This weekend was a great success (in my best Borat voice). Saturday I started out with my LAST LONG RUN — 12 miles down the lake front trail and through the city. The weather was perfect and the trails were full of runners getting in their last training sessions. I started in the South Loop and headed north 6 miles down the lake front trail — turning around, I did my last 6 miles through the city ending at Starbucks on Roosevelt and Wabash.
After my run we drove out to County Line Orchard with a few friends and spent the day apple picking and eating (okay mostly eating). The apple pie and pumpkin donuts were amazing — and we bought fudge and cider to bring back.
Sunday, I made homemade chicken noodle soup to bring for lunch during the week and I went to the Breaking Through the Wall seminar at Fleet Feet in Old Town. It was such a great experience to be able to sit with 500 other people training for the same race and get insider tips from the panel: Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi, Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Deena Kastor, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Race Director Carey Pinkowski, Co-Founder of Chicago Endurance Sports Mike Norman and sports nutritionist Monique Ryan. We discussed everything from tapering, to nutrition for the next 2 weeks to day of schedule and recovery after the marathon. Below are a few things that I made sure to note.
- Carbo loading should end Friday before the race — so no stuffing your face Saturday! Saturday you should start eating early and finish by 5pm.
- Don’t eat or try anything new!
- Your pre-race meal Sunday should be 3 hours before the race — yes, that means 4am! Get up, drink water and eat right away.
- Try to sleep well all week because you won’t sleep the night before!
- Have fun!
I think the biggest piece of advice that I got from this seminar though was from something Deena Kastor said. She told us that the marathon is made up of small choices that you make. This not only applies to the marathon but also to everyday life — there will be small decisions that you make that will either bring you closer to or further from your goal. 26.2 miles sounds daunting, especially to someone who has never run it before, but you can break those down to miles, water stations, or even steps. Every decision you make or step you take along the way will help you get a little closer to your goal. If that mentality doesn’t help — there’s always the beer at the end to look forward to!