10 Hours to New Orleans: 10 Days to Go

The best feeling (besides racing) is knowing that I am coming to a close on a very successful training cycle. It doesn’t always work out that way, but this go around training has been smooth despite a consistently increasing work schedule. My body seems to be responding at the right time and as long as the new nutrition protocol stays steady on race day, I’m expecting positive results.

In the final ten days, there are only three things that really matter, recovery, nutrition and getting your head right. Its safe to say that the last two weeks prior to an IM event signify that all the work is done. You are not going to do anything to improve your fitness at that point therefore it’s really jsut about staying sharp with key workouts and smart recovery. In the last couple week’s, I get hard core on the sleep and focus even more on the evening time mobility. What’s most important is being able to show up to the start line without having to second guess a thing, injury free.

From a nutrition perspective, I certainly don’t focus on adding extra carbohydrates like the magazines will tell you. My goal is to eat regularly balanced meals and stick to foods I eat on a weekly basis. Too often people try to change up what they eat on normal weeks thinking they’ll perform better by adding something in; however this is not the case. Unprocessed foods your body is completely adapted too is the only way to go.

The one thing I will tend to focus on a little more is hydration. The muscles in your body are made up of roughly 75% of water therefore it makes sense to place the emphasis there. Additionally, dehyrdation can lead to joint pain, stiffness, digestive disorders, allergies and bladder or kidney problems, all of which you do not want to deal with on race day.

The most important piece for me is re-energizing the head game. Something I consider myself extremely good at. I have to know why I’m getting out there and the importance behind each event. You remember my purpose when I ran 50miles? All for Livia. I needed it that day. What works for me is always remembering that just getting out there is an incredible opportunity. You never know how many races you’ll have. More than anything, I get excited about my loved ones and think about the things that matter in my life.

A couple days ago, I received word that a distant friend (someone equally into endurance training as I) passed away in his sleep. Ken was a guy who woke up every day, trained consistently for road races, ate well and spent the second half of his life teaching and sharing his passion for running and staying healthy. If you met him you’d think to yourself man this guy is fit. A modern day Chuck Norris people would joke. There was such an energy about Ken.

Since I first met Ken at Hilton Head Health, we always had something to talk about. He was all into running technique just like me and even though our ages were decades apart, we always had something to talk about. This past November, Lindsay and I ran the Monumental in Indianapolis and although he wasn’t running, he traveled the day before (hours away) to visit us at the expo and have lunch. I’ll never forget the time we shared that day because of Ken’s excitement. He was always into what “I” was doing. even though he had quite the gig and resume. He had that way of making you the most important person in the room when he talked to you. He was very special in that way. This coming from a guy who only had the opportunity to meet with him on three or four different occassions.

You can’t teach yourself to have passion. You either have it or you don’t and what I do know about Ken is that he had passion for running, but more importantly for people. He’s someone I hope I can one day become as I get into my later years. His energy and positivity was infectious. I can only imagine how the people who spent time with him daily feel about him.

Ken you will be missed, but certainly never forgotten. In the smallest way you’ve changed me and I didn’t even know it until writing this blog. You’ve given me a perspective on training and life that I will continue to uphold and I thank God for the few occasions I was able to visit with you. You will be someone I always think of when I’m out there racing. God knows you’d be right there with me.

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