Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!
I have a ton a work to do between now and flying to Roanoke on Friday but that doesn’t mean I can’t spend a few minutes each day getting excited for this next challenge! Since I paced the 5:30 group at the Atlanta Marathon only 3 weeks ago, I’ve opted to take what I call an “active taper”. Blue Ridge is a notoriously tough race so I wanted to make sure I was in good shape and well-rested. For the last few weeks I’ve maintained shorter 5-6 mile runs during the week, focusing now on strength and some hill work sessions. I’ve included more yoga and tons of cycling, but I haven’t done any long runs. I felt that with Blue Ridge only one month after Atlanta Marathon, focusing on recovery and maintaining fitness was more important than long miles. I’m already trained for the distance; now seemed like a good time to focus on other areas of my overall strength and fitness that are often neglected.
My plan went so well and I’ve been feeling so strong that I found that little spark of insanity again; I leveled up to the Blue Ridge DOUBLE Marathon! Yup, I’ll be starting at 1am on Saturday, in time to finish one marathon lap before starting again with the general field at 7am. 52.4 miles of hilly goodness. Running an ultramarathon with over 7,000 feet of climbing at 1am during the last few weeks of the semester is not one of my brightest ideas for sure, but in the words of Robin Williams, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
With a busy schedule ahead of another epic adventure, here’s how I’m planning to stay healthy this week before the race:
- SLEEP: maintaining focus at work during the day will be key to avoiding any late night cram sessions. I’ve got a checklist and Bose noise cancelling headphones. Hoping those will keep me on task so I can make it to bed at normal hours for at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
- WATER: starting each morning with water plus Nuun before coffee, and drinking plenty during the day. Nuun has so many great options now for daily use as well as fitness use, it makes drinking water a little tastier and more efficient in terms of maintaining electrolyte balance throughout the week (something I worry about this time of year as we abruptly move from winter to humid summer here in the South). I try to start each day with Nuun Vitamins Ginger Lemonade. It’s really tasty, can be used in hot water as a tea, and has caffeine so makes a great coffee substitute for the am. During the day I’ll have at least one Nuun Immunity or serving of BCAAs, and I’ll finish the day with a Nuun Rest at least an hour before bed. PS the Nuun Rest Lemon Chamomile also makes a great hot tea!
- RUNNING: 2-3 easy runs around 3 miles. I plan to do short treadmill runs today and tomorrow at the school gym. If I have time I’ll do another one on Thursday. However, since I’m flying to Roanoke, I know I’ll get plenty of airport walking miles in on Friday so I’m not worried about getting in the time on my feet.
- CROSS-TRAINING: Wednesday morning is our weekly sunrise coffee and biscuit ride around Atlanta so I’ll get about 26 miles spinning my legs as long as weather permits. No better way to keep the cardio up but the impact low.
- YOGA: ideally I’ll get in at least one yoga session. My flight isn’t until noon on Friday so I should have time to make it to the studio that morning, but at minimum I’ll do some vinyasas on my own.
I know these are all things I should be doing every week, but it certainly becomes more important leading up to big efforts. How do you prepare for big adventures, especially when juggling a busy schedule? Let me know in the comments or on social. I’ll be back later in the week to let you know how this plan panned out and to show the gear I’m using for this next adventure.
Feeling a “little spark of madness” and want to join me at the Blue Ridge 10k, half, full, or marathon relay this weekend? Click HERE to register and use the code BLUERIDGEBIBRAVE save 20% on registration.