Monthly Archives: January 2014

Pre-Race Prep

When I wake up tomorrow, I get to live my dream! Sunday is the P.F. Chang’s Phoenix Rock n’ Roll Marathon, my FIRST marathon :) I’ve been dying to run an official 26.2 miles since I began high school cross country and started training for this race specifically in October.

Today my best friend drove us to Phoenix. Tempe, actually. {Pit stop at Sprouts for snacks and Starbucks for caffeine} We were southbound! I played DJ in the car, jammin out to some Daughtry, Miley, Elli Goulding, Avicii and obviously Eminem. If you passed two white girls (not so) hardcore rapping in a Corolla along the I-17, that was probably us:

marathon expo best friend

driving to phoenixFirst stop: convention center to pick up my racing bib, race shirt and shwaggggg bag. I’m in Corral #1 which means I get to start in the first wave of the race! Front Row, Yo!

rock n roll marathon pictureThere were dozens of booths for running gear and shoes which we bypassed, strictly focused on the vendors with samples ;) You know you do this too! We filled up on larabars, PowerBars, Jelly Belly sports beans, granola bites, snap pea crisps, and cereal cups.

marathon expo best friend a

Time for real food! We headed back to the hotel with my parents for lunch and a SHAKEOUT:

*** Shake-out: *** the concept of a shake-out run was introduced to me in college. Either the morning of or the evening before a serious race, a shake-out is an easy, comfortable-paced jog of a few miles in order to get your muscles loose and ready to perform.

Kerri accompanied me on a 3-miler around our Tempe hotel and it felt GLORIOUS. My legs wanted MORE but they will have to wait til tomorrow ;)

Since this is my first marathon experience I wanted to make sure I packed everything I needed.

  • Band-aids of every shape & size
  • Ibuprofen (& Tylenol)
  • iPod, charger, and arm-band
  • Garmin
  • Gu fuel packs
  • Race confirmation sheet & ID
  • 4 different race outfits (for every type of weather, duh)
  • RUNNING SHOES (seems obvious but I’ve forgotten these for a track meet before & was forced to make a quick purchase at JCPenney’s….never again)
  • Pre-race breakfast of banana, oatmeal, coffee
  • Plenty of hair ties
  • Sport-specific sunscreen

One cool feature of the race is it’s partnership with competitor.com that will post my mid-race time splits on my Facebook page, as well as text my registered family & friends with my current distance and time. Even when they can’t see me, they’ll be in the loop of how I’m doing.

Pre-race dinner:

premarathon dinner with fam (stronglikemycoffee.com)I wanted something pretty basic but full of carbs. The night before a 26.2 mile outting, I’m not too concerned with calories. My Phoenix friend Chelsea met my family, Kerri & I at Ruby Tuesday’s. Got my fill of pasta! :) Time to get some sleep, rest up for my little run tomorrow… Post-race recap to come <3

Marathon MOTIVATION

Today is an especially inspiring hodge-podge of quotes, links, videos, and songs that I have found motivational in my past three months of training for my first marathon. Getting goosebumps just thinking about it now!

First off, I started a “Marathon” board on Pinterest (obviously…) you can follow here —> Marathon.

1.) Many marathoners have professed the power of the “mantra”. Who am I to question them?

**Mantras are phrases that you can repeat to yourself to bring your mind back to a relaxing and calm state**

The phrase I selected:

Its simple (easy to remember!) and should be a reminder to relax in case I feel some nerves or doubt.

2.) A lot of people ask Why are you running a marathon? If you have to ask, you won’t understand. To them, running 26.2 miles (by choice!) seems like hard work, a punishment, not a fun activity for their Sunday morning. That is not the case for myself and the thousands of other racers I will be joining at the start line.

Training is a lifestyle quote

Running literally changes you. Long distance training increases your endurance and patience in tough situations. It’s stress relief…energy release…”me” time…cardio exercise.

3.) This video is a pretty sweet compilation of running clips. How cool would it be to have video of clips from each of your most memorable runs/workouts in scenic settings, vacations, camps, etc.?! Future project for myself…

4.) Now something a little less serious…..

It’s funny because IT’S TRUE! My neighbors can confirm ;)

5.) If I needed any further motivation, it would be this right here:

Marathon motivation...my biggest fans (stronglikemycoffee.com)

My dad is on his bike next to me whenever I need a running partner at home. He and my mom are so proud of me and supportive of my marathon training. If I ever doubt myself, I can think about the amount of time & energy they have put into helping me get here! How lucky I am to have parents so happy to help me achieve my dream!

6.) It’s no secret that MUSIC is one of my biggest motivators. Whenever I download new songs, my first thought is always “I can’t wait to go running so I can listen to this!” What a fitness nerd…

I’ve posted a series of songs from my marathon training playlist so I’ll continue with this little treasure…”Breathe” by Ryan Star

Been listening to this one since high school!

7.) Because my research on tapering before a marathon concluded that the final week is all about CONFIDENCE, I will include this last personal bit of motivation. I’ve watched myself grow from a struggling high school cross country runner, to a recruited D1 collegiate athlete, to FINALLY a marathoner. It makes me proud. Every day I am grateful for the ability to run because it is my passion, something that I will never give up. My motivation is the fact that I have been thinking about this challenge for more than five years and I am finally going to accomplish one of my biggest goals :)

Track throwback (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Track Throwback from Senior Year!

**Bonus Marathon Training Playlist Song!**

This one seems obvious. But a playlist wouldn’t be complete without Mr. Eminem. I plan on repeating this song no less than 6 times during race day ;)

If you have some other source of inspiration please share! :)

Marathon Training – Last Month Taper

For anyone training for their very first marathon, I am right there with ya. Everything is an experiment…what pace should I start out at? How often should I fuel? How often should I drink water? What should I eat the night before? How will I recover? It’s all a big learning experience and I have to be confident that my body is in good enough shape for whatever I throw its way!

Two weeks ago, my long run was 21 miles which I covered in about 2 hours 40 minutes. At the end of the 21 miles, my legs were pretty trashed and the next day I was sore to walk. Now that the longest long run is over, HERE COMES THE TAPER :)

Tapering for a marathon (stronglikemycoffee.com)Saturday’s long run was a mere 12 miles….insignificant after weeks of building from 12 to 14 to 17 to 21 miles. I feel like I should be running MORE MORE MORE. As much as I can! Build up the mileage to get ready for the race! But every training program I’ve read says NO. That is a huge mistake. Your body has put in the work, you need to trust that you will not lose your strength & speed, and now is the time to pull back and let your body “recover.”

Apparently feeling anxious during the tapering period (roughly three weeks leading up to race day) is pretty common for marathoners. I felt reassured after reading this article from Runner’s World: It’s Taper Time. I love the part that said the easy runs during the 6 days before the marathon are more for your “head than your body.” Some of my other favorite take-aways:

  • The last week is about feeling CONFIDENT
  • During the end of the taper, you can’t “underdo” – you can only overdo.
  • Nutrition and getting in carbs & fluids is extremely important; don’t look at the scale (don’t worry, I won’t!!)

This period worries me. Reducing mileage translates to one thing for me: weight gain. When I was running 80 miles a week I didn’t need to worry about the ice cream, peanut butter and lattes that I would treat myself to. Once I was injured at school, I had zero physical activity for a few weeks and gained a few pounds. My problem? I have an appetite and love for food that requires 60 minutes minimum of cardio a day to off-set ;)

Banana Split Farrell's Trough

So I tell myself: Trust the taper, follow the plan, have a successful marathon and worry about the number on the scale after the race is over.

With all kinds of extra time as my workout schedule decreases I can focus on getting back to into school mode, making new healthy recipes and finding time for other hobbies like photography or blogging!

Only 11 days separate me from my first marathon. The latest song in the marathon training playlist rotation is… dun dun dunnnnn………

Take It Out On Me by Florida-Georgia Line.

I love country music. When I run I listen to pop, alternative and sometimes hip-hop because it’s got a better beat and more energy to go with exercise. But sometimes country songs are just as motivating and I love this song by the country boy duo. Even though I can’t really relate to the lyrics, it’s grit really ignites my motivation and I usually find I can pump up the treadmill a couple levels whenever this song pops up on my iPod ;)

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