The clock is ticking and the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon is only one week away! The time is finally here for you to strap on those running shoes and dust off the wine glasses! By now you should have completed your longest “long run.” Continue with your regular running program but there is no point in trying to squeeze in one last long run. Your body will not benefit much and it will cause more stress on your body the necessary. You have trained, gotten those miles in, and now it is time to relax! This week should be all about winding down and saving your energy for the big event. If you are getting really itchy to get a good workout in, think about cross-training this week instead. Go for a swim or ride your bike on the days where your energy is tempting you to have a good sweat. You can do some mental preparations this week as well. Many of you already have your mental game routine ready. Some people like to look at the course map to see details, gains in elevation, etc. If you live close to the course, think about driving it so that it is familiar to you. Read those race day instructions, print out your registration for bib pick-up and start making a list of things to pack for race day. Despite all the hype on the carb loading the night before, carbohydrate intake should actually begin Wednesday or Thursday. Aim to increase your carbs by 60-70% and that doesn’t mean with beer which brings me to my next topic. Keep your body hydrated. Drink plenty of water this week and try to avoid excess amounts of coffee, tea, and alcohol. If you are planning on bringing a sport drink with you, experiment with them now so that you don’t have any upset tummy surprises on race day. Many runners like to get massages before a race, and if you are one of those people, do it no later than the Wednesday before the race. They can be dehydrating. Test run any of your new gear or apparel. If you have new socks, a new hat, hydration belt, etc. wear them during one of your easy runs this week. You don’t want any surprises or wardrobe malfunctions while you are out on the course. Have a great week and try to contain your excitement for the big weekend! We can’t wait to have you out in wine country!