This is a big week. I run the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 19th. With months of physical training under my belt, I am going through the motions of mentally preparing for the race. In past marathons, these are the things that have worked for me:
~ Visualization. I know the course, including terrain and landmarks. This is incredibly helpful as I mentally prepare for Heartbreak Hill and all the Boston course has to offer. I can see myself successfully approaching each landmark and making it to the next, one mile at a time.
~ Diet. I reduce my fiber intake for a few days before the race. Otherwise, I don’t do anything out of the ordinary, which is tempting when I know I’m about to burn 2600 calories in one morning (!!). Four hours before the race, I eat oatmeal and have a cup of coffee and water. One hour before the race, I have a Power Bar and more water. The 10:30 am start time is late and a little tricky, but this eating plan has worked for me in the past.
~ Rest. After months of intense training, it’s actually hard to rest. This week, I will run 3 miles on Mon, Wed and Fri. No spinning this week and no weight training. I will not run on Saturday or Sunday before the race (on Monday). It’s tempting to stray from this plan, especially when my husband will probably run while in Boston. Nevertheless, I’ll stay back if I’m smart. Runs at that point do nothing for my fitness level and rest is what I need most. Walking around Boston for two days will keep me loose.
~ Race nutrition. There will be hydration stops every mile along the way. I never drink that often on training runs. I usually grab fluids every 3 miles or so. So, my race plan is to use every other stop to take 2-3 gulps of Gatorade. I will also stick with my usual Gu plan, which is one every hour, which for me is every 7-8 miles. I have practiced this with long runs, so I know it works for me.
Other than that, I just need to keep it real. This is my third marathon in six months. I’ve never attempted a race schedule like this before, so I am in new territory. I will be running the race with family and friends, which makes it extra special, so I need to just enjoy the experience. It’s probably no surprise that there’s not a lot of food experimentation happening this week. Although, I am trying a new recipe for dinner tonight using an old favorite – Portobello mushrooms. I’ll let you know how it goes!