Wednesday, October 28, 2009

10 things I've learned along the way

I've been thinking about writing this post for quite some time now - but figured that I needed to actually complete my goal before entertaining thoughts of "what worked?". Seeing as I'm now 10 days out I think that it's time to figure out what worked and didn't work in the days - nay, months - leading up to my race.

1. DO leave enough time. I planned a 21 week training schedule. Gave me enough time to anticipate any injuries of which thankfully there were none after week 6. Technically this is three weeks longer than most training schedules - but it worked for me.

2. DO join a group. I know I know, this is ME the GROUP HATER saying this but I can't stress enough how helpful it was. I do wish that I had made it out to more long runs with the full group - but I can't imagine doing hills or track without them. It's not like we were constantly cheering and smacking each others asses, but just having someone out there slogging away with me was really, really, really encouraging.

3. DO drink Gatorade BEFORE you leave the house. Can't remember who suggested this but it was great advice. I found that if I sipped a cup with my breakfast it would help keep me hydrated on the run. Also - Blue Gatorade all the way.

4. DO watch your form. After our first hill training session I thought my back was going to snap in two - so when my coaches suggested that my Beyonce Butt was to blame I made the adjustment. Pushing my hips forward kept me in alignment and now it's something I always check on a hill. Thanks Beyonce.

5. DO turn your socks inside out. It seems like no matter what sock I wear there are always mad seams in the toe area. After a few ill-placed blisters I turned my socks inside out and haven't turned back since.

6. DO nod to your fellow runners. Bus drivers do it and so can we. If you're out on the road and you're slogging through your miles and another lone soul comes towards you - ACKNOWLEDGE them! We're on the same team here! Unless of course Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher are reading this - in which case go ahead and trip each other ladies. But for the rest of us weekend warriors a little smirk goes a long way.

7. DO ice. Controversial and hard for many to even consider - but ice is your friend. And yes I may have scarred the cat for life by the amount of screaming that I did from my frozen bathtub, but it was worth it. And hey after a few minutes you don't even feel it anymore - and by "it" I mean your soul and your lady/man parts.

8. DO distract yourself on long runs. My distraction of choice - audiobooks. The trashier the better. In fact I made it through the entire Twilight series while training for this race. The simple teen dialogue and lack of multi syllabic words is all the better for your starved brain. Also recommended: Dan Brown and Ken Follett.

and a few DON'Ts for good measure :)

9. DON'T forget to sleep. Not to say that you should spend your training hours in the sack - but don't underestimate the value of a good, solid rest. I had a nap after nearly every long run this summer and it was brilliant.

10. DON'T poop your pants. There is a certain natural incontinence that comes on race day - can barely be avoided. And hopefully it doesn't happen on the course.  I did my best by always taking a Tums before runs longer than an hour. Helped to settle my stomach with the added bonus of upping my calcium intake :) Also, if you do have to use a portapotty on the race course for God's sake - please don't shit on the seat. It's just rude.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:51 pm

    I'm posting these somewhere I will constantly see them. The fridge.

    Ok, I'm not posting No. 10 on the fridge.