Wednesday, December 09, 2009

gearing up + a champagne celebration

T - 3 days!
oh my, race day seems to be sneaking up on me! chelsea asked whether i was feeling any 'taper torture', and the answer is: not really. i think this phenomenon happens more to runners who hit higher mileage and then are forced to really reign it in for a couple of weeks. oddly, i don't feel like i've run that much THROUGHOUT this training cycle, so the past 2 weeks haven't been a huge change!

i AM getting excited, however. and paranoid about the weather and all of the little details that go along with running a race. these include:

music. tonight's goal is to get my marathon playlist all figured out. i need a mix of relaxing (yet motivating) songs for the first half, and then some POWER SONGS to get me through when i need the most help. i also need new headphones that will stay in my ears! an errand for today.

fuel. i never found a consistent fuel strategy during this training cycle. pre-race, i'll likely have my normal breakfast (english muffin + peanut butter + banana!). but during? the jury is still out. i'm leaning towards eating an honest foods square in pieces (miles 5, 10, 15) and then switching to either honey stingers or a caffeine-containing gel at mile 20.

clothing. well, it looks like it is going to be cold. today's forecast now says a high of 43 and cloudy (but no rain!). gear will include moving comfort compression tights, a short-sleeved technical tee, and my treasured sugoi jacket (the one i am wearing in basically every running picture ever). i'll also sport gloves and a brooks hat -- which will be handed off to josh at some point when i (inevitably) overheat.

race strategy. i really liked what aron wrote about even effort, and that is going to be my mantra for the race! i plan on treating the first 10 miles as a warmup, just going with a completely flowing and relaxed pace. then, i will consider the rest of the race in fours. after all, a 4-mile run is nothing, right? i'll just do four of them!

race goals.
attainable goal: finish strong!
secondary goal: PR! time to beat: 3:53
dream goal: sub-3:50. that's an 8:47/mi average
'not this time' goal: BQ. of course, i'd LOVE to (partly just to get a chance to hang out with aron, susan, and jess), but i'm just not there yet. which brings me to the next section of this post . . .

future race goals
D10 alerted me to a brand new race on the scene:

it's local! it's flat! it's on one of my days off! it's the tobacco road marathon!

yes, i am planning my next (possible) marathon before i even finish this one. i'm not 100% decided that i will do this race, but it will definitely be a consideration. if i'm anywhere approaching BQ time (3:40:59) and think i might be able to make an attempt, i think this race would be a good place to do it.

alternatively, i might just retire from marathons for a while. we'll have to see!

my other goal is still the elusive sub-23-minute 5K (something like 18 seconds faster than my current PR). the early spring months are a perfect time to run fast races in NC, so that is another possibility. i find 5Ks really challenging (i am more of a slow-twitch runner!), so this is a good goal for me.

bday fun!
while we both love nice restaurants and hotels, josh and i are homebodies at heart. it is amazing how much fun we can have just cranking ridiculous tunes (miley cyrus, anyone?) in the kitchen while demolishing a bottle of champagne.*

i baked these delicious peanut butter brownies for the occasion, only to find out later from haya that yesterday was national brownie day!

and in case anyone was wondering, today is national pastry day. and my birthday (may 20) is national quiche lorraine day. awesome.

we enjoyed THE CUTEST MINI-CHAMPAGNES EVER while i finished cooking dinner.

if you want me to smile 'for real', just give me some champagne.

after the champagne, josh moved onto some of matt's handcrafted montana moose-drool-inspired ale!

he pours . . .

he likes!

it was a super-fun night.

* i know i said i wouldn't drink until after the race, but i forgot about josh's birthday! i'll stay dry again until saturday :)



workout: taper run! 4 miles on the TM while reading runner's world, average 9:13/mi pace.

doin' time, birthday edition: okay fine, i didn't really plan this meal to coincide with josh's bday (initially we had planned on going out anyway!), but it did happen to be something i knew he would love: essentially, FISH + CHIPS, martha-style.

po' boy sandwich with cornmeal-crusted flounder, tomatoes, and homemade tartar sauce + sweet potato fries

work: okay, i now have some semblance of an introduction! at least that's something . . .


  1. Anonymous8:22 AM

    yay for excitement! what are your plans for the night before the race? when i did my marathon i had no idea if i should try and force myself to go to be early or watch a movie to relax or stay around friends and try to relax etc. any advice?

  2. those brownies look amazing! i have a work potluck on friday and i'm still struggling to come up with something to bring (that won't interfere with the rest of my christmas baking project). brownies just might be it.

    good luck at the marathon! today's snowstorm marks the end of outdoor running for me until march. sadness!

  3. Anonymous9:20 AM

    I just looked up that race. My sister lives in Raleigh and I always think it would be fun to drive up there and do a race with her. But, that's the same day as the ING half here.

    Good luck!! I can't wait to hear about the race.

  4. What a fun series of birthday celebrations! I'm so excited to hear about your marathon - it's great to live vicariously through other runners as my injury heals. I've got my fingers crossed for good weather for you.

  5. Those brownies look great.

    Good luck this weekend -- I hope you get the PR!

  6. I think your goals sound right on, and I hope you're pleasantly surprised with your time. And I think going into your race with thoughts of the next one is a good sign.

  7. Anonymous10:24 AM

    Good luck Sarah! I'm excited for you. If you could post the type of ear buds that stay in your ears that would be great; thats a perpetual problem.

  8. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Last year at TR we were able to stay nice and warm in the convention center. It was really nice, plus it was nice to have the bethrooms there as well. Good luck! Hope you decide to do Tobacco road.

  9. you are going to do GREAT girl!!!! stay mentally strong and you will totally reach your goals.

    i wont be there until 2011 anyways :)

    have a great race!!!!

  10. The ear buds won't stay in my ears either. I recommend phillips earphones that go on the outside of the ear and wrap around each ear. They stay put really well. I've had mine for 3 years and they still work. I got them at CVS.

  11. I think having another race plan helped save me from post-marathon depression. The weather sounds good--you might just be a little cold on the start line. Can you pull your sleeves over your hands so that you don't have to wear gloves? That's what I like to do if it's not freezing.

  12. atilla11:29 PM

    brownies and champagne what could be better

  13. Yay marathon! Sounds like you've got most things figured out. I can't get headphones to stay in my ears while I'm sitting still, let alone when I'm running!

    43 should be a good temp for race day! I was fine in shorts/tank/gloves when it was in the 40's, so you should be good as long as any rain/snow stays away!

    Birthday dinner looks awesome...especially those brownies. :)

    Good luck!! You're going to do awesome and I can't wait to hear about it!