Marathoning is like trying to get rich....there are all kinds of crazy schemes out there for making it work. Well, I decided to try out one of the crazier (at least to me) marathoning schemes this time around by putting myself through a carb deplete/load cycle in the week leading up to the Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon. The idea is that you almost totally deprive your body of carbohydrates for a few days and then pull a total 180 and load up like there's no tomorrow. A few runners that I know have used this strategy and ran very strong marathons afterwards, reporting that they felt stronger and stronger as the race went on, a feeling I would very much like to experience. The thing is, my diet, like any runner's, is typically very high in carbs, so this is quite a change of pace for me. It's amazing how many foods have carbs in them, and consequently, how many foods I'm not allowed to eat for the next four days (well, three now). To give you an idea of how much of a reduction I'm making, I took a look at some of my food logs from sparkpeople.com. On a typical day, I consume anywhere between 300-400 grams of carbs. For the four days of this carb depletion phase, I'll be consuming between 20-30. This better freakin work....
Anyhow, my second to last week before DMTM went pretty well:
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 8 miles with 5x800m intervals. Each of these intervals was about 10 seconds slower than the same workout before Colorado, so obviously my legs still aren't fully recovered. But, the workout, overall, went pretty well.
Wednesday - 5.55 miles recovery.
Thursday - 12.12 miles easy. My schedule said I was supposed to run 15, which I set out to do but realized early on that given how my body felt and how little time I had to get the run done and get to work, that 12 would be more feasible. Then, at about mile 8 or 9, I started to feel like crap. My right hip felt weird and I just felt like I was trying way too hard to run a relatively slow pace. At 9.5 miles, I stopped by the house to take care of some impending business in the bathroom and forced myself back out the door to try and pick up the final 1.5 miles. Amazingly, I felt pretty good once I started running again; the hip soreness was magically gone and the pace came much easier. I ended up finishing the run fairly strong. If not for the ticking clock, I would have gone the whole 15.
Friday - 5 miles recovery and the Pack Test. For those not in the know, the Pack Test is a physical fitness test that every wildland firefighter must pass each year before they can receive a red card, which is like your drivers license for fighting fire. My primary job duty doesn't involved fighting fire, but any employee of the Forest Service is encouraged to maintain their fire qualifications and help out if the need arises (and the way it's been raining here, the need won't be arising for awhile). The test consists of walking 3 miles while carrying a 45 lb. pack in under 45 minutes. Really, if you are in any kind of shape, it's not that hard. It's actually made harder by the fact that you must walk; you are absolutely, positively not allowed to jog. This forces me to do this weird power walk thing that I would never normally do, especially not on a fire, and I usually end up sore in places that I'm normally not. Also, taking the Pack Test less than 10 days before a marathon isn't ideal, but my only other choice was to take it a week before Colorado, which certainly wasn't going to happen. Anyhow, I took it very easy during the test and still managed to pass with almost three minutes to spare, in 42:17.
Saturday - 5 miles recovery. Amazingly, I'm hardly sore at all from the Pack Test.
Sunday - 12 miles with the last 6 at DMTM marathon pace or faster. I'm planning on running around a 3:30 at DMTM, which is 8 minute per mile pace. Ended up running those last six in the 7:45-7:55 range.
Total - 47.7 miles
So, six days to go and I'm ready to roll (and really craving a bagel).
I've also got to mention that today, June 2, is my daughter Chloe's third birthday! Hard to believe three years have gone by already. A lot has changed since the day she was born. We bought our first house, got our dog Vedder, got our cat Spooky, sold our house, moved to South Dakota and bought a new one, and got another dog named Molly. Oh, and I started running marathons....DMTM will be number 9, all of them coming since Chloe joined our family. Happy Birthday, Coco Bean!!