Post Marathon Blues – Filling the Void

I haven’t ever had a baby but I’ve been carrying this “marathon baby” for months and now suddenly it’s over.¬† I’ve delivered…….errrr a accomplished my goal! ūüôā¬† I went through these same post marathon blues after¬†Boston¬†and¬†Utah Valley Marathon.

Once the euphoria wears off I think it is incredibly common to feel a little bummed-out and maybe even disconnected?¬† Your immune system is still a bit depressed from the¬†pounding you’ve put it through¬†and the training and preparation that was such a huge part of your life is now gone.¬† For me it has all been heightened this time around¬†as I’m dealing with some nagging injuries and although I should be reveling in my accomplishment I instead have found myself down and confused.¬† I am not bringing up this topic because I want sympathy but rather because it is real and something that many runners deal with that is rarely brought to the surface.¬† Training at the level I was training at for¬†Top of Utah Marathon¬†basically consumed most aspects of my life. It was demanding and required¬†an incredibly high level of commitment.¬† It was thrilling and I¬†truly loved the training wholeheartedly but it was time consuming and took a lot of my energy.¬† I was so focused on the goal¬†that even when I wasn’t actually running I would find myself visualizing the race or analyzing and researching the course.¬†

“During the training period, you‚Äôre constantly stimulating the body to release endorphins. These endorphins do a wonderful work of improving the runner‚Äôs mood and give her a feeling of euphoria during¬†exercises¬†and practice sessions. The high continues through your training and peaks on the days close to the final run. However, once you‚Äôve met your goal and there is nothing more to keep you as stimulated, there is a sudden drop in the endorphin level, which causes a temporary feeling of unexplained sadness and emptiness.”

Now that the race is over I’m left with a bit of a void.¬† Fortunately I was able to acknowledge this emptiness early on and here are some tips I’m using to “fill the void”.

1.¬† Relax!¬† It sounds simple right?¬† You just ran the greatest race of your life so take a free ticket and¬†just chill.¬† This is easier said than done for the typical runner personality.¬† I’ve found that for me truly relaxing means doing something fun like going out to a movie with my sister, staying up late hanging out with my family eating popcorn all night, or catching up on the 20 People magazines I neglected while I was training.

2.  Focus on others!  Something that I have found incredibly helpful for me in getting over this slump is helping my friends that are new runners or that are currently training for a race.  I know I am no running expert by any means but I absolutely love helping others discover a passion for running.  Focusing on my friends running has been just as fun, if not funner than thinking about my own.

3.¬† Get outside!¬† I¬†discovered that for me part of the reason I love running is that I simply love being outdoors.¬† So I’ve been taking long walks with the pup, hiking in the mountains, and soaking in all of the beautiful fall foliage in Payson canyon.

4.¬† Socialize!¬† It has been so fun to reconnect with friends I’ve lost touch with while training for the marathon.¬† I’ve been able to meet up with a few friends and just talk and am looking forward to fun trip to Moab this weekend with a bunch of¬†crazies!

5.  Revisit your non-running hobbies!  I love to bargain shop, cook, and craft and I have found time and had so much fun enjoying these hobbies that were neglected while I was training.

6.¬† Revel in your accomplishment.¬† When I was on the verge of tears last week because running was incredibly painful and I was afraid I would never run again I went back and re-read my race recap.¬† This helped me so much to appreciate how far I’ve come and how truly special the race was to me.

Anyone else ever suffered from the post-race blues?  Any tips you would add to my list?

Top of Utah Marathon Recap – Sub 3, Sub 3!!

I wrote a full report of the Top of Utah Marathon on my¬†training blog¬†and since my parents don’t know how to find that one I decided I need to copy paste it onto this blog.¬† Plus I love this little blog and really want to start utilizing it more.¬† I am currently in the quest for a new at home computer (sadly I’m without one for the time being)¬†and as soon as I get¬†one¬†I will be updating more often.¬† I’ve received so many questions about my training, ect and I’d really like to strive to be a better resource to the running community.

Before the report I need to thank a few people that I’m not sure I’ve had the opportunity (or can ever come close to repaying with all the ice cream in the universe) to thanking enough!

My many mentors.  Jake and Andrea who blog at Wasatch & Beyond are not only my running idols but also quite likely the nicest people I know.  They have truly both taken me under their wings and literally taught me how to run.  Their support, friendship, and constant encouragement has truly molded me into the runner and person I have become.  I also have to thank Allie who went out of her way to give me all of the details about the TOU course and always had the confidence in me that I was capable of that elusive sub-3!

My Mom.¬† This lady is just amazing and as I got thinking about it last night I truly don’t think she’s missed a single race.¬† She’s traveled to Moab, St. George, Mt. Pleasant, Nephi, ect…literally everywhere I go whether it be to race a marathon or speak at a charity¬†event she has been there right by my side.¬† Her love and support mean the world to me.

My family.¬† Seriously they just rock and I don’t know what else to say but I do know that without their constant support and encouragement I would not be where I am today.¬† One of my favorite moments of Saturday’s race that I will cherish forever is when I crossed the finish line and my sister had tears streaming down her face.¬† It was just such a special moment.¬† Any runner knows that being a runner supporter is the hardest job in running and it is truly the supporters that deserve the medal at the end of the race.

All of you.  So many of you through your comments, facebook posts, words of encouragement, ect helped me on Saturday.  Sometimes I feel almost undeserving of all of the support I get through the blogging & social media community and I just want you to know that I do not take any of the support for granted.  I am so appreciative for every single person that has supported me throughout my training and along this journey.

The quick stats for those that don’t have 12 years to read this full report.
Finish time:  2:58:45
5th place female
37th overall finisher

Now onto my race report with some pictures thrown into the mix. 

I went into this race quite frankly not exactly knowing what to expect. When I would tell someone who hasn’t seen my training my current PR was 3:12 and I thought I might be capable of breaking 3 just three months later they would laugh in my face. But the truth is I (and those that have seen my training) knew that it was absolutely possible. Sure it was scary and maybe a risk but after I read Jake’s quote on Friday “If you live cautiously, friends will call you wise, you just won’t move any mountains” it really resonated with me and I realized that I really had nothing to lose. I could go out cautiously and just run a PR or I could compete for top 5 and go for sub-3….I wanted to compete!

Now onto the race. I rode up to the top on one of the later busses with my friend Janice and Smooth was on my bus as well. Such a fun ride up with no real talk about running. Just chatting about life, family, ect…perfect distraction. Once we got to the top I noticed it was about 6:40 and I only had 20 min. No problem. Quick porta potty stop and then down to the start line. In the rush to get to the start I accidently threw my iPod in my drop bag…oh well no big deal I run w/o music all the time and really only brought it as a crutch that hopefully I wouldn’t need. I have to admit that the start line was incredibly intimidating to me standing there amongst an entire plethora of amazing runners. I felt out of place but Jake was good to calm me down and tell me I was running completely under the radar and people were in for a surprise today. That gave me the little boost of confidence I needed and I oddly felt relaxed.

From the start I positioned myself with a group of people that indicated they were going for sub-3. Perfect maybe I would have a little pack to work with. The pack would not last long but it was beneficial while it lasted. I started out as 7th female which seemed like a good position. My plan was to run 100% based on effort. I am very good at pacing myself and knew exactly what effort level I was going for. The first 5 mile splits 6:36, 6:38, 6:37, 6:43, 6:45. By mile 5 I had moved to 5th place female and I was bound and determined to hold this position. Everything felt easy my breathing was completely controlled and I was running consistent and just enjoying the canyon. Fall leaves and perfect temps!

Miles 6-10 I ran with Ryan from Boise. He had a PR of 2:58 and our paces were matching perfectly. I thought maybe we could work together the entire race. I got to know him quite well over the next 4-5 miles and both of us were running very relaxed.¬†6:46, 6:42, 6:27, 6:35, 6:42.¬†I never once tried to figure out splits but Ryan indicated that we were averaging 6:41 pace up until this point.¬† Unfortunately Ryan dropped back right before mile 11 and the rest of the race would basically become a solo effort. Miles 11-halfway point¬†6:40, 6:27, 6:22. From memory I think I hit the halfway clock right at¬†1:27:38. I saw James at the halfway point aid station and was concerned. He reassured me that he was okay and that I looked incredibly strong. His encouragement was a great boost and after basically running a new half marathon PR in the marathon I carried on feeling pretty darn good! The theme of the race for me yesterday was relax. Don’t try to strategize, overanalyze, or questions yourself….just relax and run!

And with that I just kept running by myself down the canyon. How could there be 3,000 runners in this race and I am all by myself? There was an awesome tailwind through miles 11-15ish and I literally felt like I was flying. It was fun! Miles 14 and 15 came in at¬†6:14, 6:27. Seeing the first cheering section at mile 14 was a huge boost and I was feeling great. I really love this section of the race but it was also at mile 15 that my feet started burning. I knew this was coming but I was hoping it wouldn’t present itself with 11 miles to go in the race. Crud! To make a long story short I run on my toes when running downhill/uphill and have metetarsalgia. I wore inserts and was hoping they would be enough to protect my feet but alas they were not. I am used to running through this but knew I needed to slow my pace and lighten my landing if I wanted to finish this race.

Physically I still felt great but I slowed down my pace through miles 16-20.¬†6:49, 6:46, 6:46, 7:03, 7:11. I had a biker pass me at mile 16 and she told me I looked way strong. I told her my feet were on fire and asked if she had any Motrin. She said she would ride up to the aid station at mile 17 and see if they had any. Thank you random biker! She road back to me and told me they had it ready for me. I was so incredibly excited to see my cousin Travis when I ran into mile 17. He was ready with my 1 200 mg Motrin and a bottle of Gatorade. Travis ran with me for a half mile and was incredibly encouraging. I thanked him, took one more swig of Gatorade and carried on. At mile 18 I was shocked to see my family. I was not expecting them until mile 20 and this was such a pleasant surprise. My feet were absolutely killing me and as I flew passed them I shouted IB profin 800, IB profin 800! The 200 mg was great but I knew it was not going to cut it. The hills through miles 18-20 that I didn’t even notice when I paced the half were definitely apparent this time around. With my feet killing me at this point I just kept reminding myself to relax. I just needed to relax!

Out of some freak miracle my parents had 1 IB profin 800 in their car and handed it to me at mile 20. I fumbled and dropped it but knew it was worth losing seconds to turn back and grab it. I quickly swallowed the IB profin and carried on. My family was seriously awesome and basically met me at every single mile until the end of the race. This was huge as still with the exception of about 2 guys I kept leap frogging I was still running solo! Miles 21-23 were probably the toughest of the race for me. 6:49, 7:02, 7:19. My feet were just really bothering me and every step hurt. I knew I would be okay once the ib profin kicked in and just had to mentally distract myself from the pain. My Mom road her bike with me for a little bit during miles 21 and 22. She was encouraging but kept getting in my way and was having a hard time keeping up so it was decided that she needed to just go back to the car. I’m told from my Sister and Dad it was quite comical watching her try to keep up with me. They were both laughing hysterically when I ran into mile 22 about 1 minute ahead of her. haha leave it to my family to find something funny about the last 6 miles of a marathon. Seeing them laugh helped me to relax and I just started laughing too and thanked them for being there. Love my family!

My feet felt much better the last 3 miles once the medicine kicked in but I realized for the first time that my quads were shot. Every little incline hurt but one thing never changed for me in this race and that was consistency. My legs were locked into the¬†effort at this point and baring a catastrophe I was not slowing down! Miles 23-26 paces were¬†7:06, 6:58, 7:00.¬† I saw my family for the last time at mile 24 and thanked them again for the support as I ran towards main street.¬† The little hill at the end of mile 24 looked intimidating but once I got to it it really wasn’t so bad and was over before I knew it.¬† It was after I reached the top of the hill and the 25 mile aid station that I realized that sub-3 was not only possible but it was going to happen.¬† I was overwhelmed with confidence and just kept telling myself to relax and finish strong!¬† I¬†was not going to be satisfied with¬†5th place female I wanted sub-3!!¬†

The last 2 miles of this race are hard, daunting and painful¬†but I was so incredibly focussed.¬† I¬†dedicated mile 25¬†to a girl from my hometown who was recently in a terrible car accident and paralyzed.¬† Whenever my quads would scream I would remind them how grateful I am that I can feel them and I ran for Sam.¬† The last mile was all for Trevor.¬† The pain was intense but I managed to pass two guys in this mile and oddly still felt relaxed.¬† I kept wondering where in the heck the finish line was?¬† It is totally a blind turn there at the end and I was way to focussed on running to look at my garmin so I didn’t know where I was time wise until I saw the clock.¬† Jake & Andrea were there cheering for me.¬† Jake told me to get up on my toes (yes I heard that), Andrea told me I was going to get 2:59 and to push it, My Mom was screaming, My Dad and Sister were waiting right at the finish line and I was bawling like a freaking baby!¬† And now I am bawling again as I relive the moment.¬† Had I seriously just broke not only sub-3 but sub-2:59 with time to spare?¬† I was elated and just so incredibly proud!¬† I had medics come jumping up to me at the finish because I¬†had tears streaming down my face but I assured them I had absolutely never been better!¬† What an incredibly journey!¬†No pace band or strategic pacing plan just good hard consistant running!¬† 24 hours after the race I am still smiling and everything still feels¬†extremely surreal to me.

It was exciting to talk to people after the race and hear how well everyone had run.¬† Jake running a solo effort¬†and winning his first marathon!¬† So deserving and so happy for him.¬† 4 girls breaking 2:55?¬† What?¬† Wow just some amazing runners out there and so cool to say I was in the top 5!¬† After the race we walked up to my Grandma’s house .25 mi¬†from the park and then went back for the¬†awards ceremony.¬† I was so excited to place 5th.¬†

¬†¬†I can’t believe I just started running when I was 23 and ran my first sub-7 minute 5k about a year ago and now a year later I ran a sub-7 minute marathon!¬† I am not saying this to boast myself or because I think I’m awesome but because I am proof that a lot of hardwork, smart training, and dedication¬†combined with a whole lot of heart¬†truly pay off!

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this report and thanks again for the continued support!

Pacing & Racing

It’s been far too long since I’ve updated the blog.¬† I have really missed it and am hoping to get into some sort of routine with updating in the near future.¬†

The past few weeks have been chuck¬†full of lots of fun and adventure!¬† I’ve been logging lots of miles, pacing races, and I even managed to set some new short distance¬†race PR’s¬†.¬† Life and running¬†has been good and I have¬†been thoroughly enjoying running higher mileage¬†and being healthy and happy!

On August 25th I paced the TOU half marathon and had a great weekend spending time with my Dad & Grandma up in Cache county.

The next weekend September 1st I headed up to Pocetallo Idaho to pace the Pocatello half marathon.  It was such a fun weekend with amazing friends and I had an absolute blast getting to know new people and helping runners reach their goals.

On Labor Day I raced in the annual Payson Onion Days 10k.  This was my 3rd year participating in this event and it is definitely one of my favorite races.  I love small town races and the fact that this one runs on the roads I train on every single day makes it even that much more fun.  You can read my full race report here.  I finished the 10k in 39:53 which was a huge PR for me and I was very pleased with my time coming off of three of my highest mileage running weeks ever.

This past weekend September 8th I raced the Spanish Fork 5k.  This was a new race for me this year and I jumped in on it as a last tune up in prep for TOU marathon this weekend.  You can read the race recap.  I really surprised myself by running sub-19 and finishing in 18:48!

Next on the agenda is TOU marathon this weekend!¬† I have been anticpating and training for this race for 8 weeks and am starting to get excited.¬† I’ve been fortunate enough¬†to make it through the marathon¬†training cycle with minimal set backs and look forward to pushing myself¬†hard and having fun this Saturday.

Thanks so much to everyone that continues to read this nonsense and support me along this crazy running journey.

Dash For Donation – Running For Trevor

I run a lot of races for a lot of different charities and the Dash For Donation is by far the most important and memorable event I participate in each year.  The Dash for Donation was created to raise awareness and money for organ and tissue donation.

On Saturday my family and friends gathered together and participated in this fundraising 5K for the 2nd year in a row in honor of my brother.  Trevor was an organ and tissue donor and this is such a positive way to celebrate and remember his life!  I am always inspired by the stories I hear at this race each year and my family and I will continue to support this great cause.

Trevor is gone from this earth but we will never quit celebrating his amazing life and the impact he imprinted upon all of us for generations to come.  Through his selfless gift of organ and tissue donation his vibrant spirit lives on forever!  I will spare you my words and let the pictures tell the rest of the story.  Thanks so much to Andrea from Wasatch & Beyond for capturing some great shots of this memorable day.

I am so incredibly thankful and grateful to everyone that came out and supported this amazing cause.  Organ donation is something I am extremely passionate about as I have seen the countless miracles that come from the selfless gift of donation.  I am incredibly proud of Trevor for chosing to be a donor and so glad that we can contribute to this cause and celebrate his life!

So Many Exciting Things Happening

August¬†is such a busy time of year with so much going on.¬† All fun and exciting things so no complaints here.¬† Just busy, busy, busy enjoying life and preparing for my next adventure. ūüôā¬† Here is a list of what I’ve been up to and whats to come running wise.

1.  Wings of Love 5k Race.  This last Saturday I ran a 5k race in my hometown of Nephi and it was such a fantastic experience.  I was asked to speak at the event on how running has helped me to cope with the death of my brother.  It was SUCH a great morning and I feel so fortunate that I was able to participate.  The race was great but what I enjoyed more was the reason we were all there running.  I will do a full recap on the race later this week.

¬†2.¬†¬†Dash for Donation 5K.¬† I cannot believe this has already snuck up on me this year.¬† We will be participating in the annual Dash For Donation 5k/2k race again this year in honor of my brother Trevor.¬† If you live in Utah please, please join us in running in honor of my brother and all those who have chose to celebrate life through organ donation.¬† Click¬†here¬†to Register.¬† The event is this Saturday August 11th and begins at 8am.¬† My family and I have ordered team “Running For Trevor” shirts so please let me know if you sign up so I can get you shirt to run in.¬† This is such a great way to honor my brother and I cannot wait to participate again.¬† If you register make sure to register as a team.¬†¬†Use team name:¬† Running For Trevor and Captain Name:¬† Rachelle.¬† I hope to see you all there!

3.  Pacing.  On July 28th I paced the Timpanogos Half Marathon.  On August 25th I will pace the Top of Utah Half marathon and on September 1st I will pace the Pocetello Half Marathon.  Pacing is a lot of fun and has helped keep me busy and in great shape this Summer.  I even have a real pacer profile page now.  Check it out!  If any of my readers want to run the Pocetello half or full marathon use code PACETEAM20 for a $20.00 discount.

4.  Payson Onion Days 10k.  I am so excited to run this race for the 3rd year in a row.  It is Monday September 3rd and I cannot wait to see what I am capable of in this distance.  Small town races are my absolute favorite and having a race that starts 1.5 miles away from my house is just awesome.  Sign up and run with me.

5.¬†¬†Fall Marathon.¬† I have finally decided to sign up for a fall marathon.¬† I’ve known I wanted to run¬†another marathon this year¬†for awhile now and after much debate I¬†finally decided on the¬†Top of Utah Marathon¬†held on September 15th.¬† My Dad is from Cache county and I am really looking forward to this race.¬†¬†A 6 week marathon¬†training plan isn’t exactly ideal but I’ve got a solid base and it will be interesting to see how the very shortened training cycle plays out.

As you can see I’m keeping busy and Running around like crazy!

More From Washington

Washington was an absolutely gorgeous state and the silly pictures I took with my cellphone definitely do not do it justice.  Luckily for me my good friend and Ragnar teammate Jill is an awesome photographer.  Here are a few of the shots that she captured.

And this last one is just for my sister.  Yes Amber I actually got that close to a raw fish.  Yuck!!

I hope you enjoy a little bit of the scenery I was surrounded by while running from Blaine Washington to Whidbley Island, and sight seeing in downtown Seattle.  Thanks so much Jill for letting me borrow your pictures.

Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay ULTRA Style

I’ll do my best not to bore you to tears with my terrible writing and grammatical errors but no promises. ūüėČ  This ultra relay was ultra fabulous, beautiful, fun, crazy, hard, amazing and basically one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  Running as an ultra team basically means double the miles and double the fun of a regular relay.

The epic little ultra adventure all started when I met up with my ultra awesome ultra team. 

First things first.  We got all decked out in our ultra colorful team outfits.

We got ultra close to the Canadian border and it was ultra green!

 And then the ultra wet ultra relay began.

My first leg was ultra hilly with 1005 feet elevation gain and I loved every second of it.  It was beautiful and I ran the 9.5 miles with a 7:23 pace.

After the first legs of the race the rain let up and we decked out our ultra large 15 passenger van.

In between runners we took in the ultra awesome scenery, acted like ultra dorks goofing around and having fun, and I cheered my heart out ultra loud for all of our runners!

And then before I knew it it was already time for round 2.¬† An¬†ultra¬†long running and¬†ultra¬†dark 16.4 miles in the middle of the night.¬† I paced 7:50’s overall and for the most part it was a quite enjoyable run but I must admit there is nothing easy about running¬†for 2+ hours at 2am on zero sleep.¬† I was very happy to be finished.¬† I got about 2.5 seconds of sleep in the van and then it was time for the last round of running.

Lisa kicked things off on the last stretch of the ultra relay.

The rotation kept on going and even though we were all ultra tired we never skipped a beat!  We cheered, took in our gorgeous surroundings and just kept on keeping on.

My final leg of the race started at 11am and it was ultra hot out!  12.5 miles with a 7:32 average pace.  I felt great was thrilled to have completed my part of this little ultra adventure.

Even though my part was finished at this point there was still running to be done.  Jill and Julia both ultra rocked there legs and after running 200 consecutive miles in 30 hours and 3 minutes we all crossed the finish line together! 

What an ultra freaking amazing experience!  I know that this ultra Ragnar does not necessarily qualify me as an ultra runner but I definitely earned that ultra medal.

I feel so incredibly fortunate that I was able to take part in this event and am very thankful for the¬†ultra¬†amazing friendships I made along the way.¬† Each of these five ladies inspires me in so many ways¬†with they’re¬†strength and they were such amazing examples to me throughout this race.¬† I will absolutely cherish the memories we made together for a lifetime!¬†

Run Through the Lavenders Half Marathon Recap

I was very excited about this race this year and had been looking forward to it since Utah Valley Marathon.  I took time off from hard workouts after the marathon and then began training (with what little time I had) for this race as a key race.  You can read the full recap of the race on My Training Blog.  I will not rewrite it but it is totally worth the read! 

 Two short years ago this race was my first ever 5k so it will always hold a very special place in my heart.  It is the race that began this complete madness of a running journey for me! When I heard they added a half marathon this year I was thrilled.  The race begins in Goshen canyon and the first mile is on dirt trail. Next you enter onto the highway and weave around Mona Reservoir for 9 miles, finally finishing the final 3.1 in the lavender fields on dirt trail.  It is a tough course with 30% ran on trail and a net elevation gain. 

One of the many perks of this race is that it is only about 12 miles from my house.  There is nothing quite like running a race in your own backyard and I was even fortunate enough to have the famous Jake & Andrea stay with me Friday night.  I prayed that having them in my home would somehow make some of their speed rub off on me.  A far cry as I knew the next morning I would be toeing the line with the best of the best in the State of Utah.  Something must have worked because I ran this race much faster than I had anticipating finishing in 1:28:53.  Going into the race I felt I was in shape for 1:32 in perfect conditions.  But add in awesome competition (seriously the best in the state), determination, and a little confidence in myself and I completely exceeded my expectations.

  This was such a great day and one of those races that I will never forget and keep going back to each year.  Young Living Farms really puts on an awesome event and the greatest thing about it is it just keeps getting better each year.  The race organization is flawless, the prize money for overall and age group winning is awesome, and the events afterwards are a lot of fun and family friendly.  I really cannot say enough good things about this race.

I’ve been really busy having FUN!!

I’ve never been the brightest crayon in the box but if there is one thing I have learned since my brother passed away and as I get older it is to cherish and enjoy every single moment of life!   

As the title reads I’ve been really busy the past two weeks having fun with my family and friends and just genuinely living life to the fullest.  Rather than thinking about or anticipating “whats next” I’ve just taken some time to disconnect, relax, and live in the moment!  Sometimes having kids around is the best medicine for adults and I have been so incredibly lucky to have my cousin Dillon staying with me the past two weeks.  This amazing kid continues to teach me through his example, strength, attitude, and love of life. I will forever be grateful to have him in life and to be able to learn from him each day.

I know that I say this in like every other post but it is worth mentioning again that my family freaking rocks!  Although Summer is flying by way too fast for my liking I have really, really enjoyed it so far.  So many awesome moments and I am really looking forward to continuing to create some awesome memories. I am so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family.

I hope you are having an amazing Summer too and that you are taking some time to embrace and enjoy every moment.

Marathon Nutrition – Fueling the Distance

**Mom & Dad I put random pictures of the kids in this post just for you.¬† You can ignore the content.¬† Everyone else can ignore the pictures because they have nothing to with the content.¬† haha I am just trying please everyone here okay!¬†ūüôā

I am not a registered dietitian nor am I at all claiming to be knowledgeable on the subject of marathon nutrition. But I do know that nutrition/hydration is crucially important for successfully going the distance and I have done a lot of research on the topic.  I very rarely talk about food on my blog.  I suffered from an eating disorder for three years that nearly took my life and food to me now is simply fuel.  I have way too many fun things going on in my life to let food consume my mind. I eat when I am hungry to fuel my body and do my very best not to obsess about what I am eating.

Now is when I turn into a complete hypocite because I actually think a lot about what I am putting into my body leading up to a marathon.  The following is what I feel has worked for me and only my opinion.  Keep in mind I am a very petite runner and the numbers I use are based on my weight and may be much different for you.

3 Days Pre-Race:¬† As I was tapering for Boston marathon (going crazy) I came across¬†this blog.¬† The author Jackie Dikos is not only a 2:45 marathoner but also a registered dietitian specializing specifically¬†in sports nutrition.¬† Check out¬†her blog¬†she absolutely knows her stuff.¬† Through her blog I learned the critical¬†importance of increasing my carbohydrates and decreasing fats¬†the 3 days leading up to¬†a marathon.¬† Easy right?¬† Suprisingly not so much.¬† After carefully tracking my food¬†consumption I realized that my carb intake was far too low.¬† I live by myself and eat pretty simply so I really had to¬†plan and actually think to¬†get my carbs up to 400+ grams per day.¬† I know what your thinking….how in the heck is it hard to eat carbs Rachelle….just go eat a freaking box of Twinkies you stupid idiot!¬† The trick is eating healthy carbs that our bodies can store¬†and not eating¬†just processed or refined carbohydrates that the body digest rapidly and uses immediately.¬† To healthily add carbs to my diet the three days before the marathon I simply ate a little bit more.¬† An extra handful of crackers or pretzels with lunch, and extra snack during the day, thicker bread for my turkey sand which, ect.¬†¬†I also broke the golden rule!!¬† Me and my sister created the never ever drink your calories rule ages ago.¬† I think many women live by this silly rule?¬† Well I broke it!¬† I drank about 2-3 32 ounce G Series Gatorades the 3 days leading up to the race.¬† That’s an extra whopping¬†56 grams of carbohydrates a day that did not weigh me down and leave me feeling stuffed.¬† Not only did the Gatorade add easy carbohydrates, it was also chuck full of sodium and potassium to stock my body for the warm weather marathon.¬† Lastly in addition to making sure I was topping out at 400 grams of carbs per day and drinking plenty of fluids I also made a conscious effort to add sodium to my diet.¬† I snacked on pickles, pretzels, crackers, and popcorn and also¬†took a salt tab with my dinner Friday night.¬† Sodium is most likely not quite as important if you are not running in warm weather.¬† But when you are¬†a salty sweater like me and racing in the heat it could absolutely make you or break you in my opinion.¬† When I weighed myself Saturday morning before¬†Utah Valley Marathon¬†I was up 2lbs from my normal weight.¬† Perfect!!

Pre-Race Morning:¬† I felt strong when I woke up Saturday morning.¬† I could tell I was carrying extra water weight because my ring that I always wear was¬†tight on my finger but I¬†did not feel bloated or too heavy at all.¬† This was good because I had 100 grams of carbs to get in me before the gun went off.¬† I ate a large bagel, a banana, and 3/4 of a 32 ounce gatorade to top me off right around 100 grams of carbohydrates.¬†¬†Temperatures were predicted to hit 70’s by the halway point of the race so I also took an additional¬†salt tab before the race began.

Race Nutrition:¬† I know from experience, and two trips to the medical tent post marathon¬†that I am a very salty sweater.¬† It runs in my family and it sucks but it is what it is and I can work around it.¬† I just have to be extra diligent about replacing that sodium and taking in plenty of calories.¬† I skipped the first aid station at mile 3 (it was conjested and I wasn’t even sweating yet), and drank a full cup of gatorade at every other aid station.¬† I took water if I¬†was thirsty or was taking a gel but for the most part I just stuck to gatorade.¬† Gatorade has calories, sugar, and most importantly electrolytes.¬† Water tastes great but provides no nutrients.¬† I took gels at miles 9, 16, 21, and one¬†salt tabs at mile 13 and 21.¬† My goal was to take in 600-700 calories through gatorade and gels throughout the race and I think I did really well at both Boston and Utah Valley Marathons.

Wow now how incredibly mind numblingly boring was that post?  Hopefully it is able to help someone out there.  Again this is just what has worked for me.  If you have additional questions feel free to ask in the comments.