I can't believe it, after months of preparation, days of running even though I didn't want to, my first half marathon is tomorrow! Let me start by saying I am not running half of anything, I will be running the entire half marathon. I don't like that they call it a half because it makes it seem like I can't do the whole thing. Anyways, for those of you who don't know I will be running in the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. It's a unique race because it begins at 10pm! The course will take us from Wide World of Sports, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios (can't wait to see my Cast cheering me on!), the Boardwalk, and then to the finish line at Epcot. After the race, the park will be open until 3am for runners and spectators to enjoy the attractions and Food and Wine Festival. In celebration of the Food and Wine Festival, each runner will be served a beer or glass of wine at the finish line. I have decided to allow myself the beer at the finish line! :)
This time last year, I had never even run a mile. Tomorrow I will run 13.1 miles. This time last year, the only famous runner I knew was Flo Jo but I really only remember her for her fancy nails. Today I was so excited to meet Olympian Jeff Galloway and was even more excited he signed my race shirt. This time last year, the only thing I knew was carbs are the devil. Today and tomorrow I will be focusing on having my meals consist of 85-95% carbs. I am a new girl.
A good friend of mine, Tia, is a marathoner and gave me a running schedule that I have followed. Last weekend I ran 11.25 miles and felt great! It was an awesome practice run! I have learned how my body will feel during and after, how to fuel my body, and stay hydrated. I felt so prepared after that run.
Because I don't belong to a running club I've had to rely on the resources I have to learn how to be a runner. Tia was obviously a great help in giving me a training schedule. Fortunately my WW leader is a runner so Kerri helped me a lot with learning about how to fuel my runs. I didn't even know people ate on the race course. I thought it would be frowned upon but now I totally get how important it is. Kerri gave me a lot of suggestions on what to use. For this run I will be using Sport Beans. For future runs, I'm going to try vanilla bean GU and Power Bar Energy Bites.
I've always heard that you need to eat carbs before you race but that was about the extent of what I knew. Oddly enough, this months Runner's World came in the mail today and there's a whole article about carb loading! (Perfect timing Runner's World!) In the article, it talks about how most runners know they need the carbs but don't know when to start and how much. It explained that when you eat simple carbs like rice and potatoes, the carbs are stored in your body as glycogen. When you run long distances your body burns glycogen and fat for fuel. But, it takes your body longer to get fuel from fat which causes your body to slow down. When you're running and you feel your body "hit a wall", that's what's going on. So to avoid your body from slowing down it's important to store as much glycogen as possible. You can't do this with one meal so you need to begin carb loading 2-3 days prior to the race. Your body will accumulate the glycogen in your muscles and liver. It will hold on to it until you burn it off. 85-95% of your calories should come from carbs. It sounds so scary to someone who's trying to lose weight! It also said that if you get on the scale and you see you're up about 4 pounds, you're carbo-loading correctly. Every gram of stored carbs makes you store an extra 3 grams of water so the weight should be gone after the race. It also means that your body should be good and hydrated. It was such a great article! It was nice to really understand the science of it. To start my carbo-loading tonight I made a chickpea curry. It's so delicious and the easiest recipe ever! I've put the recipe up before. You can find it by clicking here. Here's a picture of the final product tonight. I served it over brown rice. I'll probably have more for lunch tomorrow.
Well I think I'm ready. I completed the training. I've learned how to fuel and hydrate during the run. I picked up my race packet and tested out my timing chip. My belly is full of carbs and will be tomorrow as well. The only thing left is to pick out what I'm going to wear! I think I have the right outfit in mind. I have to look great for the photos along the route! It's so important! :)
I'm so excited I'm afraid I won't sleep tonight. I need to though cause I'll be up very late tomorrow. On Sunday I have a day of beauty and relaxation planned. I will get a hydration massage, spray tan, manicure, and pedicure. This just may be the best weekend ever!!
**If you are my friend on Facebook, I would really appreciate the support during the run. I will post when I start running and every time you 'like' or comment on my post, it pauses my music and plays the sound of people cheering. It's so motivating knowing people are cheering me on! I'll probably be running from 10:15 until possibly 1am. (please lord let me be finished my then!) thanks!!**