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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A running & research long weekend - Part 3

Day 4 - Packet pick-up & carb loading
A nice day to relax and get my mind ready for the marathon tomorrow. Before meeting my mother and sister for lunch at Two Guys, I went by Mayfaire to get my race packet.  My number is 250...sounds good! Without Limits runners and coaches were everywhere. You could feel the anxious energy in the tent as people picked up their numbers, checked out the race course map, and purchased final supplies. Conversations abounded of the humidity that was going to greet us tomorrow, debates of the trade off between wind and humidity, etc.  Weather is one of the few things that a marathoner has no control over and it can be extremely frustrating.  Tomorrow calls for near 100% humidity with temps starting around 60 at 6:30 AM.  For a marathoner...that can be trouble.  Optimal temperatures are 40-50 and over 55 brings negative returns.

Although I cannot change the weather, I can take precautions and plan.  The days leading up to a marathon require increased carbohydrate intake (not too much or you will be in the port-a-john by mile 10...although they are pink on the Quintiles cute:)) and fluids. Hammer Nutrition offers a great hydrating tool: Endurolyte Fizz. The Fizz comes in tablets that dissolve in water, producing a tasty, fizzy drink that not only hydrates, but also keeps your electrolytes up to delay cramping in the race. In my first attempt at the marathon in 2000, fearing dehydration I drank an unbelievable amount of water the day before and completely flushed the electrolytes out of my body. Result: Epic fail in my first marathon attempt. In fact I was pulled from the course as I was weaving around. My body temp had dropped to 95 and I had to get two IVs before I was returned to the finish line where my buddy Ashley Dorroh was worriedly waiting for me. Too much water can lead to the condition hyponatremia, in which there is not enough sodium in the body fluids outside of the cells. This can be a deadly condition. I have not made that mistake again.

Another part of my plan was to continually take fluid during the race.  For runs and races over two hours I love to use Perpetuem. Not only does it keep fluids coming in, but it has a significant number of calories, including some from protein. In runs and races over two hours, taking in some protein can help slow down muscle deterioration and keep you going stronger longer. I try out all supplements for race day in long-run workouts prior the race to avoid unexpected and unwanted race day surprises. Again, something I had to learn the hard way (Philadelphia 2008 was one such unpleasant day, which again was a DNF). Perpetuem has enough calories that it can be used in replacement of gels. My race day plan was to have 14 oz. bottles of perpetuem waiting for me at mile 5, 12 and 22.

After a great lunch with family, I relaxed for the rest of the day, sipping on fluids and snacking on carbs. That night my mother made a fantastic turkey crumble pasta sauce with linguine. This is the same thing she made last year before this race, expect this time she made the base for the sauce the weekend before and we added spices and browned turkey to it. It was super-yum. I try to avoid fats the night before and over-eating. Eating heaps of pasta the night before the race is not a good idea. You will wake up feeling full and likely needing to take unwanted stops during the race the next day (if you have not noticed, I try very hard to avoid those stops:))

Before bed, I read over my journal of quotes and mental toughness exercises. I have struggled the three weeks coming into this race, and getting my head straight was going to be very important. I cannot change the weather, but I can step to the line with confidence, peace, and MAlice. One of my favorites is "When you give up wanting something special something special happens."

Tomorrow...race day. No monkey mind!  


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