TNT: Rest and Recovery Makes You Stronger, AKA the Taper Crazies

Hello Tuesday! When was the last time I blogged on your day?! It’s been a hot few minutes.

So tapering…it’s supposed to recharge your body from all the pounding on the pavement you’ve been doing and getting your bodacious legs ready to rock and roll! Today’s five miler felt stiff, heavy, and so not what I expected…but here’s what Dr Smurawa from Runner’s World says:

“Tissue repair in the legs during recovery, coupled with the fact that you are storing more carbohydrate and water late in the taper, will make you feel like you do after eating a big meal,” says Dr. Smurawa. In other words, you feel like a slug.

I’m praying my legs feel strong come marathon day. I keep emotionally swinging between “I feel so totally awesome and I’m going to kill this marathon!” to “Oh. my. word. How am I even going to manage running a 8:11 min/mile for 26.2 miles?!?!?!” And today’s short jaunt had me feeling the latter. I know I’ve trained hard, but was it enough?

I found $1 on my run! Going directly to St. Jude. Every dollar counts.

***And hey listen, you guys, I am only $55 shy of meeting my personal St. Jude fundraising goal of $500! If each of my readers gave only $1.00 I’d have it met in a heartbeat. When I found that $1.00 on the ground I took that as a sign. I immediately went home post run and donated more to St. Jude’s!***

As far as my past two week taper here’s a few things that have worked well for me personally:

**As always, please consult a professional running coach, nutritionist, or md for you. I am a certified personal trainer, but not a medical professional. Also, there are no affiliate links. Yes, I am a NUUN ambassador but I am simply sharing the brand love here because I believe in their company and like their product.

Products I use (throughout training as well):

IMG_3006

  • CheriBundi – a tart cherry juice that reduces inflammation naturally. I swear by it!! I haven’t taken a single IBU for marathon training this season. period.

    nuunstjudegiveaway

    want to try NUUN for FREE? Enter the contest HERE!!

  • NUUN hydration!!! Restock your electrolytes without all the added sugar or chemicals. Founded by an athlete himself an avid cyclist, student, and professor from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

    IMG_3141

    don’t mind the ugly runner feet…

  • Menthol lotion. Tingling. Refreshing. It’s like a liquid massage for your feet and legs.
  • IMG_3551 OOFOS recovery footwear for post run footsies. I used to wear traditional flip flops post run but they always ended up hurting my feet. But these….these are sooo nice. It feels like a constant massage to your arch. Well worth the money spent.

Practices:

  • For post long or hard runs: Ice bath draw a super cold bath add a little ice. Super uncomfortable but awesome post. Try getting in with a hat and gloves and a warm drink to make it more bearable.
  • Massage. nuff said. I can’t afford a legit massage but my hubby makes an excellent masseuse. 😉
  • Don’t stress. Try lots of prayer, yoga, and/or mediation.
  • Know your body. Rest when needed. Get enough sleep!
  • Don’t just stop all workouts and running. bad idea. Keep your workouts but reduce intensity and overall mileage. For more tempting “taper traps” read THIS Runner’s World article.
  • Now is not the time to squeeze in any MORE than scheduled last minute runs or workouts. What’s done is done.
  • Take recovery runs as they are: recovery. This means sloooooow. If your tempo pace is a 7:30 then a 7:40 is NOT a recovery pace. Try 8:30 or even slower. I’m guilty. This does not make you a slow runner. I promise.
  • Add a few pick ups during your easy runs to keep your legs poppin’ and fresh (a local running coach gave me this advice and I like they way he phrased it. Bill is the man!) but definitely keep the mileage reduced. Adding a few pick ups will help you feel like you are shaking off any “rust”.
  • Legs up the wall. Lie with your booty close to the wall and run your legs up and just lay there for at least 5 minutes…this is actually a great daily practice for those of you who work on your feet everyday.
  • Take the extra time to catch up on reading other blogs, like these cool girls from all places and paces:
  • Do NOT diet. Now is not the time. Maybe just don’t weigh yourself at all. You may feel as though you’re gaining unnecessary weight, but what you’re gaining is water retention and necessary fuel for a long 26.2 freaking miles. DO NOT starve yourself now (or every really). Having a full gas tank, so to speak, is much more important than a few pounds on race day. For more on the art of the taper check out this Competitor article HERE. From their site:

Some runners feel that they are gaining unneeded weight, and although this is usually mental, you actually should go into the marathon a few pounds heavier than you’re accustomed to being, especially if you’re a higher-mileage type who spends much of a training cycle in a state of partial or pronounced glycogen depletion. Glycogen storage requires significant water retention, so if you’re a few pounds up, you very likely have achieved a state of proper hydration, not packed on unwanted body mass.

And this is how I’ve been feeling every single day during the taper:

thanks H for sharing this on Facebook! I can not wait for my bacon cheeseburger post race!!!!!

In a vain effort to be healthy I’ve been eating rabbit food like arugula and drinking beet juice on top of my carb loading game plan. They say, you know the infamous ‘they’ of the interwebs, these foods are full of nitrates that they aid in maximal oxygen uptake. I’m game. I’ve never eaten a beet in my life or drank the juice. But I must admit, I kinda dig it. Get it? Beets are roots…you have to dig them up…yeah. anyway. I need to get this marathon ran!! I’m starting to get stupid.

“On average, the subjects were able to run for 7.6 minutes at high intensity after six days of drinking nitrate-depleted beetroot juice. But after six days on regular beetroot juice they lasted 8.7 minutes.” Read more HERE 

Last but not least, I wanted to send a HUGE congrats to all who ran Boston yesterday! What an incredibly inspiring race!!

How do you keep busy during the taper and week before a race? Any additional tips for the week before the marathon? Do you drink beet juice? I actually kinda like the stuff…tastes like dirt. 

blessed and beautiful running.

jesssig

Advertisements

5 Spring Favs, OOFOS Recovery Footwear, + a Miracle

Spriiiiiiiing! Yes! It’s here! And our weather has been shaping up nicely. I think the winter weather is behind us. This is how I feel about it: RUN. Running in the spring is like a breathe of fresh freedom air. We work hard all winter to enjoy the fruits of our labor. 

Soooooo… I know it’s Saturday Sunday….but y’all probably know how I operate by now… So here’s Friday’s post plus today funzies. 

I’m always excited about the Friday Five link-up hosted by CourtneyCynthia, and Mar. I just have a hard time apparently posting on Friday… Check out their rules and future topics HERE! The BEST way to meet new fabulous bloggers and give you a blog prompt should you find yourself at a write’s block. 

Today’s Friday’s topic is one we have all been anxiously waiting for, Spring!! Good-bye snow, hello pollen! 

Spring is no doubt a beautiful time of year with flowers blooming and gardens flourishing…however all this can really aggravate allergies and asthma symptoms in turn making breathing while running a bit more difficult. Remember, your body needs roughly two weeks of running outdoors to acclimate to any new climate changes. So give yourself the time your body needs. For additional tips and reading check out PopSugar’s article HERE and Active tips HERE.

Aside from that bit, here are five things I look forward to in spring, especially this spring! 

1.) The kid’s birthday! He will be the big 10! Time flies…

ahhhh. my pride and joy. What a face!!

2.) my husband and I celebrate our first hiking date in May! It will be two years. ❤

3.) Hiking! Waterfalls! Trail running! Picnics! Basically just being outdoors.

4.) Races! Brevard Rotary hosts a White Squirrel 5/10k and kid’s fun run. Come visit us in May.  You will not regret visiting Brevard!

This year we all know I have the Rock n’Roll Country Music Marathon benefiting St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Nashville marathon lined up in April! From the St. Jude’s website:

  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from people like you, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. (That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help!)
  • St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90% by 2020.

I’m hoping and training hard for a solid Boston Qualifying time. I need to run a 3:35:00. I feel like I’ve been putting in all the work I can. But it’s still a daunting and scary task..The closer we get to race day the more I question myself. Can I really pull off an 8:12 min/mile for 26.2 miles??

runner’s mecca…aiming for a BQ so I can run Boston next year!

5.) Last but not least, new beginnings. Easter. Spring is a time of new chances. Fresh starts after a long cold winter.

Winter is always hard for me…but 11 weeks into marathon training feels harder. I’m so grateful for all the positive bloggers who remind me to press on. Like Jen over at Jen Choses Joy posted about no grit, no pearl. Seriously, go read her post here. Her humor and optimism will keep you motivated. Thanks Jen!

Except we are over half way there! You got this!

Okay so for the fun part of today’s post: OOFOS! Have you heard of this recovery shoe footwear? My hubby and I went downtown for a little shoe shopping. I originally went in for a new pair of Mizunos but found these:

oohahh

We found them here Sports Spot in Brevard. The owners are super cool and they hands down beat anyone in price!

 I definitely felt the “oo” after my 22 miler even if I looked like ew.

Salty, sweaty, and done.

I only have one more monster run left in this training cycle!! woohoo!

I plan on a more thorough review on the shoe next week aiming for a Tips and Tricks on rest and recovery post for Tuesday.

One last positive note: This past Saturday I was playing around with the idea of not running long. I just didn’t feel like it. I was exhausted. But as I strapped up and went on I kept thinking about my IRun4 buddy…I prayed for him and his family. He’s been in the hospital since December. So I prayed if there was any was that my running 20 miles would get him out of the hospital and home I would run it. So I ran it. I realize in no logical way my act of physically running could rescue him but if I knew it could, then I would run it in a heartbeat. So I pushed through and just kept running.

And you know what?

That very same day he was sent HOME!!! It was a miracle in my eyes. If you don’t run for #IRun4 I strongly suggest you sign up. Your life will be forever changed.

What’s your favorite thing about Spring?
Do you have any Spring races lined up?
Is it hard for you not to second guess your training?
Do you shop local?

Blessed and beautiful running. 

jesssig