I think about a lot of things as a runner that I never thought about before. Basically, there are a lot of VERY IMPORTANT THINGS in my life as a runner that I never considered important before.
- Race Day Nutrition. And not in the “Eat Healthy” sense, but in the “What do I eat at mile 5 to get me through to mile 13?” sense. Everyone has a different method or system that works for them. And theirs probably won’t work for me. I’ve found a decent system, I think. I take a Gu pack 15 minutes before the long run (It’s exactly what it sounds like, a little pack of gooey substance that is filled with sugars and caffeine.) and gummy chomps ever 4 miles or so along the way. The gummies are hard to eat while I run, but they’re the only thing that doesn’t flip my stomach.
- Our Fleet Feet closes early on Fridays. Like, by 6pm or 7pm. This means that I need to remember BEFORE Friday to stock up on those Race Day nutrition packs. I forgot about the Friday issues for the first SEVERAL long runs. Now? It’s part of my ritual. Friday at lunch I go by Fleet Feet.
- Neon Colors ARE AWESOME! Turns out it’s kinda dangerous to run at night. Suddenly I value the hot pinks and neon greens in my running wardrobe. I am NOT a neon color person in general but if look at my running gear basket? You would not believe otherwise. I practically glow in the dark now.
- Pedicures are a think of the distant past. I have lost 2 toenails completely and I have 2 that might as well be gone as they’re all black. Now, I’ve fixed some of the issues that were causing that (bad shoe size, long nails) but my feet are just more prone to it than some so I’m going to get the black toenail periodically no matter how hard I try to avoid it. When I look at my feet I’m torn between repulsion and pride. It’s a delicate balance.
- Electrolytes. OH MY GOD. It turns out? Electrolytes are NOT just some fancy word Gatorade companies use in commercials to make you think their drink is better than water. Turns out? IT’S BETTER THAN WATER. Well, not really. But Electrolytes help you use the water more efficiently, helps you actually retain it, so that hopefully you won’t need to carry gallons when you run. I put electrolyte tablets in my water now, and I take and electrolyte pill before I run. YAY! for Electrolytes!
- Shirts with only arms. What? Yes. I paid 20 dollars for SLEEVES. Not even a whole shirt – just SLEEVES. Some people swear by them in cold weather because, as you warm up, you can push them down around your wrist or easily tuck them away in a pocket instead of tying a shirt around your waist. I’m not 100% sold because mine chaffed my biceps when I wore them. I like them in theory but I’m not sure I’ll wear mine on race day.
- WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR ON RACE DAY? I’m more worried about this than I was during any formal in high school. The weather is going to be cold early but sunny and I’ll warm up. I’m thinking I’ll dress for warmer weather than usual so I don’t have to run with things around my waist. I’m just going to trust I’ll be okay. But I’ll have to wear my gloves and my ear covers because those parts of me never warm up.
- Pacing. OH, MAN. This one is stressful. I’m running with my coach who is going to try to get me to the finish line by 2:07. In theory I should actually be able to run faster based on some of my other long run times and based on my speedwork. HOWEVER, I wan’t to enjoy myself – that’s the key. I want to find the balance between PROUD OF MY TIME and FELT GOOD DURING MY RUN. If I go too slow, I’ll feel great but I’ll hate my time. If I go too fast I’ll be proud of my time, but I’ll have been in hell for 2 hours. I’m hoping 2:07 is perfectly in the middle.
What do you find your runner’s brain focused on that our normal brain ignores?
Week From Hell Disclaimer: I am not taking time to proof any of my blog entries this week. Not that they’re ever examples of perfect grammar or spelling even when I DO proofread them, but this week it will be worse. I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT.