Race Ready: What Not To Do Before a Marathon

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In April I ran my first ever race! It was Nike Women Half Marathon in DC. Leading up to the race was one hell of a roller coaster  ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I do wish I was a little better at prepping during race week. I did not understand how crucial those last days leading up to the race were. And with that, I learned some pretty hard lessons that week…

Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do The Week Before a Race:

  1. Doing your longest run during the same week of your race
  2. Drinking alcoholic beverages ( the key is to stay hydrated, and alcohol is not only a suppressant, but it also causes dehydration)
  3. Poor dieting (your body needs nutrients and carbs to help sustain you through the run, and protein to help repair all the muscle tissue before, during, and after)
  4. Not drinking at least 10 or more glasses of water a day
  5. Trying something new (Like a new fitness regimen, activity, or diet)
  6. Not preparing your race gear (worse thing to realize when you’re at the starting line is that you forgot your iPod, or hair tie, or even your fuel packs!)
  7. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep during the week(or worse less than 4hrs the night before the race like me. Warning: Race jitters may keep you up all night)
  8. Wearing new running shoes that you have not done a proper test on as yet
  9. Not training adequately months before the race (could be weeks, depending on the length of your race)
  10. Not having faith in all the training and work you’ve put in!

I know these things are rather obvious to some, and I have read countless health and fitness articles leading up to my race, but I didn’t truly realize the  importance of these tips until  I went through it myself. Now that I know better, I feel a lot more confident going into my next race, and can’t wait to set a new personal record.

 

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Luckily, thanks to the months of prepping, I was not only able to finish, but surpass my personal record. Although I did way better on this race than I anticipated, I will say that I could have done even better had I followed all those rules. I could avoid  the cramps that came on earlier than I expected because the lack of hydration, exhaustion from lack of sleep, and technical difficulties with some of my music apps. All of those factors can affect your time and make you lose concentration. This is something I’ll take into serious consideration as I begin training again and getting ready for Race Season in Fall.

 

Hope that Helps,

 

Kay W.

The Race Must go on…

Right now I should be at Prospect Park gearing up for my Rock & Roll Race and doing some last minute stretches/warm ups. Or depending on what time you’re reading this, my feet should be swiftly pounding the pavements. Instead, I am at work.

I will not pretend here, I was pissed when they told me I had to work today. I had been conditioning my body about a month for this. I even paid for the non-refundable registration in advance, because I had no doubt that I would be able to do the race.

But as life would have it, I planned and things didn’t go my way. Being upset about my current situation would get me nowhere. So instead of just being upset about it. I tried to salvage my efforts.

The race was for a good cause and I happened to know quite a few people who love doing races. So I sucked it up, took a bite of humble pie, and gave my registration to one of them.

All in all, I’m happy that I helped the cause, my friend owes me one big time, and I’m still in good standing at work.

What can I say, life hands you lemons, you hand it back the best damn Lemon Cake it’s ever eaten!

Hope you all are doing well,

Kay Wanderz

Run for Goodness Sake!

I like running. It’s something that has slowly become apart of my life and helped me to achieve a few fitness goals. Lately, I have been in a bit of a running slum. It’s getting progressively harder to lace up and pound the pavement.  This year, ninety percent of my runs have been on a treadmill. Which would explain why it has become increasingly difficult to run at the parks.

The gym membership was great for when it was cold, or raining, or at a late hour after work. And the treadmill was a convenient place to run because I work in the city, which is far from home, but my gym membership soon became my excuse for any major outdoor activity. The gym became my safe haven, not for convenience or reliability, but because of comfort.

I have read countless articles about people who run through every climate imaginable. The only difference between them and myself, is  they have a purpose that drives them to push through discomfort. My fear of looking ridiculous is where my discomfort lies. It’s why if I do ever run outside, it’s through a park or on trails in the woods. Where the only thing that can see me huffing and puffing every mile are the little woodland creatures and other runners who are too absorbed in the war of  man versus distance.

This fear has been keeping me from my full potential of being the runner that I have always inspired to be. I envied runners for their amazing bodies, look of purpose when in motion, and athletic abilities. I’m from a family of athletes. I’m an only girl and all my brothers play basketball plus another sport. My father has been playing soccer since diapers in Jamaica and my mother played Netball for her school. And even all of these reasons couldn’t get me to run a lap around my own block.

So I’m biting the bullet. I have signed up for a 10K race. Not just any race, but one that is for charity. If there’s anything that would put fire to my heels, it’s a charity. Now, not only am I running for my own personal development, but for benefit of others. Not to mention I find it hard not to stick to something that I’m paying for.  I’m challenging myself to run 3-4 times a week outside leading up to the race which is in a little less than three weeks. Running outside is MANDATORY, especially since the race is around Prospect Park and the treadmill just isn’t gonna cut it.

 

Here’s a clip for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon NYC, which is the race that I’ve signed up for.

 

And on that note, off for my first morning run of the challenge.

Keep challenging yourself,

 

PS.  Any running tips or advise on running a 10K in an hour would be greatly appreciated!!

Kay Wanderz