“The waiting is the hardest part.”

Tom Petty.

Another running post, naturally, as I near the big day: April 27 and the Big Sur International Marathon. This will be my second crack at the 26.2 distance. So what’s cooking for April? Well, of course there is a chunk of running involved, but I’m also trying hard to focus on some of the peripheral but crucial components of training:

1. Nutrition

breakfast toast egg kale avocado

breakfast must include tabasco sauce.

Balanced Eating. What a nice thought. This is by far the most difficult ambition, as I’m prone to intense bouts of marathon munchies and cookie cravings and lust for pizza.

I’ve approached this this from so many angles. Eat a bigger breakfast/eat a smaller breakfast. Several small meals/3 square and no snacking. Count calories/eat intuitively. The fact is that healthy eating requires a kind of extra discipline that simply put is just not fun. But keeping a true pencil-and-paper food diary seems to be most reliable for me, along with some periodic myfitnesspal calculations to make sure that my macros are in check. 


healthy days but sadly devoid of pizza.

2. #yogaeverydamnday

Consistent practice has been so beneficial in this training cycle. As a result of yoga and weight-lifting I’m stronger, faster, and more focused than ever before. My fitness regimen feels wonderfully holistic — intensive endeavors like running and regular vinayasa classes balanced with casual activities like commuting by bike and taking extra long, hilly walks with Darwin.

But even so, I’m sadly not very religious about an old-fashioned post-run stretch. With increasing weekend mileage, followed by eight-plus hours sitting on my ass at work, even just 15 minutes of daily yoga does wonders to keep things loosey-goosey. I love yogaglo.com for making it super easy to find a sequence that suits my needs — from an invigorating morning practice to a simple hamstring/hip stretch before bed.

3. Soak

I firmly believe that a classic warm bath will cure most common ailments. Including and especially sore legs. Epsom salts + essential oils = boom. That said…

4. More Ice

ice bag coconut water

they love me at the local corner store.

A hot, bubbly soak is delicious, but there are days when a bathtub full of ice is the responsible choice. I pretty much have this down to a science. Base layer, sweatshirt, down vest, fleece beanie, bikini bottoms, hot tea, and an ipad — but I still need a pair of these:

booties surfing

feet freeze sucks.


5. Massage

A double-edge sword.

Christine at Deep Massage = good ($10 off for marathoners and triathletes this month!)

Foam roller = bad

pure terror.

I can’t believe it’s almost time to taper, but I guess that’s what happens when you begin training a month late. I’m getting squirrely already. Will my minimalist approach to be enough to keep me smiling to Carmel?

Apart from submitting to the will of your prescribed mileage, what do you do to prepare in the weeks before a big race? Any thoughts would be appreciated!


2 thoughts on ““The waiting is the hardest part.”

  1. Great list — your nutrition is impressive! I’ve been on a nut kick lately – snacking on trail mix like it’s my job. The only thing I’d add to your list is mental prep. I find a combo of self-affirmation, visualization, goal setting, and planning (plan A, plan B, etc.) to be useful. And also to remember that it’s “just” a race, not the end all, be all.

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