Let the Carb-loading Commence

It’s almost here. I can feel it. My body can feel it. My nerves are on fire and the marathon is on my mind. I can’t really get it out of my mind actually. I catch myself picturing my run at least a few times every day. And with that mental picture, my stomach drops!

I don’t know about other marathoners, but a marathon is really the only race I get nervous for anymore. Since my last marathon (October 2009), I’ve run quite a few races and felt relatively calm before almost all of them. I knew they weren’t THE RACE, the BIG race – they were just training for the real deal. I did end up racing and setting PRs in many of those races, but I never experienced the full-on nervousness. Oh the nerves.

So it’s Thursday and the race is only a few short days away. So it’s time to get serious. My birthday indulgence is done and I am on a strict carb-load, hydrate and eat-right plan. I fully support carb-loading 3-4 days before a marathon, and not gorging yourself on carbs the night before.

For all you marathoners out there – when do you start your carb-loading? And how do you prep the few days before?

So Wednesday truly began my carb-loading. I started off at breakfast with a big bowl of original Puffins and some blueberries on top.

Then for lunch, I heated up some leftover pasta with chicken from Monday night.

Afternoon snacks were Chobani with Kashi Heart to Heart cereal mixed in and three clementines.

After work, I headed to the gym for a quick run. It wasn’t exactly raining outside, but the skies looked ominous, so I played it safe. I ran 3 miles in 26:28 – a nice and easy pace. It was hard going that slow and I actually thought I felt tired, which made me even more nervous. I should not be tired after 3 miles – did I take my taper too far?!

I left the gym and headed home and threw together a quick dinner of baked tilapia with a large side of rice.

I have been seriously ravenous lately! And I’m not running a lot right now, so it feels a little weird. After dinner I was still hungry, so I ate a healthy dessert of strawberries and blueberries sprinkled with crushed puffins on top.

This hit the spot and I was FINALLY full. Again, I tried to go to bed early because I know that I likely won’t get too much sleep the night before the marathon, so I want to be as well rested during the week as possible.

And I had a strange dream about the marathon last night. My husband and I got there and he decided to help me warm up. We ended up getting lost and running like 11 miles before the race even started! There was road work going on and we had to take a detour and then we were sprinting to the start of the race and I was exhausted! Oh the stress.

How do you guys cope with nerves before a race?! Help!

Have a great Thursday all – I am trying to put the race out of my mind for the entire day….starting now!


12 responses to “Let the Carb-loading Commence

  1. Oohhh I’m getting so excited for you! Where is the marathon again? I think the nerves are normal- you have been workign so hard and it’s finally (almost) here! I love your carb loading philosophy!

    • Thank you!! It’s in the Poconos – we start in a township called Tobyhana and end in Stroudsburg, PA. I have been checking the weather in those two spots like C-RAZY!

  2. It sounds like you’re doing all you need to do these days before the marathon. I ran the Eugene Marathon last weekend and had a great experience. I was hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon and did.

    I usually start consciously eating carb-heavy the Thursday before a Sunday marathon–lots and lots of fruit (bananas, oranges, apples, dried fruit), wheat bread, oatmeal and then the evening before the marathon I have a big spaghetti dinner and maybe some bread (undereating concerns me more than overeating for this meal).

    The morning of the marathon, I get up 3 hours before the start and eat a peanut butter sandwich and a banana and drink a pint of water. Fifteen minutes before the start I have a Clif bar and about a cup of water.

    I think the nerves are somewhat unavoidable, but this time around, instead of nursing them, I tried to focus on how lucky I am to be doing this. A few quotes helped me too:

    “Running is a way of life, and racing is a celebration of that life.” –Jenn Shelton (ultramarathoner)

    “There are a million things telling you you can’t keep going, but if you fine the things that say you can, you’re golden.”
    –Kara Goucher

    All the best to you on Marathon day!!


    • I hope I’ve done everything I can so far! Thanks for sharing your pre-run routine. I love hearing how other runners fuel up. I am thinking I need to bring a bar of some sort with me for just before the race – something I’ve never really done – I usually eat breakfast, but no immediate snack before. And that makes me a little nervous about trying it now, but I’m afraid I’ll be hungry by the time we actually start. And thanks for the inspirational quotes! Hope I can do it!!

  3. In the Kara Goucher quote, it should read, “but if you find…”



  4. You are doing all the right things! I have no advice, sadly, on the nerves thing. I am always a bundle of nerves….always!!

    • I totally wasn’t for my first one because I just wanted to finish and didn’t care about time at all. Now with this big BQ goal, I’m a wreck!

  5. I haven’t ever run a marathon so I can’t give you advice on carb-loading…however, I do want to wish you good luck!

    Your cereal with blueberries looks so yummy – simple but delicious!

  6. Ha! I’m a bad one to ask b/c I am always a nervous wreck before races. But the one thing that always helps is to know that I am well-prepared and draw on that confidence. Good luck to you with both the stress and the race!!

  7. So excited for you!!!!

    I usually start trying to eat a bit more clean, lots of water and no alcohol. Nothing too crazy. The night before I usually do pasta w/meat sauce but I try not to totally stuff myself…. just be comfortably full. I also eat early 5:30 or 6pm as I usually go to bed by 9 if I can.

  8. Pingback: A Running Rut « Eat, Read, Run

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