Traveling takes a toll on my body. I have been traveling a TON of late. And I am just not able to keep to my usual diet (here, here, here). I do the best I can, but my fruit and veg intake suffers. I also get less sleep, and can't always run as much as I'd want to.
Happily, no travel this week before the San Diego Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon tomorrow. So I put myself in the best position I could for the race this week by eating right, carb loading, getting more sleep, and tapering.
After I came back from my foot injury in late April/early May, I noticed my fitness dropped. It is so difficult to tell what any cause or effect is when it comes to running. But I think a component of my dropped fitness was a poor diet while on the road. I usually eat fruits and vegetables basically all day long. I am a grazer. So last weekend, I spent beaucoup de $$$ on produce: carrots, celery, arugula, romaine, cucumbers, cherries, bananas, apricots, watermelon, and blueberries. And just chowed it down all week to pack in all those good nutrients.
I began carb loading on Wednesday. I've read in various places, that it takes a few days of increasing calories from carbohydrates to build up extra glycogen stores, the fuel muscles need in endurance sports. Wednesday, I made a quick bolognese. Thursday, I added a massive serving of rice to my normal intake. Friday I ate the leftover bolognese. And Saturday, I ate my rustic roasted vegetable pasta.
The day before a race, to the extent it is possible, I don't eat any thing I've never eaten before. I don't want any surprises! So no munching on all the free goodies in the race bag and at the fitness expo!
I also stayed extra hydrated, drinking about twice as much water as I normally do. And no to little alcohol!
Getting More Sleep
Just tried to get a few more hours in this week by going to bed just a little bit earlier than usual, and setting the alarm for just a little bit later.
Finally, I cut back on the miles this week by about half. I did an easy 6 miles on Monday, and another easy 5 on Tuesday. Thursday was my last run of the week. I did 3 at a fast pace. I also did two yoga classes, trying to stretch out and relax! Friday and Saturday, I took completely off (except for my daily stretching/foam rolling/yoga of course!).
My legs are feeling strong and ready to run! Now, if I'd only stuck to my training program, hahaha!