November 10, 2009

Let The Carb Loading Begin

First things first, thank you so much for all of your kind and encouraging comments. You guys really know how to cheer a girl up and make her feel loved. I appreciate your kindness more than you will ever know!

With my marathon less than four days away, I am in full blown taper mode. For me, this means making time for extra sleep, lots of stretching and foam rolling, a huge cut back on my mileage, lots of hydrating and increasing my carbohydrate intake. With that in mind, H and I had a classic spaghetti dinner last night. I love spaghetti....well, honestly, I love just about any kind of pasta so carb loading for the race is very easy for me. I am from the school of thought that while it is important to increase your carbs and sodium in the week before the race, it is not an excuse to eat anything and everything in sight. I usually eat about the same number of calories while carb loading but I simply decrease my fat and protein intake and replace them with carbs. I have actually found that I run better when I eat a little bit less than normal but that is simply what works for me. Marathon nutrition is definitely different for everyone and it is important to find what works for you. Anyway, last night I fixed some delicious (even if I do say so myself) whole wheat spaghetti and topped it with a quick homemade marinara sauce. On the side we had huge servings of steamed broccoli and of course we topped it all off with some freshly grated Parmesan. ( I apologize in advance for the horrible pictures. My camera is on its last leg!)

It was SO good and the best part is that I have leftovers for lunch today! I am one of those weird people who just loves leftovers. Is it just me or does food taste better the next day?
I always have a really difficult time with figuring out how much to run during a taper week. I usually over do it and run too many miles but I am really making an effort to let me body rest this week. My legs are feeling really grumpy and sore so I am planning on treating them well this week and hopefully they will be fresh and ready to run on Saturday. This morning I did a nice short session of speed work to remind my legs what it feels like to run fast. Hopefully, they will remember that feeling on race day! I did an easy 2 mile warm up and then 16 x 200 meters with a 200 meter recovery jog between each set. I ran my 200's at a progressively faster pace and they felt really good. I finished my run with a 2 mile cool down (for a total of 9 miles) and then climbed off of the treadmill and right onto the foam rollers. My left hamstring and hip are super tight and they were in desperate need of some rolling. I spent about ten minutes rolling around and stretching and then went to Boot Camp. Of course the first thing we did in Boot Camp is run laps and so all of my rolling was in vain but I did have fun running with Mel at Boot Camp. We had a great workout today and I tried really hard to take it easy and not put any stress on my legs. I am not sure that I was successful at that but my plan for this evening is to put on my compression socks, elevate my legs and ice, ice, ice!
Does anyone have any good taper tips to pass along? I have tapered a lot but I suck at it. What works for you? What is the biggest pre race mistake you have made? I would love to hear your stories.


  1. You too huh? Is this your first marathon?

  2. You do not like to taper,You are one of a kind babe.I will do whatever you need to feel ready to go.I think you are awesome no matter the turnout:) My pre-race story is before one off the Richmond marathons maybe 4-5 yrs ago,My Bro-in law was like hey try some RAW COCANUT straight from the jar & it will break down & supply you w/ steady flow of energy.I said..."YES"" Stace saw me @ mile 14 & lets just say that was a long intresting race."thank god they hand out wet rags every mile after 16...I ran a 4hr 20 min. I will always remember that day.My taper tip"Dont EVER tri anything new on race day just DONT...

  3. Jess: This will be my 14th marathon unless you count the marathon that I ran at Ironman and then it would be my 15th. Either way, I always get nervous and start to doubt myself the week before a race.

  4. Your coworker comment just totally cracked me up. I love having tons of veggies along with my pasta- fills me up :) And I must completely agree- leftovers almost always taste better! Good luck with the taper and the marathon!!!!

  5. i've only run a half, so i have no advice for you ironman :) i do know not to eat anything new the first time on race day... i did that for my half and fought cramps the entire way. i made my goal, but could've done so much better! live and learn :)

    certain things definitely taste better the next day!

  6. I have really only tapered once, so I don't have many tips. I basically just cut back on my speed and mileage, ate the same, and tried to rest a little more. It just seems to me like I should be doing the same things as training, so I tried not to change much. That's just me I guess.

  7. No taper tricks but I do agree about leftovers! I almost like leftovers better....time for the flavors to meld together. And luckily my hubs doesn't like leftovers...more for me!!!

    Adventures in tri-ing