As I look forward to the weekend I realise that as with all major undertakings you have to prepare the best you possibly can, and sure enough my training has been ill-prepared and my pre-race preparations are pretty much the same... seriously, who arrives in a country 18 hours before a marathon? Haha.
Anyway, what I can control is my diet and equipment, although jet lag will surely rob me of sleep. But as my friend Alan, a sleep psychologist PhD student and fellow athlete, tells me: it doesn't matter how much sleep you get the night before competition, just make sure you are rested. I haven't told him that the race start is effectively 1am Vancouver time... and no, I haven't been training in the early hours to prepare for this either.
So here's my check list for the big day and a couple of meal suggestions for the night before. As I land in Luxembourg at 4pm in the afternoon it's a bit late to go shopping, but luckily I happen to have the most amazing support crew one could ask for.
Marathon check list:
Timing chip and race number (to collect before 9am)
Racing flats (Nike Luna Racer)
Racing socks (Hilly or More Mile)
Vaseline (for those chafing areas)
Racing shorts (Asics)
Cheltenham vest (really comfortable and light)
Garmin watch (GPS and speed reading)
2 x powerade (liquid diet)
Cap (if raining)
Gloves (if cold)
With Eugène or Stéph (my awesome support crew):
1 x powerade (nutrition)
Vaseline (in case of reapplication)
Spare trainers (in case I blister)
Spare shorts (in case I chafe)
Spare vest (in case I chafe)
Compression socks (recovery)
Tracksuit bottoms (warmth)
Climacool shirt (if I feel like a cool down)
Ibuprofen (pain relief if needed)
Traumeel (pain relief if needed)
1 x powerade (energy)
1 x chocolate milkshake (recovery)
1 x water (rehydration)
Pasta with tomato sauce (no cheese or oil)
Rice with vegetables (no gluten)
White toast with honey (abundent energy)
Coffee (caffeine fix)
So there you have it, my marathon plans in a few short lists. I'll be packing my essentials, so racing shoes and kit, with me in my hand luggage as I can't risk them not arriving in Luxembourg. On the plane I'll wear my compression socks and comfortable clothing, try and sleep as early as possible after take off, and try my best to avoid ill people and stay healthy.
Before the race I'm not expecting to sleep much - jet lag means that midnight in Luxembourg is 3pm in Vancouver, so I'll try and rest up and then go for an early morning jog at 5am (8pm) before having breakfast and getting ready for the drive across to Echternach for the race start at 10am (1am).
Roll on the weekend!
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