Saturday, October 03, 2009

Half Marathon Eve

Tomorrow's my big day. First race. Can't wait, honestly. I have no more real prep to do so I'm just over-thinking today's eating this morning. I think the only way around that (and hopefully, the way to avoid some godawful tummy troubles tomorrow) is to just eat stuff I always eat. Not so sexy, but that way I won't be staring down the business end of a porta potty at mile 7. What does that even mean? I don't want to stare down ANY end of a porta potty... you get it.

I have my socks ready, and I've decided to go with the Wright socks because I'm still worried about blistering. I ran my teensy little two miler on Thursday with better socks and the blister stayed intact... It's finally healing up.  I'm hoping that with good socks and some Body Glide I can avoid crippling pain. Who am I kidding though, I've been telling everyone I'm finishing this thing no matter what--even if I have to hop on one leg. I figure if I can get through Swan Lake with blisters, I can get through Cowtown with blisters.

I'm not sure yet what tank I'm wearing--mostly because I don't want it to be slippery if I wear my fuel belt (too much tugging down when it slides up), but I know I'm going to wear my favorite black booty shorts.  They're the most comfortable for me when I run.  I think years of jazz dance gave me a predisposition to spandex.  I don't worry about them as much as other clothes when I run, and I think a healthy swipe of Body Glide on the thighs will make the chafe situation much more manageable.  Is that TMI?  Yeah, my thighs rub together when I run.  Suck it, Modesty.

I'm not nervous about running it at all.  I do have a few jitters about the length of time it's going to take to do this, but I have a feeling it's going to feel a lot like my ten miler last weekend--hopefully better.  I also get a little nervy before I add on any mileage to a long run, so this is familiar territory.  That ten miler was totally manageable, I just know I have to get that impatient feeling out of my head.  It's funny how that's counter-intuitive for my distance running; the more I feel like I need to hurry up, the more I end up making myself have to walk.  I need to just let it happen and take my time.  I need to find something really interesting to think about.  Maybe I'll map out the rest of my semester's lesson plans--kidding.

The thing I'm most anxious about is all the hanging out beforehand.  It's the runners' equivalent of being early to a dance audition.  Everyone sizing each other up, everyone feeling like they need to put on a show of their pre-exercise routine... I used to hate being early to auditions.  I feel like warming up (running or dancing) is an intensely personal thing, and I hate that it has to feel like a "let's prove how awesome I am" competition.  God, that kind of crap feels like everything I hated about high school.  I am glad I'm going to have Aunt Mar there to talk to.  The WORST thing about all of this for an introvert like me would be the standing around not wanting to talk to anyone because I'm such a fraidy.

Tonight I'm going to need to be in bed at a decent hour--that's going to take some doing... Oh, and it's going to be cold before it starts.  I'm worried a little about how cold it will be because obviously I don't want to run this thing in a snow parka, but for the hour before it starts, I'm going to be chilly... Have to work out the layer thing tonight. Race fuel will be brought to me by my favorite Ab&J smashed sandwich triangles and sport beans--two things I know won't make me waste time in the can.

I picked up my race packet yesterday afternoon, and I feel good about my number.  That's so silly, but if you read this post, you know my weird color/number synesthesia thing and you know it matters to me.  2110.  Even numbers on both ends, symmetry in the middle.  Yellow-white-white-clear.  It feels good.  So I have my lil' number, my pins, my chip timer (no idea how that goes on a shoe yet, but I got the little fastener too).  I'm such a noob.  I had to laugh at myself sucking in my gut when I went into Fleet Feet to get the packet... can't let all those "real runners" see me as I really am.  (Like sucking in my gut makes me suddenly look like a Kenyan Marathoner.--ha.)

So I figure I'll be fine once I get a few miles in.  It's a weird thing for someone like me who has been running in isolation--and loving that aspect of it--to suddenly be doing this very private thing on a very public scale.  I'm going to try hard to look at tomorrow like any other long run and not let myself fixate on things like pace or speed that I know don't matter to me.  My only goal: finish.  That way, I can celebrate this achievement as what it is--pretty dang awesome for somebody who hated running for her entire life, and just started to focus on it a little more than six months ago.  Just for fun, you can read my post from my very first day of running, here.  I'm (dare I say this?) pretty stinkin' proud of me, just for trying tomorrow.

Updated (inspired by Annemarie's questions):

What I'm going to wear:

Nike Dri-fit racerback tank

Champion Cami sports bra (from Target)

Aspire Polyester/Lycra booty shorts (on Clearance at Sports Athority, probably around May)

Wrist cuff pocket (to hold the sport beans)

Wright cool mesh socks

Saucony Pro-Grid Guide shoes

The shorts are fitted, but looser near the bottom.  Very comfortable.  I find I don't like running in regular, loose running shorts because usually they're too high waisted and the elastic band bothers me when it's tight around my middle.  These shorts are a thin fabric, so they're really lightweight.

This is Bodyglide.  It's in a stick form, like a deodorant.  You put it on anywhere you have chafing and/or blistering, and it doesn't sweat off.  Pretty cool!


  1. you're going to be awesome tomorrow! good luck!!!!

  2. Awesome post! SO excited/happy/proud/nervous/etc for you! I will be praying, praying, praying today and tomorrow!

    PS. Few q's: (1) What is Body Glide? I'm having trouble with my thighs rubbing together as well! (2) What booty shorts do you wear?! I went to Sports Authority and bought 3 different pairs of shorts and all are not working out! I hate being frustrated with the clothing during a run, so I need something that is not distracting!

  3. That was my first half and it was a blast!! Don't over think it too much, I am sure that you will do amazing!! I remember starting to get a little wiped out at about mile 10, but at that point I was stoked because I was almost there, so it wasn't a problem. Your last mile will feel so great - you are running in a beautiful area! Can't wait to hear how it goes!! :)

  4. Good luck tomorrow! Will you be wearing an iPod? Or is that a race no-no? Have you ever posted a list of the best music to run to? If not, I request the post. That's all for now. Again, GOOD LUCK HEATHER!

  5. Good luck Heather! The great thing about the 1/2 marathon is that the fast runners tend to be up in the front to actually start at the start line. The rest of us common folk whose thighs rub together and such stick to the middle of the pack and in the back. I think that you will be surprised at the range of people, body types, and running strategies when you get there.
    I think that if you're not nervous you are doing something wrong. :) You will do great tomorrow and be hooked for your next one! Good call on sticking to the regular breakfast. The crazy thing about running is that it's what you do when you are not running that makes the difference. Even though I haven't seen you since the EGUMC youth group days I will be cheering you on in spirit and anxiously waiting to hear how it goes. Beth and I were even talking yesterday how excited we were for you. Thank goodness for FB!