Marathon Checklist

25 04 2012

It’s Marathon Week!!! EEEKKK! I can’t believe it is T minus 4 days til my marathon!

I figured I’d share with you a few of my marathon essentials (and sort of use this post as a way to double check that I’ve got everything packed!)

1) Running Shoes

I have been a Mizuno’s gal since I started running tris in 2008. I’ve got super narrow feet and these seem to work the best for me.

I bought this pair about a month ago so I’d have enough time to break them in before Nashville.

2) Running Clothes

The weather for this weekend is looking pretty stellar:

(I just hope it doesn’t hit 82 ’til later in the day!)

So I decided to go with my Nike Tempo Shorts that I wore at the Rock N Roll USA Half, and I’m my Lululemon tank. I’ll probably bring an old long sleeve tee to keep me warm at the start, and then dump it along the way. Look for me in something really similar to this:

(just pretend that tee is a tank!)

I found these shorts at Ross and I thought they would be perfect for a race on St. Patty’s day. I actually really love ’em, and they make me stand out in the crowd.

As for the tank, I couldn’t find a picture of it on the Lululemon site, so I’m not sure if they make it anymore 😦 It’s really comfortable, has elastic on the bottom so it doesn’t ride up, and it has a pocket with a zipper on the back!

3) Nathan’s Quick Draw Hand Held Water Bottle

Mine’s hot pink, and I’ve been using it for pretty much my entire training. I really love this thing. Yeah, it a little heavy when it’s full, but it didn’t take long for me to get used to it.

4) My Garmin 405 CX 

I got this as a Christmas present and now I never go for a run without it!

5) SpiBelt

I bought a SpiBelt at the Gasparilla race expo. I had been running with my iPhone in my hand since the day I got my phone. Yes, I know, weird/stupid. I know I could have bought an arm band, but I just thought it would be too bulky. I decided that holding it in my hand wasn’t too bad.  At the time, I was also using my phone to track my pace and distance, so I could deal. However, when you’ve got one hand holding a water bottle and one hand holding an iPhone, it gets really awkward. Since I didn’t want to give in and buy an armband, I figured a SpiBelt would be a great solution. And, I love it! The phone fits perfectly and I can still run the earphones through the small opening at the end of the zipper. It stays put and doesn’t rub. WIN!

6) Nutrition

I certainly want to make sure that I have enough energy to get me through the race, and I want to try to prevent headaches so I’m bringing some peanut butter Gu, some vanilla AcellGel (which I just got in the mail!), some Acellerade Powder (which I also just got!) and some salt tabs. Anyone know if I need to pack my gels in with my liquids? 😉

(Yes, I was so excited that I opened the package in the car.)

And, because I’m really picky about my peanut butter, I’m bringing a few packets of Justin’s to spread on toast on race morning.

8) Aquaphor

Instead of Body Glide, I’ve started using Aquaphor. I think it works just as well, and I can put it on my lips if they are chapped.

9) Hat and Sunglasses

I  just got this new hat at the IronGril Expo. I have a TINY head (I can wear kid’s hats), so finding a hat that fits me is always a challenge. I bought the hot pink one that you’ve seen on me in pictures:

But I hate the way it fits my head. I bought it back when I did my first tri so that my parents could pick me out on the run. Not sure it it helped, but it helps block the sun and soaks up a little bit of the sweat.

It’s probably not smart to use a new piece of gear for the marathon, but I don’t think it will be a problem.

I’ve had those sunglasses for a VERY long time. They’re polarized sunglasses I got at a surf shop in New Jersey when I was still guarding. A small head makes it hard for me to find sunglasses too, but this pair of Bolle glasses gets the job done!

10) Sunscreen

I use the Sport line of Neutrogena. I actually just grabbed a new bottle this week, since it was on sale at CVS!

I think that’s it! Now time to pack! Anything else I’m missing?

Question of the day: What are your running essentials?





{Guest Post} Crazy Sleep Patterns: Is 8 Hours Really Necessary?

25 08 2011

Hello 321delish readers. Today we have a special guest post from Jason Bahamundi, a successful runner and triathlete, Ironman in the making and one of the most knowledgeable individuals I know regarding endurance sports and nutrition.

He blogs over at Cook Train Eat Race and we are excited to have him make a guest appearance on 321delish today.

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Sleep…Is 8 Hours Really Necessary?

Before I delve into the topic of sleep and more specifically sleep for the endurance athlete I want to thank Chloe for asking me to write this guest post.  I am truly honored to be featured on 321Delish.com as both Steph and Chloe are terrific people who put out great information. So now…onto my post!

Is 8 hours really necessary?  Maybe more or maybe less?  Why am I even approaching this topic you might be asking yourself, so let me give you a little bit of background about me.

I take my training and racing seriously.  I am focused on becoming a better triathlete on a daily basis and it was through this that I started to wake up at 3am to eat breakfast and drink some coffee then fall back asleep for an hour prior to training around 5am.

When I talk about the 3am wake up call I typically get a response of:  You are crazy! (You’re thinking the same thing right now aren’t you?)  Or the other response I get and typically through Twitter is:  Do you EVER sleep? (Yes, I do and I sleep as much as the next person I just have a different pattern.)

My patter consists of resting (and I mean purely resting on the couch) starting around 8pm and not moving.  My body is in a state of relaxation and is recovering from the morning workout and day full of work activities.  I get in bed by 9pm and begin to fall asleep around 930p (If I haven’t fallen asleep on the couch already – told you I am in a state of complete relaxation.)  I then wake up at 3am and eat, drink and tweet and fall back asleep between 330a and 345a.  I then wake up at 445a and am out the door to start my training by 5a.

So you can see from this scenario that I sleep anywhere from 7 hours to 8 hours, I just don’t get it the way most people do and I bet that I probably get more than most people.

I have read articles from back in 2007 that there was no direct study linking sleep to athletic performance but just extrapolations.  Obviously this would do us no good because you cannot extrapolate the damage that an endurance athlete does to their body during their training cycle compared to the average person who is exercising for 5-6 hours and probably not at the intensity level of marathon or triathlon training.

Since 2007 there have been other studies done and the most recent one I found included testing young males (18-27) based on three different sleep cycles.  They were asked to sleep for 8 hours in one week, then 4 hours in another and finally 12 hours in another.  The 4 hours was the sleep deprivation cycle and was used to compare against the other two cycles.

The interesting part of this study, for me, is that the sleep deprivation was linked to metabolizing glucose less efficiently in addition to the fact that levels of cortisol were higher.

The glucose levels for the group were no longer normal during the sleep deprivation week and resembled those found in the elderly.  Since we know that glucose and glycogen (stored glucose) are the energy sources behind the ability of an endurance athlete to perform one can conclude that getting enough sleep is very important.

What the study doesn’t address is how much sleep is enough?  I don’t know that getting 8 hours is perfect but I do know that getting 4 hours is not enough and not just because of the glycogen stores, but because your mind is not in the game.

You have a tendency to lose focus with sleep deprivation and this is caused by the increase in cortisol.  If your mind is not focused then the task at hand is going to be more and more difficult to perform.  Think about your best race and how well you slept the night before and think about your worst race and how you slept the night before.

I am comfortable with the amount of sleep that I get because I very rarely feel tired during the day and so for me my schedule works.  You may need 8 or 10 or 12 hours of sleep to get your performance to be at its peak.  Just like eating and training there are going to be different responses for everybody but there are rules of thumb and I will go out on a limb and say you should sleep more than 4 hours per night.

Question of the Day: How much sleep do you get?  Do you nap?  Do you feel more hungry on days when you do not sleep well?