Thursday, January 13, 2011

Preparation

Zachary and I have both had some positive feedback on our respective training in the last few weeks. And the results have really given us both some things to celebrate as the new year chimes.

First - let's start with Zach. He has been working hard on his allergy shots - getting up out of bed an hour before his brothers and slogging with me up to Bethesda. Honestly, I've enjoyed the weekly trips up to our allergy attack team at the Institute of Allergy and Asthma. I get an opportunity to be a part of Zachary's successes and I do get to spend some quality time while we wait 30 minutes after each shot (each one stronger than the previous) to ensure that there are no abnormal reactions before departing. Our typical feedbacks come in small amounts - rewards for shot bravery, nice smiles from the nurses, etc. But sometimes there are other marks along the way to track our progress.

In December, Zachary got his annual blood test to take a look at the allergen specific antibodies present in his blood stream. This is a way of tracking how strongly Zachary's body would respond to the ingestion of a particular allergen. Well this December, we got some really great news. After our third full year of monitoring, Zachary's antibodies for peanuts have dropped down from almost 50 kU/L to 20 kU/L - a really healthy improvement. It shows us that his body is really changing and beginning to be able to absorb the allergens in a more productive manner. In fact - other than an increase in walnut, he saw a drop in antibody levels across the board. That's great news.


For me, I'm approaching an important test of my ability to tackle 40 miles on April 8th in Napa and Sonoma. This weekend, I'm headed out west to participate in the Phoenix Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on this Sunday, January 16th. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I'm focused on testing my nutrition strategies and my pacing to ensure that I've got the right approach to a long distance run. As a precursor to the run, I decided to go for a 25km run this past Saturday where I took my intended nutrition mix and run at my proposed marathon pace of 4:50 per km or about 7:45 per mile.

I took my new Garmin Forerunner 310XT along with me and was really happy with the results. I used the Virtual Partner feature on the watch and at the end of 25 km I was only 97 meters off pace - less than a second per km. I'm really pleased with the results that I get via the Garmin Connect website. There's great graphs and the ability to go back and review the performance on a lap by lap basis.

And with my FuelBelt 2 Bottle Belt loaded with about one half of my intended marathon calories, I was able to take on enough nourishment to finish the run in really fresh condition.

The only challenge that I've managed as the final days approach is a really concerning ball of tension in my groin muscle. I've used a sports massage and more days of rest in a row than I've had in months to try and give myself that final preparation for the Sunday race. I'm really excited to put myself to the test and I'm also pleased to know that I've got 88 days to go before the 40for40 event for final tuning.

Don't be afraid to check out the final course. I was able to drive it on Monday. I'm going to have plenty of beautiful vistas to help me ring in a new decade.

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