J is for June 20th

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June 20, 2016. Next Monday. Five days away. 120 hours. 7,200 minutes.

That my friends, is how long I have until Marine Corps Marathon training starts. And then I get to do THIS!! Watch this video...

It’s time to lace up my sneakers and get back in the training saddle. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. This will be my third time training for a marathon – the first time, very unsuccessfully I “trained” for the Disney Marathon back in 2012. I took training much more seriously in 2014 for the Philadelphia Marathon. Doesn’t matter how many times you train, my nerves still get me.

Last September's Rock n Roll half marathon was my last "big race" I trained for and I'll be honest, I'm excited to get back into training. I trained for my sprint Triathlon a few weeks ago, but the training is not as intense as a half or full marathon. This winter/spring I was a bit all over the place. For months and months I was just winging it -- run 3 miles here, run 5 there, walk a few. I'm a person that needs a schedule to keep me motivated and in line. I'm ready for this!

I wrote a post a few weeks back but I’ll mention this all again. What makes this year’s marathon so special is that I will be decked out in my pink & black, running with over 50 Ainsley’s Angels runners and rider duos AND I will be pushing the one and only TEAM DYLAN the entire 26.2 miles. You heard me, PUSHING -- spreading the word of INCLUSION along the D.C. streets and representing Ainsley's Angels in Southeast PA!

I am HONORED to participate alongside 49 other athlete riders at this year’s race and I'm blessed to know that Dylan will be pushing/pulling me (and most likely yelling at me to go faster, he's competitive) the entire 26.2 miles.

Training for marathons are tough -- the miles and hours you spend on your feet are harsh over an 18 week span. But this year’s training will be NOTHING like my training plans in the past. This year for my training runs I plan on pushing one of our Freedom chairs during training runs, adding weight to the seat the equates to Dylan (roughly 90lbs). I have on my schedule this weekend to hit Lowes and purchase a sandbag or two – luckily they are cheap at only $4.50 a bag! I’m also trying to come up with something creative to note that I’m training for this race with a fake human in the chair and to not think I’m crazy. Any suggestions/thoughts are welcome!

I have a few big focuses for training this year:

1. Stay healthy. I’m having some SERIOUS calf problems since I went to Ireland in March. Some runs are unbearable. Some runs my legs and feet go completely numb. Over the last month my main focus has been to keep rolling my calves with the foam roller, stop and stretch on my runs if need be and to DRINK MORE WATER!!! I’m not sure if this is a hydration issue or something else. I should PROBABLY see a doctor…meh!

2. Fueling pre- and during race. Believe it or not (and I know I’m not the only person) but I can’t eat anything before a race. The combination of my nerves and excitement have me usually taking 3 tiny bites of a bagel and ditching the rest. I ALWAYS carb load the night before so I know I have a full stomach, however, that’s not healthy and will not give me top performance.

Here is a little science info: Carbohydrate is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver.  You can store about 400g of glycogen in your muscles, and about 100g in your liver.  This means you can store about 2000 kcal as glycogen – enough energy to run or walk about 20 miles. (You can read more here later). That being said, a marathon is 26.2 miles – you NEED more energy throughout the race and that is done with fuel.

So this time training I plan on eating before my runs (crazy I know) and I plan on something simple like half bagel or some oatmeal. I have a feeling this is going to be a trial and error situation and I better create some routes that have bathrooms near by. Haha For during race, I love GU and other have suggest to drink Tailwind. I’ll keep you posted on that!

3. Nutrition in general is key. I’ve been pretty lazy on the nutrition front, but over the last three weeks I’ve been regrouping on my food. Here’s to hoping I can keep at it and see some weight loss during this training (I did last time, I hope it works again!)

4. TO HAVE FUN. Marathon training gets tough…real tough. But to remember my WHY and what I am representing this time around allows me to put life in perspective.

Oh, and I should mentioned because who doesn't love a shameless plug -- Ainsley's Angels of America is a charity partner for the 2016 Marine Corp Marathon. Each runner and rider needs to fundraise to participate in this race. If you're willing to make a donation to help Dylan and me be present at this race, we would greatly appreciate it! You can make your donation by clicking here: https://www.crowdrise.com/picspoundingpavement

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