Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ramblings of a Prepared Racer

So two posts in two days! Wow. The excitement builds as each day passes and we get closer to marathon day. This is why I do what I do. Because I love the feeling of anticipation. Then subsequently I LOVE the feeling of completion!

In follow up to yesterday’s post, I did find a course map. There is a ridiculous amount of water stops which made it difficult for me to do my math and calculate which ones we should stop at and for how long. 

The goal here is to do the race in 4 hours and 25 minutes. That’s 265 minutes. When all is said and done, my group will have averaged a 10:07 pace, BUT not really. We will average a 9:55 pace and walk through our water stops. Knowing this, we can only spend 20 seconds at 13 water stops. I think I determined there are actually 18 water stops along the way. We will have to skip some. 

In my write up/bio thing in the newsletter, I suggested all runners come to the race with a water belt. This is because I don’t want them running any differently than they did in their training. Bringing your own water belt is good for a few reasons. Essentially, you become dependent on only yourself in the race. Let’s imagine for a moment that water stops at miles 20-26 actually ran out of water. If you had water in your belt, you’d still be able to hydrate.  It’s called preparation.

Last year, I did the Las Vegas half marathon. I ran without a belt and was fine, BUT a huge complaint from some back-of-the-pack runners was actually that the race ran out of water. Yes, they were pissed. I would be too, BUT in the end, you can’t always depend on the race. You must come prepared.

Another reason you should run with a water belt is that you may not realize how often you hydrate until you don’t have the means to do so. In your training, you may not calculate how often you sip from your bottles. You may just do it when you are thirsty. Makes total sense… but when you’re in a marathon and you leave your belt behind, you may find yourself feeling parched when you’ve gotten used to hydrating every 1 mile. 

By encouraging my group to keep things consistent with their training when racing allows for minimal surprises on race day. Don’t eat anything weird in the days leading up to the marathon. Don’t try new GU’s. Don’t even try a new flavor of Gatorade.  Assume your stomach will not like it. And make sure you’ve worn a new pair of shoes for at least 50 miles before race day, but no more than 300. No new clothes either. I’ll never understand how people wear the free race shirt fresh out of the bag on race day. What if you break out in a rash because it hasn’t been washed? What if the itchy tag is in the exact wrong place and chafes you the whole time?

Bottom line is STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW. You’ll be pleased by the close of the race when all goes as planned.  You'll be better off knowing you did all you could do to make it a successful race. You don't want to left saying at the end, "Oh I never should have worn those new socks. I never would have gotten blisters if I stuck with my regular ones."

So, in other thoughts… I’m trying to plan where “my people”, i.e. my family will go to cheer me on and give me things. LOL.  In previous years, my mom would be at miles 13 then 21 with food and big signs. I LOVE THAT!!! Not sure if she’s planning that again. My aunt lives at mile 15, so I’m going to ask her to throw me a PB sandwich as I run past. My dad and step mom, Joe and Justin are always at the finish line. Knowing I’ll see my son in 6 miles, then 4 miles, then 2 miles, then .25 miles is wonderful motivation. Maybe if I think I can grab him and take him over the finish line with me this year, I will. I always think I want to, then I get there and I feel like my arms wouldn’t be able to handle the weight. 

Oooooh, all this dwelling in possibility has me excited! 

I skipped the gym this morning. I had a double workout yesterday. Gym in the morning then Bikram in the evening. I figure I may walk this afternoon after work so I decided to sleep in. I certainly needed the extra 75 minutes in bed though.

Justin was up last night around 1:30 am. He came into our bed and was moving and squirming all over. I could tell he was miserable. Upon inspection, I realized he had peed through his diaper! Ugh. Very frustrating for two reasons… The end of diaper use is in sight. He’ll go all day in undies. He even poops on the potty now, which was a big hurdle to get over. I’d like to think he’ll be sleeping in undies soon, but then we experience something like last night.  That coupled with needing to fix a wet bed in the middle of the night makes for the act of sleeping in (until 6:00 am) much desired.

By the way, here a few links to check out:


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