I get a tickle when I hear other runners say how much they enjoyed a marathon race. It is my turn to say “That was the most fun I’ve had doing a marathon”. The weather was incredible: sunny, blue skies with temps in the 50s and the winds were nothing to speak of. I got to the start line without any problems (thanks to my friends’ private transportation) and tried to remember this was a day to take in as many sights and sounds as possible, along with turning ‘em over for 26.2 miles.
Nutrition leading into the race was pretty much on target. The day before the race entailed a breakfast of greek yogurt and blueberries. Lunch was a salad with tofu at Whole Foods after a nice morning run in Central Park. And dinner was the usual chicken breast, sweet potato wedges, and broccoli. We were out and about most of the day, so hydration was a bit of a challenge but I monitored urine color and frequency to remind me to stay on track.
Here is my original race day nutrition Plan A with my comments and how it unfolded:
- 5am: water, coffee -- YES! Left friend’s apartment at 5:20am.
- 6:30am: 1/2 packet of Generation UCAN Vanilla mixed in water -- ACTUAL intake was at 6:50am after I got to the start area around 6:40am.
- 7:30am: water + SaltStick capsules -- YES. I had been sipping water prior to this too.
- 8:45am: Generation UCAN Cran-Raz with other 1/2 packet of Vanilla mixed in water with 1stEndurance Pre-Race (dosed by body weight) -- YES
- 9:40am: race start (I’m in the 19th corral so actual start time will probably be closer to 10am) -- I clocked 9:48am as I stepped over the Start Line.
So, pre-race nutrition was pretty much spot on. My plan for during the race was water as needed, which I didn’t start until 10K into the race and then I took 7 or 8 times thereafter. I did have two pieces of gum throughout because I like to be able to freshen up the mouth and get the saliva going, and then tuck it back into the cheek when I’m done chewing. I had planned to carry SaltStick capsules and a few extra GU Chomps in my shorts pocket, but the Chomps were so sticky I decided not to carry them. I took only 3 of the 5 SaltStick capsules I was carrying because the water I spilled on myself at the aid stations dissolved the capsules in my pocket! I had carried my own water bottles with me during my long run training so I didn’t have the spill factor like this time (a learning point for me!). As a result, I decided to take 3 sips of Gatorade between 20K and 35K. But that was it for extra calories during my 3:26:14 marathon. My pace and energy level were very consistent throughout the majority of the race and I had no gut troubles. Interestingly, my Garmin was showing me an average pace per mile that was 7 seconds faster than what the actual result was. I didn’t realize this until I was already in the last 10K of the race and headed for the “hills” in Central Park. Running near Apolo Ohno gave me an extra kick in my step though and I tried not to get too upset for relying on the Garmin and just push as hard as I could to the finish.
Overall, I am pleased with my steady run and nutrition results. I continue to believe in the power of metabolic efficiency training as it has served me well this year with a personal best marathon finish time, a PR in the half marathon and 10K, a 4th in age group in my first 70.3 triathlon, and a handful of top age group finish times... places I never had before I began my own journey with metabolic efficiency. I’m excited for what lies ahead in 2012!
Dina Griffin, MS, RD, CSSD