The Hay is in the Barn

I heard that expression last year when people were talking about the tapering time before the WDW marathon and how you must trust your training to help you get over the mental hurdle of the downtime you have before the event.  I was anxious about this run, but knew I had to use that anxiety to help me through it.

On December 19th I ran my 26.3 mile run per the Jeff Galloway plan. It was a perfect day for it. The temp was around 40 and the sun was out. I changed up the route so that I wasn’t running the exact same route as my 23 mile run. I ran about 5 miles more in Northford before I headed into Wallingford so once I ran the easier area in Wallingford mentally I was remembering how much more I had to go, but in reality I was further along at that point.


I wanted to try using Nuun again for my hydration although I won’t be using it during the marathon.  I chose to use it because it doesn’t have sugar in it.  I thought I needed the sugar to help me with avoiding the wall; but I knew I was going to use Gu and chews so that would do the trick.  I also looked at how much sugar is in a bottle of Gatorade and the 42 grams just scared me away.  Yea I will be burning 2,000 calories, but that doesn’t mean I needed to take in additional sugar.  That’s a lot of sugar.  I am more conscious of the nutritional elements of long distance training after listening to Tara Gidus on the Mickey Miles podcast (episode 124).  So I am making smarter choices with my foods and drinks before, during and after training.  This time I mixed up my Nuun the night before and didn’t seal the lid on the container so that it would lose the fizz over night. I packed 4 gus and some Gu chews and pretzel fish.

I began with a 1:00/0:30 interval for the first 20 miles. Then I switched to 30/30 because my legs were feeling tired. What a difference it was when I switched to the 30/30. I stayed fresh towards the end.  During my 23 mile run I was feeling the fatigue at the end and would run a little walk a little without using an interval, just to get to the end.  So this time I made it a point that I would change my intervals towards the end of the run and see if I could be more consistent.  It worked out well.  I think it was also a factor in my quick recovery.  The days after I did not feel as sore.  In fact I didn’t even feel like I ran 26 miles the next day.  I felt tired in the beginning of my run.  My legs had been more sore in the past week because I had been running several runs on snowy roads which used my muscles in a different way than when the roads are dry.  My friend Shannon told me it is similar to running on the beach.  I totally can see how the two would be similar.  I was feeling it in my quads.  I also think I was a little bit tired of long runs and marathon training.  There does come a point where you start to burn out a little.  I wasn’t dreading it, but didn’t feel as fresh as I did on my 23 mile run.  I had hoped to finish at 5 hours 15 minutes, but instead it was 5 hours 36 minutes.


To aid in my successful recovery, I did what I did last time and made quinoa pasta with broccoli and shrimp for my dinner that night and focused on staying hydrated and using my foam roller and ice that evening.  The next morning I also iced first thing in the morning and needed to roll a little bit, but not much.  I didn’t have runner’s knees this time.  My legs felt strong.

I am pleased with my training this fall and am looking forward to my race in less than 3 weeks away!


One thought on “The Hay is in the Barn

  1. You did awesome!! I listened to the podcast too while doing dishes a week or two ago and learned a lot. I never considered to add up my Gu calories, that could be 200-400 right there! Happy tapering and see you in less than 3 weeks!!!!

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