This is the first time that I have trained with a specific nutrition plan in mind and a strategy to attack my run. I have tried a couple of different things, but what has worked the best is below:
Pre run meal: 1 piece of whole wheat bread, peanut butter and a banana
During the run: a GU every 45 minutes
When I eat right, I have more energy and my legs don't feel as tired. I do have to make sure to drink plenty of water which has been really hard for me. It's cold so I'm not as motivated to drink and unless I'm sitting at my desk at work, I don't have water near me. I'm trying to remember to do it though because it does seem to make a difference.
The other thing I have had to incorporate into my training is Yoga. I love yoga and it has so many other benefits beyond exercise, but physically, it keeps me flexible and it keeps my muscles lose. Runners seem to have all kinds of injuries and issues, but the two that I have are shin splints and piriformus tendonitis. My calves get knotted up and my lower legs will start to hurt in any spot, the outside, the inside, my achilles tendon, etc. The last half that I ran (in Nashville), my back started hurting instantly. The piriformus tendon gets knotted up, causes inflamation and pinches my sciatic nerve. I could not walk after the race, I had a tremendous amount of pain. So, my goal for this race is not have that. One of the ways I've been doing that is 1) yoga and 2) going to see Dr Rob at the Joint, my chiropractor. With those two things, my training this time seems to be injurty free and it's rare for me to have issues.
Lastly, my strategy for this run is to run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute. It's like te Galloway Method, and I think it's a big reason I haven't been injured this year. At first, I was a little nervous about how I would feel on race day. You start running with the idea that you'll get to a point where you just run. That's how I did the Green Valley Race (10 miles) and the RocknRoll Half in Nashville. I will admit, it was a little humbling doing my first race this way. I did the Turkey Trot 8k and I was so worried about what people were thinking as I stopped and walked in the very first mile. But when I crossed the finish line at a 9:50 pace with a course that hilly, I was sold. My training runs vary, sometimes I run quicker than a 10 minute mile, sometimes slower, but that's my average. If I can keep 10:00 minute pace, I will beat my last half time by 10 minutes. Today, I ran 10.3 miles in 1 hour and 50 minutes. (we actually ran closer to 10.8 miles, but I didn't start my watch for the warm up). I used my Garmin to review my stats and when I was running, I covered 9.15 miles in 1:28 minutes. When I was walking, I covered 1.15 miles in 22 minutes. I was pretty happy with that!! We'll see how it goes on race day. I'd like to beat my time of 2:26 BUT if I can finish the race without pain and be able to walk, I will be happy.
The good news is I reached my fundraising goal! I have raised $1801 and my goal is $1300. I'm super excited because when I signed up, I thought I would NEVER be able to raise that much money. So many people have contributed to my fund and I still have 3 weeks. Team Determination does a lot of stuff to keep the fundraisers together, so we'll have our own tent, we'll have a speedy check in at the expo AND we have a dinner the night before the the race. I'll take lots of pics and show everyone how much money we all raised to help cure cancer!