Friday, April 27, 2007

One Day Until Race Day

What else can I say: the GU was… gooey. It didn’t taste bad (strawberry banana flavor), but I had a hard time with the gooey texture. What texture I was expecting from a product called GU? But it was such a relief to hear from Salty One that I needed to wash the stuff down with a swig of water because I wasn’t quite getting the sense of hydration and energy boost I had imagined. In fact, I felt a little phlegmy, which is something I try to alleviate when I hydrate…

What I wouldn’t do without guidance from my bloggy buddies!

It was a good test to try the GU during my 4.25-mile run during lunch yesterday, which was at the slow and relaxed pace I’ve been targeting in my workouts lately. My knee had to warm up again before it felt comfortable to run, but there were no ill effects this time—no soreness afterward, no next-morning stiffness, no need to elevate, heat and pray.

Cleveland 10-miler mapMy mind has been torn over how to rest before a race, and this week has been a good test. It’s not only inability to sit still sometimes that hampers the resting process, but it has more to do with my mind tricks than anything physical. Last month I read a Q&A bit from Runner’s World in which the expert said one’s body loses a bit of its running fitness after three days off. So, I panicked at the beginning of this week about how to spread out my workouts and how much rest was good for me. I’d like to consider myself a wholly rational person, but when it comes to expert advice I’m a blind follower (when I was in sixth grade a doctor told our class that eating certain kinds of lunch meat depleted your memory capacity, I cut out all lunch meat and haven’t touched the stuff ever since). After being sick earlier this month, however, I did discover that my body didn’t exactly wind down to its pre-running shape in the week or so I took off. Plus, it was reassuring to hear from Ryan that fitness comes with recovery.

See: all I need is to hear it from someone and I believe it. Please don’t take advantage of my running naïveté and try to sell me magic shoes. I’m not into easy solutions, but if you tell me they’re good for me, I just might bite.

Tonight, however, I will be familiar territory: the arena of good food. I’m spending the night at my mom’s house (it’s much closer to the race, plus she has Cream of Wheat) and getting some pasta from Beach Club Bistro. I’ve been looking over the course map for the 10-miler and, being just too familiar with the downtown area, I don’t think it looks that far. Sure, it’s 10 miles… but I guess that sense of familiarity puts things in a condensed perspective. Although it was nice in the St. Malachi race to wonder through the Flats’ back roads and find some good modern architecture.

Nevertheless, today will be a day to chill. Chill and hope that the ever-changing forecast for tomorrow will settle on something like “clouds and some sun later in the day” rather than the “rain possible precisely during your race time” that is showing right now. But, hey, people have conquered greater things than a few rain showers.


JenC said...

Knowing the course is definitely good for the mental state. You will be great! I'm optimistic about the forecast. It looks better than the first year of this race for sure! I'll take rain over snow. Hopefully, I'll see you tomorrow.

miss petite america said...

can't wait to hear the report.

you are gonna kick some serious ass, chica.

and i am the same way about "expert advice". if someone told me rubbing my legs with peanut butter every night would make me faster, i'd probably do it.

Joe said...

Good luck in the race. Have you tried Vanilla or Espresso Gu? I think the strawberry banana flavor is gross.

As for the three days off thing, I read a similar article that said it was five days. I think the lack of consensus shows that it's really an individual thing and you have to listen to YOUR body. But, if you have any soreness, I'd err on the side of too much rest and not worry about the possibility of losing a slight bit of running fitness. Better to finish the race a bit slower than not at all or in pain.

Papa Louie said...

I won't try to sell you a pair of magic shoes but I would like to wish the the best in running the 10 miler. And when you are running from the Marginal up 9th street hill remember that your shoes have wings on them and that they'll take you up the hill. Hermes (the god) had wings on his shoes which was why he was a fast runner. OK, now have fun and run well.

The Salty One said...

Unlike Joe, I appreciate the Strawberry Banana flavor. I don't tolerate the caffeinated gus well at all--especially orange! Lemon lime was my favorite until I od'd on it in Boston.

As for the race, take it one mile at a time. Have a goal for each one and focus on achieving it and then after hitting the mile mark for that mile concentrate on the next one. Eg: first mile ease into pace 8:30; second mile on pace and relaxed 8:00;...fifth mile take gu and three sips of water at water station 8:15;...mile 9 pick up the pace 7:45; mile 10 finish strong.


Jim said...

I'm so excited to hear all about it! Best of luck G!

Landon said...

Statistically speaking, you probably won't come in last.

P.S. - I paid I man to trail you, ensuring that you will not come in last.