began the half-mile trek to the start line. People were already lined up along the sidelines this early on, it was remarkable, but still didn’t prepare me for the rest of the course.
At the end of the walk, corral 7 and 8 split and I said goodbye and good luck to Renee before making my way to the actual start line. Before I knew it we were off!
I hadn’t gone 1 mile before I heard someone call my name from behind; it was Renee!! I was so excited to see her and to have my new friend to run with, especially because she was such a veteran and could point out everything I didn’t want to miss.
The miles just slipped by. Never once did I count down how far I had left, which is an insane rarity for me. When I say there were people along the entire course, I absolutely mean it. From the crazy biker bar at mile 2, to all the residents of every town, to the people jumping on trampolines, to the Wellsley girls (that is an actual real life wall of sound), to the kids of Boston college and all the incredible spectators in down town Boston.
Running through Wellsley at the half way mark was the only time I actually shed a tear during the race. I couldn’t hold it in, it was such an overwhelming amount of support there was just no other way to react. However, I knew once we made it through here, there was one mile left until the hills were going to start.
This is where I thanked god I trained in Atlanta. I am not going to say it was easy by any means but I will say I wasn’t sure if what we did was “Heartbreak Hill”. I knew there were a series of four hills but I wasn’t sure which ones were counting. Once I asked another runner and he confirmed it I knew it was smooth sailing. I was elated, and we were cruising downhill. A guy in mile 20 even said, “You aren’t even sweating, but it’s nice to see you are having a good time.” I had a huge grin plastered across my face ear to ear, I just know it.
Mile 21 was where the magic happened for me. I felt good, like really good so I thought why not, lets just go. Then I started high fiving BC students like it was my job. When I say I was giving high fives for a half a mile, it is absolutely no exaggeration. The skin on my right hand and arm was red/purple. I had to give up eventually because it was wearing me out, but not until I had put in a 7:30 mile.
I still felt good, and the miles kept slipping by in the 7:30-7:40 range. The crowd was getting louder. There was a slight breeze finally cooling me off and I was at the very end of the Boston marathon. At mile 24 I was actually so sad it was almost over. I had two miles to go and was bummed I didn’t have more left. Rounding the corner to Hereford, I knew I was in the home stretch. After my watch beeped mile 26, I ended up with 0.41 to go and averaged a 6:16 mile. That is 100% due to the most incredible crowd, city, law enforcement, service members and volunteers cheering me on harder than I was running. I feel like the crowd literally picked me up and threw me the last 6 miles, I hardly even felt like I was running.
I crossed the finish line in 3:24:24 with over a 6 minute PR. Walking through the shoot I was nothing short of delirious, elated, ecstatic and all the other words that mean the-happiest-I-have-ever-been-in-my-whole-life! I stumbled through and got my medal and fancy foil jacket and just as I was grabbing water saw Casey on the sidelines. Then I happened to run in to the sister of a girl I was on the beach patrol with back home in Delaware, small world.
When I finally met up with Casey we headed back to get my stuff from the gear check, took a few pictures and kinda had to get a move on to be able to catch our flight. People everywhere were congratulating me, I felt like a pro-athlete.
3:24:24

3:24:24


Boston Strong, WeallrunBoston

Boston Strong, WeallrunBoston


My greatest supporter!

My greatest supporter!


Waiting to shower back at the hotel

Waiting to shower back at the hotel


My results and 5k splits

My results and 5k splits


I cannot possibly explain what an absolutely remarkable experience this was for me. The city of Boston was so overwhelmingly welcoming, the crowd support was incredible and the memory of those who lost their lives and had theirs forever changed lived on in every mile. I would say you have to live it yourself, but I don’t know if any other year will quite be like this one. Boston came back with a vengeance and I can’t believe my own two feet allowed me to be part of it.
I want to say thank you to my family, my friends and Casey for supporting me and encouraging me endlessly not only this weekend but always. I want to thank Boston for being an incredible host. I want to thank everyone who ran today, in years past and in the future for making the Boston Marathon what it is today.
Sean Collier, Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu we ran for you today, I hope we made you proud! We all run Boston! BOSTON STRONG!

Beware of the DVT!

So sometimes my inner physical therapy student has to come out.  This happens to be one of those times.  Knowing that I will be finishing Boston and getting on a plane within 4 and a half hours (so crappy, but the best I could do) this concern became very real.  This isn’t something well known or talked about (unless you are in PT school) and I know that I am not the only person in this situation.

DVT stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis.  What that means is that a blood clot forms (commonly in the leg, especially in runners).  This is bad, then have that blood clot break free and travel to your lungs and this could become a deadly pulmonary emboli (PE).  If this should occur, death often occurs within one hour of the event and half of the individuals who die wouldn’t be suspicious of this (aka, runners).

Though there are many risk factors associated with poor health that can cause a DVT and subsequent PE, there are a few particularly relevant to traveling runners.  The two most important are prolonged immobilization during long periods of travel and injuries to the leg. Your body treats the trauma from running a marathon as an injury.

So what can you do about it?

  • Walk around post race as much as possible
  • Stretch it out
  • Foam Roll or use “The Stick”
  • Hydrate
  • Get up and walk around the plane
  • Perform isometric muscle contractions (just squeeze your muscles without moving your body segments)

What are the signs of a DVT?

  • Swelling of the extremity
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity over the area suspected of clot
  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Tenderness and pain when squeezing the calf muscle

If you are ever suspicious of this, it is important to get to the emergency room ASAP!

This was not the post I was expecting to write the night before I leave for Boston but I thought this was kind of important to share.

In other news, Casey is here.  We are all ready to go.  I took my last practice exam that I am going to take before boards tonight and did very well on it, helping me to feel better about going away for the weekend and not studying the weekend before boards.

I will try my best to be up on Instagram throughout the weekend and post when I can.  Catch you in Boston.  Bring on Marathon Monday!!

Sources:

Hillengass E.  Essentials of Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy.  Elsevier Saunders.  St. Louis, MO.  2011.

Giles S.  PT Exam: The Complete Study Guide.  Scorebuilders.  Scarborough, ME.  2013.

Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon

I have to say that this was the most enjoyable race I have ever run.  There weren’t a lot of people along most of the course but it was stunning!  We went all through the mountains, along the river for most of it and on trails for a lot of it.  I wish I had taken my phone and could have stopped and taken pictures because it was just amazing.

The race started with a nice down hill which was great except it made keeping pace in check in those early miles even harder than normal.  At mile 2 I saw THE Bart Yasso cheering us on.  Motivation.  The first 10 miles FLEW by which isn’t abnormal but then all of a sudden I was at mile 16.  This is when I always expect to start being miserable and really struggle.  But that didn’t really happen.  From mile 13-16 I kept telling myself, “nothing hurts, you are good.”  It was like my mantra.  I had to make my head tell my body I still felt great, and somehow I did.

I had decided at mile 8 or so I was going to try a strategy I had heard many other runners use to get through the nitty gritty miles of a race.  I picked someone in my life who helped me get to that race and ran that mile for them.

Mile 16-17: Lauren; she trained with me in the beginning with goals of running this race but then couldn’t get the weekend off.  We ran in crazy storms together, the heat and we motivated each other through her first 19 mile run!!

Mile 17-18: Steph; she is another big runner in my class, she even ran for Clemson.  Her and another friend of mine, Lia and I would all go running VERY early Friday mornings before class.  Thank goodness for those girls dragging my butt out of bed.

Mile 18-19: Lia; the other half of the Friday running team.  Such an amazing athlete and wonderful supporter!

Mile 19-20: Maribeth; this is one of the toughest miles in my mind when I run marathons.  Once you get to 20 its a 10k left which starts to sound manageable.  Maribeth posted the video for Girl on Fire to my facebook wall the night before the race which was the absolute sweetest.  She also ran the 5k series with me this summer.  I have to say I sang that song and thought of the sweetest southern girl I know that whole mile to get me through!

Mile 20-21: Kristen; I ran my very first marathon with her and I thank god she was crazy enough to start doing this with me.  I feel that I owe a bit of my love for running to her.

Mile 21-22: Hannah; my best friend since high school.  She thinks I can do anything I want to and I have to love her for that and all the support she has given me through the years.  She has always called herself my number one fan as I am hers.

Mile 22-23: Alli; whom I ran the Nashville Marathon with.  It was her first and she did AMAZING.  Nothing like the pride and joy of your first marathon.  I was so happy I could be there and run it with her.

Mile 23-24: This mile many people flooded to my head and I needed them for sure.  Lindsey, my soon bride to be and Jenna who ran her first half in Savannah last year when I ran the marathon there.  She did so great in her first race, I was so proud!

Mile 24-25: mi madre; the lovely woman who created me and gave me the work ethic I have.  You can literally do anything if you want to work for it and I learned that from her.  There is nothing like the support from your mom to get you through!

Mile 25-26: Casey; the wonderful guy who has traveled to countless races, tolerated wake up calls in the dark, eaten whatever strict diet I am following race weeks, and been there at every finish line.  Even started running with me, even though it is less than his idea of fun.

At mile 26 I was pretty much in a gap where I was the only person for a bit.  Bart Yasso was standing on the final turn at mile 26 and he pointed right at me, looked at his watch and said, “You my girl are going to make a BQ, give it everything you’ve got.”  Talk about a kick in the pants!  Because there was no one near me, I was the only one on the hugemongus jumbotron screen at the finish line while I was coming it.  I was up there for eternity it felt like and the announcer just kept talking about me and all I could think was that I was going to fall.  I didn’t, thank goodness (I have done this before)!

And just like that, all my running dreams had come true.  I have qualified for Boston, met Bart Yasso and absolutely crushed my PR.

Stats (Because all runners love numbers):

Not quite negative splits, but I really can't be upset with this AT ALL!

Not quite negative splits, but I really can’t be upset with this AT ALL!

 

stats

Just remembering how to walk again.

Just remembering how to walk again.

Once I get official race photos, I will be sure to share…should be tomorrow or Wednesday!

Oh, and the Eagles won tonight! Cherry on top of the last two days!

Im a Squeaker, But I Qualified!

This weekend has been a whirl wind!!  Yesterday we went to the expo at the Bethlehem Steel Stacks.  The place was amazing!  It was the number one producer of steel in the US at one point but now that it has shut down they have done amazing things to use the space.

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Had to capture this, Yuengling is brewed in this area, not a bad claim to fame!

Had to capture this, Yuengling is brewed in this area, not a bad claim to fame!

 

Sweet sculpture!

Sweet sculpture!

 

When we got home, we lounged around outside with everyone drinking and having a good time (I was crushing Gatorade/Water).  Once it got dark we made a fairly large fire and hung out until I left around 10:30 to get ready and get some beauty sleep.

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I have to say, I got the greatest night of sleep pre race I have ever had.  I have no idea how I got so lucky!  I woke up feel refreshed, well as refreshed as you can at 4:54 am (4 is my lucky number but I couldn’t bring myself to get up at 4:44).

Before leaving!

Before leaving!

 

There was insane traffic at the exit and we were moving so slow so finally at 6:25 I just got out of the car.  Thank goodness Casey came with me so he could just take the car and head back.  I sped walked over to get a quick potty break in and check my bag before heading to the starting line.  Luckily the race was small so it only took 15 minutes to go to the bathroom, check my bag and get to the start.

Potty line

Potty line

The race went fantastically (stay tuned for my post tomorrow or later tonight about the race itself).  Moral of the story, I QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON with a 3:30:32!!  I PRed by 12 minutes and 9 seconds averaging 8:02 min/miles.

Me and my love post race!

Me and my love post race!

 

Stay Tuned for race dets!!

 

Finally Here

Yesterdays trip took so much longer than I expected.  After a full day of classes I rushed home to get Casey, drop off Scarlett at a friend’s house and rush over to the airport.  Luckily at Charleston airport you only have to get there like 30 minutes early to make a flight.  Scarlett was not happy with the situation, she kept trying to unpack her bag of stuff. I swear she is the most human like dog I have ever met!

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Once we made it to the air port we only had to sit around for like 10 minutes before we were boarding, the TINIEST PLANE!!  The little ones make me so much more nervous for some irrational reason but the flight was smooth, thank goodness.

Our very tiny airplane

Our very tiny airplane

 

In my head I always think that when the flight gets in you are there but that is never really the case.  Once we got in and stepped of the plane we were hit by the most amazing chill, it was so refreshing after leaving 95 degrees in Charleston.  I was so glad I grabbed my cardigan as we were strolling out the door.  When we finally got off the very long tarmac, it took an hour just to get out of JFK and to where the rental cars were.

On the monorail to the rental cars!

On the monorail to the rental cars!

Then we headed straight into Friday night New York City traffic where Siri froze up and we made a bad turn right into Times Square.  I thought it was cool but Casey was less than thrilled.  It didn’t end up adding any extra time by some stroke of luck and I got to be in the city for a hot minute.

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I was just happy to finally be there and make the best of the 5 hours of traveling.  When we finally got on the main highway to take us back, there was a huge fireworks show!!  Though I agree that it was a little dangerous and distracting to drivers as Casey was complaining (he was driving), I loved it.  That is so unusual!

Crappy cell phone picture of fireworks!

Crappy cell phone picture of fireworks!

 

We finally got in around 9:45, so right around 5 solid hours.  Not too bad though considering the crazy amounts of transportation devices we had to take.

Today will bring the expo (which I always love), some good nutritious food and loooots of water and gatorade!

Marathon Story: Charleston Edition

Another marathon in the books and it was a pretty good race.  The course was changed up quite a bit from last year (although I did the half last year so I am not sure how different the second half of the course was).

This was the first race since I started doing distance races (half and full marathons) that I didn’t PR.  Going in to the start I knew that I was not facing optimal conditions upon toeing the line.  After being sick for the week leading up to the race I woke up not able to breathe through my right nostril, at all.  Just a little important and since I had just run a marathon 2 months ago I knew the chance of a PR was much lower.

I decided at the start I would try to maintain my 8:12 pace for as long as I felt like I could and then reassess the situation.  The girls that work at Lululemon, many of them that I run with on Wednesdays, were at mile 4ish which was great motivation (although I could have really used them at mile 22).  I got to about mile 14 before I started to doubt I would make it at that pace, which was way longer than I thought I would be able to sustain that pace given the circumstances.  At that point, I decided just to run how I felt comfortable and not look at pace.  Without trying to I maintained about an 8:20 for miles 14-18 then my right big toe started to bother me.  By mile 19 I knew I was about to face a major problem.  I don’t know why but my toe must have been jamming in my shoe (which has never happened before in these shoes).  At 22, the pain had moved from my nail to my toe joint and I was fairly certain I had broken my toe or at least done some serious damage.  I was able to keep it moving through the end of the race but ended up finishing in 3:47:20, 4: 39 slower than Savannah.

race results

Even without a PR I feel completely content with my results.  I couldn’t have hoped for any better after the series of stupid decisions I made and the illness I had been fighting.  I am now sicker than I had been yet, which I should have expected after running a marathon sick, that certainly wasn’t going to make me better.

Celebration!  Im sure that didn't help my sickness either.  No regrets though!!

Celebration! Im sure that didn’t help my sickness either. No regrets though!!

When I got home, I showered, took Scarlett for a long walk so that I didn’t just sit down and get all stiff and sore.  I got myself a delicious treat, Crepe with nutella, banana and crushed pecans.  The picture doesn’t even do it justice.

So delicious!

So delicious!

Saw this on a car after the race, thought it was too hilarious not to share.

Saw this on a car after the race, thought it was too hilarious not to share.

We went for dinner with our friends that came for Savannah.  I love that on marathon day I can let myself eat whatever I want and not even feel a little bit bad about it.  I took full advantage of this at dinner.

Straight up southern food for dinner.  Fried chicken with gravy, mac and cheese and home fries! YUM!

Straight up southern food for dinner. Fried chicken with gravy, mac and cheese and home fries! YUM!

As convenient as it was to run Charleston, I don’t think I did my best prep for it.  By that I don’t mean training because I was consistent in that.  What I mean is that it wasn’t as much of a production so I didn’t do the things I usually do pre-race.

When I have to travel for a race, I buy food that I need for the car and make sure I have gatorade and water ready.  The expo is such a big deal and I am just overall more excited about it.  For this race since I didn’t have to travel, I didn’t have gatorade (I forgot to go get some), going to the expo was just another chore of the day after going to class.

All that said, I am glad I did this race, I just think I get a lot more out of the experience when it is a somewhat of a trip/weekend adventure.

So whats next:

I plan to run a half or two this spring and run and just keep my miles up.  I am looking forward to not running on a schedule for a few months and just running what I feel like each day.  I am also going to get in the weight room and strengthen up these little legs!  The plan as of now is to run my next marathon in the Fall which will give my body plenty of time to recover and be ready to take on another PR and hopefully a Boston qualifier!

Heading off to relax, revel in my accomplishments and watch this 49ers game!

Marathon Eve

What a long day, and it wasn’t even the day of the marathon.

I got up at 5:30 this morning to be able to do interviews for our local news channel about the race. It was freezing and I was not appropriately dressed, but it prepared me for what tomorrow morning will probably be like. I did 4 interviews and then went home to try and get an hour or two more of sleep before going to lab.  That sleep was fitful and not all that beneficial.

After going to lab, my roommate and I went to the expo.  This was so small compared to the Rock n’ Rolls which I knew from going last year but I was still able to come away with a few things.  I got a race belt for gels and my bib and registered for the Half Marathon in Atlanta I am doing with my friend Lucy in March.

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The race is to benefit the arts so they had a bunch of kids art displayed.  We thought these were pretty cool.

The rest of the day I went for my jitter jog (what I call the run I do the day before the race), did some yoga, hung out with the pup for a while, got some work done and just tried to relax as much as possible.

A lot of what they interviewed me about today is what I do to get ready for a race, especially the day before.  I am by no means an expert but I do have some tips just from experience.

1. Drink water all day! The day before is when you really want to hydrate.  I usually take a liter sized gatorade and dilute it half way with water and try to drink all of that through the day.

2.  Eat your carbs.  I had left overs of the rice dinner we had last night which has great carbs (even though people usually just think of pasta).  I also try to munch on pretzels through the day because they have carbs and salt (which helps you retain water).

3.  Go for a jitter jog.  Head out for a short jog (very short, and I mean JOG).  This helps to keep the dreams of forgetting how to run over night and just gets your legs moving.  It’s also a great way to do a little warm up before getting a good stretch in.

4. Don’t try anything new race day.  This means shoes, clothes, food, NOTHING.  Eat what you have eaten pre race and during the race.  I don’t even like to change up flavor of gels.  I have also read recently that if you are going to drink a sports drink at an aid station don’t try and combine it with anything else other than water.  So if you pass an aid station with pretzels, gatorade and water, either go water and pretzel or just gatorade.  This helps prevent GI problems.

5.  Don’t go out too fast. Don’t run your first ever 6 minute mile in the first mile of a race, you will regret it at mile 18, I promise.  (I have done this once).  Try to run splits within 10 seconds (up/down) of your goal pace the whole race.

6.  Remember to have fun. This is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, don’t forget that even if you are in pain.  Put a smile on your face and know the pain is only temporary, but once you are done, you are a marathoner for life!

7.  Be realistic.  Don’t set a goal that is way out of your reach.  You don’t want to finish a marathon and be bummed about it, you should be proud no matter what.  I had initially planned to run a 3;35 for this race but I have been having knee pain and have been sick with a head cold for the past week so I have readjusted my goal just to finish without injury.  If I run a 3:35 I would be excited, but I can’t say that is a realistic goal for my current state.

8.  Drink water even if you aren’t thirsty.  In winter races when it is cold, it isn’t as easy to know when you need water.  I take at least a few sips at every stop (usually 2 miles apart) so I can stay hydrated.  Just because you aren’t sweating or aren’t thirsty doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink.

I’m sure I will think of 100,000 more things by the time the race is over so I will add an addendum as I think of things.

If anyone is racing tomorrow, have a great time and good luck!  For everyone else, have a great Saturday run!

2 days…

With two days left until the race I decided to check the hourly weather forecast for race morning.  Let me preface my frustration with the fact that it has been in the 70’s for two weeks, until tonight.  At the race start it will be 30 degrees.  SERIOUSLY!  And, when I ran the half of this race last year, the exact same thing happened, only it was 25 at the start.  At least I will get to wear my nice warm weather clothes.

Today I did a different yoga routine.

I liked what was addressed in the video but it was a little more fast paced than I would have preferred.  I just wished I had a little bit more time in each of the postures.  It was good for getting to all the muscle groups I needed to stretch for running.

More exciting news.  A woman from the local news station called me to see if I was willing to be interviewed about the race tomorrow morning.  Down side: I have to be there at 5:45 am.  Upside it will be good to get up early so I will be tired early and will have practiced getting up early for the race.  So if you are in the Charleston Area and watch Live 5 News I will be on at 6ish, 6:30ish and 7ish.

For dinner we tried a recipe I found on pinterest and it was delicious!  It is from Picky Palate and I highly recommend it.

Cheesy-Chicken-and-Wild-Rice-Casserole-1

Click picture for link to recipe.  The only thing is that it is a little involved so if you aren’t super good at managing a few pots and pans of food it can be a little challenging.  I thought there would be plenty of left overs…there were none.  My boyfriend’s brothers pretty much took care of all of those.

One more day to the weekend, and one more day till race day for me!