Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Richmond Marathon 2014 - Recap

This past weekend...I GOT ENGAGED!

But I still haven't posted about the marathon, so I feel like I need to talk about that first before talking about that other thing. Needless to say, it's been a big few weeks---well technically one, since I ran a marathon last Saturday and got engaged(!!!) this Saturday. AHHHHHHHH.

This year's marathon (my second) was almost nothing like last years. It was cold and difficult and a bit lonely at times. This marathon might actually have been the hardest thing I've ever mentally and physically chosen to live through; absolutely not a repeat of last year's jolly jaunt through Richmond!

5:30AM - My alarm went off. I was already half-awake (had been from probably the entire night), so I bolted up immediately. Thanks to prepping the night before, there was zero thought that goes into getting ready. Coffee, dress, braid, Body Glide...

6:15AM - Kristen arrives (one of my friends I'm driving). I finish foam-rolling, inhale my cereal + half a banana, and take the rest with me for 30 minutes out. We pick up Carter (another carpooler) along the way and we're off!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The "Stress-Free Race Day" Prep List - Marathon Training 2014

With my second marathon happening in less than 1 day(!), naturally all of my current time is spent obsessing over the race. Earlier I took a minute to reread my 3-days-out blogpost from my first marathon last year. A lot of it remains true this time around---yes, I'm still nervous and paranoid---but I think overall, I'm a lot more relaxed. I have a way better idea of what the day will look like and how my body will (hopefully) react.

For the most part, I have my running/race routine down pat. Being prepared = less stress. There's already enough uncontrollable variables to worry about on race day (i.e. THE WEATHER). There's no reason that the things we can control can't be in (almost) perfect order! I thrive off of lists, and chances are some of you do too, so here's what I have today: A list of everything you can get together Race Day Eve to ensure things go smoothly from when your alarm goes off to when you finally settle down for your post-race nap. It's also a great way to channel your jitters into something productive! 

I've separated my list out below into three categories---Pre-Race, Race and Post-Race Necessities---but everything should be laid out and/or packed the night before (if not earlier!) for a low-stress race day. For the Richmond Marathon, the forecast is a high of 46 and it'll be about 30 degrees at the start line, so there is definitely an emphasis on layers and warm clothing. I'm trying my hardest to balance being comfortable and not over-dressing for the weather. Also, I have the luxury of parking right at the finish line (my office building happens to be next door) so I can pack as much as I want for post-race supplies. If you are doing a bag-check for your race, make sure you consolidate accordingly and are careful with valuables!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 16 (Last one!)

On my way to church yesterday, I noticed they'd already put up street closure signs. The final countdown is hereeeee! This time next week, I'll be in full recovery mode. I've very ready, mentally and physically, for the race to be over and done. I don't feel as nervous as I was last year---granted, it's MONDAY. I think I'll be singing a different tune come Thursday, definitely Friday. At this point, I'm just dying of curiosity about how the race will go. I feel really optimistic. But so much can happen (go wrong) between now and the start line, and between the start line and the finish line. No matter what, it'll be a feat. I just hope it's not one that takes me more than 5 hours or leaves me in a boot for weeks again. You know?

Last week's workouts looked like this ---

Monday: 1 hour vinyasa class
Tuesday: 75 minute run (8 miles)
Wednesday: 1 hour vinyasa class
Thursday: 1 hour cross-training (cardio + core), 1 hour sports massage
Friday: 45 minute gym cardio + stretching
Saturday: 2 hour run (12.25 miles)
Sunday: OFF

TOTAL MILEAGE: 20.25 miles

I started my week with an invigorating morning vinyasa class. Most of my yoga has been gentle lately, so it was fun to mix it up with some intenser core work and quicker flow. I chose to run 75 minutes instead of the full 90 minutes on Tuesday morning---woohoo for sleeping in 15 minutes! This week was all about barely pushing it. My body was tired and my paranoia was on overdrive: "Does this feel normal? What's this pain? Am I broken or just sore?!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fire, Flour & Fork Event Recap

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Richmond's first Fire, Flour & Fork event for their Saturday culinary and cultural tracks, as well as the Artisanal Tasting Tent. I already had my specific seminars picked out weeks prior, and was really looking forward to learning and eating. Most of all, though, I was looking forward to hearing people talk about living out their (food related) passions!

Session 1: Flavor Flours
This first session started at 10AM, which was difficult for me to make since I was coming from a training run. I slid in back just as Alice Medrich started to mix the ingredients for a lemon chiffon cake, made with a combination of corn flour and sweet rice flour---YUM! Alice is a famous dessert chef and James Beard award-winning author. She recently published a cookbook named Flavor Flours that focuses on alternative flours for flavor, not just to be "gluten-free" and thus the focus of this particular seminar. We were served samples of both this cake and another that I didn't catch the name of but was made of brown rice flour. The chiffon was fluffy and nothing like the grainy texture I've come to expect from gluten-free baked goods! This session really had me thinking about how I can add different flours into my own recipes moving forward. (And I couldn't stop thinking about my cornmeal chocolate chip cookies!)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Marathon Training Monday - Week 15 (2 weeks to go!)

Two things to note about this week: My body was T-I-R-E-D and fall is officially hereeeeee! And in 12 days I'll be somewhere on the island above with a finishers medal in hand!!!! I tried to listen to by body this week and fit in an extra yoga class this week for something new.

Monday: 1 hour restorative/yin yoga class
Tuesday: 90 minute run (9.5 miles)
Wednesday: 1 hour water run
Thursday: 2 mile walk / 1 hour vinyasa class
Friday: 45 minute gym cross-training (cardio + core)
Saturday: 14 miles! / 2 hour run
Sunday: OFF

TOTAL MILEAGE: 23.5 miles

I tried a new yoga class on Monday night. It was incredibly easy and relaxing, which was perfect given the weekend I had (20 miles!). I just didn't love that it was at 7PM. It was difficult for me to run home and eat dinner beforehand, then turnaround to pack/layout things for the early morning run the next morning. I might consider doing it again on a different night and absolutely the week after the marathon.