Last night I pulled in from work at about 9:30 pm after working the telethon. I got a full night’s rest and woke up this morning for Danceaton class. I don’t talk about it a lot on the blog but I also sub dance classes at 24 Hour Fitness from time to time (yes, I’m a jack of all trades). So I decided to go to class this morning to check out all the new choreography. It was so much fun. I love dancing under the disco ball and lights.
After the cardio burn I went home for lunch and decided to experiment with some polenta I bought from the organic section at the grocery store. I came up with this concoction – Eggs with goat cheese, kale, and mushroom and onion polenta. I sprinkled some red pepper on top for a kick. Delicious and filling.
So this weekend I will be running The Cowtown Half Marathon with my friend Ann. I am super excited to run out in Ft. Worth!
I have never done this race before but I hear it’s a good one…I hear there’s a few rolling hills but nothing I can’t handle.
My plan is just to enjoy myself for this race – not really interested in a PR but may be gunning for one for my homegirl.
I just plan on wearing a tutu and running fast! Did you know that running in a tutu makes you faster?
The Cowtown Marathon has a marathon, half, 10k, 5k, and ultra marathon. So lots of distances to choose from!
There are a few things I like to do when preparing for a half marathon. These things in the past have made for a pleasurable racing experience.
-The tried and true – Do not try anything new on race day. I know you’ve heard it many times but it really is the case. Wear the same clothes you have been training in, keep your fuel / hydration the same. The days leading up to the race should be no different. Do not do anything crazy out of the ordinary the night before. I like to stick with bland foods that I know don’t mess with my tummy. Typically that consists of chicken and potatoes – nothing ethnic. A couple of nights before (say your race is Sunday, so that would be Friday) I eat a meal of primarily carbs. Pasta, pizza, chicken with rice (more like rice with chicken), whatever works for you. Don’t go overboard, eat normal portion sizes…but your Friday night meal should consist of primarily carbohydrates.
-Plan/Visualize – Make sure you work all the details of the race in your mind before the big day. Don’t leave anything up to chance. Study the route, figure out parking, what time you will need to be there (I like to be at the race about an hour before the actual start time – leave just enough time but not too much where you are just standing around). Set out your clothes, make sure your bib is pinned to your shirt. Race morning you want to wake up relaxed and ready to go, not frazzled and rushed.
-Pre Race Breakfast – Again this goes back to what has worked for you in the past. My typical pre race meal consists of carbs and protein. I like an english muffin or sandwich thin with a little bit of peanut butter on it. Nothing too heavy but you want a little something in your stomach. Make sure you do this about 2-3 hours out from the race. This is also the time to have your coffee if you are a java drinker. You want to drink it in advance so you can go to the bathroom right before the race starts (the worst feeling is having to use the bathroom during a race – empty yourself out before you get to the start line.)
-Hydration/Fueling during the race – It is important to drink fluids at the hydration stations that are provided. I used to carry water with me, some people do but for me it’s a hassle. I like to run without things weighing me down, so it’s much easier to stop and take sips. Take advantage of the water stations, they are there for a reason. Typically the VERY FIRST water station about a mile or so in is always crowded so I skip it. After the first one though, I stop at nearly every one. Take some energy gel (Gus or whatever your energy fuel of choice is) about every 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure you drink water with your Gu or energy chewies.
-Talk to yourself – It’s okay to do so. For me, it keeps me going…one foot in front of the other…no pain no gain! There are lots of mantras out there. Write them down on your arms & legs if you have to. When my friend Lori ran the Chicago Marathon she wrote on her legs as motivation. Whatever floats your boat. Running is mostly mental, and if your mental game is strong, chances are your performance will be too.
-Take in every moment – It is easy to get caught up in your pace, what everyone else around you is doing. Make sure you conserve energy in the beginning. Relax. Take in the scenery and the sights around you. High five spectators, smile at people cheering you on. Thank the police officers that are blocking traffic. These people are here for you! Enjoy it…don’t take it too serious. Running is fun, that is why you are doing it. One of my running mentors Patton once said something that has stuck with me for years throughout this running journey of mine, and it is this:
“Your ability to generate power – is directly related to your ability to relax.”
What are some of your favorite running mantras? Do you have any races coming up?