Weekend Review: Before and After 22

Peak-Week over!  Time to Taper!  In other words, I finished up my last "really long run" before the San Francisco Marathon in Three weeks! I'll still run, but nothing over 12-15 until Race Day!  The excitement is building.

Most of the questions I get from friends, family, and followers revolve around my routine BEFORE and AFTER my long runs.  So I thought I'd take some time to focus on what I did the night before my 22-miler, and my routine afterwards for recovery. 

In order to beat the heat, or at least, beat the SUN, I had to START my run around 5am. So I had to go to bed super early.  On a Saturday night.  Oh the sacrifices we runners make! lol. 

Anyway, some people ask "what sort of exercise do you do the day before a long run like that?"  Well, I try to usually keep it light.  This time I did some light strength training and ab work.  Also, I took to my foam roller to work out any tight-spots like my IT band and did a little runner's yoga too.  (Click HERE for a link to the Runner's World Yoga videos I use)

Before heading off to bed, I made sure to eat a good carb-heavy meal.  I whipped up some whole wheat bow-tie pasta and chicken Alfredo sauce.  Delicious and full of those oh-so-good carbs!

Then, I laid out all my gear: hydration vest, GUs, Cocogo, Salt Sticks, Sports Beans, Clothes, Compression Sleeves, and Shoes.  Finally, it was time to sleep!  I work nights and am used to a 11:30pm bedtime, so going to bed around 8pm is rough.  But it had to be done! 

I woke up at 3:30am because before my really long training runs, I like to have a decent breakfast so I don't burn out of fuel mid-way through.  My go-to quick breakfast is "overnight oats".  Then I took a pocketfuel cold brew energy shot for extra measure. 

By the time I'd walked the dog, and gotten all my gear on and ready, my oats had settled and it was time to run!  It was already getting light out and the temps were around 85-88.  That's "cool" for Arizona in the morning!  Nonetheless I powered through and snagged some awesome sunrise pics!

I ran 8 miles before meeting my friends Steve.  I topped off my hydration vest bladder, did a quick wardrobe change (I was already soaked in sweat), and we took off for another 14miles.  It was blistering hot by then, but thankfully there was some cloud cover so the sun wasn't beating down on us the ENTIRE time. 

For fuel I had my GUs and sports beans... but I'd also chopped and frozen a banana to try along the run.  It tasted great and was a nice change from the straight-up sugar...but by the time the pieces had melted it was mostly banana-flavored mush.  I still gobbled it down nonetheless.  Maybe next time I'll try some dehydrated banana instead.

We took some unfamiliar trails, just to explore a little bit.  But for the most part we stuck to where we knew there were fountains to re-fill.  My hydration vest holds 2Liters of water, so I didn't have to re-fill too often, but Steve just had a handheld bottle and in this heat, you gotta stay hydrated!

When we finally finished, I had some homemade Gatorade Popsicles ready for us.  The PERFECT treat after a 22miles in the desert heat!  Shortly afterwards, I made one of my favorite protein smoothie (Recipe HERE) and took a cold/ice bath with some Epsom salts for good measure. 

Later, I made sure to eat plenty...okay... I indulged a little.  I had a mimosa and some flat bread pizza from one of my fav local Brunch places ,O.H.S.O, to celebrate a great run!

All in all the heat was tough, but by now I'm used to it.  I do owe my friend Steve some major Kudos for braving the heat with me and pushing me along for my final miles.  He's doing the Half-Marathon in San Fran and having a friend to take my mind of the heat and pain makes a tremendous difference. 

Now it's time to taper and take care of myself before Race Day!  I hope hearing about my routine helped answer some questions.  But now it's my turn to ask YOU some questions!  What's YOUR favorite pre-race fuel and post-race treat?? 


  1. Beautiful Sunrise!!! I was in bed at 7.30pm recently for a 5.30am run start......love my sleep!!! Pre- race - half a multigrain muffin loaded with as much PB&J as I can fit on it!! Post race - more water & a raspberry choc banana protein smoothie :-)

    1. Chocolate protein smoothies seem to be the trend. ;-)

  2. Great post! Friends always help pass the time, especially on those long runs - they can be brutally boring after a while. Favorite pre-race fuel is Chocolate Vegan Shakeology when I wake up mixed with a whole banana and some cinnamon. Then I take 30 Energy Bits about 20 minutes before the race. Post race treat? I just eat whatever my body is craving. It ALWAYS changes, so I don't have a go to. Sometimes it's a veggie burger, fries and a beer and sometimes it's a GIGANTIC salad with a TON of toppings. Just depends. haha

    1. My body usually craves ALL the food.. Lol

  3. lol.. that is some pathetic cloud cover. I agree about finding someone to run the long runs with you. It really does help pass the time and make the run a little more pleasant.

  4. What a great sunrise pic! You're amazing for running 22 miles in this HEAT--cloud cover, ppshhh!

  5. Hi Jeremy! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you. :) Before races (or long runs) I go with a boring cereal with almond milk. I try not to load up on protein or too much fat, and I worry about oatmeal being a little too... fibrous... for a successful long run (for me at least). Post race, anything goes. I LOVE going to Redhook Brewery and getting a pint, a steak salad, and a pretzel.

    Good luck on your marathon!


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