Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs.

Am I dreaming?!

Am I dreaming?!

My favorite, favorite, FAVORITE part of training – the carb loading!  Who doesn’t love forbidden white bread and pasta?!  I am three days out from my race and I have to admit, I may have started the carb loading a little early. I couldn’t help myself and I went crazy at the store.  Tortellini, gnocchi, animal crackers, white bread, bagels, pita chips, pretzels.  And a lot of it I ate already.   I’m a carb-aholic and when I have been given the green light to eat all the things I don’t allow myself on a regular basis, I just go off the deep end.

Seriously, though. I have been doing a lot of reading about carb loading before a race this week mainly because my husband is running his first full marathon and I want him to not hit the wall. (*Note: I am not a doctor or an expert on carb loading. Please take the following information with a grain of pasta…I mean salt.)  One of the important things I learned in this article is to start the carb loading 2-3 days before the actual race, dispelling the ‘huge bowl of pasta the night before the race’ myth.  Your body can store and build glycogen stores a little at a time so eating a few days of small carb-loaded meals is the way to go.  I also learned 85-95% of your calories on those days leading up to the race should consist of carbs, with a little bit of protein mixed in.  Go easy on the fiber and skip the butter, oil, and cream as well.  This Runner’s World article even has a sample menu for a day:

Good Eats
A day of carbo-loading for a 150-pound runner

BREAKFAST
1 bagel with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (71 g)
1 medium banana (27 g)
8 ounces fruit yogurt (41 g)
8 ounces orange juice (26 g)

MORNING SNACK
2 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey
Granola Bars (29 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

LUNCH
1 large baked potato with 1/4 cup salsa (69 g)
1 sourdough roll (40 g)
8 ounces chocolate milk (26 g)
1 large oatmeal cookie (56 g)

AFTERNOON SNACK
1 Clif Bar (42 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

DINNER
1 chicken burrito with rice, corn salsa, and black beans (105 g)
1 2-ounce bag Swedish Fish (51 g)

One thing I noticed about this plan that I am going to try is including Gatorade in the days leading up to a race.   I usually reserve Gatorade as a drink  I use only during the race and maybe one cup following a long run, but never outside of running.    I’m interested to see how this affects my hydration and how I feel during the race.

Pasta Love.

Pasta Love.

My meal plans for the rest of the week will go something like this:

Thursday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal w/berries

Lunch: Turkey Sandwich on White Bread

Dinner: Stir Fry with white rice

Friday:

Breakfast: Waffles with berries and bananas

Lunch: Baked Potato with Salsa

Dinner: Gnocci w/ marinara

Saturday:

Breakfast: Waffle with berries and bananas

Lunch: Sandwich from the airport – something on white bread!

Dinner: There is an Einsteins Bagel in our hotel, so I am hoping to grab a sandwich from the for dinner as well as a bagel for my pre-race breakfast the next morning.

Snacks: Cliff Bars, Gatorade, Pretzels

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Happy carb loading!

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The Taper

6 days until the half marathon, and I may need to create this sign for our front door.

6 days until the half marathon, and I may need to create this sign for our front door.

T-7 days until Phoenix Rock and Roll!  It’s time to talk about tapering.  My mileage has significantly decreased on my training plan (Train Like a Mother: Half-Marathon Own It Plan) this last week and the upcoming week has only a few short runs :

Monday: 3-4 miles (and pilates class)

Tuesday 3 miles, last 2 at RP

Wednesday: 3miles, 4-6 strides

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 20 min or rest

Saturday: 20 min or rest

Sunday: RACE!

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A lot of runners I know , including myself, get a little crazy during the taper.  They feel like they aren’t running enough and are losing fitness.  I’m not feeling that so much this time around.  I know I am not going to PR in this race because I haven’t been able to train as hard with shin splints, so I am a lot more laid back about cutting my running down.  Can I admit I am actually happy about only putting in 10-12 miles this week before the race?  (Gasp!)  I think that is a sign that after this race a couple weeks off a plan and cross training is in order.

How do you feel about tapering?  Do you have any secret tips for getting through tapering week?

December Goals

Wow, did December just fly by?!  Seems like yesterday I was setting my goals for the month and today we are wrapping up the year.  So how’d I do?  I’d give myself 75%.

Goal 1:  Hit 1,000 miles for the year.  I did it!

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And with one more run on tap with my running friend, Ceci, I hope to end the year at 1,065!

Goal 2: Stay Healthy.  I’ve worked hard this month at really listening to my body and not over doing it (see Goal 3).  I have been doing a lot of foam rolling, stretching and self massage on my shin splint and it is feeling much better than the beginning of the month, although not totally healed.  At the beginning of December I still was holding out hope that I would be able to complete the full marathon at Phoenix Rock and Roll.  I really, really wanted to cross that finish line and had even given up all time goals just to be able to say that I had done it, but then I went in to my local running store (Heart and Sole) to buy a new pair of Mizunos.  I just love this running store and the people that run it – they are very experienced and always have great advice.  I started telling them about my injury problems this fall and how RnR was coming up and that I wasn’t sure what to do.  They reminded me that I have many, many years ahead of me and why push my body beyond what it is ready to do and risk further injury?  (This advice was accompanied by their own stories of ‘pushing beyond their limits’ and ending up hurt for months afterwards).  So that sealed the deal for me.  I needed someone to talk me down from the full marathon and they did.  I am now signed up for the half marathon on January 19th, and have been training as such.

Looking forward to earning one of these in a couple weeks!

Looking forward to earning one of these in a couple weeks!

Goal 3: Complete the Runner’s World Holiday Streak.  I loved, loved, loved doing the Holiday Run Streak last year.  It kept me focused through the busy holidays and got me out the door even when it was cold out.  This year was different, though.  I already had a goal – get to Rock and Roll without further injury – and after two weeks of streaking, I decided to take a break.  I was feeling worn down and tired and I knew if I pushed through the month of December running everyday I would be burnt out in January.  As I look back on the decision, I think this has shown my growth this year.  Last year I wouldn’t have stopped.  This year, I have learned that I am not invincible and injury can happen.  I’m ending the month stronger than I started, and I attribute that to having a few rest days here and there.

Goal 4:  Complete the Run Chat Holiday Scavenger Hunt.  I absolutely loved doing this Scavenger Hunt this month.  It kept my runs interesting and forced me to run some new routes to find some of the items on my list.  My favorite run was when I had just three more things on my list –  I knew where I could find the items, but they weren’t in the neighborhoods I normally ran in, so I set off on my adventure.  I needed to find a body of water, a railroad crossing and a local coffee shop.  What I thought would be a 3-4 mile run, ended up being 7 miles that flew by.

20131231-071153.jpgWhile I didn’t win any of the prizes from this contest this round, I connected with some new runners via twitter and instagram and looking forward to their next hunt this spring.

That is my December in a nutshell.  Accomplished most of my goals, stayed healthy, am on the road to Phoenix and am looking forward to setting my 2014 running goals.

Let me just close with this one last snippet about running goals.  My 6 1/2 year old daughter loves to hear about how far my husband and I run and is always asking about how far a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon are.  She has completed four 5k runs this year – some running, some walking – and really enjoys crossing a finish line.  This week she decided she wanted to up the ante.  She wanted to go to the track and try to run 4 miles.  On Sunday morning, I took her up to the local high school, strapped my Garmin to her arm and told her she needed to complete approximately 16 laps to hit 4 miles.  I didn’t really think she would complete it and reminded her every time she passed me that if she was tired it was ok to stop.  Well.  She did it.  She didn’t run the whole thing, taking several walking breaks, but she did complete all 4 miles.  She was so happy and proud, and it reminded me about what makes goal setting so important.  Setting goals for yourself pushes you beyond what you think you can accomplish.  It makes the impossible seem possible with the right training.  My daughters enthusiasm and belief in herself was so innocent and beautiful.  It will be something that sticks with me during those hard training runs this coming year.  Believe and you can do it.

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December Goals

It’s the 1st of December and time to set some goals to get through the holiday season.

1. Back in January I decided I wanted to set an aggressive goal of running 1,000 miles this year.  I had originally considered 1,200  but thought I would give myself some wiggle room for injuries, and thank goodness for that.  Since I’ve logged a few miles in the last few days I thought it was time to see if I was going to make the 1,000 mile mark by the end of December and guess what?!…..

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I’m 44 miles away from making the mark!  So goal #1 for the month – hit the 1,000 mile mark!

2. Stay healthy.  With Phoenix Rock and Roll just a month and a half away, I have some decisions to make.  I’m signed up for the marathon right now and conceivably could run/walk it if I add two miles a week to my long runs over the next 8 weeks, but I’ll have to see how training goes.  Is it the wisest decision to jump back on a marathon plan after a couple months off ?  No.  Is it hard to give up on my dream of taking on my second 26.2? Yes.  I can always drop down to the half marathon if things don’t go well in the next couple of weeks, but I’m going to see how it goes.  The ultimate goal is to stay healthy, though, so I can take part the race, whatever the distance.

3. Run one mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Years.  I love the Runner’s World Holiday Streak.  It keeps me accountable to something over the holiday and that 10 minutes of fresh air a day helps me clear my head.

4. Finish the Run Chat Holiday to Holiday Scavenger Hunt.  I love this idea and they are giving away some fun prizes for the people that participate.  You can follow people participating using the hashtag #runchathunt on twitter.