Holy cow, who let me sign up for a 26.2?
Thankfully we’ve been so busy for the past two weeks, that I’ve only been able to start obsessing over my race until this week.
I feel stronger than ever, ran more mileage total than ever, and hit faster times than I ever have.
Yet there a few nagging concerns that are keeping me from feeling totally celebratory.
First of all, I had some stomach trouble during this cycle. I eventually threw in the towel and went totally gluten free. Which helped a lot.
But then there were long runs where I spent a lot of time making emergency stops.
I tried to take GU’s during my longer runs in an effort to train my body to accept them. Which worked out great, except for one run where it completely backfired.
I tried Honey Stingers on my final long run, which felt okay. I didn’t have stomach trouble, but I didn’t quite get the energy I was used to from the GU either.
Sooooo, I have purchased a few different kinds of gels, and will pray that something sticks with me and keeps me stomach-ache free on race day.
In the past I have used chews, but sometimes chewing them while running marathon pace can be a little dicey. Like I can’t run and chew gum at the same time; awkward.
I don’t know. I guess that’s my greatest fear; being on pace but having stomach trouble.
Additionally, I have been extremely sluggish on a few of my long runs, which doesn’t bode well. However, I was running higher mileage than usual, sooooo…
And oh my gosh, don’t get me started on shoe drama.
I did most of my tempo runs and track workouts in the New Balance Vazee Pace. But when I tried to do an 18-miler in them, I knew they would not work for the marathon distance. Just not quite enough support or cushioning; I knew my legs would cramp like crazy during the final miles.
Usually I can get away with a Saucony Kinvara or a Brooks Pure Flow for race day, but for some reason, my stride has changed during this cycle.
I just can’t get going if a shoe is too cushioned; it seems to hold me back. Which is why I have been doing almost all of my mileage in the Brooks Ravenna 7. They have a touch of support, and enough firmness to keep my legs happy.
So basically, I needed to find a shoe that mimicked the quickness of the Pace, but with enough support and cushioning to keep my legs happy after long miles, like the Brooks Ravenna.
I am down to two options:
I have put a heftier and more cushioned insole in to the Pace, which feels pretty good (I stole the insoles out of my Nike Vomero 10.)
And I have purchased the Brooks ST Racer 5, which is sort of like a racier version of the Ravenna.
And I have yet to decide what to do!
I am leaning towards the Racer 5, but I’m a little worried about the final miles.
And what’s up with the fact that I don’t like major cushioning anymore? Isn’t it strange that my preference is for firmer shoes now? (I do enjoy a Hoka once in a while, but I find that my legs feel tired afterward.) I swear I cannot get my legs going while wearing the Saucony Kinvara. Weird.
With the firmer shoes, I have a lot less fatigue and my stride seems to “open up” a bit more. What the what?
Okay, so enough of this silliness.
I have been seriously working on my race day mantra, the thoughts that will carry me through the tough patches.
I will share more of that with you the next time….