The week before race day is many ways the most critical part of training. It is the final opportunity to stay healthy, make smart diet choices, get plenty of rest, follow the last days of tapering in the training plan, mentally prepare for running 26.2, and depending on where the race is, to handle getting race day gear prepped in advance. The things that happen on the week leading up to race day can certainly affect race performance. I thought I would track each day of the week before race day leading up to the Rehoboth Marathon so that I have a clear log of activity to review after the race. I know with a doubt all the things I should do. I also know, all too well, my own schedule, habits and tendency to not follow best practices. Let’s see how I do!
Saturday, December 1
Up at 6:15a.m. but fortunately the baby is still sleeping. It’s a hazy, cool morning for the last long run of the training plan. I run 8 miles at 7a.m. at an average 8:37 pace, very happy with that! Spend about 10 minutes (not enough) stretching and go right into ‘mommy mode.’ Eat a delicious two-egg with spinach and onion dish that my husband makes and start on Saturday errands and activity. Peanut Butter sandwich around 1:30p.m. Head to Baltimore for a Parade of Lights event and over the course of several hours have 2 beers and 2 glasses of white wine with heavy appetizers. Not my best move. In bed by 10p.m.
Sunday, December 2
Up at 7:15a.m. with the baby. It’s a rest day according to the training plan so I am pretty much in mommy mode all day. Pumpkin soup for ‘breakfast’ around 10:30a.m. House chores and prep for the week ahead. The Ravens are playing the Steelers so we hang with friends in our purple gear and have chili and (three) beers for dinner. Will likely be in bed by 9:30p.m.
Monday, December 3
Alarm goes off at 5a.m. and after 30 minutes of snooze I decided to hold off on the morning run and do it after work when I know it will be close to 60 degrees…in December! So I’m up at 6:15a.m., straight to the shower, into mommy mode until daycare drop off and work calls begin at 7:45. I get down two pieces of multigrain bread with peanut butter for breakfast and then I hit the road for a 2 hour drive to give a capabilities presentation. ‘Lunch’ on the drive back around 2:30p.m. is a banana and a granola bar. I pick Connor up from daycare at 5, have one more conference call and take him out for the 3 mile run. It’s perfect weather, I have a new blinking red light for the Baby Jogger FIT and we average around an 8:18 pace. Dinner is pumpkin soup with chicken added to it, delicious! I’ll be in bed closer to 10 tonight because my guilty pleasure is watching The Voice. Oh, and LOTS of water consumed today.
Tuesday, December 4
Got up a little later than I wanted to but made it out the door by 6:15a.m. for a brief 2 miler, averaged 8:15 pace. Typical morning routine and on the road to the office (a one hour commute) for a crazy day of meetings, projects, deadlines and invoicing. Banana and coffee on the road, granola bar around 9:30 equaled breakfast. Pumpkin soup with chicken at 1:30 for lunch. (Ok, you wonder now what’s up with the pumpkin soup? I found an amazing Epicurious pumpkin honey soup recipe and had used my Halloween pumpkin which made mass amounts of the delicious soup.) Ongoing busy day, drive home, baby time and delicious husband-made dinner: flank steak, broccolini, and sweet potato. Plus some much needed Los Vacos Savignon Blanc. I didn’t intend to consume alcohol this week but today warranted it. And so does tomorrow (just guessing at this juncture). Should be in bed by 10:30 tonight…to much to do!
Wednesday, December 5
Straight into the shower when I wake up at 6:15a.m. I have the baby until 8, morning conference call and then I’m in the car for 3 hours to a client meeting. Breakfast in the car is a banana and granola bar. Hustle and bustle at the client site but fortunately we stop for lunch and I have a 9-piece California roll and water. I’m on the road again by 4:30p.m. and snack on mixed nuts, keep downing water and finally stop for ‘dinner’ at Dunkin Donuts which is a small half calf half decalf coffee to get me through the rest of what became a 4+ hour drive and a Wake-up Wrap (egg, cheese and sausage). Don’t ever get that. Or if you do, get 3. Super small. I get home at 8:30 work glassy-eyed until 10p.m. and go to bed very tired.
Thursday, December 6
I am out the door at 5:35a.m. for the last taper run, 3 miles. It’s chilly and clear and I average an 8:31 pace and feel great. I have a ton of work I hope to get done so that Friday can be a half day to head to Rehoboth. I work from about 7-9a.m., part of the time with the baby entertaining himself. He has a doc appointment so we head there and 45 minutes later he’s at daycare and I am sequestered in my basement home office with more coffee and a bowl of Cinnamon Pecan cereal for breakfast. I’m on conference calls, writing proposals, creative briefs and proofing pieces until I can finally break for lunch around 2. Surprise! It’s a bowl of pumpkin soup! Back to the grind until 6; I break to feed, bathe and put the baby to bed plus have dinner myself close to 8 which is a chicken/leek combo with lettuce, avocado and rice that my husband made. It was delicious and I had a second serving. I work from 8-11p.m. and am asleep by midnight. Not the ideal penultimate night.
Friday, December 7
I’m up at 6:30a.m. Thinking about what I need to pack and realize I forgot to get a sitter for the dog! Maybe the hotel is dog-friendly…I will be at work by 8, do as much as I possibly can until 2p.m., pack as fast as I can and our goal is to be on the road by 3, get to Rehoboth by 5, packet pick-up and meet marathoning friends at 6 for dinner. Tonight I will be in bed early because tomorrow is marathon race day!
So the big question is, am I ready?? How’d I do? I think I did pretty well getting enough sleep. Probably could have drank more water and zero alcohol. Meals should have involved more protein and better carbs. Now, let’s just hope I remember to pack my running shoes.
How about you? What does your pre-race week look like?