Monday, October 23, 2006

Lessons Learned: NERRC 25K Tune-Up

Timing: For once, I was on time. Early, even. And that was excellent. A little thing, but it is nice to have time to wander and stretch, get my head together rather than worry. My usual M.O. – bad estimating the night before, leaving a bare minimum of time day of. But my success this weekend had a lot to do with my new discovery – Melotonin. More on that in a later post…likely requires a spotlight of its own.

Private stuff: Thank god for clean and warm public rest rooms. Nuff said.

Sherpas: I rarely have to do a long distance or big race without Mighty M and yesterday, I missed my sherpa. Where do I put my car key? What do I do with the tee-shirt? No camera? I was getting creative there for a little while and must acknowledge how much he does for me in those last 20 minutes before a race. He can’t be at them all, but he is definitely missed when he’s not there. Love ya, babe.

Nutrition/hydration: On a scale of 1-10, yesterday was about a 6. Needs important tweaking before the marathon, but I made it through. Here’s how it worked out.


  • One yogurt drink (90 calories) -- this settles my stomach and seems to help me digest a lot of the other…um…yucky race food.
  • One Go Lean bar (290 calories) -- hard to chew, but really digestible – starting to really love these
  • One 20 oz Wawa coffee -- um…duh
  • One Pepsid Complete -- the race day I forget this, is one very unhappy race day
  • One sports bottle water


  • Mile 5: One GU (110 calories)
  • Mile 9: One GU (110 calories)
  • Drinking: only water, only at stations (5 stations)

Obviously, there are some serious holes. I finished, but it could have been better. Lesson Learned? Bring own hydration. I hate to hang out at the stations and the GU made me all cottoned mouthed while running. (Or maybe that was all the yammering I was doing on the run.) Regardless, it’s worth having a small suitcase bouncing around on my bottom and looking like a mom-jeans-wearing-gear-freak, so that I can drink at will.

Lesson Learned? Don’t forget to “eat.” I had a third GU for the 12th mile. I still have that third GU for the 12th mile. At home, in my race food box. Not doin’ much good there.

Clothes: I have Mighty M to thank for this one. The morning was f-r-o-s-t-y, but the run was going to be long. He suggested a thin short sleeved tech shirt and a long sleeved cycling jersey over it. Right. On. Not only just right for temp, but also gave me the pockets I needed to carry nutrition. Excellent choice. Lesson Learned? Pockets good.

Pacing: I usually run alone. In fact, about 95% of the time it’s just me. But hooking up with Scott, and later Rick, yesterday made a huge difference in my pacing. I know I would not have pushed so hard on my own. It wasn’t so fast that I tapped early, but juuuuust right. Lesson Learned? Pacing partners are good partners. I’m reconsidering the pace groups for the marathon.

Gear: One goal for yesterday? Learn about my splits on this type of distance. Required gear? Yup…a watch. Did I bring one? You guess. Lesson Learned: Even short races benefit from a checklist. Make one. Follow it. (Bonehead)

Shoes: Aah, Asics. That’s what they should be called. Aah, Asics. Just adore my new shoes. I did get some blistering (one on the inside of my heel), but nowhere near as bad as before. These blisters were just from running in a good fit, for a long distance. I can manage this. And, glory be, I actually didn’t have (i) knee pain, or (ii) foot pain. Aah, Asics. I am fully converted. Lesson Learned? Be proactive with your equipment to avoid injury. It makes all the difference.


Spokane Al said...

Congratulations on a good plan and a good race.

Now I am hoping that you can run the marathon without any blisters.

Porscha said...

Ahh, Asics! I was converted last year. Love 'em. You might wanna try Under Armour socks if you can find em to cut down on your blisters. Socks are definately part of the blister picture.

Gratz on the race. :D

IM Able said...

Thanks guys -- I'm pretty tickled we're coming to some sort of solution to all this craziness! I did run with "runners" socks, which *does* make a huge difference!! I've run in the Nike Shox and the Asics ones for Gel Kayano.

I'm with you, Al...a marathon without a single blister would be a good marathon indeed!!

Siren said...

You're so right - race checklist GOOD. I wouldn't be able to function without mine! I've got it in Word and a day or so before each race I just print out a copy and wander around with it until all the boxes are checked off. Then I carry it in my race bag in case anything occurs to me while I'm at the race so I can make a note to add it. Can't tell you how many times having this checklist has kept me from forgetting something critical : )

jessie_tri_mn said...

I think the only races I don't make a checklist for is a 5K, even then, I once forgot my running shoes for an out of town race :(

Congrats on a great race. Love the lessons learned report!

tri-mama said...

"mom in jeans..." that was funny. I really like my running belt that has 4 flasks-it has a pocket for gels, and my cell phone/key etc. it also velcros snug so I get some back support from it. and it's not irratating.

this is a great report for Race Athlete-I'd ping Roman.

Anonymous said...

You're so right. It's important to know your equipment and have it ready to go. Good lesson for us all.

Stay tuned...

PS: I'm originally from Pennsylvania.