Carb-Loading; Not What it’s Cracked Up to BE!

bread

So, Carb loading….

It was supposed to be magical.  I imagined awesome days, filled with pastas, breads and so much wonderful CARBS….

It’s not as fun as I thought.  Why, you may ask?  Well, obviously, carbs are the “fun” food group that helps to curb our deepest cravings and satisfy the hormonal shifts that tend to make us cranky and short on energy.  It’s supposed to make us feel all cozy and happy and FULL…

Well, apparently, eating carbs pre-marathon means JUST carbs.  No fats and no proteins with it.

screeeeech….Excuse me???  What does that leave me with?

Here’s the food list that I was “enjoying” (but not really that much) the 2 days before my race:

*plain “white” pasta (blech!! I don’t eat “white” anymore!! and here I had to break my clean eating for plain white pasta)

*plain white bagels

*oatmeal (probably the best choice of all!)

*plain white potatoes

*bananas/apples

*lots and lots and lots of water (kind of the complete opposite of my bikini comp pre-week “Peak Week”)

Oh, sure, you’re most likely rolling your eyes and thinking that Kathy has NO reason to complain about that amazing list of foods…but really??? Who wants to eat plain everything?  I want my peanut butter or avocado atop my bagels and toasts.  I like to have some veggie omelet scramble and protein pancakes for some of my “fun” breakfasts…

In any case, (and all of my silly complaining aside) it DID help!  I ate as plain as possible the 2 days before and drank at least 4 liters of water each day (hello, where is your restroom???) and had so much energy to spare!! I think some of the pre-race crazy excitement may be solely blamed on this meal plan.

For the day of the race, I woke up at 3am (it is NOT morning yet!!) and drank my coffee (cuz that’s what I do every other morning) and ate my oatmeal with banana and almond milk.  I took bananas and snacks and more water with me to have again about an hour before the race.

The actual race plan was to drink water or electrolytes at every water station on my run.  (I dehydrate easy due to how much I sweat…wanna bet??? I’ll totally win!)  I brought 8 packets of “gu” (again, it’s what I had been using on all of my long training runs for the previous 16 weeks so no way I’d change that up now!) and burned a playlist to my iphone, wisely titled “Marathon”…(I know, I come up with some good ones!)

We arrived and parked early enough to be relaxed and walk the area in the still-dark-morning!  Ben (hubby) stated that he would accompany us to the marathon; although I “warned” him he’d be waiting for over 4 hours for us to run!  (I think he was worried I’d collapse from exhaustion since he cannot wrap his mind around 26.2 miles…but neither can I so I am happy he came!)  He had to put up with crazy energy from both Grace and myself.  We met with a few other runner “friends” took pics and shared our excitement with each other.

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We visited the restrooms more than once.

Then, it was time.  We headed out to our section to start; amongst the crowds in the dark and cold beachy morning.

I heard the first group begin; I became a bit more excited with anticipation.

Then the second group went out; Grace was amongst this group and I yelled out to her, “Go, Grace!!”

Finally, it was our turn to run (there were 6 or 7 groups, I think) and I remember being filled with an overwhelming emotion of pride, gratitude, nerves, calm and everything in between.  I felt almost as though I was bawling my eyes out; but not really crying at all.  It was a rush of all the past 4 months of training and planning and doubts…

Then we passed a man standing on a ladder.  He was holding a sign that said “You are almost there” and then he turned his sign around and it read “just 26 miles left!”….

Apparently, 0.2 miles were officially done.  The woman running alongside of me, turned to me and said, “should we kill him now?”

and so it began….

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