The Run Down on My Fall

Do you ever type up a post and forget to publish it? Well here is a little something I put together a couple weeks ago….

My running journey this fall has been a whirl wind. Since the La Luz Trail Race I refocused my training on the Duke City Marathon on October 19th.  I completed the Rio Grande Half the middle of August with so-so results.

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I finished in 2:07, which was a minute faster than my spring half marathon, but I was hoping for a little more improvement.  I tried to remind myself that I hadn’t tapered at all for the race, using it as a training run for the full marathon, and the weather was hot, hot, hot by the end.   What the race did do for me, though, was motivate me to  train harder.  I signed up for the Chips and Salsa Half Marathon in September and was really excited to run this race.  I have had really good luck on this course in the past and the weather always seems to be beautiful on race day…and it was going to take place on my birthday this year. What more can you ask for?  The stars were aligning and my training was really strong the weeks leading up to the race, and then I came down with strep throat.

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This was the sickest I have been in years and instead of racing a fantastic race, I spent the weekend in bed.   Strep throat moved it’s way through the family, but we are all back to good health, and I am back to training with the big goal still ahead of me: the marathon.

Last weekend I had my longest run of the training plan: the dreaded 20 miler.  I decided to try some new things nutritionally that I haven’t done before and they worked out great.  I read an article from Runner’s World that discussed prerace meal and timing.  It talks about the amount of carbs you should ingest and that, ideally, you should eat 3-4 hours before the race.  Because I aim to get out on the road by 5;00am on my long runs, that meant I had to set my alarm for 2:00am to eat.  I downed a white bagel with peanut butter and a whole bottle of gatorade which contained about half the calories and carbs RW recommeneded, but just couldn’t choke down anymore.  I attempted to go back to sleep for a couple hours before running and was able to eat a small banana on the way to the start of my training run.   While I didn’t enjoy getting up in the middle onf the night to eat, I have to say that I felt stronger over all throughout the run and eating that far in advance helped me not feel too full before running. I am definitely going to try this again during my 16miler this week and see how I feel. The second new thing I tried during the 20 miler was salt tabs.  This fall it seems like any run over 12 miles my quads have started to cramp up.  While I am very careful on getting enough hydration, I felt like something must have been missing.  I took one tab every hour and my legs, while tired, did not cramp up during the 20 mile run.  I am going to try them again this weekend as a second test before committing to them for race day. Over the next few weeks I plan to stick to the training plan and take it easy.  September and October are fantastic times to run in New Mexico and with a slew of 5k and 10k races out there it is hard not to want to get out and race, but I have come to far to mess this goal up.  Eye on the prize.

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