Every time I run a half marathon, I set up a practice run 2 weeks prior. I wear what I plan on wearing during the race. I eat what I plan on eating during the race. So, 2 weeks ago, I had my outfit planned.
I had been checking the weather all week (as us runners normally do before a big race). It was suppose to be 40 (at the start) and a high of 69 (way after I finished) and sunny. The Lucky Race was in Davis, Ca (about 20 minutes away, without any traffic). So, I picked up my bib and shirt race day morning.
I had plenty of sleep (I think I fell asleep about 9:30 the night before) and was ready to go. I was nervous, because I hadn't run this distance (for a timed race) in over a year. I hadn't trained as hard for this race, as I did for my first one (I wasn't in the gym 4 hours a day 6 days a week, but I did get my best time for that race). 40 degrees is cold first thing in the morning.
I have run in the rain, sprinkling rain, hail, sun and dark skies. But, I have never trained in heavy winds. I should have trained for a super windy race, but I didn't. About 4 miles into the race, the course took us along the side of the freeway (with a chain link fence to separate us and the cars). It had already been a windy race, nothing I couldn't handle. But that wind and then add the freeway wind (for about 2 miles). We got a little break when we went over the freeway, just to head back. Which meant, another 2 more miles in the heavy wind. Ugh! I should have trained for windy, but I never though of it.
At about mile 6, they were handing out water, Gatorade, banana slices, oranges and chocolate GU. I hadn't practiced with GU for this race. I practiced with Gatorade chews (which worked perfect). After last year's race, where I got food poisoning, I was afraid to try anything I hadn't practiced with. I took it just in case. I then started eating my chews I had brought with me. It helped and gave me the energy I needed.
I was able to deal with the rest of the freeway wind. We made our way around this beautiful park and I started feeling like my tank was empty. That's when I took out the GU. I've had GU before (I just didn't train for this race with it). I ate half of it and kept going. With 2 miles left of the race, I ate the rest of it.
I made my way across the finish line at 2:41:46 (official time). I didn't make my first or second goal, but I did make my 3rd (and most important. I crossed the finish line with a smile of my face and un-injured!
I was smiling the entire time (ok maybe not all of it, I didn't want any bugs in my teeth). Here I come, crossing the finish line, to get another medal to add to my collection.
I did it (with little training, but I did it)!!
After the race, we had some errands to run. As soon as I got home, I took a shower, to wash off all the salt. Then, I put on my compression calf sleeves, fixed a pb&j sandwich and poured a couple glasses of green monster juice and settled in on the couch.
I wanted to take a nap, (because we had plans with some friends, to celebrate, that night) but I just couldn't do it. I laid there watching tv (which usually puts me to sleep) and I read some, too. But, my mind was wide awake. I would get up every once in a while, so I wouldn't get stiff and I would stretch. I'm so glad I did! It made a huge difference!
I kept my sleeves on while we went out to dinner. I enjoyed my well earned onion rings, club sandwich and my hoppy beer!!
This bib is now on my board with the others and my medal is hung up in place, with the others. I can't wait until I earn my next medal (nothing on the schedule, yet).
Anyone else race this weekend? What races do you have coming up? Do you run the full distance before race day?