With 2012 done and gone, I've been looking back on one of the big parts of this last year for me...running. In 2012 I completed three half marathons (in January, April, & November), two mud runs (one with my hunnie and one with my girls), and a 200-mile (33 hour) relay across the state with 11 of my coworkers. I was even able to finish the year off strong, with a 16.25 mile run in 2 hours and 28 minutes last Friday (this puts me right on track for my marathon goal time of 4 hours). 2013 should be another epic year for me, as I run another 200 mile relay and my first full marathon, BOTH in the month of February.
My marathon is on February 2nd...that's one month away people! I have to admit, I went into my 15+ mile distance runs thinking they'd be pretty easy. I mean, it's only tacking a few miles onto my half marathon performance, right? But 14 miles seems to be my wall, and getting past that wall has been tough. I was able to successfully complete my last two long distance runs, but I felt very fatigued during both of them. I've determined that I'm probably not carb loading correctly and that in general I'm not taking in enough calories prior to these 15+ mile runs. This last month of training is going to focus in on finding the right fuel balance to ensure energy to get out and run 4 days a week (including distance runs). Based on some research, I've found that I need to focus on taking in carbohydrates with low glycemic index ratings: apples, dried dates, pears, bananas, oranges, carrots, 1% milk, and whole grain breads and cereals. I'll have to make sure that one quarter of my daily food intake is protein: peanuts, black beans, and lean meats. Things that I'm largely removing from my diet: Christmas cookies (sadly), non-fat mochas, and liquor. I don't intend to cut cookies and G&Ts out of my diet completely, but they will be considered treats to enjoy one or two days a week in moderation. During my distance runs (this Saturday is an 18.5 miler) I plan bring 2 energy gels and a few small chunks of a granola bar. After the runs I need to make sure I'm hydrating quickly and heating/icing any aches and pains. Also, to lessen the next-day tightness, I will make a point to REALLY stretch out after runs. I am hopeful that a better runner's diet and more conscientious post-run habits will be just the kick I need to power through this next month. Luckily I have my running buddy, Georgia Dog, (who always has a smile on her face) to keep me motivated.