Pre-Race Week Countdown

Eeeek it’s here, the final week of training before the Queens 1/2 Marathon!!! This will be my second Half Marathon, since my first back in April. It’s still crazy to me to think I can actually run 13miles, since I hated running and declared “I couldn’t run” prior to January 2011.

This Saturday’s Half will be different than my first, though. My for my first half I was nervous, but determined. I’d never run 13 miles before and I was going to finish the race no matter what. I’d do a fast crawl over the finish line if I had to.

I had no time goal for the race, the goal was simply to complete it. My goal for the Queens Half is the same, but for a very different reason…

Following my first Half Marathon, I suffered an injury. I was experiencing severe jabbing pains in my hip/but/back that also radiated down the side of my thigh. When it got to the point where the pain was so bad that it was preventing me from sleeping, I went to a doctor. After seeing 2 doctors, I was diagnosed with Piriformis Syndrom and subscribed 6wks of physical therapy. You can read more about my injury and journey here (pre-doctor), here (after seeing doctor #1) and here (after seeing a good doctor, #2). I’m now at the point where the pain is bearable and not constant by any means, but I am not 100% healed. I signed up for the Queens Half Marathon prior to being diagnosed with the injury, while I was still in the mindset that I was invincible; and while I was telling myself that pain was just me getting strong (yeah right, more like falling apart). In June, post-injury realization, I decided that I may not run the Queens Half; I was going to still try and train, but I was not going to push my body past where it felt comfortable. I just want to note that this generally goes against everything I believe in. I’m a strong advocate of pushing your mind and body to the limits, but in the case of injury, there needs to be some adjustments.

So here am I am, 3 days before the race and after going back and forth about it over the past couple of weeks — I’m going to do it! I’m going to run in the Queens Half Marathon, but I am not going to race. I am going into this Half Marathon with a slightly different mindset than probably most of my fellow runners.

Things I will be telling myself during the run:

  • It’s OK if I do not PR, I am recovering from an injury that is not completely healed. It’s better in the long run to take listen to my body during this race to than push myself.
  • As Melissa said it perfectly, “I will not be a hero” – if I need to walk part of it, it’s OK (for the above reason, as well as the heat)
  • Enjoy the scenery and take in the energy of the crowds
  • This is NOT a race, it’s a long run 🙂

Since long runs have been tough on me lately, my plan is to mentally break down the 13miles into three separate parts. Instead of running 13miles, I will be running 5mi + 5mi + 3mi…It’s all about mind games 🙂

I’ve been feeling a little tired and a tad worn down this week, but all in all my pre-race week is going well. Here’s my running schedule for this week:

Monday: 8miles  – I started off Monday with a strong 8mile run along my old friend, the East River. I was feeling unsettled about the race, concerned that I haven’t done enough medium to long runs these past two months of training, so I needed this last one to give me the confidence I need. I got what I needed!

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 6miles, starting to taper down

Thursday: 3-4miles planned, but may rest

Friday: REST – as in, “I’m not moving at all”

Saturday: Race day!

I will also be partaking in a lot of stretching over the next few days and a few light hip and thigh exercises tonight and Thursday in order to prepare my muscles for the long distance.

In preparation, I also headed over to Sports Authority the other day and purchased an Adidas Adizero Hat to help keep my head cool and the beating sun off my face:

…and Gu Chomps.

In the past I’ve run with the energy jelly beans, but I wanted to try something new. The jelly beans worked well for me, but as they’re small, there’s phyiscally more pieces you need to eat to get equal energy. The Gu Chomps are squares that feel and taste like gummy bears essentially. I used one this morning just to test it out and make sure it sat well in my stomach – it did! Fueling during the run will be important this go around, as my body does not naturally deal well with the heat.

I also need to hydrate this week so I’ve been gulping water like crazy, which is easy because I’m thirsty about 100% of the day. I’ve also been randomly sprinkling salt on everything to attempt to retain the water — water generally goes in and out of me in a blink (TMI?). I have extremely low blood pressure, so I feel like a little extra salt can’t hurt anyways (disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian, I could be way off here). Last night after work I went to the Standard Beer Garden in meatpacking for a beer with some co-workers and tomorrow night I’m grabbing a glass of vino with a friend to catch up, but other than that I don’t plan on drinking until Saturday after the race…sooooo 10 mimosas!?

QUESTIONS: Are you running a race this weekend?? What’s your favorite “night before the race” meal? Any rituals you do the night before a race? What do you do to prepare for a race the week before? 

To everyone running with me this weekend, good luck!!!!

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9 Responses to Pre-Race Week Countdown

  1. Dori says:

    I really like Shot Bloks — look at the ingredients of those compares to the other stuff. Big difference. And they taste good. I also keep a Gatorade/water mix in my handheld. Note to self: buy Gatorade!

    So excited for the half!!!!

    • Eeek I just compared the ingredients of Gu Chomps vs. Shot Blocks online — you’re completely right, I was just assuming they were all made of up a bunch of fake ingredients, didn’t realize there was a better option! I’m go out and get some Shot Blocks now instead….Cliff makes some good products.

  2. Becky says:

    I’m planning on running the Queens half this weekend as well. Running, not racing! I’m also using it as a long run. I had a terrible 15 mile run last week, I assume due to the heat and a bad mood, so Saturday, I plan to complete the 13 miles, and tack on another 4 somewhere in Queens (hopefully I won’t get too lost). I use chomps and I absolutely love them. It’s great that they’re so potent and you only need one or two.
    The night before I try to eat really light, really I fuel up the lunch meal the day before by adding some extra pasta or rice to whatever I’m having.

  3. Becky says:

    I’m also running it because NYRR always puts up those misting stations and they are awesome in this heat 😉

  4. Melissa says:

    awesome! I will see you on the course. It’s going to be a good day!

  5. Kelly says:

    oh, good luck on Saturday! I’ve never run Queens and kind of wish I had signed up. The night before a race I usually just chill out and eat something with some carbs. Usually quinoa with veggies or something simple like that. You’ll do great – can’t wait to hear how it goes!!

  6. Amy says:

    Woooo good luck! 10 mimosas totally sounds about right for post-race re-hydration 😉 And the race is nice and early so hopefully the heat won’t kick in until it’s over!

  7. Pingback: Queens Half Recap: The day I felt like a runner | sweatpassionandtears

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