What NOT to do on race day

Happy Sunday! I had big plans for today – wake up before 7am, practice my race day breakfast, warm-up for a few miles, and then run the Poland Spring 5-miler at race pace. However…I somehow managed to turn off THREE alarms and sleep way late. When I finally woke up and glanced at my watch, it was 8:14am (race start was at 8:30am). %#$%^!!!

I threw on my running clothes, chugged a glass of water, and hailed a cab outside my apartment. 20 minutes later I was making my way to the starting line in Central Park. The gun had already gone off, but I was able to hop into the corrals and begin the race anyway. Since I was so late, I was with the 10:00/mile pace crowd and had to do a LOT of weaving for the first mile or so.

  • Mile 1: 8:14
  • Mile 2: 7:34
  • Mile 3: 7:32
  • Mile 4: 7:09
  • Mile 5: 6:55
  • Total: 37:24 (7:28 pace)

Huzzah! I’m pretty proud that I averaged marathon pace exactly despite my hectic morning (no warm-up, no breakfast, eek!). I treated today’s run as a microcosm of marathon race day – start out slow, focus on goal pace, finish strong! All things considered, I felt GOOD today. I have a teeny bit of calf tightness that I’m trying to work out (phantom pain alert!), but with some rest and compression socks, I think things should be fine.

I found Kelly at the finish and I was able to run some more miles with her. I ended up running a total of 10 miles for the day.

Today concludes my 18th week of marathon training. The days leading up to the marathon will be pretty relaxed. I have plans to take at least 2 rest days (Monday and Friday) and run an easy 3-7 miles on the other days (Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sat). Earlier this week (Thursday, Oct 28th), my coach assigned our final workout of the training cycle – a basic 5 mile tempo run at 1/2 marathon pace. Here’s how it went down:

  • 2 mile warm-up
  • 1.5 mile cool-down

5.19 miles at 6:54 pace – I’ll take it! My goal for 2011 is to run a sub-1:30 half marathon which would be 6:50 pace. I think this workout suggests that might be possible. But that’s a goal for a few months down the road…Now it’s time to rest, carb it up, and strategize for next Sunday.

Speaking of carbs, let’s bake some cookies! I have plans to make pumpkin pie with gingersnap crust later in the week, so I baked up some homemade ginger cookies to use as the base. These cookies are a bit softer and larger than I expected and I think some tweaks need to be made before I’d bake them again. Nonetheless, they taste really good!

Gingerbread Cookies (makes 2 dozen)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 Tbs (1.5 sticks) butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt
  • In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, molasses, and fresh grated ginger.
  • On low speed, add in flour mixture, just until combined.
  • Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a shallow bowl or plate with the demerara sugar.
  • Roll the dough into 24 balls and then roll in bowl of demerara sugar. Place dough on cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway. Cookies are done when they are dark golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy with milk!

Notes: Next time, I would decrease the butter a bit (maybe use 10 Tbs vs 12 Tbs) and chill the dough for longer.

Questions:

Have you ever slept in on the morning of a race?

Favorite kind of cookie? I think gingersnaps might be my new favorite….