I am happy to report that I am done with my plank challenge. That is the greatest news I have heard in a while 🙂 Man – that challenge is tough. Which means that I will be doing it again and again until it’s not as hard. It didn’t start getting really hard until we got to the 2:30 mark then I had to start distracting myself, focusing on my breathing, and doing a quick downward-dog type pose in the middle.

I started doing low-planks but my elbows got rug burn 😉 so I started doing high planks on my hands. I could really tell a difference that the low planks engaged my abs much more and the high planks activated my arms. So next time – all low planks for me but I will use a t-shirt or something soft under my elbows.

But I am happy to report that I’ve been following the mileage builder religiously and over the weekend I had a 10-mile run in our neighborhood and I felt great! Ran the full 10 miles at a 9:23 race pace, no stopping, no cramping, no tummy issues just a beautiful long-run that happened to take place during a race.

This week as the post-race week I’ve deemed it a half-week to allow my body to rest and rebuild. Then Monday I will pick it right back up where I left off – which, for me, was at the 24-miles per week row.

Thought I would share a few tips from my pre-race arsenal:

  • Pre-race meals the day before the race – light on the fiber! I had a spinach and goat-cheese omelette, bananas and my favorite peanut butter, yogurt, Honey Nut Cheerios with almond milk. Pretty normal stuff! I did splurge and have a scoop of ice-cream with my daughter as we were out for her birthday. Oops! But not really… it was delish!
  • Race morning – I woke up 2 hours before the start time as I only had to drive 2 miles to the race site. Had plenty of time to do all my biz in the bathroom including paint my nails!
  • Breakfast (a huge spoon of peanut butter) was eaten about 45minutes before the start line
  • Another quick potty stop at 6:30 before I left my house
  • At the race site I didn’t stand around and shiver. I just lolly-gagged and ambled around the race site so I never got too cold and kept my body moving. I’d also rather do that than listen to people talk about their their pre-race jitters and anxiety.
  • The temp was around 41F so I had on gloves, no hat, and a warm hooded jacket. So glad I had that hood as I needed it for about the first mile then it was off.

During the race

  • At the start line I line up towards the middle and it felt like there were so many fast people! Everyone passed me in the first 1/2 mile. About mile 4 I started picking off the people who went too fast 🙂
  • I consciously ran my own race and didn’t worry about trying to keep up with anyone else, just glanced at my watch occasionally to check my pace.
  • I had my hand-held water bottle with my car keys in the little pocket (that’s important later!) and my warm coat with my phone in my pocket and one ear-bud in so I could still hear the course marshalls and police.
  • The first lap was wonderful – got familar with the course and noted where the mile markers were the 2nd loop. As I finished the 1st lap I happen to run right next to my car! Opened the trunk, took off my jacket (and phone and earbuds) and tossed them then kept going. Took about 20seconds and so glad I did that. My long-sleeve layer under my coat was perfect for the last loop.
  • That last loop I made my goal to stay steady on my pace and just pass people very very slowly – not changing my pace beyond the 9:05-9:25 range. Steady was my game.

So as you can see – no golden nuggets here – run YOUR race, run YOUR pace, have fun and be conscious of the gift of being able to run, being able to afford running at a race that offers support, and recognizing that training requires consistency. Consistency creates change. Keep on turning your miles into smiles!

After the race I came home and bribed my 6-year old son to do the 1-mile. He had a good time once it was over. He shot off the start line and sprinted the first 50m, then jogged the next 50m, then walked the next .75miles talking about how hard it was. I tried to get him to have a little fun but he just wanted to finish 🙂 We jogged about the last 0.1 miles and he was crazy proud of that medal and t-shirt! Then we went to Target and bought a Bey-Blade because hey, sometimes we all need a little reward. Right?