Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oyster Shooters in a Marathon?

Yep, that's right!  At mile 11 and 19 of my marathon on Saturday, I'll be offered oyster shooters from the Oregon Oyster Farms.  In 2009 the oyster eating record was broken when a runner managed to get down 80 of the slippery suckers.  What?!  Is this even good for you?  I think I'll pass on the Oyster shooters but I do have lots of questions about how I will fuel for the Newport Marathon that I will be running next Saturday, June 4th. 

 As many of you know, I've spent the last 23 weeks with my eye on this marathon goal!  Lots of hard work, mental focus, ups and downs and LEARNING so much along the way.  Isn't this cool about life?  That we never stop learning!  And usually the down times in our life...the times we crash the hardest...end up to be blessings in disguise.  This was the case with my hamstring tear back in August.  It was this injury that set me on a path to learning and challenging myself so much more than I ever would have done had I not experienced a serious injury that kept me from running.  This injury knocked me down and forced me to really think about what was important to me. I came out of it realizing that running IS important to me.  And there was so much I didn't know.  So much I wasn't doing that would help me get closer to reaching my potential. It was this injury that has helped me explore new avenues as a writer, be inspired to take on new things and to start writing this blog. This blog has been the source of so much growth for me.  I've not only grown tremendously from having the outlet to express myself through writing in a public forum but I've gained an incredible amount of knowledge about running, racing, gear, fitness, and even motherhood. I've also connected with some Amazing people that I value tremendously!  

The RACE! My Race!  This coming weekend!  I am so excited.  Giddy really.  I had my last mid run of 10 miles on Saturday with the last mile being right around marathon pace.  Things really feel great!  As if the pieces have just come together exactly how I would have hoped.  My body feels good (just nursing a cold..hoping it goes away!), legs feel strong, and my mental state seems to be nestled right in the Amanda Sweet Spot! 

I still have lots of questions and reading to do about the course, packet pick up, how I will fuel for the race, etc.  I've only done 2 marathons and it has been seven years since Boston 2004, my last one. 

My Goal:  To run strong, stay mentally happy and focused and to enjoy the process.  I'm not using a pace band and I won't dwell on being at certain splits.  But I do know a ballpark of where I want my mile splits to be.  My time goal is to run a 3:15.  I believe that I have it in me to run faster but I will also be pleased with a slower time too.  I'm just going to enjoy running the best race that I can run and for once in my life, I don't feel held back by mental barriers!  

Questions For YOU! 
1.  Fuel before during and after.... In my first two marathons I really knew so very little about running and racing.  I took one GU packet with me and used it sparingly throughout the race.  This worked okay but I definitely fell apart at the end.  The last 3-6 miles were HARD and I slowed waaay down. 

*  How many gels do you use in a marathon?  Do you take one before?  I've had people advise me to only take 2 total (one at mile 13 and another at 18) and I've had some say 5 gels.  Would love to hear your thoughts on this. I know that what works for some might not work for others.

2.  WATER.  Do you use a hydration belt, carry a water bottle or get water from the water stops?  My husband insists that I should use a hydration belt but I'm thinking I will be just fine using the water at the aid stations if I am smart about getting enough water from every stop.  

3. Mantras.  Everyone has something different that they tell themselves during a difficult race or even a difficult times in life if you are not an athlete.  What about you?  What is your "mantra" for getting through tough spots in a race or life?  

Like I said, I will pass on the oyster shooters until AFTER the race.  They might be better with a nice cold beer and a medal around my neck!  

Less than 48 hours of this Circle of Moms business.  Trust me, I'm more excited for it to be over than you are!  After it is over, I never want to hear the words circle or vote with the word moms again! But I still need your votes until 5p.m on June 1st.  We are way too far in to just stop now...even if it is all a bit ridiculous at this point.  
So If you have enjoyed reading Runninghood Please Click Click! 

Last update, Team Runninghood was hoping to slide down this slide.  We made it down the slide!  Now let's keep it that way!

What about you?  Fuel, Mantras, Hydration, Oyster Shots? Vote?


  1. I have only done three marathons so far so I am far from an expert, but I have never hit the wall and have gotten faster as I have gone in all of them and finished strong.

    I eat plain oatmeal sweetened with honey 3 1/2 hours before start time and drink some sports drink.

    Then once the race starts I take a Hammer gel every five miles (5, 10, 15, and 20 miles). I carry a hand held bottle (22 ounces) that has Hammer Perpetuem in it and then I supplement with water from some of the aid stations. That has worked really well for me... I have stayed well fueled and well hydrated three times now.

    I am so excited for you! You are going to do awesome!!!!

  2. Ditto on Supermom's strategy, except I take a GU at the start and carry some Chomps or Stinger chews for the final miles when I'm desperate just to chew on something.
    I carry my own water because my first marathon was the 2007 Chicago inferno where they ran out. My trust is gone!
    Woot for race week!!!

  3. I think that your goal for the day is perfect. No pressure, and you are giving yourself the opportunity to enjoy the experience. PERFECT! I don't know how to marathon fuel, it is really tricky for me and everything seems to make me nauseous.

    Your legs are ready for this! You could run a 3:15 in your sleep! You told me something before my last half that really inspired me, to "just enjoy being fast". BEST ADVICE EVER! At my race on Saturday I kept telling myself when the race felt difficult to "define myself". Weird, yes. But it made me make the choice to define myself as a runner who pushes through discomfort rather then throwing in the towel.

    I am really excited for you. This is going to be an amazing experience and return to marathoning for you. And to know that you have your little ones there to cheer you on, now that is heart warming!

  4. Um ok.. I can't get past the OYSTER SHOTS!!!!! ACkkkkk!! There is no way in hell I could do that during a marathon! LOL

  5. Oh come on. Just try on oyster shot. Just to say you did.
    Other than that. I think Supermom's idea is a solid one. Gel every 5 miles.
    I personally can't run and hold a bottle, but I am clumsy that way.
    (By the way I have never run a marathon so I don't know why I am even answering!)

  6. HEY! That looks like my friend, Sheri in the oyster picture. I'm pretty sure it's her! Too funny that we both posted pictures of people the other one knows on our blogs in the last week. HA!
    Anyways.. She "might" have gotten the record?? I think she ate something like 20+ oysters...but I don't remember the exact story.

  7. Its probably best to do whatever it is you practiced in training. I usually carry 5 GU's just in case and take maybe 4 during the race. If the water stops are far apart or tend to be crowded, I'd also take a handheld, you can ditch it but it might be necessary! Good luck in your marathon. And good call on skipping the oysters.

  8. Oh my gosh - I can't imagine eating an oyster period, let alone during a race! Yeah, skip that one!

    As for fuel advice, I SUCK at it. Seriously suck. So I have no advice to offer.

  9. You are going to do great! I think it is smart to leave the oysters to the end.

    1. Fuel: Since my marathons have een an hour longer than your goal... I take fuel about every 45 min. I certainly do not have fueling figured out as I tend to have GI issues.

    2. WATER: I carried water for my first, but not for my next 2. Still on the fence if I would again. It was nice to have it and there really isn't much downside to carrying it. Kept me from the worst of the aid stations.

    3. Mantras: It seems to be different for every marathon. I actually don't remember them now... Guess they weren't that improtant to me or I didn't have a great one...

  10. I am SO pumped for where you are at mentally right now! HooAHH-I think Saturday is just going to be a a MAJOR life stepping stone for you in SO many ways! I'm amazed at how many steps you've taken in the last few months toward reaching your potential-your amAZing, still untapped potential!!! Many many things coming together for you and I'm genuinely thrilled to be able to watch some great things unfold.

    Prediction: a successful PAID occupation in writing and a sub 3 hour marathon should that be your desire SOONER than later.....

    I will be stalking your comments on this post in regards to the questions. I'm one who takes 5 gus in a marathon. I NEVER train like this so maybe not wise to advise it but it has worked fantastic in my experience. I think 13 is waiting to long IMO. Most everything I've read has said your body processes them MUCH better if you take them before you feel like you need them. To each his own though! I also don't drink the powerade and stick to water on the course. I've never run with water although Joe handed me a handheld at mile 22 in Boston. I am not planning to run with a waterbelt this time but if the temperatures are hot, I may change my mind. I'll be stalking for mantras too!! I need to replace some of the profanity laced ones that I'm currently using....

    4 sleeps!

  11. OMG! For a second I thought you were saying you had done the oyster shooters...oh man, whew.

    Pre-race a lot of folks seem to have found the slice of bread with PB and 1/2 a banana works... but honestly I woudl say whatever you have been doing through your training is going to be perfect. The night before stick to things you know like a sandwich...

    know that you will not sleep well the night of the race and that is totally ok, focus on getting good sleep the night before that

    WOHOOO!!! race week

  12. As for fuel and GU, my new motto is take 'em early, take 'em often. I have done so many different things over the years with all my marathons... last race I started early and took them often because I usually can't stomach anything else after about 20 miles... I haven't ever taken any before the race, but I know many people do. Also, I started carrying my GUs in between my 2 sports bras and it works amazing. Looks weird, but great.
    As for hydration, some things to think about- how big is your race? If it's big, you may want to carry your own hydration so that you can blow through the water stops and not deal with all that mess. If it's small, you probably won't have that problem...also, sometimes you just want/need hydration and there's no water stop around...just stuff to think about. I carried a water bottle at my last race and loved it. I'm thinking of wearing my hydration belt for my marathon this sunday.
    Mantra: This is what I trained for.

  13. I recommend going and buying Nancy clarks sports nutrition guidebook, she has another one too. She is my nutrionist and is amazing. Some basic ideas that I have collected along the way(and this is just my ideas that I have picked up but I am not an expert)

    1. Carbs and hydrate the week of
    2. Morning of eat like a bagel with pb and honey and a banana
    3. You need a gu shot or 100 calories about every hour ish to hour and a half or more if you need it
    4. You burn about 100 calories a mile so you need to refuel after the race with what you lost minus what you ate during the race I think...hopefully this helps

  14. I use Clif Bloks. I think I finished 3 or 4 during my marathon. I was starving by the end but clearly they did their job. :) I didn't feel awful at the end, so that's a good sign! I need a mantra. Several, actually. "You can do this!" Is one I repeat often. "You're strong. You're trained. This is your day!" Is another thing I find myself saying.

    Best of luck to you! You will do fabulous! You're amazing!

  15. I have only run 1 marathon, but before every long run I eat a nutrigrain waffle with almond butter and a banana, then I might eat a cliff bar or something half an hour before. I am not a gu/gel person. I got so sick off of them at my first marathon. I am kind of in to the beans etc....my neighbor up the street (who ran a 2:30 marathon) eats snickers bars, go figure?
    I am so excited for you Amanda. This is going to be your day and your race:) Sending you so many positive vibes this week. xoxoxo!
    PS....try the shooter, might be kind of cool:)

  16. I do my Gu every four miles or so. It takes me about 50-60 minutes to run four miles so I'm more or less within the Gu recommendations of every 45 mins.

    I always carry water. Being in the back of the pack, they are prone to running out! Lately I use a handheld and a fuel belt; the fuel belt has two 10 oz bottles with plain H20 for the Gu while I've been going more towards Gatorade or some type of electrolyte drink in the handheld. I have a horrible problem with my hands swelling in the long distance runs and the electrolytes help; I also took electrolyte caps when I did the Eugene marathon.

    The forecast for this weekend in PDX is for much warmer weather. The coast is always unpredictable as you know but I'd suggest being prepared to take a handheld if it gets warm there too.

    Good luck!!

  17. I'm no expert either at 3 marathons but I eat a LOT during the marathon! Last one I had like 5-6 gels I think? Ugh it was so gross by the end haha. I actually try to train without any food, so it's a huge departure from training for me.
    As far as water - I can't imagine running with like a lb of water the whole time..the water stops work just fine for me :).
    Mentally, I try to break up the race into pieces - last marathon I knew my family was waiting for me at mile 17 which helped a ton!
    GOOD LUCK!!!

  18. GAK on the oyster shooters!

    Fueling is so confusing to me. You should go check out my last blog entry and see what my running coach (2:27 marathoner back in the day...) says about it.

    I think I "over-fueled" during my marathon (full concentrate sports drink the whole time + GU every 45 minutes). Totally had to crap at mile 10.

  19. Seriously...the though of doing an oyster shooter during a marathon just almost made me puke!! GROSS!

    You are going to do awesome this weekend! I am soo excited for you!!

    O-kay, here's my 2cents!
    Fuel: I eat breakfast (bagel with PB and honey) 2hr. before the race and sip on water until the start. During the race, I think I did a hammer gel every 5miles.
    I used a Nathan waistbelt that carried my hydration. I like to rely on my own hydration, not the aid stations, so I carry my liquid with me.

  20. If it's warm, I might suggest a water belt...maybe you could leave it with your hubs at a decided mile marker if you don't need it? Otherwise you should be good!

    I'll defer to the experts on fuel, b/c I clearly have zero clue!

    I'll look forward to reading your comments--what was your fuel approach on long runs?

    I love your mindset and goals entering this marathon. Run b/c you love it!!! You so have this race!

  21. I am no expert on marathon nutrition but I did talk to a dietitian at the beginning of the year. Her advice was a gu every 45 mins. I've been doing it on my long runs and it works pretty well. As for water - I just used what they had on the course so as long as the aid stations are regular that should be fine.

  22. My policy in my marathons was to hit every water station, even if to only toss the water on my head. I didn't not like to carry water... especially that long... and if they have a good number of water stops. And I only would take water. I was like Jenn with the GUs :)

    You are going to do fantastically, Amanda! Can't wait to watch you take that race to task :)

  23. I've only run two marathons so far, but I'm a GU every 5-7 miles kind of girl. I also carry a hydration belt with nuun and in both marathons drank everything in my belt in addition to drinking at every water stop. Both were actually pretty warm for the second half though and that's where I started pounding the liquid.

    I've been voting for you. Hey, if I can't beat you, I might as well make sure you beat me by a lot, right? ;o)

  24. this post by Blonde Ponytail had a lot of good tips in it:

    And I'm with Supermom and Maia, try to keep fueling early and often. Better to overfuel by a little and maybe have to stop at the bathroom than to underfuel and possibly bonk.

    I've only done 1 marathon, and I all out bonked at mile 26, so maybe my fueling advice is not the best, haha

    Before the race I like to stick to things like bagels or clif bars. I try to have the same things I have during training. I have maybe one bagel and 1 clif bar.

    During the race I like to have one gel almost right before we start, just to give me a boost. Then during the race I have like 5-6 gels (at 4 mile intervals or so). I also try to stop at every water stop and have 1 cup of sports drink, 1 cup of water. I also try to have a salt tablet every 4 miles or so.

    I think the mistake that I made if anything was that I wouldn't always finish every cup that I picked up - now I want to finish each cup fully, regardless of whether I'm thirsty or not. I also had too many salt tablets I think, I had like 12 during my marathon, which is overload I think now. Next one I will try to have maybe 5-6 (same amount of gels and salt tablets).

    I did run with a fuel belt, but it only held my gels and salt tablets, no water in it. Just didn't seem useful to start off with water in my fuel belt since it will be gone in like 5 miles or so. I guess you could carry a throw away handheld for the first 5-7 miles, then toss it when it is empty to avoid the first few crowded water stops?

    My main mantras are just what I told Blonde Ponytail - run the race for others, and not just for yourself. You seem like you are an expert at this. Having these people in your thoughts will carry you through the tough later miles.

    You will have an awesome race, I bet you definitely exceed your expectations.

  25. So excited about your race. Yes, 3:15 or bust! Ha! You've got it!
    I think I told you how I fuel, I use GU regular and roctane, and carry my own water. For me, stopping for water messes up my flow, although in my HIM I am probably not going to carry anything.
    These little details don;t matter that much, Amanda, some runners run on nothing, others take a lot of stuff. Just go by what has worked for you in the past, and also how you feel. Just make sure your HR is not too high when you take gels, bc if it is, you won't digest it well.

  26. I'm so excited for you!!!
    I've only run 3 marathons, and I'm certainly no expert. But I think I have figured out what works for me.
    My first race/training cycle I ate Gu every 4 miles, starting at mile 2. I also had the worst stomach issues and spend about 40 minutes in random portajohns along the way:(
    In my last 2 marathons (back to back 7 days apart with no training, stupid I know, but...)
    I decided that I would not eat any Gu. I ate salt tabs before the race and then at every other water stop, and munched on jelly beans on sucked on jolly ranchers for extra boosts. Managed a 20 minute PR from my first race simply by eliminating bathroom breaks!
    I don't carry water, but my EPIC running group usually has an amazing cheer squad and they set up water stations for us when we need them and there aren't any available!
    Good luck this weekend!
    You will do amazing!

  27. Yipee!!! Oysters=not a good marathon fuel :)
    I'm so excited for you, I know you are going to have the race of your life, you're positive and ready...get set, go!!

    Stick to what has worked for you and don't over load on the gu's if it's something you haven't at least tried during your training!! Too many gu's kind of take a toll on the tummy!!
    EXCITED for you!

  28. Oh and I forgot!

    Things I live by when I'm running:
    -can't is a state of mind.
    -if it's important to me, I will find a way. If not, I will find an excuse.
    -what lies ahead of me is nothing compared to what lies within me. I freaking got this!

  29. YUCK!! oyster shooters? My race would go to crap if I ever tried that in a marathon!! I have a power bar for breakfast when I head out for a marathon for breakfast and then usually have power bar protein bites about 30 minutes before. I too fuel with Clif Shot Bloks every 5 miles. I don't carry a fuel belt because it would be too much of a distraction to me, although I may carry one in the future if I'm concerned about the water stops slowing me down. love reading the comments you've gotten. Good info. Love how everyone has their 'system'...it just really boils down to what works for you! GOOD LUCK, amanda! you are going to KILL it. So glad everything is falling into place!

  30. I feel like I would NEED a fuel belt during a marathon. I don't like stopping at water stops. I'm a slower runner anyway, but still, it's not my favorite thing to do. I take 1 GU in a half marathon and will probably do 3 in my full! I can't wait to read alllll about it!