The Twelfth Mile

Less than a week until the half-marathon and I’m fine tuning my preparation. I got new shoes and wore them first on some short runs to break them in. So far so good. They feel light-weight and the backs are a bit stiff. I’m reviewing some of my tips and tricks from earlier blog posts to make sure I don’t forget anything useful.

First thing I do is have a breakfast that will help me on my run. I drink a cup of black coffee and eat a toasted whole-wheat muffin with high-quality, chunky peanut butter. That’s it…caffeine, high-quality carbs, and protein. I’ve upped my water intake in the last few days in preparation for the run.

Next is the gear…weather appropriate is crucial. The hard part during spring is that the temperature can vary so much during the course of a long run. Choosing the right layers can be tricky. I have to have tights, either long or knee-length, so that my legs don’t get chafed. I have to wear calf sleeves if the run is over 8 miles. These are things I’ve learned through experience.

Hydration during a race is easy…there are always aid stations with volunteers handing out cups of water. During a training run, however, I have to tote my own water. So far I’ve avoided it and don’t really need it in cool weather if I’m running fewer than 8 miles. Last week at the end of my eleven mile run, I was worn out and I knew it was partially due to dehydration.

So for my twelve mile run, I donned a hydration belt that my sister gave me for my birthday. I had tried running with one before, and the bottle of water kept getting in my way, the sloshing noise drove me crazy, and I didn’t drink much of the water. The new belt was better suited to me. It has four small water bottles so the weight is distributed better and the sloshing noise is softer.image

So, having eaten my breakfast and donned my appropriate attire and gear, I took off for my last long training run before the race. I started MapMyRun and got going. I swear that I ran the exact same route and distance as the prior week, but the app indicated eleven miles last week and twelve miles this week. My time was almost identical, which made it look as if I’d gained a full minute per mile in speed. Frankly, I don’t care; I just want to do well in the actual race.

I had a good run and felt better at the end of it than in my last long run.  I had used up some of my water on the run, but walking home to cool-down I drank all the rest of it and was glad to have it. The only thing that went wrong was that my heel got scraped up by the back of my shoe. A trip to the store for crew-style running socks should fix that problem.

Find the Joy in the Journey…I’m ready for my next half-marathon!

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