Monday, September 17, 2007

Getting Read for The Big Day! (Pre-Race Advice Humor)

Pre-Marathon Advice:

1. First, register late, without a clear picture of what you are doing or why. Just know deep down inside that you've done this before, and it will work out ok - somehow! Don't make reservations at the race site in advance, and leave your travel plans to chance - and to the last minute. It will all work out in the end.

2. The week before your run, see if you can find a nice "tune-up" race, the longer the better (15k to half marathon). It is a great confidence builder to feel the wind blow through your (thinning) hair as you gallop madly down the road in that somewhat shorter but much faster, final tune up run!

3. Test your preparedness through the final week by doing some semi-long tempo sessions. Again, these are great affirmations of your superb conditioning. And you need to know that! I like distances of 10-12 miles.

4. Since a good portion of the marathon training that we have been doing is supposed to condition our bodies to burn fat during the marathon, "fuel up" for the big race by eating every meal the week before at either McDonald's, Burger King, or Culver's. I've even heard that Burger King has a 2 for $3 special going on their Whoppers right now. I can't think of a better pre race meal...

5. (On the other hand) there are many experts who encourage fasting for 2 or 3 days before the race. You don't want to be hauling around a bunch of unnecessary weight for 26 miles. Thinner is better, just look at the elites. And since fasting depresses appetite after a few days, you won't get hungry during the race, or even afterward. Consuming nothing but water and thin broth also will ensure you are fully hydrated. Combining the "runner's high" with the "faster's high" ensures peak performance and out-of-body experience.

6. At the expo, plan on spending the whole day! It’s a big show with LOT’s to see and do. The more stuff you buy and carry (treasures in beach combing parlance) the better. Walking around will help to keep the legs limber and work out some of that soreness from those tempo runs!

7. At the end of the day - now two days from your big event - eat hot dogs and sauerkraut for your carbo-loading dinner.

8. After the expo, go see the sites! Go to a museum and walk around. Most marathons are held in big cities. It’s a great opportunity to get some culture.

9. Sleep in your car with your family the night before the race (I told you it would all work out).

10. If you can run one mile you can run 2. If you can run 2 you can 4, and if you can run 4 you can run 6. And so on . . . if you can run 20 you can run 26.2. So, as long as you can run a mile you are set. Time to taper.

11. If you can run a 10-minute mile you can run 9:00. If you can run 9 you can run 8:30, etc. Thus, if you can run 6:45 you can run 6:30. And since we all know training pace is magically 2 minutes per mile slower than race pace, you can run 4:30 pace for the marathon and set a world record. All through the power of logic and positive thinking.

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