Well, Ladies and Germs, we are here. It’s the last week before my first race of 2012. On Saturday I’ll strap on more accessories than Cosmopolitan-reading Barbie and torture myself for a few minutes shy of an hour. Voluntarily.
My last week before a race is somewhat of a ritual, and yes, I realize I’m not running some big important race like the NY Marathon. Still, we all have special times in our year we like to mark with different behavior. I don’t do birthdays or big deal holidays, so race week it is!
Today, I’m sharing my TOP SECRET race week ritual. Well, it was TOP SECRET until I typed it out here, huh? What kind of rituals do you have before a big race?
1. Drink green smoothies All. Week. Long. I’ll admit that I’m tired of these by Wednesday, but knowing what I do about nutrition, I’m certain these really improve my performance – plenty of quality proteins for muscle, antioxidants to slow inflammation and of course some good natural sugars to help up my glycogen.
A favorite green (blue) smoothie: Greek yogurt, soy protein, blackberries, spinach
2. Run nonchalantly. No pushing myself this week. No caring about total miles or pace. Just a couple of super-easy runs to keep my muscles warm.
3. Get a pedicure. Yep, I know it’s a bad idea. But something about pretty toes gives me a little extra pep in my step.
4. Avoid any song that’s on my running mix. Music is big for me when running and can mean the difference between a little extra adrenaline or pure boredom. To keep things fresh, I avoid the songs on my race mix all week…even if it means I have to walk out of a store.
5. Shun the spirits. No adult beverages this week!
6. SLEEP. I’m not usually an early riser but to make it races on time, I have to be, since my last meal should be at least 2 hours before I run. So this week, I go to bed a little earlier so I can get up a little earlier.