Last, but certainly not least: the final physical preparations for Chicago marathon.

*Strength Sessions – I’ve cut all of these out now except for an occasional light core workout. Instead, I spend a little more time after each run to stretch and roll.

*Diet – Three weeks out, I cut out all alcohol, and two weeks out I try harder to avoid most desserts. I’m a little lax with the dessert thing – if I’m craving chocolate, I’ll have it (otherwise, I go a little crazy after a while :)! I made a healthy version of chocolate chip banana bread on Friday, and that really hit the spot. That may be it until after the race! There’s nothing really special about the timing of this or the fact that I do it… mostly mental, I think.

*Race Weight – I’m where I want to be, healthy, fit, and strong. Thank you, Generation UCAN, for making this almost a non-factor this cycle!

*Race Shoes – I ordered a new pair of T7s last month and have put just enough miles in them to know that they’ll be just as trusty as the last pair. I’d race in the old pair, but they’ve seen a few too many miles, so I know my quads will appreciate the extra cushioning in the new pair.

Can you even tell which shoe was bloodied by the indoor marathon?

*Training – This is it, one week to go! Because of my head cold last week, my training was even lighter than originally written. I actually think that will be a good thing. Right now the legs are feeling really good, to the point where I can actually visualize floating down the marathon course. I know I’m feeling good when I can do that; I’ve found impossible to visualize that feeling/motion when I’m running on heavy legs. Does that make sense? I’ll do one last long run tomorrow (one week out), some striders in the middle of some easy runs, and one last MP effort on Wednesday. I can already tell it’s going to be a fun week!

*Massage – Kaiti at Willow Creek Massage is seeing me twice this week, Monday and Thursday. YAY! Can this happen every week? 🙂

*Chiropractor – I’m going into see Jim (the genius!) once, if not twice next week as well. The second time I was in he continued to do some ART on the muscle, this time while raising my knee up and down. I feel like that really worked and the following run was less painful. I want to be careful with doing too much, though, since his first treatment did bruise (not sure about the second since it was already bruised!). The hip is run-able, especially when I haven’t put in a lot of miles the day before or if I’ve already run once that day. Both of which won’t be happening on Sunday 🙂

Now… for the things I get to do this week!

*Start packing! YAY! I have a handy-dandy packing sheet that I made in Excel so I hopefully won’t forget anything. Except I always do. And YES, I am packing chocolate for post-race celebrations.

*Speaking of packing, I need to figure out what I can and can’t fly with on Spirit Airlines. Ug. They were cheap, I am cheap, so therefore I booked with them. But I’ve been warned… good thing I have a carload of fans coming down that I can give all of my questionable items to!

I actually will have to measure things… sigh.

*Nail down nutrition before and during the race. I’m a little out of sorts here since my previous fueling plan (basically as many gels as I could take in!) has been changed up with the use of UCAN. The company has offered to help me refine a plan, which I’ll take them up on.

*Start my depletion and carb load routine. Wait…that means I move to just protein/fat starting Monday. So – I better enjoy all of the carbohydrates and mixed foods I can tomorrow! Yikes!

*Clip toenails. Ha.

*Keep listening to Dr. Asp’s CD. This one is the BEST that he has created. The first time I listened to it I had tears in my eyes – there was so much power and conviction in his voice :).

Dr. Asp’s CDs have had a very hypnotic effect on me during races before – hoping 3rd time is a charm! Mind over matter!

*Print course maps, flight info, etc.

*Figure out how to get to/from the airport. Anyone available Thursday and Sunday evening? 🙂

*Kennel Mesa. Sad day. I’m sure they’ll provide her with runner tracking at the kennel, right?

Just because it makes me smile every time I see it. I’ll miss ya, pup!

*Relax, smile, and believe in what I’ve done and what I’m about to do!

What am I forgetting to do? Pack? Think? 🙂 This should lead to some fun comments (wittiest comment award goes to…).

Oh, and Steve Q., if you still read this, I have to ask you for a prediction. The only other times I have have been Grandma’s and the Trials… so it just seems like the right thing to do. I know you don’t have much (any?) real data to go off (so this is just customary)… and don’t feel obliged to post something fast!

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  1. Best of luck! I'm traveling wed-fir, but if you need a ride on Sunday we could help. Also, if Mesa needs a contact number, we could be of assistance. Sending you all of the speedy vibes!

    1. You are so so sweet!! I'm sure we can find someone – I don't want you driving to Northfield and back! Although, it would be fun to hear about how things are going for you and Mini, running, etc. 🙂 Thanks for the speedy vibes – you have been the best cheerleader/supporter!!!

  2. Don't forget Body Glide (if you use it) or chargers for any electronic things! 'I love the toe nail clipping… it seems so minuscule but is important none the less! Oh Mesa. I know how you feel… I always get sad having to leave Riley. You better believe in all the work you put in! Your heart and dedication is the real deal. I think that's why you are such an inspiration to me 🙂

  3. Depends what airport you are flying into..O'Hare or Midway. Blue Line from O'Hare and orange line from Midway will get you downtown

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