In less than a week, I will wake up at 4AM, eat a hearty breakfast, shower, dress and make my way to the start of my 13th official marathon, the 2014 TCS NYC Marathon (my seventh time on this course).
Prepping for a marathon is always nerve wracking. While this isn't my first time at the rodeo, I think a little bit of nervousness about a race is healthy. If I get too cocky, I could easily go out too fast, hydrate incorrectly, or one of a hundred other things happen that are well within my control.
Running a marathon or any other long race is all about focus and for some a change of life. One of the inspirational posters at the ING NYC Marathon in 2012 year stated "The Finish Line Is Only The Beginning." Not just an inspirational quote, but a truth that a lot of endurance sports enthusiasts know is a basic truth.
While getting getting ready for the Big Dance, I started thinking about all of the things I need to prep other than miles and miles under foot in order to toe the starting line at 9:40AM on November 2.
The weather in NYC in early November is not consistent. Since 1999 it has ranged from 37 to 68 degrees. I've come to learn that when running a long distance race, I need to take into account the projected high for the day and add 20 degrees (about the temp your body will generate while running). This year, weather predictions are for a high of 48 but a low of 38. So what does this mean? Well, it means I'll need to have some throw-away clothes at the start (good thing I have a closet full of old sweat pants and shirts that I save just for this occasion). I'll be wearing these over shorts and a short sleeve shirt.
This is something I always struggle with. Pre-race there are a million theories for how to prepare, a large, carb-heavy meal the night before; heavy carbs for lunch the day prior and then dinner of lean protein and a balance of carbs the night before; introduce 20% more carbs for the two weeks leading up to the race at each meal and don't increase your caloric intake. These are the theories I've been reading about. I'm planning to do what I always do: Eat a lot and then run as far and as fast as I can.
I made my mix last week and have been fine tuning it ever since. I've been listening while commuting, while working and driving my wife nuts listening to it at home. I won't listen to it the entire time as I'll be filming part of the race, but I've made it long enough to get me from the start to the finish just in case.
As I mentioned in another post, I've almost doubled my water intake. I'm at the point where I'm thinking about just setting up shop in the bathroom since that's pretty much where I spend most of my time anyway. The payoff will be on race day when I can hit every other water station and not worry too much about dehydration.
I've also been drinking less caffeine since it's a diuretic. And since I'm increasing my electrolyte intake, it's the perfect excuse to drop a few Nuun Watermelon flavored tablets into my water a few times a day. I'm not a huge fan of sports drinks (I think they have way to much sugar) but I can't seem to get enough of Watermelon Nuun!
Now all I need to do is figure out how to sleep the night before the race.
See you on the course! Look for me, I'll be the guy with the GoPro!