Sunday, 28 October 2012

#87 It Won't Be Long

NYC preview: Only one week to go.

Today is Sunday 28 October and as of approximately 11am this morning after finishing the 22k 'easy' run with most of the LB crew, my training for the NYC marathon is now (unofficially) complete. Yes, there is still the 'small' matter of this final week - which also happens to be perhaps the most critical week of all - but in terms of running, I could choose to do absolutely nothing all week and still be 100% okay (well, maybe 92%). As a wise man once told me (okay, it was just Anthony Davey): "The hay is in the barn."
See. The work is done. Now for some fun...
I wish I could say I was 100% ready to go, but unfortunately, for the first time all year, I have a very minor injury in my right foot which has put me on edge and has me taking extra precautions. Our group ran the last long run (32k) of the program on Wednesday evening and I foolishly wore a pair of NB1400s which is far too light and unsupported for easy running for that long. As a result, I stressed/strained a number of muscles in both lower legs and it seems my right ankle is the one brunting the worst of it. It's totally manageable (with ice, elevation and massage) and should in no way threaten my goal of killing the marathon next week, but it's still something I am dealing with, as untimely and unwanted as it may be. The way I see it, I was able to pretty much go to the edge of my training limits and am now more fit than I've ever been because of it. Being healthy is something I (we all?) seem to take for granted until we lose it (only a matter of time) and running pain-free is something we should all enjoy while we have it.

But other than this small distraction, the past two weeks have gone overwhelming well. In the week post-Scotia, I re-increased the mileage and ran 145km (16, 28 (10am, 18m), 20 including 4x1600m@3:20/k or faster, 26 (10am, 16pm), 12, 26, 16) and felt fantastic doing so. This past week saw 16, 27 (10am, 17pm), 32, 0 (a day off, Horray!), 16 including ~10k@MP, 8, and 22, for a total of 121k but was obviously not ideal. This coming week, depending a lot on how I feel, will be a dramatic decrease in mileage which should total between 75 and 100k total (including the race).

But aside from the importance of cutting back the mileage and letting the body rest and recovery, the reason this week is indeed so crucial is due to carb-loading. Beginning on Thursday morning, my overall intake of energy, particularly those coming from carbs, will increase significantly. So much so that I intend to intake about 10-12 grams of carbohydrates per kilo of body weight per day. For a small, skinny guy like me, that's roughly 600-720g of carbs (2400-2880kcal) repeated for three days! Nearly half of that will likely come from fluids (ie Gatorade) and another significant portion from my new favourite snack, Sun Rype Fruitsource 100% fruit snacks (I plan to eat about 7 a day). My 'normal' diet will make up the rest of what I need, and as a result, my glycogen stores (depleted to some extent since mid-June) will return to normal and then hopefully overcompensate to reach their absolute max (I'll need every ounce of it). And so with adequate rest, recovery (stupid foot) and a ridiculous amount of carbohydrates (Mmm bread), I should be ready to rock the roads of NYC. Mission sub 2:34 commencing...

At 32g of carbs per bar, I'd need to eat 20 a day to meet my quota. I think I'll aim for 10 max.
And finally, in case anyone cares, I did some math on the numbers and came up with this...

Since beginning 'the program' the week after the Cabot Trail on 26/27 May, I've logged 22 weeks (154 days) of training.
In that time, I have run a grand total of 2872km (Garmin Connect data)! That's ~130km a week or 18.6km a day.
That includes 10 runs of 30 or more kilometres and another 10 runs of 25-30k (all in a single session).
The plan also included 18 days of running doubles (ie running twice a day), sometimes three times a week.
(Sadly) It only included 10 days 'off' (ie no running).
Finally, I ran 9 tune-up races and set PBs in the 5k (16:03), 10k (34:16), 16.1k (10-miler; 57:15) and half-marathon (21.1k; 1:13:29) distances.

There is a tonne of gratitude due to the people who got me to this point, in particular to my amazing training team mates, but I'll hold off thanking them until I reach my goal and can officially celebrate (in less than one week from now). Until then, it's time to hunker down and face the impending Frankenstorm. Here's to hoping NYC is still there in 7 days. And even if it isn' was all still worth it.

The crew: (from left) Chris Chapman, (half the face of) Rob C, Gerardo, myself, Gough, Metzger, Dave Clark, Darren, David Hiddleston, Bellamy, new guy Gregor and Conrad. MIA: Doyle, Davey, Rog, Stefan and Simion.

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