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Monday, March 19, 2012

race week, nyc half, and other bloggers!

so yesterday was the NYC half marathon and in the past 3 years that i've been running, it is EASILY my favorite race.  the course, the crowd, the distance.

it also doesn't hurt that the two times i've run this race, i've PRed.  yesterday, i killed it with a 2:05:09 (9:34 pace)!  thanks coach vinny and lululemon run club coaches for helping to push me and make me realize that i'm faster than i think i am!  with some work, i see a sub-2 coming my way!

as with most races, i was freaking out the entire week before. there's so many things to think about during race week:

what do i eat the days before the race? the day before? the morning of?
  • i pretty much always eat the same thing the night before and the morning of... but for some odd reason, i still freak out over this.  i freak out over timing.  did i eat early enough to digest before the race starts?  did i eat close enough to race time that i won't get hungry?  did i eat too close and i'll feel heavy? again, these are things i KEEP THE SAME before every long distance run and yet i still freak out over it - perhaps i need to be on some sort of medication? xanax, anyone?
  • this is what i do and what has worked for me:
    • chicken parm and pasta 12-14 hours before race time.  (my stomach can handle the dairy- not all can)
    • toast and butter or just plain toast about an hour before race time.  sometimes i'll have a banana.  some people also like to put peanut butter on their bread.  for some reason, the thought of peanut butter in the morning grosses me out.  yesterday morning i had the italian bread that came with my chicken parm and pasta saturday night.  so delicious.
  • in regards to the days leading up to a race, i try and stick to things that my body is used to ingesting: breads, veggies, fruits.  i definitely try and stay away from things that make my body feel yucky like sugary sweets. i like to feel fresh and light on race day!

  • the week of a race, i definitely take it easy and let myself relax.  if you can think of a better excuse than "i have to run an absurd number of miles before the sun rises this weekend" to go to bed early, sleep in a little, or maybe take a post-work nap then send it over my way so that i can very nicely explain to you that you are wrong.  
  • friday night, he-who-must-not-be-named and i went to theparknyc to celebrate lisa's birthday.  we had a fantastic time sipping on $3 seltzers and sodas.  hello, nyc.  
lights at thepark. i obviously stopped to take a picture.
  • saturday was st patrick's day but did i celebrate? nope.  i picked up my race stuff with meghan, walked around in the beautiful 70 degree weather and got myself into bed early.  that's right, i went all grandma on saturday night and it felt glorious.  i don't regret it one bit. i might have gone out and had a great race... but what if i had gone out and had an awful race?  i would have regretted that.  it's not worth it.  you wanna feel your best? rest. it's as simple as that. 

tapering/stretching/foam rolling
  • i know tapering is good for you.  i realize that the week before a race you should cut back your mileage and keep your runs nice and easy- and i do this, 100% of the time... but i always feel crappy about it.  i guess this is the curse of the taper.  
  • ugh stretching, i loathe you.  i tried to stretch more this week just to keep my body as loose as possible for sunday but i definitely didn't do that great a job at it.  my hips were tight all race yesterday, especially in the first few miles.  i legit need a personal trainer to just meet me at the end of runs and help me stretch.  that is all.  
  • foam rolling-  this did not happen.  not once. bad angie. 

what to wear/what to pack/what to carry
  • i always think of a couple of outfits that i can wear on race day and make sure that these items are clean the week before the race.  if you know me at all, you know that i go back and forth a bagillion times before deciding whether to wear capris or shorts.  my new rule: 50 out, legs out.  it hasn't failed me yet.  yesterday i went with shorts, a long sleeve, and my tfk singlet.  i was freezing in the corrals but nice and toasty on my run (i even rolled up my sleeves a bit).  my rule rocks.  
  • packing the checked bag always gives me a mini panic attack.  what if i forget something?  what if i leave something i want to carry with me on my run in the checked bag? what if what if what if?!? anywho, in my checked bag yesterday i packed:
    • sweatpants for post race (saved my life yesterday - i was SO COLD after i finished)
    • flip-flops if i wanted to put these on after i finished (MUST HAVE for summer races)
    • dry socks
    • a change of shirt (can't do without this one - the shirt you wear during the race will be wet, even if you don't think you sweat, so pack a clean, dry one and thank me later)
    • keys, phone, credit card, $20
    • SOMETHING I FORGOT: change of sports bra.  see reason behind having a change of shirt.  NEC-ESS-ARY.  
  • what i carried with me on my run:
    • chapstick (took a free stick from the nyrr info booth at the expo - it is fantastic)
    • gu chomps (only took 1 at mile 7.5)
    • ipod shuffle (i updated my playlist for this race - it always helps to have fresh music for a run.  also, i shut my music off whenever i passed a dj or a band because it's such an energy boost to hear the music! and on another side note, i only run with one earbud in because i like to be able to hear the crowd- i don't want to miss anyone screaming my name!)
    • garmin (all charged up the night before! this was my life savior during the race because it really helped me to stick to my race plan)
setting a race goal
  • i always set 3 (4, depending on how you look at it) goals.  for yesterdays nyc half, i set 3 goals, all of which should have resulted in a PR.  these were my goals:
    • Best Case Scenario
      • miles 1-5: 9:45 pace
      • miles 5-10: 9:30 pace
      • miles 10-13: 9:15 pace
    • Great Scenario
      • miles 1-5: 9:50 pace
      • miles 5-10: 9:40 pace
      • miles 10-13: 9:30 pace
    • Really Good Scenario
      • just beat my PR (2:07:50) which was an avg pace of 9:45
    • Worst Case Scenario
      • don't PR and just finish 
  • i finished with an overall 9:34 pace.  i'm extremely proud of my splits as i continued to get faster throughout the race.  every 5k, i ran faster than my previous 5k.  thank you, nyrr, for posting these so soon after the race! 
kind of hard not to pick up your pace running through this!

other random things i worry about
  • is a PR worth peeing in my shorts? think back to nyc marathon 2011 when i walked out of the corral port-a-potty and announced that i was "fully prepared to piss myself" during the marathon.  too much information?
  • when to wake up?  will i have enough time to get ready and out the door?  i always set my alarm for at least two-snoozes earlier than i really need to be up, knowing that i will snooze.  i always snooze.  i also set everything out the night before so i don't have to do much thinking in the morning.  
  • will i get a cab?  what time do i literally need to be standing on the street?  how long might it take me?  what's my back-up plan if i can't get one? (my back-up plan yesterday was to cry.  luckily i found a cab)
post race refueling
  • once i got out of the maze that was the finisher's tunnel, i found he-who-must-not-be-named with my parents and we walked over to plein sud for brunch with meghan and lisa and her family.  i had pancakes with bananas and nutella.  i figure nutella and bananas has the same nutritional benefit as my typical recovery shake (banana and chocolate milk smoothie). right?  did you know that chocolate milk is one of the best recovery drinks for your body? check out the refuel with chocolate milk site for why! think perfect mix of carbs and protein!

on a side note:
my obsession (i mean uhh- okay, obsession) with other nyc bloggers has led me to join fitfluential.  it's essentially a network of other fitness and health enthusiasts.  how have i just discovered this group?  i'm learning so much by reading other members blogs and just going through posts.  i am in love!

speaking of fitfluential, they have partnered with the fitness and health bloggers conference that is taking place in Denver in June. obviously, i want to go.  and obviously, it'd be nicer to my bank account if i received a scholarship to do so.  actually, this post acts as my entry to win a scholarship to the conference!  

fitness bloggers from all around the country?! sign me up!

what do you do to prepare for a race? what do you think- is a PR worth peeing in your shorts? anyone else wanna go to the conference in june? wanna be my travel buddy?



At March 22, 2012 at 4:41 PM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'm actually training for my first half-marathon in April. Which is - shoot! It's SO close! Yikes. At any rate, hope to see you in Denver for FHBC!


At March 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

Your first half-marathon?! That's so exciting! Good luck and I'll see you in Denver!


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