Wednesday, November 23, 2011

13.1-Eve (and Thanksgiving and stuff)

Nothing like a mild flirtation with an upper-respiratory ailment to put me on my ass and force me to taper. I had kind of forgotten to ease up the past few weeks and I think a cold/laryngitis was just the reminder I needed to stay off my feet for a minute to get ready for the half tomorrow morning.

Can I just add that waiting tables without a voice is... um, interesting? All I can say is hooray for competent trainees and sympathy tips. A few people were nice- they told me my raspy, croaking voice sounded sexy. I guess some people have a thing for women who sound like 60-yr-old smokers with emphysema.

Fortunately, I'm better now. I don't have my singing voice back and I still sound a little off, but I feel good. I've got enough echinacea, Umcka, and vitamin C flowing through my veins I might actually turn into a new hybrid immunity-boosting herb/plant/fruit tree.

Onto race day prep: I have a few traditions. Nothing crazy, just little things to get me pumped and in the mood to run for, say, an hour and 40 minutes or so (or at least, that's the goal).

The PlaylistA good bit of thought goes into my ears. I'll admit, even when people were trying to be strict about not allowing race participants to use their music players, I still broke the rules. It's not that I don't thrive off the crowd and air of excitement on race day, but I really love my music. It's not even that I put my most favorite songs E.V.E.R. on my list, but I enjoy trying to choreograph my race, so to speak, in the same way I choreograph a spin class. I need to start with even-paced, relatively calm music to avoid going out too fast. I need longer songs that build in intensity to really settle into my race pace. I need something mellow to "cruise" to in the middle 7-10 miles. Then I need bass-thumpin, guitar-wailing, drum-exploding, bad-ass music to push me through the last few miles and kick it in strong.

you know I gotta have me some Foo
The Primping 
I don't do much. It's more about picking out an outfit that says, "I'm a real runner, I swear!" and doing my nails. I almost went with my coworker to get my nails done yesterday, but then I remembered I wanted arm warmers to complete my outfit so opted for the home manicure instead.
Pretty in Purple

The Expo
Duh! We all know it's the best part of any major running event. Of course, it's a money pit, so you have to know going in what, if anything, you will buy from any of the numerous vendors and how much you're willing to spend. My personal tips for the expo: 1) Try on new shoes, but don't be tempted to buy them to wear the next morning for the race. They need time to break in and no matter how cool and shiny they seem, you'll miss your old kicks before you are even done warming up for the race. Save the sneaker purchase as a post-race treat. 2) Try to leave the kids at home. Trust me! I got to go without Alexis and as horrible a mom as this makes me sound, it was SO nice to peruse the racks and try on shoes without having to stop her from rearranging items on display, or accidentally making me steal stuff by hiding it in my tote bag. Also, I'm not a fan of tripping over others' kids and strollers. 3) Don't buy food unless you know what goos/gels/blocks you want and just haven't gotten a chance to buy them yet. Otherwise, you'll be tempted to buy and eat something you're not used to, just begging for your GI tract to interfere with your race plans!

Try to get out of the expo with only the things you need! (The 5-hour energies are for my hubby/chauffeur).

The Prerace Dinner
Nothing crazy for me. I indulge a bit more the few days leading up to a race, but having done a few marathons before, a half marathon is not something I go nuts with the carb-loading for. Since a lot of my fluids have been tea this weekend thanks to my throat issues, I've been adding lots of honey. Otherwise, I'm just focusing on drinking lots, eating when I'd normally eat despite the appetite going down with the cutback in miles, and keeping things relatively lean: No heavy sauces or greasy meals here. My favorite prerace dinner was the steak, arrugula and brie on croissant (trés français). I don't think I want to cook tonight, but I will aim for a hearty, light sandwich and maybe a small glass of wine.

The Race Day
My race morning fuel is a little odd, and I probably wouldn't recommend to everyone. But I can't eat a lot and I, the coffee lover, the person who's personal life motto would me "With an extra shot, please", the woman who might take coffee intravenously, if given the opportunity... you get the point... just can't stomach coffee the morning of a race. So I take 2 Excedrin with a glass of almond milk and eat a granola bar. I know, I'm weird.

OK, so what are YOUR Race Eve and Race Day traditions?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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