It is time for me to spill the beans about my big running goals. If I post it on the internet then there is no taking it back!
I’ve been open about training for an October 2020 marathon. I want to run faster than my first marathon and finish under 3 hours 30 minutes. However, this isn’t the finish line that my big goal is focused on.
4 Year Plan
The real finish to my running goal is to go sub 3 hours and PR again to qualify to run in the Canadian Olympic Marathon Trials in fall 2023. If I work my hardest, wear the fastest shoes, and have perfect conditions then I may have what it takes to qualify.
I know my own abilities and I’m comfortable admitting that I do not have what it takes in talent or work ethic to run a 2:22 marathon and move on to the Olympics. My goal ends at the Trials.
If you’re like me and just watched the USA Olympic Marathon Trials, I should note Canada follows a different format. Canada typically uses its national marathon championships as its Olympic trials, but full team selection not guaranteed and is time based.
Making this Goal
When I made this goal it was a 4 year plan. I talked to my family about it and made sure I had their support to pursue this goal. A goal this size requires a lot of hard work and has major time commitments. I am grateful that most of my weekday runs occur after my children have gone to bed so I don’t loose time with them. I also have the benefit of a gym at work where I can focus on strength training and stretching at lunch. As for weekends, I try to run early in the morning so I arrive home during or soon after breakfast is finished.
I have spreadsheets that go until October 2023 with races plotted in along the way.
Yearly goals for race distances of 5k, 10k, half, and full marathons will enable me to track my progress and stay motivated.
My Marathoning Mantra
The mantra I created for this goal is ambitious goals with fierce determination. On days I’m tired or would rather eat ice cream than go run, I think about how strong I want to feel in 4 years when I crush this goal.
Budgeting the Marathon Goal
I have crunched the numbers and this is going to be a costly goal. For this year, I’ll incur approximately $500 in race fees and $1000 in running shoes. Travel expenses for my 2020 marathon will be modest at $500. I choose a local race to minimize travel time, which can be stressful with kids. My marathon will only require a ferry and one night in a hotel. After adding it up, the 2020 expenses are equal to a trip to Disneyland. Still worth it in my opinion!
I hope you’ll join me, a mom of two little girls, as I train, race, and ramble on about running.
Do you have an ambitious goal that you’re working towards with fierce determination? Let me know about it in the comments.
For those of you reading this (aka my grandma), I thought it was time I confessed and came clean about something you probably suspected all along. I suck at being a mom blogger. I don’t need to sugar-coat it or pretend it isn’t true. I suck and I’m ok with that.
Just so we’re clear, I’ve written this lightheartedly and it is in no way vengeful to the amazing mom bloggers out there.
I’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 reasons why I suck at being a mom blogger:
I took too long to finally find my niche.
I don’t enjoy the behind the scenes shit.
I lack photography skills.
I don’t want to monetize my blog.
I have bad eyebrows.
I think we’re all passed the “I’m-not-your-cookie-cutter-mom-blogger” niche. We get it, you’re still a bad ass mom that drops F-bombs or you’re the other side of the spectrum and you love Disney more than me, pack the perfect kids bento lunch, and sing in your church choir. We’re all moms trying to do our best, love our kids, and still have our own identity as we balance all that life has to throw at us. While embarrassing to admit, I thought I was special when I started blogging – could there ever have been a Disney loving, Fraser Valley dwelling, recipe creating, career advancing mom like me in the blogosphere? Yes, there’s 14 of them and the 1 with cuter kids lives in my own neighbourhood… that was a surprise!
I Took Too Long to Finally Find my Niche
I started this blog because I loved Disney vacations more than a woman in her 30s probably should. I’d commute to work listening to Podcasts about what was happening in Disneyland and Disneyworld so I was always aware of what new parade was coming or what festival was up next. I had a passion and I felt an online community was where I could communicate with other like minded Disnerds. I dreamed of being invited to a highly coveted Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.
My passions have shifted and now I’m running and training for a marathon. Running makes me happy and Disney World, with my fam, is my happy place. That’s my jam. You can’t take the Mouse out of Mouse House Mom. I’m a mother runner and that’s what this blog ought to be about.
I Don’t Enjoy the Behind the Scenes Shit
Soon after I started the blog, I became pregnant with my second daughter and lacked the energy to sustain weekly blog posts. It was also discouraging as I learned about search engine optimization and viewed my own websites stats. Every blog post I write is rated with a red, yellow, or green light based on my sentence structure, active versus passive voice, word usage, paragraph length, heading usage, etc.
I joined Facebook groups for fellow mom bloggers and instead of finding a community, I found more work. There’s a thing in the blogger community where you join a Facebook thread with specific actions. For instance, a post is created and you comment on it with a link to one of your blog posts or social media links and everyone that joins the post reciprocates the sharing or liking of each other’s links. Some posts would have 5 people participating while others would have 30. It is a lot of work resharing people’s content and I never wanted to ruin their stats so I’d read the blog post and stay on their website long enough that they wouldn’t get a bad bounce rate because of me.
To me, this isn’t genuine and participating in these threads never really helped my stats. I also found it stressful – waiting and wondering why Jayne from Arkansas wasn’t retweeting my post when she had committed to do so. To be honest, I only found a handful of people I connected with and I continue to view and share their content.
More recently, I’ve landed in a Facebook group that consists of other parent bloggers in my region and it’s been good to make connections. For the heck of it, I’ll share this post in that group.
I want organic growth of my blog, not like for like, my hubby has a different term for the inorganic scheme, but since my mom and grandma are devoted readers I won’t repeat it.
I Lack Photography Skills
I am not into photography. I have that personality that makes me want to be in photos and not be taking them. Mouse House Dad loves me a lot and will take my photos for me when asked, but it’s not something he enjoys doing according to the unimpressed look on his face. I also find when I do something that is “Instagrammable” I’m usually caught up in the moment and don’t take photos. I’ve thrown some great dinner parties where no photos of the amazing food spread were taken.
I have started to use filters and after my neighbours snickered about how I was becoming orange in my posts, I tried to find better filters. Yes, this is still a work in progress.
I Don’t Want to Monetize My Blog
I have a career and I have no need to supplement my income with a side hustle. Aside from paying for my website, I’m not incurring costs by blogging. I have received some perks because of the blog, but I can count those on 1 hand. Financial motivation can really help a person succeed and without that motivation, I’ll continue to suck.
While I’m not out to make money, I am still open to collaborations. Disney, Greater Vancouver Zoo, Royal Victoria Marathon, Tesla, West Jet, running shoe companies – call me! *insert winky face emoji*
I Have Bad Eyebrows
Who knew on fleek eyebrows were a demand of the mom blog community!?! If you’re not rocking henna, microbladed, or powdered brows are you even allowed to call yourself a mom blogger? The answer is no.
I have no desire to mess with these brows of mine because those treatments scare the shit out of me. I’m not judging you for doing it, but I went down the rabbit hole online of viewing microblading gone bad, I’ll never get the courage to try it! My brow upkeep is occasional tweezing when it should probably be weekly tweezing. The ends of my brows are over-tweezed thanks to starting high school in the 90s. Then the opposite end is minutes away from entering unibrow territory.
While my eyebrows suck (like my blogging), I do have pretty awesome balayage hair. I survived post partum hair loss by splurging on my hair with balayage. Blogging and balayage go together like avocado and toast.
Since I just admitted my faults and acknowledged that I suck as a blogger, I should probably address what’s next. I still want a creative outlet to share my goals, my passions, my successes and my failures. I am training for a marathon in October 2020, but that’s only the start of my BIG goal.
If you ever come back to my blog, I hope you’ll be able to read about my running, fueling for running, balancing long runs with little kids, and other fun running related topics. I might not be posting any new Disney vacation tips or top ten lists for how to get your kids ready faster before work, but hopefully you can find that from another amazing mom blogger with better eyebrows than I’ll ever have.
Leave me a comment and let me know what content you want to read about in a future Mouse House Mom blog post.
Last month I etched my future running goals in stone [2020 marathon!!]. Now I’m re-thinking how I want to achieve my goals. I had assumed that after two pregnancies, my competitive running days were done. I thought I would never again set a new personal record in any race distance.
What I have learned this past year is that I am stronger than ever. I have finally figured out my nutrition and lost the few extra pounds that had been hanging out around my midsection for most of the 21st century. I am focused and ready to take on a challenge and push my limits.
The Little One that Runs
Did you know that I started a running program in grade 2 in order to enter a single cross country race against grade 4 and 5 kids? I wanted to be a runner since then and from grade 2 to grade 11, I was constantly in training mode. In my grade 6 public speaking competition I spoke about my love for running and said, “I used to run for fun, but now I run competitively.” That line cracks me up since it was written by an 11 year old!
I had a gift for running and I used it. By the time I was 15 I was getting confused as my body was changing and my times were plateauing. It was really difficult physically and mentally to go through intense training schedules without yielding results. The day I sought permission from myself and others to quit competitive running was a life changing day. It was March 2, 2001 and while driving to a friend’s house a big red Dodge truck ran a stop sign and smashed up my vehicle. I was taken to hospital and x-rayed all over and was extremely fortunate that my injuries weren’t more severe. A fractured pelvis was enough to end my high school running days. I limped away from the sport I had devoted most of my life to and found new interests.
My Next Chapter
If you met me in university you probably didn’t even know I was once a runner. After I graduated from university and found a job that numbed my brain, I was looking to pursue a hobby. My mom suggested we run a half marathon together and since I’d never run that far I decided to give it a shot. During this training we discovered the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Fran – the one with Tiffany necklaces for finisher’s medals – and we registered. I did my first half in February and another half with a group of friends and a “really nice guy” [aka my future boyfriend/husband] in June. Then 4 months later I ran my first marathon. I finished in exactly 4 hours and not the highly coveted 3:59. I assumed my speed was gone or it didn’t transfer to half marathon and above distances.
My race times didn’t bother me since I was reunited with my love of running. I ran for fun and never pushed myself in my training over the past decade.
Reigniting My Fire
I blame my mother for reigniting my competitive side. She offered to pick me up for a 5k race this summer and I went along according to her plan. Turns out she mixed up the race’s start time. As we walked up to the race we noticed runners already on the course. The timing officials told us to start and our chips would give us our time so we did.
The race had begun 6 minutes earlier and we jumped right in. Starting a race late is ridiculously motivating – you probably won’t get passed by ANYONE. I just pushed hard and started to catch people and then catch some more people. I overheard some women say “she must have been in the washroom at the start” which made me laugh. This was not a gastro-intestinal issue, it was a listening to my mother issue! I ended up finishing the race in 22 minutes according to my watch. I hadn’t run a time like that in years.
This result made me alter my training plan for my half marathon in September. I added 4 new speed workouts to my training. That’s it, just 4 extra workouts over the course of a month. This resulted in me improving my half marathon time by 9 minutes from 4 months earlier! Next up was a 10km race where I was able to squeeze in 2 more speed workouts before race day. I improved my 10km time to 45 minutes. This is only 2 minutes slower than a time I’d run in high school.
In addition to feeling strong, I am encouraged by the fact my average heart rate keeps DROPPING with each race I’ve run this year. I’m excited and I want to train hard and push myself to be my best.
Inspiration and the Runner’s High
If you look at Canada’s top female distance runner’s like Natasha Wodak and Lyndsay Tessier – both of them masters runners and are in their prime.
I never liked how I walked away from the sport of running. I’ve always felt like my legs still had some speed left in them.
Even a couple weeks after my little race victory I’m still coasting on my runner’s high. I’ve got some big goals in the works that I’ll share with you next week.
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for reading about my running history and how I’m ready to get back to the start line again. I think this will help you understand some of the bigger goals that I’m going to be striving for in the years ahead.
Let me know your thoughts on running in the comments below. Is it fun, torture, or just a warm up at the gym to you?
2019 still has a few months to go, but I’m looking into the future at my next running goals… to infinity and beyond!
In my last post I shared that I was contemplating a marathon. This would be my second marathon and I’d be running it with the goal of improving my time. Ideally I’d want 3:45, but I’d also be happy with a time of 3:58 just so I could have the fastest marathon time in my household. Yeah, I’m competitive like that.
Today I’m sharing my future goals that took careful consideration and have been made with the support of my family.
This isn’t my typical blog post – it won’t help you or guide you through any running or parenting adventure. It’s all about me! Hopefully by sharing this you can get to know me a bit better.
I WILL run a Thanksgiving marathon in 2020. This gives me 13 months to prepare.
I WILL run Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge in January 2021.
This challenge is hosted by Walt Disney World and occurs over a weekend with a half marathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday.
63.3 Kilometers in a Weekend…Why?
If you’ve read any of my RunDisney Race Reports [Tinker Bell or Princess], you will know that I don’t run in Disney for personal best times. I run for the experience and fun photo ops.
While I still need to respect the distance and put in the training for this ridiculous challenge, I won’t have to focus on speed training and time goals. I run because I love running and I think this no expectation, no limitation approach to this race weekend will be fun.
I also suffer from FOMO and if I “only” ran the marathon I’d feel like I missed out on the fun of a challenge. My FOMO isn’t so bad that I would ever consider the Dopey Challenge which adds a 5km and 10km race in the days before the the other two races.
Why 2 Marathons So Close?
If I’m going to run hundreds of miles in training, I would be bummed out not testing out my legs to see just how fast they could carry me over the finish line. Running a marathon in October allows me to build up my mileage, test out my speed on race day, and then *hopefully* coast through the miles of training until the Goofy.
My previous marathon was late October and that winter was amazing for snowboarding. I had stamina and endurance and it was fun putting my marathon training to good use. I’m hoping to do that again, but apply it to another marathon.
I’m Beyond Excited
A family friend mentioned they were thinking of running the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2021 and I immediately latched on to this possibility.
Running the WDW Marathon has always been on my to-do list and the timing really works for me. I’m back to running some of my faster pre-pregnancy race times and I feel strong. I’m up for the challenge. It also doesn’t hurt that my baby will be 2 years old on race day, which is still FREE in Disney World.
My mom and my mother-in-law are thinking about doing the half marathon. My oldest would be able to run the 5km and has already asked her “bestie” [my dad] to run it with her.
I’m one of those crazy plan ahead people. For BIG goals, I like to have details worked out months (ok, it is really years) in advance. For the past month, I’ve been contemplating running a marathon.
A marathon is a huge commitment as a runner and as a parent. I completed my first marathon in 2007 and even though I puked my guts from mile 11 until the finish, I still told anyone who would listen that it was the best day of my life.Life was different in 2007. I was single, living in a trendy downtown neighbourhood, and had landed my career job. Life was good. I could be selfish in my training because nobody was relying on me for anything. Now there are a lot of factors to consider in taking on another marathon.
Are you ready for a marathon? If 42.2 kilometres sounds like fun to you, you should also consider:
Personal health and current stamina
A marathon requires an intense 3 month time commitment. More time would be required if you aren’t up to 15km long runs at the start of the 3 months. There is never a perfect time to train for a marathon, but if you make it a priority then you can do it!
If your family isn’t 100% supportive of your decision to run a marathon, then don’t do it. Aside from the 3 to 4 hour runs that you’ll need to complete, you are also going to be tired, sore, and dare I say more irritable.
I always try and complete my runs before my daughter’s Saturday morning sports. To continue this, I’ll need to find something that doesn’t start at 8am. And now with two kids, this will be more difficult. Luckily swimming lessons start as late at 11am in the morning. I also check sunrise charts and plan the earliest time possible that I can run. I’ve even calculated a start time that has me run in the dark, but aligns sunrise to the time I hit the trail portion of my run.
Potential Issue: I can’t expect my husband to handle Saturday morning breakfasts,clean up, and activities when I’m out running AND have him do it again on Sunday morning because I’m tired from the day before that I need more sleep.
Potential Solution: The compromise that would work best for us is that I’d go to bed a bit earlier on Saturday nights to catch up on sleep.
When my mother wanted to do an Ironman Triathlon she had to consider timing and it was best to wait one year until I was a freshman in university since she wanted to be present for all the activities and events that happened in my final year of high school. Know yourself and how involved you want to be or know how much FOMO you suffer from and plan accordingly.
If you tell yourself running is a cheap sport then you’re delirious! Running only requires a pair of running shoes… Oh and don’t forget moisture wicking clothing, double layer socks, Bodyglide to prevent chafing, special water bottle belt, another pair of shoes since you’ll wear out the first pair before the race, a sports bra that costs more than dinner for two at the Keg, recovery electrolyte drinks, the grocery bill from that time you’ll go shopping after a long run and accidentally buy the entire store, race entry fee, hotel for the race, the kiddie pool you splurge on out of guilt for not spending enough time with the kids, 8 bags of ice for when you realize you can hijack the kiddie pool for your long run recovery ice bath….etc.
If you are thinking of a fall marathon then you’ll be completing some of your long runs (3+ hours) over summer. If you’re planing a vacation you also need to consider how you will complete your long run. I’d say live a little and miss a weekday run, but those long runs are not to be messed with.
Potential Issue: Your family trip to Europe occurs during marathon training.
Potential Solution: Look for a half marathon to participate in at your holiday destination. Or can you find a run club that will be running similar distance? Maybe travel with your training partner and map a run where you are visiting. Adjust your dates and vacation over a recovery week when miles are shorter and could be run on a hotel treadmill.
Are you going to be able to find the time to run or are you working 12 hour days in the office? I actually find when I’m super busy at work that I need to get my runs in to keep my sanity. However, this could be a vicious cycle if work and running keep you away from your family. Long work hours can mean more fast food meals, which could impact how you feel in your workouts. This could mean more meal planning in order to eat right, work long hours, and feel good in your runs.
Personal Health and Current Stamina
I personally believe that anyone can run a marathon. However, the journey to that marathon start line will be different for everyone. I wouldn’t undertake a 3 month training plan until I was happy with my 5km and 10km race times. After all, I want to run the next marathon faster than my last. If you have been running through an injury or hoping a tinge in your knee will go away on its own – then maybe get that checked out before fooling yourself into a marathon.
I include current stamina as well because you should be able to run at least 15km comfortably prior to starting your training plan. I would also suggest having run a half marathon in the last year before taking on a marathon. This will prepare you for a build up in training mileage. I like to eliminate “surprises” during training and you start to learn about your body when you increase mileage for a race above 10km. To read more on half marathon training and how I balance it with work and family check out my previous post Balancing Half Marathon Training.
What is the Verdict?
Will you sign up for a marathon or run away screaming less than 42.2km in the opposite direction? I’ve considered these factors and I’m leaning towards YES! I’ve got my spreadsheets out and I’m starting to visualize how I can make this work. Tell me in the comments if you have a marathon or multiple marathons on your bucket list.
5 Tips for Date Night at the Richmond Night Market
I’m not big into “date night”, but a trip to the Richmond Night Market without kids is definitely worth while. My top 5 tips for a fun filled (and belly filled) date night at the Richmond Night Market are:
Know you’re pre-Market options.
Familiarize yourself with food options beforehand (if you’re reading this then you’re on the right track).
Pack baby wipes or napkins.
I’ve also included the Mouse House Mom food suggestions at the bottom of this post.
Know Your Pre-Market Options
My husband and I live about 40 minutes away from Richmond so aiming to leave the house around 6pm would make it awkward for a babysitter (aka the grandparents) to only watch the kids for less than an hour before bedtime. For this date night out, we prefer to have the grandparents over ahead of our kids usual dinner time. This allows us to get to Richmond by 5:15.
I normally only go to Richmond to eat, but it’s also home to Ikea and the McArthur Glen Outlet mall. Both are less than a 5 minute drive from the Richmond Night Market. If housewares or clothes are on your shopping lists then you’ve got options!
Now that I’ve got you to Richmond early, you should aim to arrive at the night market by 6:45pm for a 7pm opening. There are 2 line options for entering the market: regular single pay admission or Express Pass. Even 15 minutes early last Sunday there was already a 45 minute line up. If you remember anything from this post, you need to use the Express Pass – it is a 6 admission card for the same price as 6 admissions! We simply walked towards the regular line, had a vendor try to sell us an Express Pass, then asked two other pairs of people if they wanted to buy in together. Yes, you have to talk to a stranger, but it’s super easy and BAM! you all get to enter through Express. We were inside the night market 3 minutes after it opened and enjoyed the absence of food lines!
For my Disney peeps, using Express Pass is like an extra magic morning rope drop.
At the Richmond Night Market cash is king. ATMs are available but prob best to avoid. Having cash also makes buddying up on the Express Pass with strangers easier.
Some people worry about carrying cash these days, but I felt really safe. We brought $50 and had no prob. If you want to eat more or eat fresh lobster then bring more dolla dolla bills… it’s not rocket science. I found $13 tended to be the price of most items at the food booths.
Familiarize Yourself with Food Options Beforehand
A quick google search or Instagram check will yield you plenty of food suggestions. I read those, but also roamed through looking for foods I like. I was shocked to find the dish I found most delicious wasn’t actually listed in the articles I had read.
By familiarizing yourself you can decide where to go first when the lines are the shortest. A lot of the foods are fried so if you have a sensitive stomach you’ll want to prioritize what foods you want to eat. I really loved Korean pork belly last year, but didn’t feel up for it after all the foods I had enjoyed this last visit.
I also learned my lesson my first visit that some of the most Insta worthy dishes aren’t the best tasting and they for sure have big lines. If you gotta do it for the ‘gram then go for it, but I won’t be ordering a heaping pile of fried squid again soon.
Pack Baby Wipes or Napkins
It is extremely rare that I leave the house without my diaper bag, but no need for it on date night. Wrong! I really could have benefited from some baby wipes for the messy foods we were devouring. Most places had napkins, some you had to ask for them, but if you forgot and walked away things got messy real quick.
Mouse House Mom Food Suggestions
The BEST thing I ate was the Poke taco from Nori Express. The seaweed was fried and formed the taco shell which was filled with rice and delicious tuna poke.
The BEST VALUE at $8 was the Filipino fusion tacos from La Meza Grill. These were amazing! Roasted Cebu Lechon served in wonton taco shells with fresh mango salsa and smoked chipotle mayo. This blew my mind for being $5 less than most foods at the market.
The BEST DESSERT was the Taiwanese shaved ice with strawberries and ice cream. I didn’t think I liked shaved ice, but I was very wrong! This was from Icy Bar.
The BEST WTF combination was from Mamak La and somehow combined two of my favourites like I didn’t know was possible: roti and mac & cheese. Together. Forever. I’m glad they added some seasoning to the mac & cheese, which looked just like KD and while I didn’t think I needed to make KD more carby, the roti gave it something extra [maybe just extra calories, but still tasted good].
Let Me Know
Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve visited and what foods you liked best.
With my half marathon on Sunday, my race week rituals are underway. I’m excited to step up to the start line and see what these mom-of-two legs of mine have in them.
My last two half marathons have been RunDisney races, where I run for fun photo ops instead of for time. This Sunday I’ve set a time goal of “under 2 hours”. I’ve had to rethink my time goals since having kids and maybe one day I’ll get back to speedier times, but that’s not my current focus.
The week before the race isn’t when you decide you need to start cross training or overhaul your nutrition. However, I have a few race week rituals you can follow to get to the start line feeling your best.
Below are my three race week rituals:
By race week you should have already planned out your race day clothing. You ought to have tested it out to make sure it won’t rub you the wrong way (seriously, chafing sucks). Did you forget to do this? Just wear the clothes you normally wear on a long run.
I am a planner so one of my race week rituals is to plan out my race strategy. While I’m not racing to win, I think a strategy is still helpful to try and achieve my goal.
Running under 2 hours is my goal and yours may be faster or slower. Either way, you need to understand how you are going to go from start to finish in that time. I get out my calculator and have some math fun to determine my required splits. If splits are new to you, it is basically the time you need to run (or will run) each kilometer. For my goal, I need to run my kilometers in 5 mins 41 seconds. I have known my goal splits for most of my training. I’m confident I’ll be able to blend my weekday speed sessions with my weekend long runs in order to meet my splits. If you realize your abilities, confidence, and goal are not realistic there is no shame in amending it or running without a time goal. I have run some half marathons with the mantra “no expectation, no limitation” and have let that carry me through.
In addition to splits, I always try to run the second half faster than the first (a negative split). If you’re running without a time goal, but want to finish the race having given it your all, then a negative split might be a good fit for you. In order to achieve a negative split I actually write out my first 10km anticipated time and then ponder how I can run the next 11.1km faster. I plan to run a couple seconds faster per kilometer and end the last few kilometers by increasing my speed to ensure I hit the negative split, the time goal, and the feeling of giving my all by the finish line.
My second race week ritual is that I like to print the race map off and highlight the route by splitting it up into smaller chunks. I familiarize myself with where the major hills are on the course and other interesting features, such as where two races may collide. This weekend I’ll be finishing my last 5km with the last half of a 10km race. Knowing that I may suddenly start to get passed when I’m trying to kick it into high gear will help mentally prepare me for being among fresher-legged runners.
I like to give each chunk of the race it’s own mantra. When I want to hold back in the first few kilometers I’ll write the mantra “cool and calm”. On race day I can remind myself to stay cool and calm instead of “balls to the wall”, which is reserved for the last 3km chunk.
Preparing for race day is like studying for a test; learn the course, know it’s hard parts, visualize your success, and you won’t be in for a surprise on race day. It also helps me get rid of the negative thoughts about challenging parts of the route. If I know ahead of time that I’m prepared to run slower on the major hills and that won’t stop me from crushing my goal [because I’ve done the math already] then I’m better off for it.
I’m not a nutritionist, but based on how long foods take me to digest I follow a pre-race meal plan. For me this is more of a ritual than solid health advice. It keeps me focused and gives me a sense of control.
My plan below assumes a Sunday race day. Starting on the Wednesday before the race I give more thought to the foods I eat. You know the foods you love to eat, but might not always agree with your stomach? I try to avoid those in the lead up to the race.
If you follow my Instagram you may think I’m a hypocrite [the ice cream churro sandwhich was heavenly before my race] and I’ll admit that when I’m doing a RunDisney race I eat what I want, when I want. However, if I’m not planning to stop mid-race for a photo with Mickey Mouse then I take my nutrition more seriously.
I’ve only focused on dinners in the lead up to the race. From Wednesday on, I try to always eat balanced meals of meat, starchy-carbs, and vegetables. Below are the meats I choose to eat in this order since I find it works best with my digestion:
Saturday: pasta in tomato sauce. No meat. No cheese.
My pre-race breakfast is typically eaten at least 1 hour before race start and it is a half banana and oatmeal with extra brown sugar. I also have about half a cup of coffee if it is a late start to the race. If you’re running a half marathon or more then I suggest you eat what you ate before your long runs and don’t mess with it now.
I suggest you find what works for you, but it is nice going into a race knowing that I have a formula that works well for me.
Good Night and Good Racing
I hope this helps you have an amazing race day filled with joy and high-fives. Or maybe you’re more of an introvert and you just want to cross that finish line, breath a sigh of relief, and get out of there. Either way, have fun!
For more on how to balance half marathon training check out my earlier post here. I’m already looking ahead to September where I’ll be running another half marathon.
Hello friends. I have some exciting news to share on the blog today:
I’ve made the 2019 Vancouver Mom Top 30 Bloggers.
To say I’m thrilled is an understatement.
For the last 10 years, VancouverMom.ca has conducted its Top 30 mom blogger search. In 2017, when I was in the early stages of developing and launching Mouse House Mom, the Top 30 list was announced and I remember reading each of the profiles and being inspired to carve out my little niche on the web. Two years later, I’m truly honoured to be included as one of the VMTop30.
I’ve always wanted my blog to reach others, build connections, and motivate someone to try something new. Without this blog I wouldn’t have connected with other mom’s that also love running, going to Disney Parks, and mommin’ it up with their kiddos.
Some weeks are harder than others and for me this has been one of the harder ones.
With my baby turning one on Wednesday it made me extra emotional. With a birthday comes a birthday party and we are hosting about 30 people in our house this weekend.
Every day this week I tried to tackle a cleaning and reorganization task to get my house looking its best for the party. Of course, this is the week I have my 20 kilometre training run!
I’m glad to say that while I’ve had late nights all week, I am no longer stressed about hosting. Last night’s late night was focused on making homemade donuts to see if they were as easy as they appeared. The verdict is in and yes, they are super easy!
So while this is a short, reflective post, I think its important to remember that we need to try and achieve balance. Don’t do all the cleaning the night before, don’t calorie count and never indulge, don’t make a menu you’re uncomfortable with.