All’s Well That Ends Well… Pretty Much

Megan Cox and her new friend, Omi Nhin.

Megan Cox and her new friend, Omi Nhin.

By Megan Cox

The race is over. The half-marathon I’ve been training for during the past eight months, ever since I had baby number two, took place this past weekend.

Along with almost 10,000 half-marathon runners, I crossed the finish line. But it wasn’t pretty.

Two weeks ago, I ran an eleven-mile training run under my goal of a nine-minute mile. I was psyched. For the Dallas Half Marathon, I didn’t think I’d achieve the 1:48:01 that I ran in 2007 in the Baltimore Half, but I had high hopes of keeping my time right at two hours.

But life doesn’t always cooperate with our plans, does it?

Everything started out well. My family and I made it from Oklahoma City to my cousin’s house in Frisco, Texas, without any major difficulties. Saturday afternoon, my husband and I had a chance to explore the Dallas Health and Fitness Expo without the kiddos.

We picked up my info package, bib, and the race T-shirt. All was well with the world.

But my life is not happy without some drama. Enter the stomach bug. Something got a hold of me by Saturday evening. I was up several times that night, puking my guts out, and again at four a.m., about an hour before I was to be picked up for the race by a friend of my cousin.

I tried to sip water and eat some bread before I left the house. I pulled out my brave face and put it on. But inside, I was really, really worried.

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Fueling Up! The Perfect Carb-Load

lululemon athletica/flickr.com

By Megan Cox

Three… two… one. Race day is here!

The weather isn’t making any promises, and I’ve been told my ride will be picking me up at 5 a.m. on Sunday day morning, but at the end of that day (and hopefully earlier rather than later), my first race after two pregnancies will be complete.

I’ve got just one more challenge to overcome (well, besides navigating the Health and Fitness Expo at the Dallas Convention Center the day before the race). Yes, my last obstacle is making sure my body is properly fueled for my thirteen miles. And this starts with the perfect fueling plan.

By trolling expert advice on the web, here are some important points I need to consider as I near race day.

  1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just because it’s race week, I shouldn’t drastically change my diet. Moderate amounts of unrefined carbs are the ticket to fueling the body, but increasing too much fiber may cause a runner to spend more time in the Porta Potty than on the course!
  2. Water, water everywhere. Hydration is critical. Avoiding alcohol and high concentrations of caffeine help the body keep hydrated. In fact, I should be drinking more water starting now. But I’ll still need at least one cup of coffee. Between a toddler, baby, and 4:30 a.m. wake up time, I’ll definitely need a kick in the pants!
  3. The early bird gets the worm. Better to carb-load at an early dinner (or even a late lunch). Since I’ll be going to bed when the babies do, I’m not certain how early will be early enough. Can you eat dinner at noon?
  4. Be pro protein. Don’t be hatin’ on protein. A body needs it every day, and the carb-load dinner is no exception. I just need to keep it light and lowfat.
  5. Pasta is always a good idea. Wherever I found information on carb-loading, pasta always seemed to be a good choice. I just don’t want to go sauce or cheese-crazy.

Of course, plenty of other carbs exist that are perfect for the carb-loading dinner, but for this gal, I think I’ll go traditional.

Well, that’s all for now. If you want to hear how things are going on race day, check out my twitter (@teenmobster) for updates about my experience. Hopefully the rain and wind won’t wash or blow me away!!!

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

What’s Your Race Day Checklist?

Raymond Shobe/flickr.com

By Megan Cox

Well, folks, my come-to-Jesus moment is approaching.

In less than a week, I’ll be springing out of the “corral” (Really? This is really what they call the place where they put the runners at the start of the race?) to participate in the Dallas Half-Marathon. This post-pregnancy body is about as ready as it’s going to get.

And I’ll tell you, the last two weeks have been no walk (or even a nice, easy jog) in the park. I’ve been fighting colds (I have my toddler to thank for that, who uses my T-shirt like a tissue when I’m not looking), a sore right foot, and a treadmill on the fritz.

Also, my race day buddy isn’t going to be able to join me on Sunday, and he totally has a great excuse. But I’m sad anyway.

But don’t worry! I am as pumped as this mama of two little ones can be. My nervous energy is already starting to build, and I can’t WAIT to get in that corral.

Neigh! (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.)

Since I haven’t done this race thing in four long years, I think it’s time to make sure I have my ducks in a row. Here are the nine things I need to check and recheck before 8 a.m. Sunday morning.

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