Marathon Training and Goal Update

The Des Moines Marathon is in approximately 13 1/2 weeks.
I paid my dues, requested 'NicMarie' printed on my bib and I'm tallying up the miles.
I'm on my third pair of running shoes since I started seriously 'training' for races about 2 years ago.

Somehow I wear out the top of my right shoe every time?

(please ignore the leaves all over my back step)

Anyway, this time it's serious.

I've ran Dam to Dam 3 years, the Drake Half, the Drake 8K and the Chocolaterie Stam 8K.
But never a full marathon.

It's on my life list and I figured now is as good as time as any!
Since doing Goals in Motion and recovering from my broken ankle in December, I've gotten really strong. Probably the best shape of my life. I thought if I don't do this now, I might never. 

I've been using a training plan that I got from Runner's World magazine website. You put in a current race time and goals for mileage and intensity as well as your race date. It pops out a daily schedule for you to follow. Pretty slick and totally free.

So far, I've ran a 14, 16, 18 and 20 miler. None of which didn't include some cursing, chafing and post run coffees and food binges. Luckily I've had a partner.

My friend Jamie. This is us enjoying a fatty cinnamon roll and iced coffee after our first 14-miler the week after Dam to Dam.

Doesn't that look delicious?

We talk pretty much daily about how much we are training, how we feel, what we're eating, etc. It helps us stay accountable and motivated!

Training for a marathon is a lot different than training for other races. The long runs can take up to 3 hours just to run them. 
This makes planning key.
Here's my routine in preparation of, during and after a long run:

The day before I drink a LOT of water and try to take it easy on exercise or not exercise at all. I also make sure to eat very clean (no grease for this gal!) as to avoid any kind of indigestion. A typical dinner for me the night before a long run looks like this-

Some grilled chicken sauteed with roasted broccoli and some whole wheat linguine. I'd pair this with a side salad for a total meal.

The night before the run I eat, relax and also prep my stuff so I can get to bed early and be ready to go when the alarm goes off!
These are the things that I cannot run without:

I always have a banana with peanut butter and a Luna or Detour bar before a long run. I also bring Clif Shot Bloks to have every 5 miles (these taste good and are easy to chew- sort of like chewy candy). I also recently got a water belt for the long runs. It can hold a water bottle and cash to buy more water if needed. A good thing to have training in the hot Iowa summers!

My two most favorite running items are my Garmin watch and my Nike sunglasses.

I bought the Forerunner 110 right after Dam to Dam and now I never want to run without it!!
It's so easy to use and helps me keep on pace and also helps when doing sprints or tempo runs. I highly recommend it!

T got me these sweet Nike sunglasses for my birthday. They are super comfortable, light-weight and have little rubber grippy things on the nose pads so they won't slide down when you get all sweaty. Rockin!

We usually meet around 6-6:30AM on Saturday mornings to get our run done and out of the way so we can enjoy the rest of our weekend.

I'm usually super chipper....

We start early because it's usually cooler and the world is pretty quiet and serene at 6 AM on a Saturday morning.

The days preceding the run, we map something out on Map My Run. It's easy to find a route and share it with others.

Once we meet up, we get geared up and head out on our way. We usually take one bathroom/water break at a gas station around mile 12. It's always a nice little break before we finish up the last few miles if doing a 16, 18 or 20 miler.

Then once we finish, we head some where to fuel up....hence the iced coffees and cinnamon rolls. :)

What are you training for? How do you prep (and reward!) yourself for training?

A little update on my summer goals as well:

  • Try one new recipe a week: I have done this!! I'll be sharing some more soon!!
  • Work on house projects: Flower beds are weeded and I'm redoing a floor Friday.
  • Stick to training and eating plan: I think I just covered this one...except for the cinnamon rolls. Pretend you didn't see those.
  • Finish Jane Eyre: DONE! Amazing. I highly recommend it.
  • Catch up on other books: See my Sunday 7 post from this week!
  • Have fun: this part was waaaaaaay easy. We already did the Art Festival and we're going to see U2 in Minnesota this weekend!!
Do you have any summer goals? Are you meeting them?