Mary's Going with Guts!

Track my progress as I train for my next Team Challenge half marathon for the CCFA

Preparing for the 10k

Posted by msdon9 on April 17, 2011

Last year, the Long Island Marathon Festival of Races 10K was my first race EVER. I remember that I felt like I had to carb-load the night before, but I was terrified of eating some kind of acidic pasta sauce that would bother my already anxiety-ridden stomach…so I purchased and ate an incredibly oily vegetable primavera dish from an Italian restaurant. When I woke up in the morning, I ate 1/2 portion of instant oatmeal and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Nothing else. At the start line, I forced down half a bottle of Gatorade, a few sips of water, and a couple of Power Bar chomps that a friend gave me. I set my Nike+iPod to track me as I rain, I held tightly onto my PowerGel that I planned on consuming after 40 minutes, and I was good to go.

Team LI at last year's Start Line

Knowing what I know now, I plan on doing a few things differently this year.

First of all…carb-loading the night before is going to include a Gluten-free option loaded with protein and vegetables (with props to my nutritionist Marlisa Brown, featured in THIS CNN article,  for figuring out how to help me).

I’ve become comfortable with my morning pre-run diet. It’s actually quite simple, consisting of a cup of black coffee and a 110 calorie protein bar. On race day I will add 10 peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets for a little extra energy, which I tried before on a 5k and it worked better than any PowerBar or Gu product. No Gatorade at the start, but I will drink at least 20 oz of water in the morning.

I’m not sure if I want to mess around with Gels this year. Pre-run they are nothing but bad news…upsetting my stomach and causing me to need to use the bathroom. I have enough issues with that, so no thanks! However, for some odd reason, they don’t bother me MID run… so I can take one 4-5 miles in and it will have the desired affect. Or… I could skip the Gel in favor of what I had used a little bit of last year: Jelly Belly sport beans. I hadn’t used them mid-race, only in the beginning. They didn’t bother my stomach at all at the start, so maybe I’ll see how I feel after eating them in the middle of the run.

I’m not going to count on Nike+ this year. It didn’t track me last year at all… in fact, it seems to crap out on me during races for some reason. So I’m simply going to make a playlist of my favorite songs and not worry about tracking. I’ll let the chip in my bib take care of that for me.

My goal is simple: improve my time from last year. I don’t think that should be an issue because I’ve been running, on average, 45-60 seconds per-mile faster than last year. However, I’ve been slacking on the training a little bit… turning what should be 45 minute runs into 30 minute runs, and maybe skipping a day per week because of my schedule. Whoops… I need to work on that!

I’m really looking forward to this year’s 10k, which will be on Sunday, May 1st at Eisenhower Park. My mother is going to walk it, which is kind of cool for her because it will be her biggest race yet;  she’s done a 5k before, but I don’t think she’s prepared for the magnitude (both size and distance) of what awaits her on this race!

Next post: Race Day Playlist. Last year I ran the 10k solo, which was a great experience. I ran the half marathon with two of my Wolfpack girls: Janine and Christina. I’m not sure what this year will bring or even what I will prefer… but I’ll provide some of the rationale behind what goes into my playlist and why, even if I don’t get a chance to listen to it!

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