Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Have a Confession

One of the goals I set for myself for my triathlon training was to train consistently. Because sometimes schoolwork and being a college student get in the way of my training, I have turned to morning workouts as the solution to this. And I must confess, I kind of sort of really like morning workouts. Shocking, I know!

So far I have only done short recovery runs in the morning but I used to swim in the mornings twice a week when I was in high school. Since I have not done any hard workouts in the morning I obviously cannot comment on them, but I gotta say that morning workouts are very relaxing.

I love checking the weather and setting out all of gear the night before. I love waking up, getting dressed, and heading out the door all in ten minutes. And I love going outside and enjoying the outdoors while most people are stressfully driving into work.

Hahaha not exactly what I mean

I feel so calm and at peace with myself during those morning hours. I don't have to really think much because I'm doing a recovery run. I have a tendency to zone out for the majority of the run just enjoying being outside but somehow end up having life changing thoughts. I have come up with some of my best ideas during morning runs, and I have also worked out a lot of stressful problems during these runs.

I always feel so relaxed during the day after doing a morning run, and I am also usually smiling the whole day too. Morning runs give me this sense of power and confidence because I have already started my day off by doing something so productive and good for myself. Not to mention I am doing something that I really enjoy.

I know a lot of other runners and triathletes are morning people and swear by their AM workouts but if you are not a morning person I am challenging you to give it a try. You don't have to workout every morning or even for a long time. Just wake up 30 minutes earlier and go outside. I promise you will notice things that you would never have seen later in the day. And you will be amazed how great you will feel for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Goals for Triathlon Training

Today marks the third day of triathlon training for me and so far I am both excited and scared. I have never done a triathlon before but I think I am going to really enjoy doing them. There are a lot of aspects to triathlons and triathlon training that are very new for me and I want to make sure that I go into my races feeling confident and prepared.

1. Don't succumb to the fear of failure. I often don't put in as much training as I should and quite frankly I am sick of it. I don't want to assume that I am going to fail anymore. The sport of triathlon is completely new to me and I am excited to be going in as a complete newbie without any pressure. It doesn't matter if I am slow because right now I am learning. Failure only exists if I let it.

2. Train consistently and don't let small things derail me. I frequently think that all of my training is ruined because I miss one or two workouts. I can no longer have this mentality if I want to train successfully. When I ask both running and triathlon veterans what their secrets are to successfully training for events I am always told consistency. Consistently training is the thing I need to work on the most.

3. Practice the things that scare me or I have never done. I am a complete cycling newbie so pretty much everything regarding cycling is included here. I want to practice climbing hills, practice clipping in and out, practice going downhill, pretty much everything. I want to practice open water swimming, figure out how to fuel during training, and how to run on tired legs.

4. Make training a priority. There have been so many times where I have missed crucial runs because I wanted to please other people. It is not fair to myself to commit to training for a race and then skip workouts because of outside distractions. Even though I have never done a triathlon before it is important to me.

5. Lose weight but fuel my body properly. I am not starting some crazy weight loss plan but I would like to take off a few pounds. I am not comfortable with my body and one of my goals for this year is to build confidence. I want to lose weight the safe way by working out, not starving myself. The other part of this goal is to balance losing weight with training properly. I know how important eating is for training so don't expect me to be giving up food any time soon.

6. Take things one day at a time. In life in general I am constantly thinking about the future and what it has in store for me. This often causes me to forget to enjoy the present because I am always worrying about the future. I don't want to let one missed day of training to derail my entire training. I need to take each day as it comes and focus on the present.

7. Don't forget about the big picture. I need to remember that my goal is to do my first Olympic distance triathlon to the best of my ability while having fun. The most important thing is that I enjoy both the training and the race. I don't want to let sticking to my training plan suck all of the fun out of this experience.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Unofficial 5K PR!

Yesterday marked the first official day of triathlon training for me! I mentioned in yesterday's post that I am allowing myself to be very flexible with my training, which means that I am not following any kind of plan I found online. I know my strengths and weaknesses and I am just going to work off of those. I do have some specific workouts scheduled for each week that I want to make sure I hit though.

Since I haven't biked or swam in awhile and my running hasn't been very consistent so far this year I decided to do a time trial in all three of the triathlon legs to see where I am at. I want to be able to track my progress and make sure that my training is working. The plan is a 5K run, 30 min bike, and 1,000 yard swim.  

New things make me so happy!

I decided to do the 5K run yesterday because I have been itching to go for a run since running the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon. I wasn't so sure that a hard run was the best way to start running again but I wanted to make all my the time trials the first workouts I did in those sports. 

Going into the run I had no idea what my time would look like. I just kept telling myself to run fast and we'll work from there to run even faster next time. As soon as I started running I knew this was going to be a good run, though. My legs just wanted to run and run they did. 

I felt a little nauseous during the run and my lungs were really burning but my legs felt like they could run forever, although I'm sure if I asked them to they would change their minds. In the end, I ran 3.1 miles in 25:41 for a 1:16 PR! I know this doesn't count but I am still really happy. 

Avg Pace

I can't wait to see where things go from here. On tap for the rest of the week is my bike and swim time trials and some recovery workouts to get my body used to training again.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Putting Together a Triathlon Training Plan

Even though I have not officially decided on which Olympic distance triathlon I will be doing this year, I am almost certain about the Terrapin Sprint Triathlon on May 6. Assuming I do the General Smallwood International Triathlon on July 8, I have 15 weeks to train. I am jumping right into triathlon training on Monday, though, since I only have 6 weeks to train to the Terrapin Triathlon.

Luckily I have a somewhat solid base in running and have a rock solid base in swimming. The problem for me is the bike. Last year I bought a nice hybrid bike which I will use since I can't justify paying $1,000-2,000 for a road or tri bike when I have never done a triathlon before. I know how to ride a bike fine and I actually really enjoy riding, the problem for me though is climbing.

Even though I have never done a triathlon before, I decided to create my own training plan. I have a lot of circumstances that do not fit into the majority of the training plans I found online and I don't want to pay for custom training. I know my strengths and weaknesses and I don't necessarily care about how speedy I am.

I have put together a plan of sorts but I decided to only lay out which workouts I want to do each week. My schedule changes from week to week and I have found that I get stressed out when I can't do the workout that is written for a particular day. I am also going to be revising and editing the plan based on what is and isn't working, and if I fall behind at all.

I am a very strong swimmer and even though I haven't been to the pool since December I know that this is by far my strongest leg and that I don't need to put much time into training for this leg. Since I was a swimmer for such a long time I really don't have to worry about much. I love doing freestyle but I also like backstroke and butterfly and like doing kicking and pulling drills. Just because triathlon has long open water swims I am not going to limit myself in the pool. I am planning on swimming twice a week for 30-45 minutes and focusing on enjoying something that I have spent my entire life doing.

This is the tricky part for me. I know the bike is my weakest leg so I want to really spend a lot of time getting myself comfortable in the saddle. The big dilemma that I have is that I don't live in a very safe area so riding outside is not really an option until classes end and I come home to Pennsylvania for the summer. I have a bike trainer and I strangely really enjoy riding on the trainer, but I know that getting outside is crucial. Luckily I should have enough time after school ends before the General Smallwood International Triathlon to get in the proper time on the roads. I also need to get comfortable using my clipless pedals. I can use them fine on the trainer because I can't fall over, but going out on the road with them terrifies me.

If only this was me..

The run in a sprint triathlon is 3.1 miles and the run in an Olympic distance triathlon is 6.2 miles, both of which I know I can successfully complete. Because I am running the Rock N' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in September I don't want to lose a lot of my running fitness while triathlon training. I really struggled to do the long runs while training at school though so I am excited to be able to focus on shorter distances. With that being said, though, I want to establish a nice base for when I transition back to half marathon training.

The plan:

  • 2 30-45 minute swims a week 
  • 4 bike rides a week, including a brick, a long ride, a recovery ride, and a hard ride
  • 5 runs a week, including a brick, a longer run, a recovery run, an interval run, and a whatever run
I know there is more running than what most people incorporate into triathlon training, but I am setting some big goals for myself for running this fall and I want to go into training as prepared as possible. I am also planning on adding open water swims when possible and doing two bricks a week in the summer.

The part of my training that I need to work on the most is my nutrition but that will be a whole other post so stay tuned! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Comes Next

Now that the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon is over I am going to be shifting gears a little to triathlon training! I have already signed up for the Keystone State Olympic Triathlon in August and am looking at two others to also sign up for.

First is the Terrapin Sprint Triathlon at the University of Maryland. I have never done a triathlon before and want to do a small sprint as my first. This race consists of an 800 yard pool swim, a 12 mile bike leg, and a 5K run. The race consists of mostly students and Maryland alums, meaning a small field. I also want to do this race because it is about 40 minutes from my apartment and I can pick up my packet the morning of the race. It is rather difficult to drive in to pick up race packets in advance with my current class schedule. The University of Maryland pool was also my favorite to compete in and I have made a lot of great memories at that pool.

The other triathlon I am looking at doing is the General Smallwood International Triathlon in Marbury, Maryland. I really struggled to come up with an Olympic distance triathlon that I wanted to do. I thought about the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon but I was hesitant because I would need to book a hotel. Then I contemplated doing the DC Tri but couldn't get over how expensive the race is. In the end it doesn't matter because the DC Tri has been cancelled. Even though the General Smallwood International Triathlon is almost 90 minutes away from my apartment, I can't really beat the cheap price. I can also pick my packet up the morning of the race which is a huge plus.

What I am doing now is coming up with a plan for my training. I want to take triathlon training more serious so I am putting a lot of thought and effort into constructing my training plan. I am also taking this time to start learning about triathlon nutrition and fueling. I purchased the Triathlete's Training Bible at the beginning of the year so I have been consulting that as well as various websites to learn as much as I can about triathlons.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dream Big: 26.2?!

Now that I have run two half marathons (you can read my recaps here and here) I have been thinking more and more about making the jump to the full marathon. Ever since reading about the New York City Marathon a year and a half ago I have known that I wanted to run a marathon. I have dreamed about what it would be like to train for and run 26.2 miles. But at the same time, it was all just a dream. It was something that I said I was going to do at some point in my life, but it didn't matter when I did it. It was not something that I was ready for yet. Until now.

Since I ran my first half marathon in October I have been tossing around the idea of running a marathon this fall. But that's all it was: an idea. I liked to think that I was going to run a marathon but in reality it probably wasn't going to happen. But all of that changed on Monday.

These people can run 26.2 miles!

I was talking with a family friend who used to be a runner about the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon and the Rock N' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in September. He has done both races, but before they were bought by Competitor. He asked me if I had ever run a full marathon and when I said no he asked completely seriously why not. I told him I wanted to run one at some point but that I was happy running half marathons right now. He didn't like my answer.

After talking for awhile longer he had convinced me that I really could run a marathon in the near future. I liked knowing that a very experienced runner was telling me that I was ready to make that leap.

When I came home I told my mom about what our friend had said. I expected her to say that I didn't have enough experience as a runner and that a marathon was realistic but in a few more years. She did not give me the response I was expecting.

She said she thought I could run a full marathon this fall. At that moment, the idea of running a marathon became real. It became no longer something so far fetched. All I keep thinking is that this is now real. I am still not sure if I am going to run a marathon this fall but only because I want to make sure that I will have time to properly train (I need to figure out my schedule for next fall first).

Yay, more marathon pictures!

This may not seem like a big deal to all of you who run multiple marathons a year but this is huge for me. Running a marathon is no longer one of those bucket list items that we say we want to do and really intend to do at some point but never get around to. Running a marathon is becoming a reality.

And it is scary, but something I have been dreaming of for a long time now.

This is not me telling you that I am running a marathon this year, but rather this is me telling you that once I am sure that I can dedicate the proper amount of time to training I will run a marathon.

I love pictures of people running.

I haven't scheduled my classes for next fall yet but I can tell you that based on the classes that I am planning on taking I will most definitely have the time to embark on this journey. I have already been looking at what marathon I would run in the fall if the opportunity presents itself and I think I have made my decision.

All I have left to say is that if I do run a fall marathon it will be the best time of my life!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Proper Race Recovery

I am still on a runner's high from Saturday's half marathon and I have been itching to get outside for a run all week. But I know that is not a smart idea just yet. I pushed myself hard on Saturday and my body could definitely feel it on Sunday. The last thing I want is to get injured because I jumped back into running too quickly. Even though I am no longer sore I know that my body needs more time to recover. Because I do not do well unless I outline my plan for things, I put together a recovery plan to get me ready for my next training cycle healthy and happy.

1. At least five days of no running. Even though I want to run, there is really no need for me to run just yet. After my first half marathon I only took three days off and as a result dealt with IT Band pain for almost two months. Originally I was planning to take an entire week off from running but since I am home for spring break I can run on the trail here which is both flat and soft.

2. Indulge a little, but eat a healthy diet. I definitely ate whatever I wanted Saturday through Monday. I was constantly hungry and just wanted junk food. Since this week requires no training I think it okay to indulge a little more than normal. But at the same time, eating healthy foods will help my body recover better because it is being fueled properly. This week is all about balance and moderation.

3. Active recovery. Since my legs weren't too sore I started taking 2-3 mile walks on Monday. It feels really nice to loosen up the legs without any impact or requiring any effort from them. I am also planning on hitting the recumbent bike that is at my house for some easy biking. I really love using the recumbent bike and I know my legs will appreciate being able to do something this week.

4. Stretch and foam roll often. I have kind of become obsessed with my foam roller lately. I love the hurts so good feeling and my body feels amazing afterwards. The only thing that is still tight is my hips and I know that some quality TLC with the foam roller will take care of that. I have also been looking up some different stretches online to make sure that my body is being fully stretched. The biggest thing for me is to make sure that I don't get injured.

5. Ice. It may not be as helpful now but icing really helps my legs recover from tough runs, especially my knees. My muscles aren't really sore anymore but my knees always appreciate a nice ice session. My hips and IT Bands could always benefit from some ice too.

6. Sleep, sleep, sleep. Since this is my spring break I don't have to get up early and can sleep in as late as I want. I am taking full advantage of this and catching up on all of the sleep that I lost due to studying. I don't know the science behind it but sleeping really helps the body recover also, so win win situation.

7. Hydrate. This goes along with eating well. Staying hydrated helps the body do its job by fueling it. A dehydrated body is more tired and unable to do all of the things that it needs to to recover from a tough race. Additionally, it is important to rehydrate after sweating out so much fluid during the race.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lessons Learned from Half Marathon #2

Like all races, the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon on Saturday was a learning experience. I wrote a post about the things I learned from running the Baltimore Half Marathon in October and I often referenced it while training for my second half marathon. I love being able to look back on what did and did not work during training. Even though Saturday's race was not my first, I think it was the most informative. So in no specific order:

1. I NEED to figure out how to fuel during long runs. I have done minimal experimenting with hydration during longer runs and no experimenting with eating or gels during long runs. During Saturday's race I drank a bottle of nuun but I could tell during the race that I needed something more. The idea of taking a gel kind of freaks me out but I am heading to the store anyway this week to buy different brands and flavors of gels and chews to try so that during my next race I will have a successful nutrition plan.

2. I need to work on my nutrition in general. It is pretty difficult to be a college student and always eat a healthy and balanced diet but I know I can do better. When I first became a vegetarian I always made sure I was getting enough protein, iron, and calcium. Lately, though, most of my meals consist of solely carbs. As much as I love carbs, I know that eating more balanced meals will help fuel my body through training.

3. Hydration is key. "Hydration is key" is a phrase that my swim coach used to always say. Regardless, I do not drink as much as I should be. Many runs have been ruined because I have been dehydrated and I do not want to continue that trend into further training. I have been doing a better job of hydrating lately and I can tell a big difference from days when I don't drink enough. 

4. Stretching and foam rolling consistently really do make a big difference. I bought a foam roller with a gift card I got for Christmas and I am so glad I did. Like most people, I could be better about foam rolling and stretching. But I did try to regularly do both after long or hard runs and I always felt so much better afterwards. Sometimes it is hard to find time to do these things but it is so worth it.

5. Pre-race anxiety is my drug of choice. Some people hate pre-race anxiety but I revel in it. I love the feeling I get in the week leading up to a big race. This feeling is my happy place and my comfort zone. It is a feeling that I grew up with and that I am familiar with. This feeling is one of the main reasons why I race, honestly. 

6. I am stronger mentally than I thought. When I was a swimmer I frequently struggled with panic attacks and was the victim of my own mental games. It got to the point that when faced with a challenge I would give up without even trying. During Saturday's race I fought mentally harder than I ever have before and in the end I didn't give up. I love that running has taught me how to be strong again. Thank you, running.

7. No matter how slow your time, running a half marathon is a great accomplishment. Compared to many of my favorite running bloggers I am beyond slow. But that doesn't matter. I did my best and pushed myself to my limits regardless of what my time is and that is what is most important. Running a half marathon is never an easy task for anyone.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon Race Report

First off I just want to say how amazing yesterday was. It was a tough day but also a great one. I woke up at 5:15, which is pretty early for a college student who start class at 10 every morning. I was pretty tired when I woke up but I was also really excited. I made two frozen waffles and a small bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and had a little bit of water to wash it all down. After eating I got dressed, grabbed all of my gear, and hit the road with my dad. We left my apartment around 5:50 and made it to the metro station by 6:30. We bought our metro tickets Friday when we went down to the expo and I have to say that was such a good move. The lines to buy tickets were all so long. I stopped at the bathroom at the metro and by 6:40 we were on the metro heading into DC.

There was so many people at the metro stop in DC that it took us about 15 minutes to just leave the building. Luckily the DC Armory is right next to the metro stop so that didn't slow us down too much. Friday night I was reading race reports from people who ran the race last year ans saw that the Armory was open on Saturday morning so I headed straight for the Armory to get in line for the bathroom and warm up a little bit. The line for the bathroom was pretty long, definitely longer than the lines for the porta-potties, but I will take a longer line and clean bathroom any day. While I was waiting in line I put my bib on when I discovered that I only had three safety pins. I started freaking out but luckily gear check had a bunch of extra pins. After that debacle I headed over to my corral right around 7:50. Little did I know that I wouldn't end up even crossing the start line until 8:45.

While I was waiting in my corral I realized I had to go to the bathroom again but I didn't think I would have enough time so I decided to just hope it would go away. Bad decision, I know. After waiting around for 40 minutes it was finally time for my corral to start. Before I knew it I was crossing the finish line and starting half marathon number two! I didn't really have a goal or plan for the race but in general I wanted to take it out pretty slowly and then try to pick it up later in the race. My first mile ended up being my slowest! I was happy to be running but those first few miles felt terrible. I just felt tired, heavy, and slow. I was a little worried about what this meant for the rest of the race but I kept telling myself to only focus on now.

this was my favorite view throughout the race

Even though I live in Baltimore, I have never been to DC so I was really enjoying the sights and just exploring a new city. Running is definitely my favorite way to check out new places. Around mile four, though, my stomach started hurting so badly I couldn't focus on anything except for where the nearest bathroom was. Around mile 5.5 I saw a runner dart into a Subway to use their bathroom so I did the same thing. I hated passing the on-course bathroom in the early miles and seeing such long lines. I needed to go to the bathroom but I didn't want 10-15 minutes added to my time because of waiting in line. Luckily I only added two minutes and five seconds to my time by stopping at Subway. Even though the stop added time, it was so worth it. I felt a million times better afterwards and I ran the entire rest of the race quicker because of it.

Not long after I stopped the hills began. There was one rather long climb but I was feeling so great from stopping that I powered up the entire hill! I felt so strong and ready to take on the rest of the race. But after that hill was more hills. I don't mind running hills but I was worried that the downhills would anger my IT Band like in Baltimore. Although I had a little bit of pain here or there it was nothing too bad. I saw my dad around mile 6.5 (I think) and I couldn't have been happier to see him. I wasn't expecting to see him along the course so that was a nice surprise that put a little pep in my step.

A few times during the last 5 miles of the race my legs would start to feel like dead weight. I was hoping to break 2:20 but with the bathroom stop I knew it would be close. I ended up giving my legs multiple pep talks throughout the race which actually seemed to really help. I am not sure why but the phrase summon the will to fight came to mind. I ended up repeating this phrase over and over in my head during the last few miles. I have always thought of myself as mentally weak when it comes to sports and pushing through pain but I proved to myself yesterday that I am a fighter.

During the last few miles of the race it started getting a lot warmer outside. I was looking for water everywhere and drinking 1-2 cups at each station. I had brought a water bottle with nuun in it as a backup but by this point it was pretty warm also. The last few miles are kind of a blur to me now honestly. I just remember my legs getting more and more tired and me pleading with them over and over to finish. We are almost done. I decided to try to pick up the pace as much as I could over the last mile and mile twelve was actually my fastest mile of the day! Once I only had about a quarter of a mile left I tried to sprint to the finish but this part was uphill and my legs wanted nothing to do with it. Once I could see the finish line I sprinted as best I could and raised my arms as I crossed the finish line.

My official time is 2:21:53. I was so happy to have set a PR, but I would have broken 2:20 if I didn't stop to go to the bathroom. My argument, though, is that if I hadn't stopped I would have run slower in general from the discomfort so it is nothing to get worked up about. After the race I grabbed all of the food that I could, found my dad and sat down and relaxed. I was surprised with how much better my legs felt compared to Baltimore. We stayed for a little after the race to watch Switchfoot perform and then headed back home. I am on spring break this week so he drove me back to our house in Pennsylvania. And because I was pretty tired last night, my boyfriend and I are celebrating St. Patty's day tonight!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

This has been such a rough week but thankfully all of my exams are finally over. I had my last two exams this morning and of course they were my two hardest ones also. I was up late last night and up early this morning studying so all I wanted to do when I came home was crash on the couch and take a nap.

Before I took my nap (which I did take!) I wanted to do some cleaning and get in a quick run. I knew if I was going to get anything productive done this afternoon it had to be done as soon as I got home.

After I finished cleaning I set out for a 2 mile super easy run. I wanted to do something short to loosen up my legs and that didn't require much effort or energy. The run felt pretty good and there were even times when my legs wanted to pick up the pace but I resisted. I want to save allll of my energy for the big day.

After my run I was planning on spending the afternoon relaxing and getting things ready for race day. Instead I ended up just falling asleep after taking a shower. I was pretty frustrated about sleeping all evening but I clearly needed to catch up on all of the sleep that I lost throughout the week.

The plan for the rest of the night is to just chill and go to sleep early. My nap earlier gave me a nice taste of sleep and now I can't wait for more. I have an early morning of classes tomorrow so getting to bed early tonight is crucial.

On tap for tomorrow:
-trekking into DC for the expo
-carb loading
-hydration, hydration, hydration
-foam rolling
-laying everything out for race day

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Getting Closer!

5 days until race day! I am getting more and more excited by the minute! I have so many things running through my mind right now about all of the things that I still have to do before the end of the week. It's kind of weird because if I didn't have a race this weekend then I wouldn't be getting very much sleep this week due to studying for midterms. But this is really not the week to skimp on sleep. I love going to bed early though so this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I have been trying to figure out how much and when I should run this week. My legs have been crazy tight from my hard run Tuesday and P90X yoga on Thursday so I want to let them recover but still get in enough miles. I went for a short two mile run last night but my knee started hurting about half way through so I started to get concerned.

I decided to try to run again tonight with three easy miles. The knee had calmed down and wasn't hurting at all! My legs were super tired still though. I stopped a few times for some stretching and that really seemed to help. I try not to stop during runs but sometimes a little stretching can make a big difference. Despite how my legs were feeling, it was a gorgeous day and I was so thankful to be able to run later in the afternoon.

After I finished my run I went into full recovery mode. I drank a glass of chocolate milk followed by some water, and then stretched and foam rolled for about half an hour. Foam rolling hurt pretty badly and I had to keep taking breaks but my legs felt so much better once I was done. I'm actually amazed at how much of a difference some TLC can make!

Now I'm off to bed to catch some extra z's. This week is all about rest and preparing for the big day!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Race Week Is Here!

Saturday March 17 is the Rock N' Roll USA Half Marathon, which means it is race week! I always get so nervous in the week leading up to a race but it is the good kind of nervous. Everything that I have been thinking about lately is related to this race. And even though my training really got derailed when I got sick, I can't stop smiling to myself because I am so excited.

The one thing that I am not so excited for is the weather. I am used to running in the 40's and 50's, not the 70's. I love this warmer weather we have been having but the forecast is calling for warmer temps than the Baltimore Half Marathon back in October.

TonightMar 11Mon12Tue13Wed14Thu15Fri16Sat17Sun18Mon19Tue20
Partly CloudyMostly CloudyIsolated T-StormsSunnyMostly SunnyPartly CloudyFew ShowersFew ShowersMostly SunnyAM Clouds / PM Sun
Partly CloudyMostly CloudyIsolated T-StormsSunnyMostly SunnyPartly CloudyFew ShowersFew ShowersMostly SunnyAM Clouds / PM Sun
With temps so warm a little rain might be nice! I have been checking the weather approximately 30 times a day and have seen the forecast change 3-4 times already since yesterday. Hopefully it will cool down a little for race day.

This is going to be one heck of a week since it is also midterm week at UMBC. Thank goodness I don't have any exams on Friday, but I still have some major studying to do through Thursday. I have been trying to get as much done in advance as I can so that this week will be as stress free as possible.

On the agenda:

  • picking out a race outfit
  • grocery shopping for some healthy eats
  • cleaning my apartment
  • going to the expo
  • studying my butt off
The week before a race is always difficult for me because I always worry that I didn't do enough. The problem is, I KNOW I didn't do enough for this race. My training for this race has been very similar to my training for Baltimore so I know I can finish the race, I just wish I was more prepared. At the same time though, I am really excited. I love race week! This anxious feeling I get the week before a big race is one that I will always cherish.

My goal for this week is to enjoy this excitement and try to do the little things right. Go to sleep early, eat healthy foods, stretch, foam roll, and hydrate like a beast. Even if I am not as prepared as I should be, I can do everything else right. It counts for something.

How do you prepare for a race? What does the week before a race look like for you? Any tips?