Wednesday, December 07, 2011
1. Consistency is key
Not to long ago I read that there's some formula you multiply your weekly mileage by to see where you'll hit the wall - and that had me worried, because I don't think I ever ran more than 20 miles, and many weeks, while nursing injuries, significantly less.
I never hit the wall. I think being consistent - and cross training - are the keys. I am not the sort of person who lives to run. I like variety. I like the challenge & endorphins of running, too, which is why I do it.
2. Cw-x tights are worth every penny to me
Between swimming, yoga & my cw-x tights, my achy hip mostly stopped bothering me in that last month of training. I wore them for my long runs & would stay in them for at least a half hour afterwards.
3. Don't try ANYTHING new before your HM
I knew this & I was going along pretty religiously respecting it. Or so I thought. Until I thought it would be a good idea to do a new yoga DVD the Tuesday before the race.
I'm not sure that's what caused my knee to be so funky, but it started shortly afterwards.
4. Research, people!
It's amazing to me the number of people who have no idea that Vegas can get cold. It was, in fact, colder here on the day/night of the race than it was back home in NY. I've been here in winter so I knew it was a possibility. It can even snow. Weather.com is your friend, but give it +/- 10 degrees because forecasts change.
Research the race itself. I'd read plenty of stories of RnR events being disorganized, so it wasn't a huge shock to me.
Research hotels. I switched partly because the Luxor had no wifi. The wifi here worked great. How far away from the start & finish lines are you willing to be? Will you drive? How far will you want to Walk after running 13.1 miles? I was riding my runner's high so we walked the mile back to the hotel, including having to go up & down the non-working escalators.
Research restaurants. What do you want to eat? I knew I wanted a goid pancake breakfast on race day. Blueberry hill did not disappoint.
5. Don't rely on the kindness of strangers
I'd read about races where they run out of water or food for the slowpokes like me. Yes, it would be way easier to run without carrying four 8 oz water bottles or GUs and a post race snack. I didn't have to struggle with the aid stations or wait hours for food afterwards - priceless.
Not to mention the many aggressive runners basically elbowing their way thru you - and the walkers walking so close together that you couldn't run around them. Or the street littered with gloves & hats & even sweatshirts.
6. Options are nice
Half my suitcase was taken up with running gear - that is not an exaggeration. Even with research, weather is variable. Pack a variety of tops. You won't regret it. A variety of running snacks isn't a bad idea, either. You never know what you might crave race day.
7. Check your bib AND chip
Well, anything where the numbers need to match - check em. Really, who would've expected my chip to not match my bib?
8. Go to the talks
If you have time, of course. They're interesting. You will learn new stuff. You could have your photo taken with an Olympian - I didn't, but I could have!
9. Goals are good, but running IS the goal
Goals are good, they motivate us. But you won't always meet your goal - I know I most definitely didn't. But in the end, I did: I ran a HM. It impresses the hell out of people. It's what I set out to do.
10. Finishing is winning
Kate Gosslein's shirt said so. Did you know this was her first marathon? I didn't until afterwards.
There will eventually be photos. Lots & lots of photos. Just not yet.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Fair warning: if describing food makes you wan't to eat, you might want to skip this blog.
My husband & I always seem at odds when it comes to food in Vegas. He wants cheap eats - not so easy to find anymore, but not impossible. I want good food - there are SO many amazing restaurants here.
OTOH, he has just been ridiculously proud of the whole HM thing - which came as a huge surprise because he's come to very few of my races. I am not one to toot my own horn in general. Before we left, tho, every time we told someone we were going to Vegas he made sure they knew why. I think I didn't usually mention it because a) I didn't wan't to jinx anything and b) like I mentioned, I don't really like that attention.
He almost immediately posted a photo of me before the race on his facebook page & kept urging me to post my photo here.
And then he consented to go to the Wicked Spoon buffet with me at the Cosmopolitan - and didn't even complain TOO much when we had to stand in line for an hour. If you go, go early - it's well worth the price but it's very deceptive. You stand in line to pay, which is normal, but it's only once you've paid that you see the line you REALLY have to stand in - to be seated.
I have eaten at quite a few Vegas buffets over the years, and this one ranks right up there with the best. And I let myself eat everything I wanted to - I left totally stuffed, but not uncomfortable. The portion sizes of everything was quite small - of course you can get as much as you want, but I didn't get seconds of anything - I ate 3 plates of food as it was!
Now, I know you're thinking you just ran a HM & you damn well ought to be able to eat anything you want, but here's the reality: if I'm lucky I burned 1400 calories. But I consumed about 600 - 700 calories during & immediately afterward. And this is why it's so easy to gain while training for long distances: IDI syndrome (I deserve it).
Pecan French toast - usually I'm disappointed by French toast at restaurants, but this did not disappoint.
Pasta with eggplant sauce
Butternut squash ravioli (almost got that at Spago)
Mac & cheese (holy yum!)
Cheddar hash browns
I also had a taste of my husband's eggs Benedict
I know, I know. Sounds like a huge amount of food - and it was - but the portions were small & I didn't completely finish anything.
I stuffed some bananas & apples in my purse - should've grabbed the bananas at the end of the race yesterday but I just didn't think of it.
The good news was I wasn't too hungry for dessert . . . I got a chocolate covered marshmallow that had some sweet crunchies on the bottom - nothing at dessert was labeled so I didn't know what it was. And 2 chocolate dipped strawberries that had crushed oreos on the bottom - thank you so much for placing that idea into my mind! Some of the chocolate fell off as I was eating it & I didn't even finish off what fell off; I was that full.
There seriously wasn't a bad dish there & there was way more I didn't try.
I stopped off at Ross on the way back but continued my non-buying streak. We'll see if I break it today.
I finally showered after I got back & then I kind of crashed. I was going to do some yoga - got into my pjs after the shower - but couldn't find the motivation. We were going to get together with NATPLUMMER & her husband for dinner, but frankly I was too tired, not hungry & couldn't muster up the energy to get dressed again. I had an apple, protein bar & some cookies in the room.
Well, Kara Goucher DID say at the expo that it's important to refuel after a long run even if you don't feel like it, after all.
Monday, December 05, 2011
I slept fine sat night, the night before the big race - other than waking up at 4 am, but that isn't really terribly unusual for me these days. I don't get nervous. I know there are many, many things that can go wrong - but I've done my training; I'm ready - just a bit concerned about what the body will throw at me.
We got together with NATPLUMMER & her husband for brunch. I had chocolate chocolate chip pancakes - because pancakes are my go-to breakfast/lunch on long run days. The upside of not getting nervous is I don't usually suffer with GI issues (other than my body protesting the lack of veggies this morning).
I hung out with Robin (aka KASHMIR) & her buddy Jackie for a little while before the race. They were sooooooo nice & helpful to me. Kind of rushed thru getting dressed, only to discover I had the wrong timing chip! Which gave DH fits, but I knew we'd get it straightened out. The bad part is he'd signed up to get tracking for me, which he couldn't get so he was po'd. NATPLUMMER had signed up to track me, too - sorry Nat!
I must say the prerace organization was sadly lacking. Trying to figure out where to go to straighten out my chip wasn't easy, but robin was really helpful & we got it done. I didn't see her again, sadly, altho I saw Jackie briefly. They just gave me a new bib & chip.
So we hung out, listening to Cheap Trick a bit. I didn't really feel hungry, but it'd been a loooong time since brunch so I ate some of the chocolate covered pretzels I'd brought with me. Didn't really need a portapotty, either, but used it anyway.
DH was very sweet & stayed with me the whole time right up until we began to move (a little), so I could wear my coat over my racing gear. And thank god, because it was really, REALLY cold having to stand around for basically 2 hrs from the time we got there. Yeah, we could've gone later but I figured earlier was probably better - and I don't regret that decision.
It took half an hour to get to the start - literally - but that was pretty much what I figured. I'd like to give you a mile by mile recount, but quite frankly I found the mile markers very poor & often had no clue how far I'd gone or how far I had to go.
I haven't run that slow in a long, long time. Just the sheer humanity of about 40,0000 or so runners. It really wasn't as bad as I'd expected. The bands along the route were fun, but you only hear them very briefly & I was really glad I had my MP3 player. I was also really glad I carried all my own water on my fuel belt - getting to the water would've been a pain & I like to take sips every 15 minutes.
The good news is my knee never really bothered me! Oh, there were twinges here & there all over my body - 13.1 miles will do that to you, even at that pace - but no outright pain. I saw so e running brides, but didn't see the run-thru marriages. I was sad I didn't see any running Elvi (Elvises) - but finally did somewhere around mile 8 or 9. Walking.
The walkers really slowed me down. I have nothing against walkers - I take walking breaks myself. And really, if you walk 13.1 miles, that's pretty cool. But many times it was just impossible to get thru them. My official time was 3:07:44 - WAY slower than I anticipated. But I'm cool with it - I finished, not in pain, & those were my goals.
I was shocked that about 95% were walking those last 3 miles. I ran. I really wish I knew my time from the last mile . . . I really ran . . . made me really feel like a runner. I had made sure to run the first 10 miles at a comfortable pace, and then I tried to pick it up.
DH was waiting for me in the reunion area - with a big kiss & my coat & honeystinger bar. I wasn't ravenous - long runs tend to suppress my appetite - but I ate it anyway since that, along with my 2 GUs consumed along the route & most of the honeystinger waffle I ate around mile 11 because I started to feel a bit light headed, were dinner. DH had a steak dinner while I was running. I never did hit the wall, thankfully.
I felt good afterwards. I almost always feel good afterwards. Really, it was a great first HM experience. The medal is cool - my first running bling! This morning my legs are really sore, but not painful.
Would I do it again? You betcha. Oh wait, I'm doing it again in 2 1/2 months! Any interest in a full marathon? No thank you very much. Maybe someday just to say I did it . . . maybe for my 60th birthday . . . and maybe not. Would I do THIS one again? Absolutely!
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Last night we went out to dinner with NATPLUMMER & her husband - I think we were all a bit tired, they with their long drive & us with the jet lag & running around. NATPLUMMER is so sweet tho - she brought me peanut butter chocolate brownies because she knows they're my fav - but not enough for me to really get into trouble with!
I laid around again this morning, iced the knee some & did some runner's yoga. The knee ached a bit toward the end - but I do think it's a bit better, if not normal yet.
Then I set out on a mission to find Spago at Caesar's Palace. While I usually get where I want to go, I also have an unerring ability to go the wrong way, but I managed to find the restaurant without too much trouble.
I'd looked up where to go for pizza & while the reviews were somewhat mixed they were generally favorable. I got a Greek pizza & demolished almost 3/4 of it - sad part being I could've eaten it all, but I restrained myself.
I don't usually go to Caesars because it's too high end for me - think gucci & tiffany's. But there's also Ann Taylor & Banana Republic, do I shopped some more - but left empty handed again. Just nothing that said buy me - at least not at my price point.
I mused some on the sadness of the hordes of people traipsing thru all the artificial environment of the casino shops - but I do love to do it. And I love to be out in nature. And I know I feel better when I look better . . . I guess it's just about balance, yet again.
I did stop at one of my favorite chocolate shops - Vosges - and bought sone chocolate for the pet sitters & a small box of chocolate PB bon bons & drinking chocolate for myself. Sadly the PB GU was all gone when I got to the expo.
I sat thru a couple of speakers again - really interesting. Too bad they don't stream live!
Then I was time for the meet up! I didn't know how i'd ever find anyone there, but eventually I found them. Many of them are already buddies in RL becaus of their races - things like hood to coast. So I was sort of on the fringes, but so many were soooo nice, too & I have some people to maybe look out for tomorrow . . . but with 40,000+ runners I've no doubt it will be a zoo.
Didn't manage to hook up with NATPLUMMER at all today, sadly, it just didn't work out. Waiting for DH to get back so I can get some pasta!
Friday, December 02, 2011
First, let me say what a crazy place Vegas can be. NOT a good town if you don't like crowds, altho DH doesn't but he still limes it. He went off to gamble yesterday, I was going to watch a movie, do some shopping, then we'd meet up at todai, a sushi buffet we lime to frequent, altho they've really raised the price lately.
As I set off to the miracle mike, as they call it, right before it the strip was blocked off. Turns out it was a NASCAR victory parade. In addition to that, there's a rodeo in town & of course the marathon. Only in Vegas! The weird thing is that DH & I ran into each other right where it was blocked.
So today I made my way to the expo to pick up my packet. If you get a monorail pass, from the south take the monorail to the harrahs stop. Find your way to the strip, turn right, walk past the palazzo & turn right on Sands. When you enter the expo, you'll take the stairs up one level & turn right & go straight back.
I changed my corral to 2:45. I hope I don't slow too many people down. I hope too many people don't slow me down! I hope that's not overly optimistic.
The expo was way crowded - and it's only Friday! - and a bit overwhelming. The goodie bag was a bit underwhelming - really not a lot in there: your technical tee, which is nice. Some GU chomps, a flashing light thing - not sure where you wear it, but that is kind of cool, and pain relief gel samples. A few discounts.
I got a couple more samples walking thru:more pain relief gels, marathon bars, sport beans. I haven't used sport beans in a while, but I have in the past, so I'll probably bring them with me since I know the honeystinger gels get hard in the cold. Man, I really wish honeystinger was there with some samples . . . speaking of GU, they have a new flavor out: peanut butter. Seems to be a big hit; I almost bought some - maybe tomorrow. Now, if they'd come up with chocolate PB . . .
I listened to a lot of the speakers - very inspirational. Sadly there wasn't a big crowd for anyone but Kara Goucher.
I also struck up a conversation with a woman sitting next to me . . . maybe more on that tomorrow. The short story is she's running the marathon, trying to qualify for Boston & her husband has leukemia . . . Aimee could use your prayers!
I am constantly rethinking what to wear . . . Walking back from the expo at about th start time . . . not so bad . . . but Sunday is supposed to be colder. The cw-x tights; that's a given. Maybe my half zip top & the light running jacket - not the hoodie. I'm sure I'll either back & forth about it!
Get An Email Alert Each Time JLITT62 Posts