I did a few things differently getting ready for PF Changs and I think that the following really helped my journey:
1. I did visualization and read my affirmation cards every day for 10 minutes. I know it sounds super cheesy but I feel that it was an integral part of getting me through the race. I read some great books about mental training for running and learned that just as you train your body, you have to train your mind. About a week before the race, I taped up my affirmations around the house. I am sure that also sounds a little weird but it really helped me to stay focused and calm leading up to the race.
2. I cut out coffee 2 days prior…and I LOVE coffee. I needed to make sure my stomach wasn’t irritated in any way.
3. On Friday and Saturday I lived off of the following- Hammer Perpetuem drink, rice, maple syrup, bananas, potatoes, and Hammer Heed. That’s it. Not going to lie, it was very difficult especially when Matt was enjoying his pizza and beer! I can definitely now live without rice and yams for awhile.
4. I ate more on Friday than on Saturday. I didn’t overdo it at all on Saturday. I didn’t want my stomach to feel full before the race. I think I used to just eat way to much the day before the race which caused irritation on race morning.
5. I was 3 lbs heavier (113) running PF Changs than I was in Chicago. I really think the extra weight helped me stay strong. 113 is definitely my marathon race weight. I think I could go lower for shorter distances, but for marathoning I need that extra meat on my bones!
6. I got a ton of rest Friday night because I knew I would not sleep well Saturday night, and I didn’t.
7. I just tried to stay super relaxed. I didn’t tell a lot of people that I was racing until race week, I didn’t make a big deal out of it going into this training cycle. I just wanted to run this for me and internalize it. I got pre-race cranky only twice during the week due to nerves, but that quickly dissipated. I told myself that Sunday was going to be my day and the more relaxed I could be about it, the better. I think Matt enjoyed the pre-race relaxed Ariana way better than the stressed out one. 🙂