First for females ages 15-19!
I'll be writing a more in-depth post on a future date, but for now, I just wanted to let you know that it's official - I'm a half marathoner!!!
Official time: 1:51:35
First for females ages 15-19!
First off, I greatly appreciate all your heartfelt comments on my last post when I ranted a bit about my stress levels. It really helped to read through your suggestions and personal experiences with stress, so thank you!!
But today, I have something on my mind, and it's not stress - it's pure excitement!!!
Yep, my half marathon is only a week away! I'm literally about to bubble over with excitement (is it wierd that I'm referencing oatmeal to convey my excitement?). As you might know or have guessed, the last week (or sometimes longer) of training before a marathon/half marathon is extra special. So I thought I would share my plan of action for the next seven days, including my fueling plan during the half marathon.
In terms of running, I'm planning on doing my final long run tomorrow (the actual distance I go will depend on how I'm feeling, but I'm thinking 10 or 11 miles). I definitely will try very hard not to push myself too much on this run so I don't ware myself out. That's the last thing I want! Monday will be off from running as always, and then Tuesday: 4 miles, Wednesday: 3 miles, and Thursday: 2 miles. All of these runs will hopefully be light, slower runs - again, just to keep me in shape and not tire me out. I have my core body class Monday and Wednesday, but I've already talked to my instructor, and I'm going to be extra careful to not push myself when we do our legs portion of the workout. (Side note: I'm super sore from our intense leg workout this past Wednesday, and I'm kind of loving it. Maybe I could get into strength workouts if I was able to always do them with other people?! Funny, I though I was an introvert exerciser. :P)
Now the food aspect of next week is where this bad boy starts to get interesting. First, starting today, I am embarking on a week long caffeine fast. The reason for this is that it is supposed to enhance the effect of caffeine come race day. Now I'm not a coffee drinker, so this isn't a huge deal for me, but I will be avoiding chocolate which, I'm not going to lie, is kind of going to suck. Oh the things I put myself through for the sake of running... Seriously, it is going to be the hardest part of training. Ten mile runs? No big deal. No chocolate? What am I doing with my life?!
The second big change is that beginning tomorrow after my long run, I will attempt a five day fat load. I say attempt because it is recommended that you do a three day fat loading trial run earlier in your training to see if your body can handle it, but I never got around to doing that. I know, I know, shame on me! So I'll be easing myself into it and see how it goes. I'm supposed to get 65% of my calories from fat so maybe I'll start with about 50% and see how it goes, or even just be conscious of eating extra amounts of fat. It's just an experiment after all! Supposedly, fat loading increases the body's use of fat as fuel and decreases its reliance on carbs. That way the day of carb loading before the race has more effect because your body won't immediately use the carbs, will save more for the next day, and won't deplete you glycerin stores as quickly during the actual run. Or something to that effect. Foods recommended for the fat load that I will be consuming are Greek yogurt, avocados, nuts, and cheese. Obviously my diet will include other things as well, but these are foods with a large number of their calories coming from fat. The most exciting part was that I had to go to the grocery store to get some avocados and yogurt - I was reunited with my love once more. And obviously couldn't stick to just the avocados and yogurt...
Bananas (the were only 19 cents each so I had to stock up!), carrots, avocados, cucumber, coconut oil spray, all-purpose seasoning, olives (another food that gets a lot of its calories from fat), egg whites, Greek Yogurt (I tub of full fat and a tub of 2% as well as some flavored ones for after the fat load), eggplant hummus, tomato and basil hummus, whole grain bread, and dried cranberries.
The day before the half marathon is going to be all about the carbs. It is recommended to have 10g per kg of body weight so I will need to consume over 500g of carbs. I'm going to lie, I don't think this will be easy. With the fat load, I'm not too worried if I can't reach the full 65%, but I know that carbs really do enhance running performance from personal experience, so I'm really going to try to get in as much as I can. I already get a fair amount of carbs on a day-to-day basis, and I have no fear of them, but I don't think I ever come close to that much! I'm thinking of supplementing a couple meal with orange juice and having bananas as snacks in addition to carb heavy meals. Any tips on how to get extra carbs would be appreciated!
My pre-run dinner, however, I know exactly what it's going to be. It's the same meal that I've had before my previous two long runs, and so far it's given me lots of energy and settled well. Here's the name of the game:
White rice + corn + chickpeas + soy sauce (because I've also read positive things about sodium loading), broccoli, and an orange or orange juice depending on what's available.
There are a few reasons for this meal. Most importantly, high carbs. It is also recommended to have low fiber and protein in pre-run meals, but I find that I need both of those for my food to settle properly. The other is that due to being at the mercy of the cafeteria, I need to be sure that I have a meal I know they will have every night so that I can be confident in my food choice pre-race night. Best to stick to the tried and true!
Breakfast will be another tried and true classic - bread with peanut butter and a banana. Again, pre-run meals are suggested to be low in fiber and protein, but this breakfast has a great record of sitting well in my stomach and fueling me through runs. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
During the race, I will be fueling with these:
These were recommended to me by Brittany, and I love them! They're soooo tasty, and I do notice a little difference when I use them. I will be starting the half with half a pack and then having another half pack every four miles (except for possibly at mile 12 since I'll almost be finished). At leas that's my plan. I'm willing to deviate if necessary! But it worked well in my simulator run. Supposedly you need at least 30g of carbs per hour to get any effect from them so this will give me at least 36g per hour (if I don't do anything at mile 12). I mostly just wanted to make sure I did them at an even mile number because there will only be water stations every two miles.
Now, let's talk about times. Honestly, I have now time "goal." My only goal is to finish it, which I really don't think will be a problems as my longer runs have gone pretty well. That being said, I think I can finish in 2:15. Again if it takes me two and a half hours, so be it! But I think the 2:15 is reasonable.
Note: the information about the food aspects of the final week come from Matt Fitzgerald's The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition.
If you have actually managed to stick with me through this, congrats! I think that was the longest post I have every written! But writing it has made even more excited. I still can't get over the notion that in a week, I will be a half marathoner! At the same time, I'm also a bit sad that it's almost ever... but then I can start training for another one. ;-)
Thank you all for your love and support through this experience! It truly means the world to me. <3
Hello everyone! I just wanted to check in with you all! I hope you are all doing wonderful. Overall, I'm doing pretty good, though to be perfectly honest, I am stressing out about school already. The first bit is always so rough because you don't know what to expect from tests and other assignments, how the teachers grade, etc. I really want to believe that everything will be okay not let it get to me, but that is so hard for me to do, and I'm kind of failing at it. I think I'm doing a fairly descent job with squeezing some fun things in there though! Take for example labor day weekend. Instead of spending the entire time studying, I actually had some fun with my friends! I felt a little guilty about not studying, but I was trying my best to embrace the extra day off, and you know what? It all worked out - I had fun and I got all of my studying done, with time to spare. It can be done.
So what exactly did I do? I think a little weekend recap is in order! Saturday began with a bit of homework, but after a couple hours, I forwent that in favor of paying my horse a visit. As I was heading bach, my friend texted me asking if I wanted to go to the coast. Even though I wanted to say yes right away, it did take some time for me to realize that I could go and not do homework the rest of the day. Luckily my parents helped me see that I could, and in the end, I just couldn't turn down the thought of such a great time! So I had a quick lunch, and my three friends and I were off! We hit terrible traffic on the way, but we eventually caught some awesome views:
Even though it was gorgeously sunny at our school, the coast had a mind of its own with all that fog! There were several sightseeing areas that we wanted to stop at, but it was so foggy that we couldn't even see the water. In all of the areas but one...
We also found this adorable little souvenir shop!
We drove along the coast for a ways, stopped at a Fred Meyer because a couple of my friends desperately needed a few things, and then we turned to the most important topic: dinner. We all decided that we wanted pizza so we turned to our phones because what else was there to do? ;-) We found one that sounded good, but it was on the way back to school so we hopped in the car and headed out, our mouths watering in anticipation of the pizza we were now craving. I tracked the path on the GPS on my phone, and as we neared, we began to get excited. Then we were met with: CLOSED. What?!? All of that excitement for nothing??? Our hearts sank. We were too set on pizza to take defeat though. So back to the phones it was. Of course, there were more pizza places, so I routed us to another one. But our eyes mate the same tragic sight as we neared. Darn-it, we wanted our pizza!!!
Not sure what to do, we just kept driving trying to decide if we should head back to school and find something there. Obviously we weren't meant to have pizza. But then, like magic, it appeared: a pizza shack that was open! "Look!" I shouted as I pointed to the magnificent site. We veered to the left and were soon in the parking lot. It was quite cold inside as the doors were kept open, and we had to clear our own table to get one (that place was packed), but it was all worth it. I mean, just look at that gorgeous pie!! (Mine was obviously the veggie side.)
With happy tummies, we headed back to school, and our adventure came to an end. And the best part about the day? I didn't feel anxious like I have in the past when I pass up studying for something fun. I was able to just relax and enjoy the time spent with my friends!
The majority of Sunday was devoted to studying, but I took a bit of time off on Monday to hang out with my brother for a bit and also satisfy my intense froyo craving.
I went with my roommate, and since I just met her this year (I was going to room with a friend from last year, but through the whole room change thing, we weren't able to stay in the same room) so it was great to chat and get to know her better! And guess what? She's a chocolate lover too! (Obviously we were discussing the important things in life.) I think we're going to get along juuuuust fine. ;-)
I wish I had three day weekends every week so that I could just repeat above every week! At least it happened once and hopefully will happen again!
What did you do for Labor Day weekend?
Any tips on handling stress?
Well, I'm off to go conquer a ten mile run! See you all next time!!!
I'm just a [not so] average teenager trying to live a healthful life full of fun and delicious foods! I hope to inspire others to do the same along the way.