Posted by: Kennedy | September 25, 2010

Countdown to STWM

The countdown is on.

16 hours from now, I’ll be running my first half marathon. Wicked.

Today is all about preparation – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I’ve heard over and over again in training that the 48 hours before the race are crucial, and everything you do in that period has the potential to help or hinder your performance.

Some of the most common tips include:

1) Don’t do anything different – that means don’t eat any new foods, don’t try any new exercises, don’t wear new running shoes, don’t buy a new fuel belt, don’t watch a new TV show, don’t sleep on the other side of the bed… okay perhaps I’m going a bit far but you get the idea. CHANGE IS BAD.

2) Hydrate. Drink water, but not more than what you’re used to or you’re diluting your body’s supply of electrolytes.

3) Fuel up. Eat plenty of carbohydrates. Note to self: Running a long race is a license to eat pasta.

4) Rest those legs.

5) Avoid alcohol.

6) Get lots of sleep, especially two nights before the race.

Let’s see how I’m doing so far….

Yesterday I went to work. I didn’t do anything too strenuous. I ate my usual breakfast, had my usual Friday latte and banana for a mid-morning snack.

I went to the Expo over my lunch break to pick up my race kit:

Race swag

Love that my name is on my bib!

I grabbed an egg salad sandwich for lunch:

Munched on pineapple chunks around 4 p.m. Sipped water from my Sigg all day as per usual. Then headed to a co-worker’s farewell celebration after work, where I allowed myself one glass of white wine.

From here, I planned to head home, eat pasta, do laundry and go to bed at 10:30. Instead, Joanna convinced me to go to her house for the famous Hiscock wedge fries from Grand Falls Windsor, Newfoundland – how could I turn that down?

So I ended up at Jo’s, eating cheese and crackers and sipping club soda with Gatorade (surprisingly delicious combo). A few of Jo and Marc’s friends came over and we all enjoyed a feast. Jo finally convinced me to try mussels – I didn’t instantly love them but they sure aren’t as bad as I was imagining them to be.

These wedge fries are topped with a wonderful combination of chorizo sausage, ‘dressing’ (baked bread crumbs, butter and onion), gravy and chives. On the side: sautéed green beans. Mmmmmm…

All the fixin's for the wedge fries...

I also had a tiny glass of red wine… and an even tinier glass of ice wine for dessert. Eep.

I headed home a little later than expected, but was still in bed by 11:30. Made sure to drink a few glasses of water first. Not bad considering…

Today, I was up at 8. I had a nice breakfast: my usual oatmeal, with a few grapes and some chunks of pineapple.

Drank more water. Then I headed out for my hour-long massage at Glow Spa. Ahhhh. Making that appointment was the most brilliant idea I had all week. I feel nice and fresh and completely relaxed.

On my way home I grabbed my dry cleaning and a latte. I ate ravioli from St. Lawrence Market (was meant to be dinner last night but it’s just as good for lunch) with a few slices of cucumber and red pepper dipped in hummus.

Mmmm carbs....

Now I’m waiting on my laundry to finish before I head over to Jo’s for our pre-race celebration/sleepover. She graciously invited me to sleep at her house tonight since the race starts well before the subway is running and she lives within walking distance of the start line. So we’ll cook up an amazing pasta dish for dinner and hit the hay early so we’re fresh and ready in the morning.

So the question remains… Am I ready for this?

Sticking to routine? Check (minus eating a few mussels).

Hydrating? Check.

Carb-loading? Check. (Bread, potato, more bread, oats, fruit, pasta, more pasta… mmmm)

Resting? Check (Massage, minimal activity, taking buses and cabs to avoid walking)

No alcohol? Not really. Probably had a total of 2 ½ glasses of wine over the course of 5 hours yesterday. But I will have absolutely none tonight. This is the best I could do, friends.

Sleep? Even though I missed my bedtime last night, I still got a solid 8 hours. Tonight will be an even earlier night – lights out at 10 p.m! Check.

Now, all that’s left to do is pack up all of my gear for tomorrow:

It’s been an amazing 16 weeks. One more long run left. That’s it… the race is just another long run. My body’s got me this far, it can sure as hell get me a measly 21 km farther!

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront (Half) Marathon…. here I come. See you at the finish line!

p.s. Thanks to my lovely friend Helen who called to wish me good luck this afternoon! It means so much to know you’re rooting for me – that’s what I’ll think of to get me through the tougher parts of the race 🙂



  1. I’m so proud of you!!!!! It’s an awesome goal to run in a marathon. Hope all goes well!!
    ((HUGS)) ~mom~

  2. Way to go!

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