After the marathon, I had a tiny bit of stiffness in my ankles but no other soreness. I'm pretty grateful for that, and just superstitious enough to make sure that I do it the same way again.
Things I would do exactly the same next time, and things I would do differently. Obviously, not everything works the same for everyone, but maybe its something you can try in training and see if any of it works for you.
1. I carried a small water bottle. This was unnecessary, as there was water every 1-1/2 miles. Filling it slowed me down. Next time, I'll carry a disposable bottle (since the first few aid stations are usually pretty crowded) and toss it after it's empty, then just rely on aid stations.
2. I'll take individual PowerGels instead of a Hammer gel flask, so I can lighten my load. I've noticed that PowerGels have more sodium and potassium in them, so I could also skip the Enduralytes I took on this course. Between not carrying the gel flask and Enduralyes, I'll have less to fiddle with and carry around.
3. Next time it's this cold, I'm going to bring a disposable foil blanket to the start line to keep warm. They're cheaper and warmer than the $8 tyvek jackets.
4. I wore my singlet, which held my number, underneath my l/s running shirt. I noticed several people wore theirs on top, so that their number could always be seen. I'm going to do that next time.
5. I loved my RaceReady shorts. They rock.
6. I am so glad I tossed running tights in the suicase at the last moment! I read an article today in an old Runner's World about how you should take just about every running piece of clothing you might need, and then pick your outfit the day of the race based on the actual weather, and not the weather the organizers say they "usually" get.
1. At mile 5 or so, I took 3 Advil, then 2 more about 3 hours later. I got this idea from Debbi, a fellow Outlaw, and it got rid of the ache I was feeling in my lower legs. I was a little nervous about this because I'd read that it can interfere with sodium uptake, but it worked out fine, since I was supplementing my sodium.
2. The road on this one-way marathon was arched in the middle. A friend had urged us to run in the middle where it is flatter. After hearing several friends complain about how their right legs were hurting them, I'm glad we did.
3. I skipped breakfast. I didn't mean to, but I didn't even miss it given that I'd been snacking steadily on carbs for the two days prior and had a grande soy mocha prior to the race (carbs, protein, liquid) I took my gels (at least 100 calories) eveyr hour, and I was fine. I also did not take in any nutrition that was not in liquid form.
4. I took caffeinated gels: one at mile 10 and two at mile 20. I think they really helped stave off fatigue.
5. I wore my heart strap so that I could monitor my heart rate. I know that when it starts to drift upward, that's a sign that I need to drink some water and/or slow down a bit.
6. I got in at least two 20-mile runs before the marathon, and then I ignored my panic and did my taper even thought it just felt so WRONG.
7. Injinji toe socks. Oh yeah, baby. Not a blister, not a foot problem to be had. They also make the claim that your toes being able to move independently allows for more natural flexing of the foot. I believe them.
8. I wasn't sure about running with Sweet Baboo. I always considered running to be a solitary activity. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was, is, fantastic having someone you know running alongside you, helping you out, telling your poor deaf self that your watch is beeping...and encouraging. I *HEART* running with Sweet Baboo. Very much.
So, tomorrow, I begin again. I think my next goal might be to do a whole marathon without any walk breaks, so that I can do it faster.
I'm so envious and jealous of Nytro, who did her half marathon in 2:05. I would LOVE to be that fast! I'm starting again tomorrow with a long run of about 7 miles, and I'll be working my way back up to at least 20 miles, slowly, running the whole way. Over the next two months, I'm going to do some speedwork during the week. I'll be spinning and swimming here and there, as well as upper body weights, but running is my weakest link and what slows me down the most, so I'm going to work on improving it during the off season.
Next planned event: John Stermer Memorial Duathlon at White Sands Missel Range. This is a run-bike event that includes some sand running.
Have I told you how much I love running in the sand? Oh, I haven't?
Well, there's a reason for that.
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