From Mile High to Motown: Final Check In
The third in a series of posts from Bad Angel guest bloggers Laura and Brent, who live in Denver and are training for their first 26.2, the Detroit Free Press Marathon, on Oct. 21.
The countdown continues …
It’s unbelievable how time has flown by — over the course of training and in my pace. There is so much that I’ve learned from this training, and I wanted to share some of it before the big race day.
Like any first-time marathoner, I’ve been amazed that I’ve actually achieved what I have as far as training goes; managing runs before and after long work days, during work travel and even making it to a 20 mile run. I seriously don’t know how people that have kids train for a marathon; they really are miracle-makers.
In any case, just a few days out from race day, here’s the stuff that really made a difference for me:
- Recovery counts just as much as your run. Taking a few cues (very loosely) from the Paleo Diet for Athletes, it was important to be extremely thoughtful about the “fuel” consumed post-run and eating the right foods when the body is most receptive (which is after an intense workout or long run). I replenished vitamins and minerals through lean meats, fruit and vegetables. Of course, I did get my carbs in here and there, but for the most part, this diet worked great for me! Also, I’m a huge fan of coconut water pre- and post-run; it’s naturally full of minerals, electrolytes and potassium.
- Form (and minimal shoes) can cure IT band issues. Ever since I ran my first half marathon, I have had IT band issues. I would tighten up and get pain on the outside of my knee when I got up in mileage in my training. Almost every half I’d done, I would always end up in pain. This time around, I got into focusing on form (thanks to Brentaur) and the shoes to support it (I transitioned from Asics Neo33’s to the Newton Gravity during the course of my training). Between the Newtons, which I LOVE, and a commitment to the form they recommend, I’ve been injury free! I also must admit that I’ve stretched pretty well before and after each run, which I highly recommend taking the time to do.
- Mile High weather and altitude = awesome training conditions. I have to say that the spring/summer/fall weather in our fair city of Denver is just about perfect for marathon training. There is little to no humidity and very few rainy days. In other words, there is quite a bit of motivation to get out there and get it done. In Denver, there also is about 17 percent less oxygen than at sea level, so I look forward to seeing how the extra O2 at 646 feet affects me. Fingers crossed, I hope it shaves a few extra seconds off my pace time.
- “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right either way.” My dad has been telling me this since I was a little girl. I have thought about it often on the hardest and longest runs, and will be thinking about it on marathon day. It was fitting that he happened to be visiting us the weekend I ran my 20-miler. I did it and felt great. I also thought I could end my run by drinking a frosty Coors with my dad and Brent … and I was right about that, too!
I look forward to recapping the race for you all – and giving you my take on Detroit. And a big congrats to those Bad Angels who tore it up in Chicago. I couldn’t be more excited for all of you!
Laura and Brent