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

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)

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

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)

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

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:


Breakfast: Oatmeal w/berries

Lunch: Turkey Sandwich on White Bread

Dinner: Stir Fry with white rice


Breakfast: Waffles with berries and bananas

Lunch: Baked Potato with Salsa

Dinner: Gnocci w/ marinara


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

Screenshot 2014-01-15 20.09.59

Happy carb loading!

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!

Screenshot 2014-01-13 08.12.26

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?