Running

Halfway to Race Day- Run, Refuel, Stretch, Smile, Repeat

Race day is less than 6 weeks away! I made it to the halfway point in my training and would like to reflect on my progress and note what’s new this time around.

Now obviously the miles aren’t as extreme during the first 6 weeks as the final 6, but nevertheless, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. First off, it took some sneaky scheduling and nap-time treadmill runs to get my work week miles in, mostly. (I’m still, technically speaking, an at-home-mom with a 21 month old, so naps still run our lives.) Nevertheless, I’m happy to report that I’ve hit all of my weekly mileage goals, so far. My longest run was a 16 miler, which I did 2 days ago and have had little soreness and no dehydration (basically a quick recovery). So so far, I’m feeling good about my progress.

There are just a couple of new things that I’m doing to try to prevent injury, give me quicker recoveries, and better long runs. One of those things is my refueling.  I’m bringing more GU and Larabars with me on my runs than ever before. The guidelines that I’m following are:

  • Never go more than 7 miles without consuming calories (easy to digest carbs are best for now). Mine are GU Chocolate Outrage with Caffeine, although the flavor’s not as important to me as the caffeine.
  • For every 3 miles over 7, add an additional snack. I’ve packed Larabar minis because they’re again easy to digest, have some protein, and fit in my small handheld water bottle holder.
  • Drink water or half water/half Pedialyte (children’s drink) for longer runs. I’ve done it for the past 2 long runs and have had little to no dehydration.

In addition to refueling better, I’m also making (forcing) myself to stretch for at least 3-5 minutes following every run.  I never used to do this, but knew that my tight hip flexor and IT Band discomfort were completely curable. I noticed huge improvements in my mobility (particularly post-long runs) and my legs (muscles) aren’t as sore either. I’m hoping this will translate into remaining injury-free for the duration of my training and maybe even give me a speedier recovery post-marathon. We shall see…

With all of my weekly mileage goals hit so far, and my lack of mobility issues or soreness, I’m feeling rather good about how things are progressing, thus far. I’m going to try hard to keep this positive outlook rolling, for as long as possible, because anyone who’s ever completed a marathon knows that your physical condition is only a part of the training. The mental part (training your mind) is, for me, the most difficult part of training.  So let’s hope that the positive outlook can stick around for another 6 weeks!

Happy running!

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