Hi friends! Sunday is the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon!! Finally, right? I feel like I’ve been talking about this forever. Truthfully, we began training in January, so it’s been quite a while. This is my third half and Chris’ first! So, there’s a lot of excitement and a lot of nerves in our household t his week! Well, not Miles. He pretty much just sleeps all the time.
Ain’t it the life?
In our training plan, we’ve run over 200 miles! Physically, we’re prepared. This week, it’s all about mental preparedness and little tweaks.
Mentally, we’re a little frazzled over here. Our longest run was 11 miles, and even though I know that’s more than enough to prepare us for 13.1, it’s hard to convince someone who’s never run a half before that 11 miles in training equals 13 miles on raceday. It just seems like bad math, but it’s not! I think any more training miles would be unnecessary and could lead to an injury. I think Chris believes me. Maybe.
Also, the weather forecast for this weekend isn’t looking too great at the moment. They’re predicting rain and possibly thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday. We didn’t really prepare for rain. It sounds silly, for a spring race, but rain just didn’t cross my mind. It won’t make running impossible (although thunderstorms will probably cancel the race), but it will make it less enjoyable. Running in the rain is a drag. Literally, it weighs you down and forces you to be more cautious about each step. There’s no two ways around it; it’s just not that fun. We are obviously bummed. We’ve worked so hard for so long, it’ll be frustrating to have a crappy race day. Also, we were able to run all of long runs outside this year in pretty great weather, so this just feels very ironic. Right now, it’s too soon to tell what the weather will actually do. We’re hoping the rain either arrives early, late or misses us entirely. We’ve got all 60 fingers, toes and claws crossed over here.
Physically, I’m slacking a bit. This week is crazy busy for me. I just have a lot going on, so running is sort of taking a backseat. We only have a 2 and a 3 on the schedule this week, so I’m not missing much, but I might do a super light run on Friday just to get the lead out.
As far as the tweaks, here’s what we’re doing differently this week to prepare for an awesome race:
- Keeping our feet safe! No crazy/new shoes that will cause blisters or feet pain.
- Icing and stretching achy muscles.
- Bike riding carefully to get our energy out without causing any soreness.
- Eating lots of carbs. So hard, I know, we’re troupers for sure 😉 I don’t follow any sort of carbo loading rules; I just try and fill my plate with extra carby goodness at every meal. I don’t eat past the point of being full, but I’m also not going to bed hungry any nights this week.
- Avoiding tons of fat and fiber. These are tough on your digestive tract, so this week we’re steering clear of brown grains (the horror!), broccoli, and lots of butter or oil.
- Getting lots of sleep. Again, so hard. I’m working really hard to meet my 10:30 bed time every night, and I’ve been trying to “wind down” starting around 9:30, so I can get my body ready for an earlier than normal bed time pre-race day.
- Picking out race clothes. This depends on the weather, so I’m holding off just a bit, but I’ll follow my usual rule of never wearing anything new on race day, and writing out a check list the night before so I don’t forget anything important.
- Printing registration confirmations, driving directions and parking and shuttle instructions. It makes race day a lot easier when you’ve got all your important documents on hand.
- Reflecting. It sounds silly, but races are always over before you know it. You train forever and ever, then you’re done! It’s important for me to look back to where I started, remember every long run, good, bad or ugly, and appreciate how far I’ve come. That’s probably the most meaningful part of the whole experience for me.
We’ll pick up our race packets on Saturday and probably take the opportunity to stroll through our alma mater. Pre-race dinner is already planned at Cuban Pete’s (a favorite) with extra rice please!!
We’ve put in the work and done the time. Now, we just have to calm our frayed nerves, get our heads right and do our best on Sunday. Rain or shine, I can’t wait to get out and run!