Road to Trenton: The Final Week

IMG_20131102_090701This is it…one day until my first half marathon. Looking back on my last week of training as I prepare, I recall waking up at 6am Saturday morning to take one last longer run before the big event. It is a chilly morning and still so dark out since the clocks have not been turned back just yet. The temperature is cool, but not too cold. I put on my gear, grabbed my iPod, ate a Heath Warrior coconut chia bar and headed out to my destination. Before I got out of the car, I ate 5 chews, drank a little water, and got my music cued up and ready to go. As I began to run what I anticipate to be 8.5 miles, I was already wondering “am I crazy for thinking I can run a half marathon?”

The fall foliage looked beautiful around the lake and I soon entered my “running zone”, you know, the one where for the first mile I curse myself out in my head and ask why am I doing this, how far will I have to go, what am I thinking getting up so early on my one day a week that I can sleep in?  And then suddenly, my mind goes in a completely different direction. I started to think “one mile down, only a little over 7 to go…you got this”. I started to sing and think about my previous races and how a year ago my furthest distance was only 6 miles and I begin to get that proud feeling, like I can do this!

Next thing I realize, I am one lap down and have one to go. I am feeling pretty good but make the mistake not to drink water or fuel up, which would catch up to me at mile 8. My average pace began to slow down and I started to feel cramping in my legs. I felt my energy slipping, but I had to hang in there for just about a half mile more. I could do that…after all, I am a Spartan! As I entered the parking lot to complete my run I make sure that I have a full 8.5 miles logged & then walked a bit, grabbed some water & fuel from my car, and stretched! Time to head home, eat, shower, and then get into “mommy mode”.

The next day, Sunday, I instructed 3 classes at CKO Franklin. My first class was 75 minutes and a combination of weight training (mostly with free weights) & kickboxing (which includes punching/kicking a heavy bag that weigh approximately 125 lbs., plyometrics, cardio, and body weight exercises such as push-ups). This class is a great way to add weight training without adding in too much more time added to your workout. The next class is an hour class that is pure kickboxing but I add in the use of some dumbbells in this workout this week to add a little challenge to the members and mix it up a little. After both of these classes, I felt my body and it was sore, but it was a great feeling. Next up would be boot camp, where each member works at each station at their own level of a particular exercise for a timed duration. I don’t get the opportunity to work my body in boot camp since I am focused on the use of proper form by participants. As soon as I was done with my classes, I showered & headed out to my son’s football game, where they went on to win the game!

Monday & Tuesday night I was back to instructing so I got a good workout while I am there. I made sure I hit my legs hard now at the beginning of the week so that they can properly rest for the remainder of the week. Wednesday is a day off from any activity. Recovery is a very important part of training that is often overlooked. Thursday consisted of a short and slow jog just to keep the legs moving and the joints warm and today, Friday, will be a rest/stretch only day. I will consume more of a carbohydrate based diet today (good carbs) in preparation for the big race. I received my bib, #2457, checked the weather, selected my racing gear, packed up my fuel, and created my playlist. Next up…Trenton!

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