Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
If you're running a fall marathon like me, most likely your long runs are now behind you and it's time to taper! Tapering is both an exciting and scary concept for most runners. By decreasing your mileage you are letting your body rest and recover before the big day, but at times it can feel like you aren't doing enough. But tapering is a tried and true part of training that I urge you to incorporate prior to your race.
First of all, what is a taper? This is the period in training when weekly and long run mileage is reduced, usually 2-3 weeks before the race. If you are already following a training plan, like Hal Higdon's this should be incorporated in the plan. If you would like to check out some more tapering schedules, check out this link.
So while reducing mileage may seem easy, often times runner develop not only a physical addiction to running, but also a psychological need to iron out any life kinks on the road. Without those long runs, it is important that you find other ways to occupy your time. Surround yourself by those who love and support you, take the time to watch a new movie, and enjoy some of your other hobbies. Don't let Taper Madness grab hold of you, race day will come, and your training will shine through. Research has shown that those who taper properly perform better than those who train right up until race day.
- Runner's World suggests sticking to your training log. No matter how short and easy your runs get during the taper, keep recording your workouts in your log to reinforce the feeling that you are studiously sticking to the plan.
- Listen to your body. Last minute workouts the week of the marathon are not going to improve your time. Trust your previous training and if you are feeling either physically or mentally tired or your leg muscles are fatigued, give them rest.
- Make Sure you are stretching! Check out these great stretches for runners
- Keep your nutrition at it's peak! In the week before the race, gradually increase your carbohydrate intake. Chose high quality, nutritious foods to fuel your race-day. This article has some great nutrition tips for the week before the big day!
- Keep Drinking! Make sure you are hydrate well the week before the marathon and in particular, during the carbohydrate loading period.
- Don't fret over weight gain! If your weight fluctuates a few pounds, don't panic. Because of reduced activity, and increased hydration, this is mostly water weight! I assure you it will disappear immediately post-race.
- If you are traveling to your race, make sure to pack some of your favorite foods, and foods that you are used to using on your training runs. If you have been using a specific source of carbohydrates during your long runs, now is not the time to switch it up! Save yourself some headaches (and tummyaches!) by planning ahead and packing what you'll need!
- Catch your ZZZZZs! Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep the week prior to the marathon.
By listening to your body and giving it time to rest and recovery, you'll be more than ready when the starting gun goes off! Best of luck in your race!
Let's here from my runner readers! Have any tips for other racers? What do you do before a race? Any superstitions or lasting traditions? What fall races are you running? Most importantly, do you have any chicago tips/sights/eats for me?? It's my first time visiting!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Flipping through Improper Bostonian the other day, I read a short snippet about a group of 3 dudes who decided to run from Boston To Austin for charity. Yes, that is 2000 miles. Yes that is hardcore/crazy/epic/inspirational. Abby, Scott's GF noticed my blog about my warrior-status and offered to let me do an interview with the guys. See what happens when you mention someone is hot???
A challenge like no other … in September 3 men from the UK and Texas are attempting to run from 2000 miles (each) from Boston, Massachusetts to Austin, Texas. The run will begin on 15th September at 10.00 am in Boston and will be completed hopefully… on the 27th november in Austin. During the two and half months the guys will encounter challenging terrain, adverse weather and who knows the occasional wild animal.Passing through 9 different states, 100 different towns, 9 cities and covering between 30 – 40 miles a day will be a grueling task that will be entertaining viewing and no doubt keep you hooked for the entirety.
Q. How often do you plan on swapping out gear, such as running shoes?
Q. Do you ever listen to
music on the road or talk to each other?
Q. What's the first thing you'll do when you reach Austin?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We arrived feeling very underdressed. I personally had picked my least desirables with the intention of being environmentally neglect and tossing them post race. Who knew we would be competing with fashionable warriors??
Some genius wore a helmet cam-wish i was this cool. Follow me
"I'm sweating patron"
Monday, September 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
PLANT A LIVING SEEDBANK
Sunday Sept 12
UMass Organic Farm
Join us to plant a Living Seedbank of rare world grains on the verge of extinction.
As we face unprecedented climate change, it is urgent to regenerate the almost-lost
robust varieties that have evolved over millenia of weather challenges and harsh climates.
10 to 1- Plant Rare Grains from World Genebanks and Traditional Farmers
Visit: growseed.org for more information
Heritage grains are heirloom varities that are on the verge of extinction thanks to mass agrictulture. A group of researchers at UMASS Amherst are raising these grains to test their practicality in Massachusetts as a grain supply. By creating a community seedbank, they are hoping to have a Noah's Ark of resilient varieties.
We got out fingernails dirty and went to work. We were pretty speedy for a pair of “city girls” something another volunteer commented on.
jess doin work
The people were very sweet and upon departure we were handed a small loaf of bread, made from local Einkorn wheat.
In true rustic/hippy fasion we bite right into it.
Deerfield and the area near Sugarloaf Mountain are just gorgeous.
This year Annabelle, Jess and I split Local grain CSA from Pioneer Valley Farm in Western Mass and have been enjoying it. The wheatberries and oats were great, now I need to work on making more bread. Luckily they have set up some forums for people to share recipes and storage tips. The one thing I have noticed about the grains is that they are not ground as fine as many commercial flours, but have a wonderful flavor! We kept some of them whole grains (wheat and rye berries) but ground much of it into whole grain flours. I made cornbread with the dent corn and whole wheat flour for the first Slow Food BU meeting of the semester.If you love Local Foods and are in the Boston Area I highly recommend you come to the 1st (ANNUAL) Local Food Festival!
For more information and schedules, be sure to check out their website, I'm so excited!
Monday, September 13, 2010
no the cat did not come with me to VT. she belongs to my friend sara. i love them. this picture is from my trip to maine
with the following items:
clif crunch bars (FOUND THEM!!),
running clothes, warm weather dresses(what was I thinking????), running shoes, laptop, required reading, coffee.....
and took the commuter rail to Jess. We picked up Tim and headed up to Vermont for the Maple Leaf Half Marathon. Vermont is Gorgeous!! I can only imagine how spectacular the fall foliage will be in a couple of weeks. Manchester is nestled in the Green Mountains, and even the drive up through NH was beautiful.
We had dinner the night before at “The Perfect Wife” one of the race sponsors and a nice little tavern.
We got the eggplant fries to start (delic) and both Jess and I had the “Howling Wolf” Gotta carbo-load these she-wolves with some vegan rice, sweet potato and veggies!
We stayed at Jeff, a good friend of Tim’s, new house, and I passed out at 10:30, with them questioning that I was an actual college kid. I have to wake up at 6am so I can eat guys! Oatmeal with flax, peanut butter and raisins, served with coffee to kickstart the morning. Breakfast overlooking this? Nothing better.
All of my cross-country friends crumple their numbers, so I follow suit
Tim got my lucky number. I almost stole it
before 10am my eyes don't fully open
Jess and the Boys (note: don't talk to Tim before a race. he's not a happy camper >
Then off to run 13.1 beautiful miles!The morning started out quite chilly with a heavy fog, but a couple miles in, it completely lifted and the sun shone brightly. The race went well: We all PR’d! I got 1:45, Tim got 1:33, and Jess came in at 1:54 It was a rolling course, but great little cheering squads and gorgeous scenery! I came in 4th in my age group, so missed the podium, but I was very happy with my time! Especially because I went into the race just planning on using it as a training run, versus "racing." I just got caught up in the spirit!
After the race there was a huge spread of watermelon, oranges, bananas, bread, bagels , muscle milk, cookies, bars, lemonade, Gatorade, and water to replenish our stores. We ran into Lindsey and company, who had just completed their first half! There's really nothing better than post-race feelings! We finished the day with lots of snacks and shopping, and then headed back down to Central Mass. Jess takes gorgeous photos and you should see her recap here
Somethings I’ve had on my mind lately (and I have a lot of time alone in my head with these long runs), that I will hopefully elaborate on soon:
- Why I need to keep chasing that runner’s high and why I want to do an Ultra to keep pushing my mileage
- My thoughts on this intermediate training plan
- Bars, Bars, Bars
- Where I will be in the next year/6 months.
- The role of positive emotions/mantras while running
- why humans are so gosh-darn irrational (this book applies to everything in my life. I highly recommend it. and yes, that was my required reading)
Any races in your near future? Exciting week plans? tell me more tell me more!
Any races in your near future? Exciting week plans? tell me more tell me more!