Thursday, November 8, 2012

13.1 miles of thoughts...

For 13.1 miles, I thought...For me, that was 2 hours and 19 minutes of thoughts... That's a lot of thoughts....Mostly, I thought about what a first time runner should know before a race like this... things I read and asked before I started, and things I learned along the way.   Am I a professional?? Not in any way. These are only my thoughts and opinions.

To start....
Train, Train, Train. Do not go into a race such as half marathon lightly. It's a huge stress on your body.

Get the right gear. Runners spend money on good clothes and shoes for a reason!

Stay healthy. Eat and drink properly, take your medications/vitamins and listen to your body. An illness or injury can be a huge set back.

Practice what you are going to use, do, wear, eat, run on, etc... You shouldn't do anything new on race day.

Rest for the days leading up to the race.

Cardo Load and get lots of fluids the day before. (Your urine should not be yellow, but clearish.)

Organize--- make lists of what you want to remember to take for the race and lay things out the night before. You want to make sure that you have everything.

The Race...
Stretch before going into the corrals and lining up. You will more than likely pack in like sardines and not have any room to do so then.

Stay warm with extra layers that you can strip off, but put your bib on a layer that you know you will keep on. Once you're packed like sardines, you will stay warm!

When you strip down before the race starts, get your clothes/trash bags off of the street. People slower than you behind you (like me!) shouldn't have to leap over your trash bag that is blowing across the street. It's dangerous.

At drink stations, grab a cup and keep going. If you want to stop to drink, move out of the way. When you're done get your cup in the trash can or close to it. One extra second to aim a little better won't kill you. Save the volunteers extra time. Also, don't just throw your cup down anywhere you please. Again, those people behind you don't want to dodge cups in the street and definitely don't want water/Gatorade splashed on them. (yes, it happened to me!)  AND--- don't expect a volunteer to try and pour a cup of water in your little hydro bottle as you run by. It's rude and unreasonable--- and people behind you have to dodge you.

Make mental notes of all of the clever shirts and signs you see along the way. There will be some cute ones.

Bring your own calories. In the race I did, the table of gummies was empty by the time I got there, but luckily I had my own sport beans.

If you can, check your messages. I got so many encouraging text messages throughout the race. I loved reading them.

Take some pictures... Yes, it got me some funny looks, but I am so glad that I snapped a few quick pics with my phone!

Your brain may try to give out before your body does. Push through. You trained for this... you can do it!

Be appreciative of the volunteers and spectators. They are there to support you. Smile, nod, and thank them!

If you are running through a town or city, there will more than likely be some rough roads. We ran through an area in the midst of being paved, so there were uneven patches. We also ran over some sandy patches (slick!) and over many many many broken roads and pot holes. You have to be watching. A girl near me fell in a pot hole!

Don't worry about getting lost. Police have roads blocked and there will be signs, markings and volunteers to get you where you need to go! (More than likely--- motorists and pedistrians will be grouchy by blocked streets and sidewalks! Ignore them!)

Volunteers on bikes and golf carts will be coming through the area to check if anyone needs medical staff. Don't worry about being stranded with an injury.

Look around.... 13.1 miles is a long time to view the scenery. Take it all in.

Post Race...
Pose for pictures. You'll want them later.

Rest. Rest. Rest.

Ice Up.

Eat quickly after the race. Your body needs fuel.

Get a recovery drink--- they usually provide chocolate milk!

Rest some more.

Again... I am not a professional. These are my opinions and thoughts.

Happy Training!!


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