…And Then They Told Me to Eat Carbs

Okay, first off, I just have to point out that last week I managed to migrate my WordPress blog to a new host–all by myself! *high five* After 14 years with the same web host, I switched to a new (cheaper) one this year.  I was prepared for the transfer of my website, but migrating my blog turned out to be more complicated than I expected.  The new host graciously offered an option to transfer it for me–for more than the cost of three years of hosting! 😮  I looked at that option and said, “Oh hell no.  I develop web-based training for a living, I can figure this out!”  It took a lot of patience and a lot of searching through an endless loop of support pages, but I did it!  Saved myself $99 in the process, too.  Go me! 😉

If you’ve been following my blog this summer and fall, you know that tomorrow is the BIG DAY–I’m running the Detroit Free Press full marathon.  I’m both excited and nervous, which is how it’s supposed to be, right?  I’ve been following the Hanson’s plan, which is rather infamous in running circles for being pretty crazy.  Read back through some of my previous posts in the last 18 weeks to learn about my six-day running weeks and 10-milers before work. 😮  To just enhance the craziness, my “taper” hasn’t really felt like much of one.  My longest run has been 16 miles, which I ran three times.  The last time was three weeks ago today, and you would have thought that I’d be in “taper” mode at that point, but the taper for this plan doesn’t actually start until 10 days before the race–and even then, it doesn’t feel much like a taper.  Nine days ago, I ran 10 miles at marathon pace (yet another double-digit run before work!), and the only thing I’ve tapered since then is my pace.  I still ran 6 days a week for the remaining weeks, and just this past Thursday, I ran six miles at 5am. Yes, three days before the marathon! 😮  Yesterday I ran three miles, and this morning, I ran three again.  My friends Ann and Jennifer did not join me today, but Toddra, bless her heart, came out and ran a nice, easy three with me.

It was actually a lot of fun–we ran super-easy and walked when we felt like it, stopped for pictures, and talked the whole time.  Exactly what running with friends is supposed to be!

I did the math to figure out how many miles I’ve run of this marathon training cycle compared to my last one.  In the winter/spring of 2015, I ran 518.5 miles on my way to the Glass City Marathon.  This year, in the summer and fall, I have run 684.5 miles.  Dude, after just doing that math, my jaw literally dropped!  That’s 32% more miles than my last training cycle!  Almost a third more! Holy crap!  That’s a lot of damn miles.

One thing all those miles has done is given me lots and lots and lots of calories to eat.  Thank goodness there is SOME bonus to all that hard work, lol!  I had lost about 5 pounds since I started (from mid-June to mid-September), but now that I’ve been stepping back in my training and burning less calories, I’ve gained back about a pound of that. (I weighed in at 125.6 for the last two weeks…no picture because I’m a bit rushed tonight. But it’s real, I promise!)

And then there’s this week–I read the section of the book on “what to eat in the days leading up to your race” and by golly, the author is telling me to eat more carbs.  Like, lots more!  And not just carbs, but the super-starchy, low-fiber, white-bread-til-you-drop kind of carbs. 😛  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a total carb free-for-all, but compared to how I’ve been eating for the last 7 years, it sure feels like it!  I’m trying not to go overboard, but my gosh, I do love me some carbs, so this is like Christmas right now. 😉

So now you’ll probably want to ask me how I feel right now, twelve hours from race start.  Nervous.  Excited.  Mostly nervous, lol!  Which is silly, because there is no pressure on me for this one (not that there is ever any pressure on me except for what I put on myself).  My whole purpose of running this race is the experience. I loved doing the relay in 2013, I loved doing the half last year, I even loved being a spectator for my friend Carrie when she ran the full four years ago.  It is truly a great race if you love running and love the city of Detroit.  And I love both!

But of course, because I am who I am, I just can’t put aside the idea that if I’m going to run a race, I should at least TRY to improve my time.  When I read the Hanson’s book (yes, I did read it–the whole thing!), I realized I had to come up with some kind of pace to use for my training.  The only options in the chart for my end of the range (aka, slow) were a 4:45 finish or a 5:00 finish.  My best finish is 4:58:03, so it seemed stupid to train for something slower than that.  Granted, training for something 13 minutes faster than that also seemed a bit foolhardy, but there wasn’t a 4:55 option, or even a 4:50, so 4:45 is what I chose.

So my plan is to try for something in between the two numbers…better than my last finish, but most likely slower than the time I’ve been training for.  If I don’t finish faster than my last one, the world will not end.  But I have worked SO hard on my training, it seems almost silly to just toss it aside without even attempting to run somewhere near the pace I’ve been training for.

So I guess you’d call that my “A” goal–a new personal best.  My B goal is to finish feeling strong (honestly, that’s really my A goal, too!), and my C goal is to finish.  Like, literally, just finish, lol!

I will report back later, of course.  For now, it’s time to get my gear set out and then get to bed…3:30am comes DAMN early, lol!

Thanks for reading!

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