3 Weeks Til DC – Crunch Time!

It’s crunch time for DC!! And by “crunch” I don’t mean crunch on Cheetos, unfortunately. Crunch time now refers to doing the lame thing I always do 3 weeks before my races – eat & drink better to get healthy and lean before race day. It’s not fun. But around 3 weeks pre-race I have sufficient fear to push me down the path of straight and narrow for this type of lifestyle.

Some of you might have seen it was National Coffee Day today. I had no idea until the texts started arriving before the sun was even up. But guess who had already decided to quit coffee? Me. Again. Yes, I know I say this all the time. But I did mostly quit before. I may have had a couple coffee mornings here and there but I was scaling back. Now I’m completely off the coffee. The theory is that I’ll sleep better and also that I will lower my tolerance to caffeine so that on race day when I throw back the caffeinated gels, I’ll get a jolt that will make me fly! Mainly though I’m cleaning up my diet so coffee has to go. Wonderful timing to start though, when the whole nation is celebrating the heaven that is coffee.

national coffee day

this cup was all over the place today. But I’d love this cup and this view any day!




Also I’m giving up salt. I realized I was pouring it on everything. And my muscles were tweaking and cramping a lot lately. Way too much salt and not enough water. Salt is gone now. I don’t really miss it yet because the healthier foods I’m eating, you can’t put salt on them. For instance, I couldn’t salt my blueberry smoothie. And I didn’t salt my lime drenched quinoa. I normally would have but, no, I’m in crunch mode so no salt!

That’s basically it. Nothing too drastic going on. I’m only eating fruits, vegetables and gluten-free grains. No coffee. No salt. No alcohol. Basically you’re supposed to eat like this 365 days a year but I confine this type of eating to 21-day periods, randomly, like the 21 days before a race. We’re actually 25 days before the race but I fly up to DC a few days early. I’m hoping that this clean-eating-25-day-challenge thing is going to get me to my health ideal before the race so that I limit negative race issues. I’m pretty much a complete bore the whole time I’m in DC until around 7pm on race Sunday. Then I end up having a slice of pizza or something. The Monday after race? It’s on! I’m always at Best Buns on the Monday after race Sunday. I’m the one holding up the line because I’m ordering 6 sticky buns. I think every year  I add another sticky bun to my regular order. Anyway! Point is, there’s time for sticky bun fun AFTER the race is over! Before the race – clean eating!

In other news, mileage is going ok. It’s so-so. I was at 33 miles total last week and hopefully this week will be 40. And no more intervals. It’s not my ideal mileage before the marathon but it’s what I can do with school right now. School has been on the forefront of everything. It hasn’t made me a happy person, but running still does! Case in point, I was running my 6 miler today on the treadmill and I felt good. Great mood. Excited about more runs this week. All was well. Then I started on lengthy school reads and paper writing. I had to take a break after an hour of it because it’s not fun stuff. So I’m looking at Instagram (more running! my happy place!) and I see a picture of a palm tree and I’m like, Who’s the a-hole who posted a picture of a palm?!?! Surely I don’t follow anyone like THAT! Then I look and… it’s my school. They posted that palm. Thanks for the annoying cue to get back to work! …..  A whole ‘nuther post of mine will be on why I only follow runners who live up north or in the DC area. :/ And, for the record, I’ve posted pictures of palms myself. But I have no choice! You can’t take a picture down here without a palm tree! I try really hard! But some palm tree or alligator is always ruining my shot! (palm trees are not my happy place)

miami marathon

Trying to take a picture of the clouds when these trees got in the way!

Next up: 20 miler! I’m not as freaked out about it as I was the 18 miler for some reason. I think because I’ve already decided I’m only running two 10 milers. I really have to engage in these mind games when I’m running.

Anyone freaking out about the race yet? Do you change up your routines or behavior the weeks before the race? What are you most nervous about for the race besides just finishing?


7 responses to “3 Weeks Til DC – Crunch Time!

    • I just started taking salt out of my diet so it’s only been about a day and a half, but I have already dropped some weight from it. And don’t they say every pound is an extra minute on your marathon time? Also my muscles are definitely cramping less. I was an extreme case though. I love salt and don’t love drinking water.


  1. I salute your commitment to clean eating pre-race! Last marathon, my taper was over thanksgiving- a nice distraction from going crazy, but I think I did put on more weight than is ok and felt a bit sluggish for race day. Looking forward to my spring marathon, I hope to do something similar to what you’re doing, but I’ll keep coffee and perhaps a glass of wine here and there. I don’t eat a lot of salty foods, I was actually thinking I need to eat/drink more salt before long runs to help me retain water.


    • Ha! Over Thanksgiving I’m worthless! I think that spring marathon is going to be great for you. Perfect timing after the holidays when you’re inspired to get fit! My friends do the “clean eating” too but also insist on coffee and wine as well. They’re much faster runners (like you) so they’re like, pfft, why should I get rid of coffee & wine when I’m acing these 8 min marathon paces?! Meanwhile I’m sacrificing a chicken in my yard and offering up incense because I heard it helps you run up hills faster. :/ And there is still sodium in some of the foods I prepare, but I don’t add any salt to anything anymore. If nothing else it helps me get a better idea of where I am with my race weight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the nice reminder on cleaning up the diet. I need to get o track for 2 upcoming races, and I think I’ve handled everything else training wise…even dropped 5 lbs so I can be my speediest self.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats on dropping 5! Exactly! That’s all I’m trying for with the clean eating – streamlining and sprucing up your potential! I was feeling sluggish from late night eats and feeling fat/puffy from all the salt intake. I just wanted to eliminate all of it so that I could figure out, ok, where am I REALLY at right now?? It’s not easy but I’m feeling a lot better even 2 days in. Interesting fun fact – the second you announce you quit coffee, the more people find their way over to drink it in front of you. Yay.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad it’s already working. I need to clean up so that my legs are strong enough to compete well. Got 2 races…a half and a 10 miler. The 10/miler is a sure thing PR because it is my first 10 mile race.


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