Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thinking Out Loud : Race Week

It's finally race week and I have a lot of thoughts about it!  Since it's Thinking Out Loud Thursday, I figured it was a perfect time to share all (or at least most) of them.


I've really enjoyed training.  This is a big deal to me, because I've always been someone that trains just so that I can race.  This time around, I've just been enjoying the training aspect!  I've found mileage that works really well for me and the majority of my runs have been amazing.  Even when I have a tough workout, I've always felt like I was getting stronger or becoming a better runner.


This has been my best training cycle ever.  I ran more miles than ever, didn't skip out on any important workouts, and really pushed myself.  I think this has to do with feeling settled in my life- this was my first training cycle since moving into my first house, getting a job that I absolutely love, and getting married.  My life is good right now and I have a great routine, which I think transferred into my training!  The only downfall was taking a week off when I had a shoulder issues, but I think I bounced back from that really well.


I'm not sure what my goal is, and I don't even feel like I need one.  Usually I always have an A, B and C goal for every race.  This is only my third full marathon and the first one that I feel like I've fully trained for, and I honestly don't know what to expect.  My plan is to start out at a 9:15 pace for the first 10 miles, and adjust from there.  I have no idea if I'm going to feel great on race day and end up meeting my original goal of breaking 4 hours, or if I just won't have enough in the tank.


I'm obsessively checking the weather.  I think every runner does this during race week, and I can't help it.  The forecast has been looking pretty good (currently saying 55 and rainy on Sunday) but you never know what will actually happen.  I haven't run in rain that much during this training cycle, but rain is usually my favorite weather to run in.  I do have to say that I trained in extreme weather this entire training cycle, and I made it through!



I can't decide what to wear for race day!  I had an outfit picked out, but now that it might be rainy I have no idea what to wear.  Should I wear a jacket?  Just a hat and hope for the best?  Should I switch to pants?  What about my phone?  So many questions...


My fuel is all ready to go.  I'm going to be taking shot blocks every 5 miles, and I'll have a Honey Stinger gel with me. These both sit well in my stomach so I'm hoping for the best!  For race morning, I'm going to be eating the Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies from the Run Fast, Eat Slow cookbook, as well as an apple sauce packet.  I usually can't eat on race mornings so I hope I can get something down.


No matter what happens, I'm excited for the future!  For the first time in a long time, I'm excited to keep training after the race is over.  Right now I only have one race on my schedule for the rest of the year, and I have no clue what I'm going to do for the rest of the year.  I'm excited to keep training and build on this amazing momentum that I have going.  I can't wait to get back to my schedule, add in more yoga, and start trying new classes at the gym.  Plus, I have a lot of fun plans for the spring and summer outside of running, like hiking, camping, kayaking, and more!

LET'S DO THIS!!!

30 comments:

  1. YAY it's race week for you!! Cannot wait to hear how you do :) Best of luck and have fun!!!

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  2. GET IT GIRL! I love the marathon training as well. It is my favorite. I miss it!
    Goal A: have an amazing time and make smart decisions.
    Goal B: Win the race ;D

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  3. Such a cool race idea!!! Good luck :)

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  4. Reading this makes me so happy for you, Gretchen! I feel like you've hit on what it's all about--the journey, the pure love of running, the feeling of success & accomplishment from a great training cycle. Think of the race as your victory lap! If it were me I'd definitely not wear a jacket. Could Dan meet you at the halfway point with a dry shirt in case you're soaked?

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    1. Thank you!! That's exactly how I'm treating this, and probably why I feel so excited instead of scared and sick like I usually do. Good idea to meet up with Dan..the course is open so I'm sure we could do that.

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  5. Good luck! The Gettysburg half in the fall was one of my favorite halfs -- or at least would have been, if I hadn't been injured & in pain the last 4 miles. Really beautiful area, and since we'd never been to Gettysburg before, we enjoyed touring there afterwards.

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    1. I love the area and I'm looking forward to running through it! Sorry to hear you were in pain..I hope that doesn't happen to me :(

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  6. I'm excited for you. Being happy with the way your training cycle went makes a huge difference! I love that you don't have a goal. Why should we always associate a race with a goal???? Just go out and do your best. You got this!

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    1. I completely agree..I'm a very goal-oriented person so it was natural for me to do one, but I'm so much more excited without anything holding me back. Thank you!

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  7. I feel like we have both had great training cycles, so I'll be sending speedy, feel good vibes your way on Sunday!

    As far as weather, and your outfit - unless rain is going to make it way colder out, I dress just as I was going to, making sure I know my outfit won't chafe. And, if that meant no sunglasses, I would toss on a hat. As far as my phone? I don't race with it, so it's a non-issue for me, but I would just seal it up in a ziploc & proceed as normal. At least for me, 55 with a jacket on would be WAY TOO HOT.

    Also, you got this! I feel like going in without a goal is going to set you up for such a positive race experience!

    And - we should get all us Pittsburgh runners together for a cookout // campfire this summer. I think that would be a blast!

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    1. We're going to kill it this weekend!!

      Totally agree about the cookout...right after Pittsburgh we should do something!

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  8. Good luck Gretchen! It's so nice to see you happy and excited. The fact that you've come to love and enjoy the process regardless of the race outcome means you have already won. Now go enjoy your long victory lap!

    It was raining at the start of Pittsburgh and I just put my phone in a plastic baggie. I wore capris and tight clothes that wouldn't chafe or bunch up when wet. I was fine! If it's going to be raining heavy at the start while you wait, I would suggest a throwaway poncho (I used a trash bag) and baggies to put over your shoes so they don't get soaked. You can then discard all of it before you start running.

    Other than that my best advice is - stick to your pacing plan, and don't deviate from it no matter how good you feel in the beginning. There are so many more miles to run! Managing your energy in the first half will pay dividends in the second. YOU GOT THIS!

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    1. Thank you Hanna! This is a whole new mindset for me and I'm really happy and excite about it. I just ran two marathon pace miles and it felt SO SLOW to me, so I know that keeping my pace back at the beginning is going to be a struggle.

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  9. Ahhhh I am so excited for you! You trained through all the yucky stuff so you're ready for this! I run in rain a lot, and chaffing is the biggest issue for that. I'm not sure what 55 is in Celcius, but anything 10 degrees and higher I wear shorts and a long sleeved shirt (with a vest if it's 10 degrees, no vest if it's closer to 14). Wear a Spy Belt and put your phone in a ziploc bag! Whatever you wear on the bottom, make sure they're skin tight because if they have any movement whatsoever, as soon as they get wet, they will move around and bother you. Make sure your socks aren't the really low profile ones because if they get wet they'll slide down into your shoes.

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    1. Great tips! I feel like I'm going to pack so many clothes to be ready for any kind of weather ;)

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  10. Ahh good luck this weekend! So excited for you and will definitely be checking out your social media. I think you will crush it- I've been super impressed with all your training and you are strong and ready to go!

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  11. that is so awesome that you've had such a good training cycle and you've really enjoyed yourself. best of luck and i can't wait to hear all about it!

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  12. GOOD LUCK! You're going to do amazing. I can't wait to read your recap! How awesome that you've had such a great training cycle, that's super exciting. Wishing you all the best!

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  13. Have an awesome race!! I might be there volunteering, still waiting to hear from the local organizers.

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    1. Awesome! I'll be sure to look for you!

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  14. Best of luck! I love Honey Stinger! They are my favorite for training and race day too!

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