Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kara Goucher Takes a Break From Her Boston Taper To Chat With Fit-Ink!

Drum roll please.....The awesome Kara Goucher--my running idol!--took a few minutes to answer some of my questions about her taper and how she's feeling with a week to go to the Boston Marathon. She was such a rockstar in the NYC marathon; I know she's going to tear it up in Boston on Monday. Run, Kara, run...we're rooting for you! Photo grabbed from BallHype.com. Posted by Liz

How are you feeling during the taper?
I am feeling good. I am just a week in or so, but so far so good.

When do you phase out strength training and plyometrics during the taper?

I do very light strength training until a week to go and I am done with plyometrics two weeks out.


You compete at all sorts of distances and have said you love to race. For some people (like me!) the pre-race butterflies can feel more "painful and dreadful" than "fun and exciting." Do you have any advice on how to deal with pre-race nerves and energy in the days leading up to an event?

Racing is a big endeavor, no matter how far you are running or how big of a race it is. When I go from being excited to being dreadful, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to be racing. Getting out there and racing is such a great opportunity and if I couldn't do it I would be sad. Sometimes you can let pressure and expectation rob you of the enjoyment of it all. Just go back in your head and remind yourself why you wanted to do the race in the first place. It's fun!


For NYC, you went "tough" instead of girly and painted your fingernails black and had water bottles decorated with skulls and crossbones. Are you doing the same stuff for Boston or will you roll out some new traditions and colors?

For Boston I am going to be a tough American girl. You can expect pink, skulls, and American flags.


Do you do anything special before a race to get psyched up?

When I warm up for a race I do listen to a mix that I prepared just for that race. It's not so much to psych myself up as it is to focus on the task ahead and to tune out all of the distractions around me.


What's your go-to, night-before-the-race meal?

I used to always have my mom's spaghetti. But, then I started traveling around the world and I could no longer be picky. So now I just want to have a fairly easily digestible. I have eaten Cuban food with my coach, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. As long as I don't go to bed hungry I can get by on anything now.


Any favorite TV shows you watch to unwind after a tough training day?

Oh yes, I am a huge fan of Tivo. My favorite shows are Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, 30 Rock, American Idol, and So You Think You Can Dance. Love Tivo, love it.


I know you focused on relaxing in order to get through the final miles of NYC, when dehydration was setting in. Do you have any mantras you say to yourself when the going gets tough out there?
I always have a power word that brings me back to my center and focus. For the marathon it is courage. To be courageous to hang in for the long haul, to be courageous to run my own race, to be courageous to believe in myself.

Do you have a favorite taper workout--something that gives you confidence and reminds you how speedy those legs can be while leaving something in the tank for Boston?
I did my last hard workout on Thursday, April 9. I did it 10 days out from New York as well. It is varying miles for 12 miles averaging my race pace. One mile slower, one mile faster for 12 miles. It gives me confidence that I am ready to handle the pace and any pace changes that will come my way. Now I have just easy runs and short workouts until the big day.

Do you have any favorite gear right now--shoes or a sports bra or anything awesome from Nike?

I always love my Nike gear. They make such great clothes and I love everything. Right now I love my gray and pink Dri-Fit gloves and I love my gray and pink Air Triax+ Structure 12's and the shoe I race in, the Lunaracer.

I know you wear a Phiten Titanium necklace...do you think it works?
I do think that my Phiten necklace works. But, at this point it has become a bit of a good luck charm, or safety blanket. I just believe that it will help me take more pain and so I can't be without it. It really is the only good luck charm that I have. I wouldn't dare run without it now!

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