The Day Before the Flower City Half Marathon

April 27th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Fitness

Less than 12 hours until Flower City Half Marathon!  I felt more excited about the race today than I have all week – the day almost here!

Workouts The Week Before a Race

I ran Monday and Tuesday this week (5.75 and 4 miles respectively) and 40 minute bike rides on Wednesday and Friday, 8 miles each.  I spent today taking it easy to rest up, although I did ride my bike to a yoga class and back (2 miles each way) this afternoon to help loosen up my legs and get my muscles moving just a bit.

FOOD the Day Before

I made Direct Fuel Bites today for my own race day nutrition like I did for the Steamtown Marathon in 2011.  I could use the gels they’ll be offering on the course, but now that I know how to make a more “whole foods” version of an energy snack, I much prefer to go this route.  (Does that make me seem snooty?  Probably.)  Oh well, these are really good!

Cutting Up Direct Fuel Bites

Made with coconut oil, dates and cocoa powder like the original recipe, but this time I added some chia seeds, goji berries and chopped walnuts too.  I’ll stick a couple of these squares into the pouch of my trusty handheld water bottle that I’ll be carrying tomorrow.  I plan to fill the water bottle with coconut water and sip a little every couple miles, and I’ll refill it with water at a water station if needed.

Direct Fuel Bites

I’ll probably eat a direct fuel bite near the one hour mark, or whenever I come upon the gels they’re giving out on the course.

In other Day-Before-A-Half-Marathon food news, we’ve been experimenting with all sorts of new juice combos lately (Zak’s doing a juice fast, more on that soon!) – this morning I made juice from 1/2 of a (large) beet, a couple carrots, two oranges and a few stalks of celery.

Beet Carrot and Orange Juice

Holy Magenta this was SO good!  I have never juiced oranges before, I think it’s safe to say this was sweetest juice I’ve ever made – and it was really friggin’ good.

For lunch it was my typical big salad with lots of greens that I like to be sure to eat the day before a big run.  I made an avocado smoothie with banana, blueberries and spinach about hour before yoga.  And for my pre-half marathon dinner, it was grilled salmon, steamed broccoli and roasted sweet potato.

Pre Half Marathon Dinner

Race Day Expectations

My half marathon PR was in the fall of 2009 for the Rochester Half Marathon with a 1:48.  I’ve run the Flower City Half Marathon twice before – in 2010 in 1:51:11, and in 2011 in 1:51:32.  For the 2012 race I was 7 months pregnant.  Kudos to you pregnant runners out there – that was not me.

So this will be my third time running this race, my fourth half marathon.  I do NOT expect to beat any personal records tomorrow.  To get near 1:50, I would need to average 8:30/mile, and I’m simply not running that fast these days.  I would really, really like to come in under 2 hours, which would mean a 9:00/mile minute mile pace, but honestly that’s probably wishful thinking.  We’ll see, race day endorphins can do crazy things!

Either way, I’m doing my best to keep in mind that the point of this race this was more about having a reason to stay motivated to run all winter, and was getting back to running some longer distances after after Kaz was born in June of last year.  It probably sounds terribly corny, but I really am going to simply enjoy all the fun that comes on race day – especially with a big race!  The palpable tension at the start, the beautiful weather we’re expecting tomorrow, the  super supportive spectators and really, just running with 2,500 other people through this city that I love.

(I’ve had way too much time to reflect on this race today.  Get the hook!)

And with that, I’m off!  I’ll be back with a race recap tomorrow.  If you’re racing this weekend, good luck to you!  I hope you ate something green today!

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