Marathon Mondays: Nutrition for Race Day Success

It's not all about the running. In order to finish strong on race day, runners in training need to be mindful of their diet and how they're fueling up for their big runs! Today, Erica shares how she's been working on her nutrition, with one month to go before the race.

The countdown is on! Only 4 more weeks until race day, and this coming week marks the last of my really long training runs. 21 miles is my goal on Saturday and all this week, I will prep for this goal: the longest I will run before embarking on 26.2 on Marathon Monday. And I'm feeling ready...physically & mentally.

In addition to running & cross training, eating healthy and eating the right kinds of food has been a big focus. I decided to work with Janie Sohl (who many of you know from Studio Poise & SPiit!) on a nutrition plan for my marathon training. It has been wonderful! A huge part of the plan is with meal prep for the week, which I do on Sunday. And last week, I was especially glad that I had meal prepped on Sunday, as my oven decided to break. Having had my meals prepped and planned out made that ordeal feel so much less stressful! My oven is still out of commission (hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow) and in the meantime, I was able to do some food prep at my parents house today. 

As part of my nutrition plan, I start every morning with a protein shake: avocado, banana, spinach, greek yogurt, & protein powder. I usually mix it up & drink as I'm getting the kids breakfast ready & everyone out the door. I had been eating a yogurt and a granola bar previously for breakfast most days, but this shake is much more nutrious and keeps me fuller longer. I usually take my mid-morning snack with me as well and eat it once I'm done teaching class at SP. It's been a great feeling to know that I'm eating more of the right foods to sustain my training routine. And instead of grabbing my kids goldfish crackers when I get hungry, I grab the food that I have already prepared. And trust me, I'm not perfect (just ask Janie about my marathon text message lol), but it is a huge step in the right direction and I know it is making a difference in my training and how I feel while I run!
 
This Saturday, I planned a shorter/taper run of 10 miles. Two reasons: 1. I needed to give my body some recovery as I get ready for 21 miles this weekend, and 2. It was the Dolbeare PTO Fundraiser social that evening and I wanted to enjoy a night out without feeling exhausted. For the 10 mile run, I did the two loop route from my house and around the lake. It was chilly, but sunny & dry, and at 7:30am, Kate and I met at the top of my street and set out for the first loop. For the second loop, I met up with Tim, who pushed me to some speedy splits (which felt good)! We also faced a pretty steady head wind on Main St. by the lake and decided that head wind could count as a nice long hill. The toughest part of the head wind was breathing. It had a kind of suffocating feeling as the wind pushed into your face. Anyhow, I made it through and took a right onto Lowell St (with no wind) and headed home to finish out my 10 miles. And the social was a huge success raising lots of money for the kids at the Dolbeare school (& it was a lot of fun too!). 

Tonight, I'm feeling excited and ready for the week ahead. My legs feel good (no soreness in my calf muscle - which had been bothering me earlier in the week) and the abrasion on my knee from last weeks fall is slowly healing. I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the studio in classes and celebrating Easter on Sunday! Thank you again for your love and support of my Boston Marathon journey. Sharing these moments with everyone here on the blog makes the training even more special to me. I hope you all know that it means a lot to me. You all keep me motivated and focused on the training and my end goal, thank you! I'm ready... 21 miles on Saturday, here I come!