Monday, March 28, 2011
Par for the Course
It's official. My brother and I successfully completed our first half-marathon! I must note my brother also kicked asphalt when he served in Iraq, finishing a 20-mile race in extreme heat. So this was probably a piece of cake by comparison.
The weather was a perfect 40 degrees (only perfect for the runners; for the spectators...that was another story) and the sun started peaking through the trees as I ran past the Washington Monument to the tunes of Sara Bareilles. Scrumptious sites and sounds.
We had had a momentous start to our race, just barely getting there on time; the D.C. metro is lovely and clean but not the place you want to be 20 minutes before a race. But, strangely enough, it built on the anticipation of the run, and when we finally made it to our destination, we were ready to get it on.
Supporters lined the streets with signs. Favorites included:
*Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.
* Toenails are temporary, medals are forever.
* You guys are really good at exercising.
My brother and I completed our race fast and strong, with my parents and sister-in-law (his wife-to-be) looking on. It was an awesome day! While I had this expectation in mind (I highly recommend picturing success in the weeks and months leading up to a race), the day-to-day training sometimes had me in a mental slump.
The cold windy weather that was winter had been getting on my nerves. We had seen a lot of snow and ice, treacherous conditions indeed, and I watched as daredevil runners ran right over sheets of slippery ice patches on Kelly Drive. I did not have such a death wish. I tried to run outside as much as possible but had to resort to the treadmills much more than I cared to. While I had no control over the weather, I had a few tricks up my sleeve...they got me through and helped my performance in D.C.
Dates - great little fuel bites, pre-run...compliments of Brendan Brazier's book on vegan nutrition for athletes.
Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer, Chai Flavor - vegan protein powder, perfect in smoothies but can stand on it's own too...just add water. Perfect for prepping on the go and an overall great recovery drink. It's pricey but worth it. You can find a discount with free shipping on Amazon.com.
Chia Fresca - a recipe the Tarahumara tribe uses to hydrate during 50-100 mile runs in the desert. Check out Born to Run for more on the fascinating story. My friend Robert, a vegan macrobiotic marathon runner, swears by chia fresca and introduced me to it. I started out by putting chia seeds in water and adding some honey and lime. Now I can just take it with chia and water. While the cooler temps definitely kept me going, my morning chia fresca was just the thing to minimize my water stops during the 13.1 mile run. It was so hydrating!!!
Daily Mile - I like to run solo but it doesn't mean I don't need motivation and running friends to keep me honest. Think Facebook for runners. Splendid.
I'll add the signs above to this motivation/fuel list as I work to increase speed for the Broad Street Run in May.
What fuels you?