In a way I consider this the most important weekend leading up to the race. With only 2 weeks until race day, today's elliptical session was going to be a 3 hour 20 minute dress rehearsal as far as nutrition was concerned. My biggest worry going in is the dreaded bonk.
I remember back to my first 26.2 when I did the Lost Dutchman Marathon in February where I was cruising along nicely when at 20 miles I was done; I hit the wall and hit it hard. I learned a few things during that race and I've been trying to lean more as time goes on.
The plan was to take 2 scoops of UCAN in water about 30 minutes before I started with a single scoop in a couple ounces of water at 1:15 and 2:15. I was also going to supplement this with 15 ENERGYbits at 50 minute intervals.
For the workout itself it was going to be nothing exciting with a 15 minute warmup before just trying to keep a steady pace from the next 2:50. The HRM warning was also shut off so there was no distraction or concern about where I was as long as I was comfortable.
I was moving right along but, because of a brain-fade, forgot my bits until the 58 minute mark. I was feeling great and getting into the playlist I put together last night as well as the video of last year's course. It's a nice change of pace to have the distractions for these past 2 weeks since I stopped running with music about a year ago. I'm toying with the idea of having it during the race but I'm leaning against it. Even though there is going to be pacers and I won't have to worry about that, I still want to stay in the now as much as possible.
The first real test came when it was time to fuel with UCAN.The one thing I forgot was to shake it to get it mixed properly and had to fight to get it out. In all I probably got about 90% of it but now I know better. I should have been prepared for this since filled a couple 2.5 ounce pouches last night and they had settled overnight, won't make that mistake again.
With that behind me I got back in the groove. My HR was comfortably in the 145-150 range and I was feeling pretty good. The next fueling with bits went off without a hitch at 100 minutes and at this point I took the opportunity to run out to the kitchen to refill my water bottle. Can't do that on the road.
As strong as I was feeling I could tell I was developing a bit of a brain fog as I was having some trouble calculating some intervals for the race. This little mental struggle aside, my head was in as good of a place as my body and this time remembering to mix up the UCAN prior, that fueling went smoothly as well.
It wasn't until about the 2 and a half hour mark that my feet were beginning to hurt at the sesamoid bone at each big toe. This was more so on my left foot and at times was quite painful but I was not going to give in to it. Fortunately on the bottom of my monitor I have the reminder, "Pain is Inevitable - Suffering is Optional" and this kept me going.
There was nothing left to do but push the pain out of my head and to press on to the 3:05 mark before I would begin the 15 minute cool down.
With that workout behind me I have to say I was really please with the way things went. I learned something very important about using the pouches for UCAN which would have been a big issue if it happened during the race.
So things are looking good on all fronts. Diet-wise I'm down 10 pounds in 13 days which is ok but I still would like to drop another 5. This means I"ll need to extend the fast a few extra days but I will begin to add in some vegetables.
With tomorrow comes the real test as after 2 weeks on the elliptical, it's time to get back on the road. While my PF still isn't 100% it is very much improved. The goal for tomorrow is 10 miles at 8 minute pace for miles 2-9. I need to be careful to not build this up too much though. Sure it will provide for a good status check but if I don't hit the mark I've set it's not the end of the world. It will just be a bad run.
So it will be early to bed as I want to be up by 3:30 and out on the road by 4:30-5 before the sun comes up. With temps expected to be in the high 80s even at that early hour, I want to be done before it gets too hot.
And speaking of weather, the long term forecast for race day is looking like it will be in the upper 50s for the 6:30 start. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and will be watching closely but this put a smile on my face. Could the stars be aligning? I sure hope so.
Week ending August 29th - 8 hours 50 minutes elliptical