10 January 2012

Hoop La

4 days and counting.

I think I have finally turned the corner on my flu and I have actually started back up running again. I don’t have much stamina, but I still intend to make the Half Marathon on Sunday (or die trying).  I was freaked a bit Sunday night because I couldn’t find my race packet (usually get mailed out around December), but was able to check out my status on line. The Marathon is going “greener” this year and are not mailing out packets, instead relying upon e-mail notification to the runners. Friday & Saturday is the Health Expo where we pick up our race packets, bib numbers, and shirts. It is one of those free health fairs that has a ton of freebies and handouts plus a lot of local running stores/businesses are set up there selling their wares. A great place to buy a new set of running clothes or even a sweet pair of running shoes for ½ price. I usually wind up getting more shorts and energy bars/gels/shots for the race. A lot of people load up on those energy shots during the run to maintain energy. Two years back, a friend/co-worker who was doing the full marathon gave me some of her energy gels and those helped me out on the back end of the run. I don’t really like the Cliff Bars (too dry) and the shots are like jello cubes. I prefer the energy packets that are about 2 ounces of some pudding flavored energy concoction. .

I always find the hoopla surrounding the whole Marathon weekend legendary. Rain or shine, we will step off at 0700 Sunday morning with close to 24,000 runners (13,000 full, 11,000 half). Something about 24,000 bodies being crammed onto two downtown streets at 0600 in the morning awaiting the starting gun just gets the adrenalin going. I keep making plans to get better trained each year, but life always seems to throw me a curve each year and I find myself woefully unprepared. Last year I was able to finish up in a 2:26, but this year I am just hoping to just break 2:30. The running doesn't necessarily wear me down, it is the time.  2.5 hours of pounding the pavement gives me a lot of internal time to ponder things. I have my iPod charged & loaded up, I’ve downloaded a few new “running tunes”, and I have sorted the songs into a running category. I like to kick on the shuffle mode so I don’t know what is coming up next, but nothing will break my stride like switching from Pink to John Tesh. Even though Sunday the streets will be packed, I prefer to run by myself - I use the time to organize my thoughts, plan my day, get into arguments with myself. I find the debate takes my mind off any aches and pains I might have.

It is about this time I start watching the weather to see what it will be like on Sunday and what I need to wear. Of course, the weather is being fickle again. The weekend was beautiful, definitely not winter like. Very mild and temps in the mid-70s. Yesterday a major storm front blew through and dumping a ton of rain/hail on us. Not a pretty day for commuters, but we need the rain. A second front has settled in and the temps are down in the mid 40sand is supposed to drop the temps into the high 30s, low 40s by the weekend. I’ve run the half before when temps were in the 70s and it wasn’t pretty. A lot of people getting overheated and a lot more cramping. I would prefer to start out cold and stay in the 40s. I do layers, but I find that if I wear some cold weather gear at the start, I am usually peeling it off by the 2nd mile. Last year it was in the mid-40s and drizzling rain. Very nasty. They even threatened to close the course if there was any lightening. The lightening never showed, but it rained off and on for the entire course and we were soaked before we made the halfway point. I think that is where I got my cold last year.  This year looks to be cold and dry.    


Rock Chef said...

Hope you get reasonable weather for it. The weather has been a bit odd all round this year, snow where you wouldn't really expect it, warm sun where you expect 6 feet of snow...

It is amazing how music can help/hinder your speed. I tried cycling to music a few years ago but gave up because I realised I was less aware of the traffic behind me.

terri said...

You talk about not being as trained as you'd like for this. I'm impressed you can tackle it at all without having done serious training!

Hope the weather cooperates. Seems like your weather patterns are corresponding with ours up here. We were above 50 yesterday. Today, 30s and possible snow. Tomorrow - 16 degrees!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your pre-race thoughts and activities! I'm looking forward to running this race with your legs. :)
For me, the best running weather is cold with no wind. I love layering up, and find it very easy to breathe in the crisp air. That may be the only reason I like winter better than our hot, humid summers. Best of luck with everything!!

"Abby" said...

This all sounds very exciting. I too hope you have agreeable weather.

I've never tried those gels, they look rather "unpalatable" to me, but if they get the job done... and I know others swear by them.

Have fun Sunday with your 23,999 new friends!