Protein power

My leftover spinach-turkey sausage-mozzarella omelet, still delicious the next day because it’s from the Omelette Shoppe, just isn’t cutting it. But I knew this would be the case. All these months of eating a big bowl of oatmeal loaded with juicy fruit for breakfast has spoiled me.

Less than a week to go until race day and I’ve been fueling up on protein the past few days following my last long run of 12 miles on Saturday. Prepare to feel a little crappy, is how Lisa puts it when she detailed how I’d want to limit my carb intake and focus on protein – eggs for breakfast instead of oatmeal, tacos minus the tortilla shells, meats and cheeses without the heavy bread, etc. Almonds are my go-to snack. The idea is to maintain my caloric intake but pretty much deplete my body of the energy gained and stored through carbohydrates – temporarily, at least.

Then, starting tomorrow and through Friday, I’m gonna be all about the carbs, all in the name of “superfueling my glycogen stores.” Bring on the pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs, my favorite meal, will be on the menu. As will some pad thai from my favorite Thai restaurant. But I’m not going to go crazy carbo-loading, since drastically altering your diet before a race isn’t smart. I’ll continue to eat healthy, keep hydrated, watch my salt intake…think about how delicious that long-awaited cold beer is going to taste post-race…

With just a few days to go, Lisa also suggests I keep myself distracted by not letting thoughts of the marathon be all-consuming. Not so easy to do, given that it’s really all I think about as I fall asleep at night and once the alarm goes off in the morning (and also if I wake up in the middle of the night). I can’t help trying to visualize race day, the out-and-back course and how I’ll (hopefully) feel at the start line. And, yes, at the finish line, too. I can’t help but have expectations.

Still, we all know there are some things – most things? – we cannot control. And so we must know and prepare for other things to happen, like the weather being awful, or waking up not feeling all that good, or … OK, I’m not even going to keep imagining the worst. I’m positive and hopeful and confident. I am a half-full cup kind of girl anyway.

Along those lines, I’m still on my kick of seeking all things inspirational. Beth R., who is behind the hilarious and inspiring blog Shut Up & Run, had a great post on Athleta titled How to be Mentally Strong that really spoke to me. I’m also drawing strength from great friends who are taking time to have a cup of coffee or lunch with me this week to ask how I’m feeling – and to share what’s going on in their lives because the last thing I want to be is the friend who gets too wrapped up in her own life to know what’s going on with her friends.

I also so appreciate the phone calls, texts, Facebook postings and emails from friends, giving me a shout-out about the race and telling me they’ll be cheering me on – or that they’ll also be there running, too, either the 10k or half marathon. It’s so very encouraging – and so amazing that here I am, months after starting a 22-week training program.

During our final pre-race/end-of-training weekly meeting today, Lisa pulled out two pages of marathon quotes she’d found online. Then she read them to me. I wanted to share a couple of them with you all:

“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” – Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

“I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” – Mike Fanelli, running club coach

“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.” – unknown

Running plan this week: nice and easy.
Today: 4
Wednesday: 3
Thursday: 2
Friday: Off (though, actually, I’ll be jogging easily with my beautiful Girls on the Run team during our final 5k event that helps kick off the Bayshore race weekend)

3 days to go…

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