By: Daria Shaw
The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is over. The pain in your legs within days, but the glory of your finish will last FOREVER!
T-minus 5 days until the BIG EVENT! Here I am, in my second running challenge in the past 4 months, with a much different mental prowess. In my last event, the Across the Bay 10K in November, I concerned myself less about my time and more about visualization. With my 13.1 mile debut this coming Saturday, my focus and emphasis has been on nutrition, sleep, and workouts (and not necessarily in that order).
First, let’s talk about nutrition; to be honest, it has not changed that much from my 10K training. The only difference is that my meal frequency has increased! My meals are clean and balanced; no deprivation or restriction. I find myself eating every 2 – 2 1/2 hours. One thing that I did change from my Fall training was my need for supplemental shakes/drinks to help me “prepare,” “sustain,” and “recover.” Don’t get me wrong, I experienced great benefits when implemented but these Winter training months have left me feeling nothing short of COLD! As I head into the final stretch, my plan is to stay prepared with regards to my meal planning throughout the day and week; stay consistent with eating every 2-3 hours; stay hydrated; and include a banana in at least one meal per day, maybe two (I find I need the potassium)!
Sleep, it does a body good, yet has become such a challenge for me due to my unusual work hours. My goal, at this point, is quality over quantity. Creating a nightly ritual seems to help provide a sense of calmness and get me in the zone. My plan is to read for 30-40 minutes before bed and no television. Reading subdues my mind and aids my sleep, for sure!
Finally, my workouts have been KEY to staying the course, feeling strong, and allowing for the long runs to be, shall I say, “effortless” (okay, maybe that is a stretch). My training plan was a combination of heavy strength training days, combined with sprint work, and one LONG training run over the weekend. Although some of the workouts needed to be tweaked here and there due to weather, I, for the most part, adapated and stayed as true as possible to the training rubric. One of my biggest takaways from this experience – I have been training for ~10 weeks – is that the running component is truly mental; it has been the workouts from my “non-long run” day that is giving me the strength and power to cover the 13.1 mile distance, injury free, and with a smile on my face!
So, during this last week of training, it is my time to really reflect on this training program and my personal success. These positive thoughts alone keep me psyched for Saturday!
Keep you posted on all the “nuttiness” from next weekend! 🙂
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