Week before a race…

The Hotlanta Half Marathon is SUNDAY! Meaning 3 full days stand between me and 13.1 miles. I have to admit, these last few weeks of running have been really exhausting. I almost feel like I was in peak performance mode a couple weeks back and now my body is just overran. I’ve also just now looked up the elevation chart and read some reviews online of past races and WHOA! Everyone complains about the hills. This course looks pretty challenging. Scenic, but hilly. Last year I guess it torrentially downpoured shortly after the last corral was out and people ran miles and miles in sopping rain. (That ain’t me). It’s also supposed to really crank up in humidity this weekend and be a high of 97 degrees. Lord have mercy. Luckily, we will be running into the heat with a 7am start.

Can’t you see I’m getting a little psyched out? Haha. I am excited, don’t get me wrong… Just a little scared! It’s also the first half I’ve done alone! Usually I can count on my trustee brother in law to step up to the plate… but he had major knee surgery over the last year and we’ve also moved pretty far away from the Chicago area.

I’ve put a little more thought into this race since I had the time to research and prepare for it in other ways than just pounding pavement. Here are a few things I plan to do that will be new to me this half.

  • Bringing my own water bottle
    • Remember this little diddy? I have never brought my own hydration with me. And though this doesn’t hold a ton, it could be a timesaver for the first few miles when the course and water stops are crowded.  Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 6.51.47 AM
  • Waterstopping in general
    • In the past, I trained without drinking any water for my long runs. This year I have incorporated my own water stops, or bringing it with me. I’m going to try to hit more of them up this year and see how I feel. It’s also way more humid down here in Hotlanta, I’m usually dying for some water earlier than expected.
  • Fuel
    • Never have I ever carried snacks with me for a race. I have read everywhere that 30-50g of carbs for runs longer than an hour are a great idea to maintain a good pace and help your body to avoid glycogen depletion. The idea is to get something easily portable and easy to eat on the go. I’m not into spending the hot dollar for the energy gels or sports beans when research has shown that candy, bananas, pretzels, etc. work just as well. Plus, have you tasted some of those sports performance gels? YUCK. Here’s what I’m planning to use..
    • Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.41.14 PM
  • Eating in the days before
    • No, I do not believe carbo-loading is at all necessary before a half marathon, however I will be making sure to swap less fibrous foods for other options, as well as eat enough to make sure my body is properly fueled leading up to the day. Not a time to count calories or skip meals!

My big consistent ritual before a half marathon is the early dinner I have the night before… which, I like to call “magic meat.” Never have I ever had this dinner and had a bad race. The one time I worked too late and ate a slice of cake on the way home instead of a real dinner, I didn’t have a strong finish. So what is this magic meat? A gyro sandwich (and fries!). For some reason, this was what I had before my first ever half marathon (thank you Five Faces in Chicago, oh how I miss you). That race went really well for me and so I decided on my next big race I would do the same thing and so on and so on. Now, I’ve only got a few days to find my next favorite gyro place in our town so I can continue the tradition Saturday night.Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.53.20 PM

 

Is anyone else out there running the Hotlanta Half? Or training for one of your own? Let me know if you have any tips and tricks for getting ready the days leading up!

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