Final countdown to marathon

With a special appearance from guest writer Gerry Martinez

With the 100-mile run behind us, I am
now focused on preparations for this week’s Intertrust Cayman Marathon.

You can still register for the
marathon at the Marriott Hotel on Saturday, 3 December, and while there, come
listen to me speak about my experience last weekend. 

One thing I learned from my 100-mile
run is you are all capable of much more than you give yourself credit for. Many
supporters last week set personal records for distance covered. 

Nicole Frolick showed up to run a
couple of miles with us and left after 23 miles. She has not ever run a
marathon. Alan Parada joined for a couple of miles Saturday afternoon and said
his half-marathon training hadn’t gone that well and 13.1 miles was a long way.
He finally departed from our crew 15.2 miles later. I’m certain the Cayman
community is full of people like Nicole and Alan.

I’m not saying sign up and give the
marathon a go. I don’t want anyone to injure themselves, but most of you are
capable of walking the half, especially with a six-hour time limit.

I asked Gerry [Martinez, fellow A
Crazy Idea 100-mile runner] to contribute to this week’s column. Here are his
thoughts on pre-race preparations, with comments from me in brackets:

The moment has finally arrived: on
Sunday you will run your first half marathon. The excitement is kicking in. You
may even feel a twinge of nervousness as race day approaches. Do not fear, you
have trained well and hard, now help get your body ready for the run.

The first rule to prepare yourself is
to eat enough carbohydrates, but don’t overdo it. Carb-loading does not mean
shovelling three plates of pasta in one sitting. Take a balanced, wholesome and
healthful approach to what you eat. This is the fuel your body will be using
for the race.

Avoid unusual foods the day before the
race. You don’t know how these will affect your system and now is no time to
experiment. Stick with foods you trained on and are comfortable with.

Stay hydrated in the days before the
race. Drink plenty of water. The colour of your urine will indicate your level
of hydration. Light yellow means you’re right on track. To keep your
electrolyte balance up, have a sports drink like Gatorade. 

Rest is very important during this
stage. You have spent weeks building up your body for the race, now it’s time
to relax. Stay off your feet. Lots of walking and standing will only tire you
out before the race.


Get your clothing and gear ready for the
race. Before you go to bed, lay out everything you are going to wear, including
your race bib number, timing chip, and energy gels. When you wake up on race
day, there should be no stress or hesitation about what you are going to

(Be sure to use familiar gear. A new
shirt or shorts could chafe. A new water bottle may be uncomfortable to carry.
Go with what you know. This includes fuelling. – JM) 

The night before the race, get a good
night’s sleep. That may be difficult to do, considering the excitement building
up within you. Fear not: you are not alone. Many people have trouble sleeping
the night before the race. Sports science has shown us that two nights before
the race is the most important night of sleep. If you cannot get a whole lot of
shut eye before the race, it is unlikely to hurt your performance.

(Set and stick to your race plan. It’s
easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose focus on what you need to do.
My recommendation for most people – those not focused on winning an event – is
to start at the back of the race and let the chaos unfold in front of you. Your
race time doesn’t start until your racing chip crosses the start line, so
starting at the back allows you to avoid the pushing, kicking and crowds at the
front. Use that short walk to the start line to focus on what it is you need to
do. – JM)

The key
is to relax. Stay calm. You have worked very hard for this. And now the day is
nearly here. In a few days, you will have accomplished a great milestone in
your life. Have a great race!



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