“Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud every step of the way.”
So here I am a again, getting ready to run the Nashville Full Marathon. And guess what? They are calling for rain! Is it just me or does it always seem to rain on marathon weekend in Nashville? Last year was about the only time I remember it not raining and I wasn’t running it because I had done Boston just days before. Don’t get me wrong, rain can be ok. I ran my best time ever two years ago in the pouring down rain right here in Nashville. However, it’s not ideal! And this Saturday they are calling for thunderstorms, thunder and lightening are a whole different ball game. So only time will tell us what Mother Nature is going to bring!
Three weeks ago I ran my last Long run, 23 miles. I have been tapering ever since, and this week have ran less than I have in months. Tapering is sometimes hard for us type A runners, but it is a necessity. You have to give your body time to rest and heal from all of the training, so you are prepared for marathon day. So now that race day is almost here, I thought I would share a few ways I get ready for the big day.
1. Get plenty of rest. That means not only rest for your legs but actual sleep.
2. Hydrate! The worst thing you can do is go into a marathon dehydrated. You are about to put your body through the ringer and you and your muscles need water! All week before a race I drink water constantly.
3. Avoid High fiber foods. We all know running can increase activity in the old intestinal tract, so anything you eat that aggravates that could potentially cause a not so fun problem on race day. (Especially 2-3 days out)
4. Keep an eye on the weather so you choose the right clothes. It’s also a good idea to test out anything new you may wear, so you know that it’s not going to chafe you or rub you in the wrong places. Dealing with raw skin after a marathon is rough!
5. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. I have to admit, I am not the best at taking time to stretch. (Okay, maybe I’m actually the worst at it) However, the week of the race I try to stretch almost daily to try to avoid tight muscles.
6. Get your running playlist together. I always strategically create a new playlist before a race. I like to have my favorite songs ready. I also always chose some new songs so on race day I have some fresh music to listen to. I mean I am all about some “Uptown Funk” but burnout has set it on that song!
7. Get excited! I try to get pumped up mentally for the run. I find out who all I may see along the way and where I may see them. Sometimes it’s actually easier for the runner to spot the spectator than it is the other way around, especially if we know where you are planning to be. As corny as it may sound, I picture the finish line in my head over and over again, and I remind myself how truly amazing it feels to cross it. I firmly believe running is part body strength and part mental strength. You need both. You may not have a sore muscles or a pain in your body while you’re running, but hit that mental wall……..and its a wrap for ya. A mental wall is hard to come back from.
Regardless of what happens, I always remember the real reason why I run. Yes I run to stay in shape and I run so I can eat ice cream. Mostly though, I run to remind myself to work hard, never give up, and that anything is possible.