Checklist for Philadelphia

Today was a rest day for me. With only a few days left before we head to Philadelphia it is hard to keep my mind off the upcoming marathon.

Today I ended up putting together my list of things I will need for the weekend:

  • Running gear – not sure what the weather will be like yet so I’ll bring a long sleeve and a short sleeve shirt and decide what to wear for the race once I get to Philly
  • Body Glide
  • Clif bars to snack on
  • Protein powder
  • Gatorade
  • A kettle and a toaster for my 3:00 AM breakfast
  • Instant oatmeal, a bagel, peanut butter, a banana and orange juice for breakfast
  • My Blackberry so I have an alarm to wake me up for breakfast at 3:00 and again at 5:00 if I do get back to sleep after breakfast
What is on your checklist when you race out of town?

Last Long Run

Today was my last long run before the Philadelphia Marathon. I ended up doing 16 km, 10 miles, with my daughter in her Chariot. Compared to the distances I have been running it almost seems odd to consider that a long run but compared to the other runs I will do this week it is a long run.

While my training schedule actually called for 13 miles, 21, today I decided to keep it to 16 km in order to give my legs more of a break this week. Even though my legs feel strong right now I want to make sure I feel well rested next Sunday.

It was also nice to get in a final run with the Chariot since my daughter has accompanied me for most of my weekend runs since I started training for Philadelphia.

As for the rest of the week, I have short easy runs planned for Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday will see my final run at race pace with a 10 km, 6 mile run planned.

At this point I am confident in the training I have put in over this training cycle but at the same time since there are many factors you cannot control during a marathon I am trying not to get too far ahead of myself either. I feel I have put myself in a position to have a chance at reaching my goal time. Now I just have to wait and see if everything falls into place on race day or if I’ll have to make adjustments to my training for the next time.

Saturday Stories

Saturday morning brings another edition of Saturday Stories. Since I’ll be in Philadelphia next weekend there likely won’t be any stories next weekend. I’ll follow-up with a longer post the following Saturday. As always, if you came across something you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

Here is an inspiring story, Woman with MS Finishes New York Marathon.

Last week I posted a link to an article about celebrities running the New York Marathon. Here’s a blog post about one of those celebrities who seems to have a convenient excuses ready for his finish times.

The IAAF decided to allow Paula Radcliffe to keep her 2003 marathon record.

For those of you who are about to run a marathon, here are some useful tips about recovery and getting back to running after the marathon.

This guy illustrated the New York Marathon as he went.

Finally, the next #runchat will take place on Twitter tomorrow night.

Week 15 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Week 15 of my 16 week training program for the Philadelphia Marathon is nearly complete. Today I am enjoying a rest day. My second last week of training will end with a 6.5 km, 4 mile, run tomorrow.

So far I have completed nearly 56 km this week meaning my weekly total will sit at approximately 61 km after tomorrow’s run.

While I am in the process of tapering for the marathon this week was another good week of training. It started with a 25 km run Sunday and yesterday I completed a 12 km run with 10 km at my intended marathon pace. The other runs I did this week were shorter recovery runs.

Of course since I am so close to race day the most important fact is that I have so far managed to avoid getting sick or injured. Hopefully I have not just jinxed myself by saying that!

The key now and when I head to Philly next Friday will be to get in a few more recovery runs and a short marathon pace run next week to stay loose while at the same time ensuring my legs are well rested for race day.

How did your training go this week?

Marathon Profile: Malibu International Marathon

For the second week in a row I am profiling a California based marathon. Tonight I was looking for an upcoming marathon and came across the Malibu International Marathon which takes place on Sunday.

Looking at the course elevation map the Malibu International Marathon does not look like it offers the quickest course as the inclines seem to be located right at the end of the course.

However, if you are looking for a scenic marathon this might be one to consider as the course starts inland before leading out to the coast where you get to run along the Pacific Coast Highway, taking you past the mansions of Hollywood celebrities along the way.

The weather is probably also an attraction for many people with the average temperature being around 18-21 C, 64-70 Fahrenheit, in Malibu at that time of year. Normally that would certainly be a selling point for me at this time of year but due to some unusually warm weather here this week I ran home in shorts tonight.

Another nice feature to this race is that they make an effort to reduce the impact of the race on the environment through waste diversion, donation of leftover food and discarded clothing to charities etc.

As always, if you want more information on this one you can read some race reviews here.

Have you run the Malibu International Marathon before or is it one you are planning to do?

Taper Tuesday

Tonight’s plan was for an easy 10-11 km run after work. In the end I completed 10 km in 52 minutes.

I know the drop in mileage this week and next week will be beneficial in my preparation for race day but at the same time it felt different tonight. It felt enjoyable for a different reason. The run felt good because there was no pressure to maintain a specific pace or to get in extra mileage.

The other thing that helped make the run more enjoyable is the realization that I will be headed to Philadelphia in just over a week from now.

One thing I unexpectedly was reminded of tonight was how soon it gets dark out now.  I left work at 5:00 and the sky was already black. Normally I would  have lights on my backpack or my jacket for when I am running in areas that are not well lit. I did not think to grab them this morning. I’ll have to remember to do so for my remaining evening or early morning runs now.

Next up this week are another short easy run tomorrow followed by a tempo run Thursday and another easy run on Saturday.

Did you get in a run today?

Thoughts 13 Days Before Race Day

As I mentioned yesterday, the Philadelphia Marathon is now less than two weeks away. I am now tapering before race day. This week I will be cutting back my mileage again as I will only complete approximately 39 miles, 62 km.

This will be my fifth marathon over the past three years. I feel that I have learned something from each one that I have tried to incorporate into my training in order to help me improve on my results in the marathon.

Today was the first of my two planned rest days this week. After all the mileage I have put in over the past few weeks it feels weird to be taking an extra off but at this point my key workouts that will lead me through race day are out of the way and the key now will be to make sure my legs are well rested for race day.

Thinking back on this training cycle I would say that things have gone mainly to plan. While I did have to cut my final 20 mile run short last week I had some strong speed workouts that left me feeling more confident this time around.

I also completed three strong 20 mile efforts. Once again, most of my long runs on Sundays were completed while pushing my two year old in her Chariot. I am not sure what impact that has on my running but I imagine it has to help strengthen my legs.

Now that all that mileage and hard work is out of the way I’ll try and enjoy the taper and reflect on what I have accomplished over the past few months.

Today’s Long Run

Today’s scheduled run was a 16 mile, 25 km, easy run. With race day two weeks away, today’s run is my last run longer than a half-marathon distance until race day.

Today turned out to be one of those days where it was tough to figure out what to wear. When I woke up it was below freezing and there was still frost on the ground. However, I also knew it was supposed get up above 10 C, 50 Fahrenheit, at some point.

I dressed to stay warm without putting on too many layers. Fortunately I was bringing my daughter in her Chariot so I could stash my gloves and hat in there when I no longer needed them. I headed out the door and bundling my daughter into her snowsuit and grabbing some snacks for the road.

In the end we completed the run in 2:10. It turned out to be a good thing that we did not wait any longer to head out the door because by the time we got home it was already several degrees warmer and both of us would have been too hot to stay out any longer the way we were dressed.

Next Sunday’s run will be an easy 21 km, 31 mile, effort followed by race day the following Sunday. In between I have a few more tempo runs and short easy runs to get in while I taper.

Saturday Stories

It’s Saturday and that means it is time once again for Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite blog posts and articles from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

Here are some useful tips on how to avoid injury.

The Chilean miner who ran the New York Marathon after spending 69 days trapped in a mine is back this year.

Have a race coming up? Here are some pre-race nutrition tips as well as tips to ease pre-race jitters.

In order to deal with increasing numbers the New York Marathon is considering becoming a two day event.

I was surprised to see this as most marathons do seem to have a minimum age requirement, the PEI Marathon might not let nine year old boy run again.

Week 14 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Week 14 of my 16 week training schedule for the Philadelphia Marathon is nearly complete. With one run remaining this week my mileage for the week currently sits at 53.5 km. Given that I am planning to do 13-14 km tomorrow, I’ll end up finishing the week with a total of approximately 67 -68 km.

The week did not get started quite as planned on Sunday. I had my final 32 km, 20 mile, run scheduled. However, I woke up not feeling well and after completing 12.5 km leaving me approximately 20 km short of what my weekly total would have otherwise been.

The rest of the week went well. On Wednesday I completed my final speed work session before the marathon with 12 x 400 m repeats. Tonight I managed to get in an 11 km tempo run. As mentioned already, I plan to end the week with an easy 13-14 km easy run tomorrow.

Week 15 kicks off with a 25 km, 16 mile, run Sunday morning. With just over two weeks left before the Philadelphia Marathon, I now have approximately 133 km, 83 miles, of training remaining before race day.

How did your training go this week?