I have my first big event of the season this Sunday, a 21km, my first since April 2016. I am nervous and feverish, but I can't wait to cross the finish line. I have worked hard in the past few weeks and I am impatient to know my result. And in the end, I will be proud of myself, whatever the time.
This is not my first half-marathon. It is one of my favorite distances because I will have a lot of time to manage my race and in the days that follow, I will be able to resume my training more easily than after a marathon. I like this distance too because I won't be in my red zone all along. It will be semi comfortable at first, a little more difficult in the middle and I will accelerate while being away from my comfort zone towards the end. It will not be as aggressive as for a 5 or 10km.
For the past few days, I have greatly reduced the intensity and volume of my training. I want to feel rested, fresh and refreshed for Sunday. It is no longer the time to doubt or the time to test myself, it is the time to calm down before the storm and I await it with a firm footing this challenge.
I want to feel strong, enduring and invincible. I am the king of the world with running shoes and I will be for 14,000 steps next Sunday.
Since Monday, I have been paying a little more attention to my diet. I decrease fat to focus a little more on protein and carbohydrates. I drank a little more water than usual and I reduced my consumption of coffee and alcohol. I also took a massage Tuesday morning to soften some muscles that were heavily used during my training.
We are now Thursday morning (72 hours before the race) and this is the moment I prefer. "The game is on". I listen to music that makes me want to lift my hands up and win the race. I have my tupperware water bottle which follows me everywhere to make sure I am well hydrated, but I do not exaggerate (2.5 liters per day maximum). I don't want to force my kidneys unnecessarily. I usually include a lot of fiber in my diet all year round, but I watch out for it in the last days before a big event by reducing the quantities so as not to encounter unpleasant surprises during my race. I know myself, my stomach is fragile. The closer we get to the event, the more I include carbohydrate foods (pasta, rice or potatoes) in my meals. I avoid adding too many lipids, since I want to feel light. I also include protein in my diet (shrimp, ham, tuna or tofu) to repair my muscles.
- Hey Dom, have you heard of the Maurten company freeze?
- Yes, but I haven't tasted it yet.
- You should try it for Sunday, it can work miracles.
- Thank you for the offer, but it will be for another time. I don't want to try a new product a few days before my run.
Météo Média has been permanently open on my computer since Monday. I want to know what to expect for Sunday. For the moment, it announces cool, cloudy, but without rain and very few winds. And now, a perfect temperature to obtain a result that matches my talent.
So I will put on my New Balance 1400 which I love because they are light. I will proudly wear my Endurance tank top and my sleeves which I can drop if I am too hot. I will be in shorts, I may be a little cold at first, but I prefer that to be too hot with pants. I'm going to put on a hat and little gloves that I can throw on the course if I ever feel suffocated. I will also have my homemade bracelet with my lap times at each km. I don't want to trust my gps, because I know very well that it will play tricks on me by overestimating the distance I will cover during these 21.1km.
And my starting pace for Sunday… I want to leave slowly so as not to feel attacked from the start, but I also don't want to accumulate too much delay in vain. In addition, I am not convinced of my fitness level.
''What should I do?''
- Calm down Dom, take a step back and look at the possibilities. From what time would you be proud of yourself?
- 1:18:59 and under. A speed of 3:44 per km.
- And if you left at 3:44 km for the first km, just to see how you feel. In this way, you could accelerate slightly then according to your feelings. You don't need to leave too quickly. You will have 21km to adjust the pace.
- You are right. And what's more, it's much nicer to finish strong than to find it painful towards the end.
I will then divide my race into 3. I will want to brake slightly at the start, talk to me a little more in the middle of the course and give everything I have towards the end. A nice negative split in perspective!
"Hey Sportstats, you're better off being in good shape" ... We have a date together Sunday afternoon!