I am finally in my taper week! This marathon training cycle was new to me on a few levels. This was the first time I was training for a marathon during the winter months. I tried a new training program that focused on running time rather than miles. Finally, I did a shorter 12 week program for Illinois Marathon. Now it is all about stretching, healing and mentally preparing. With one week before Illinois Marathon, all I am thinking about is my mental strength and what I want to bring with me to the marathon.
I am very excited to go out and run this iconic race and prove to myself that my last marathon was a fluke, not a reality. Although, my lack of training and injury were the main cause of my terrible performance in November, another big factor was that I was not mentally prepared. This time around I am putting a lot of focus towards mental prep. While stretching, I am walking through the pre-race routine. When do I want to warm up, what kind of food do I want to eat, and what kind of stretching do I need to do. I have a few short runs that I am doing, and during the run I am mentally walking through the first 3 miles of the marathon. Making sure I do not start off too fast, avoiding the crowed, and making sure that I am following the tangent of the course. This type of mental prep helps me envision the race before I run the course. I looked over the course multiple times so now I can kind of walk myself down the course and remember where the important turns, hills and aid stations are. I believe that mental prep is just as important as physical, and I crank it up during the week before the marathon.
Equipment and gear can help you achieve a PR or slow you down during the race. I usually make the final decision of what I wear and what I bring with during the marathon the night before, but here is a list of everything that is up for grabs for me during a race:
- Running Shorts: Asics or Brooks
- Running Singlet: BibRave Pro Running Singlet
- Shoes: Brooks Pure Flow
- Headphones: AfterShokz Treks Titanium
- Head Band or Hat: BUFF®
- Top Layer: Old long sleeve shirt that can be tossed
- Gel/Phone Carrier: SPI Belt
- Warmth: Pre-Race Aluminum Wrap
- Watch: Garmin Forerunner 230
This is my race gear that I always bring with and decide what I actually use. To be honest, I love to run with as little amount of stuff as possible. Sometimes you just need the headphones or a belt to carry your stuff. Rather be prepared than screwed.
I am ready for my redemption race and I am excited that it is the Illinois Marathon. I am pumped to meet up with some other BibRave Pros, run the warm-up 5K race on Friday night, and put it all out there for the Saturday Illinois Marathon. Let’s get it done!