Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Race of 2012 Completed!

So many elements made this race the best one ever! I'm not sure if the run-gods were finally pleased with the sacrifices I made (starting to eat for running and training on a more consistent schedule) or if I was just mentally prepared more than any other race or if it was the fact that it was the first race where someone crewed for ME (thanks Ken!) but everything came into alignment for six hours. I've never started or finished a race with a smile on my face but it happened!

Keep in mind that I'm not in these races to win or break any astounding records (except my own). The longest run I'd accomplished before this race was at Dirty Girls last year and I ran 30 kms. I was pretty darn proud of myself then. My last race was at Haliburton in September and I completed 26 kms. So I figured a goal of 31 kms on a track at York University was doable - and it would be a personal best for me.

Things I know worked for me before the race included days of drinking lots and lots of water (although I could have done without the trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night), eating well leading up to the race (no beer or wine...that was harsh AND concentrating on eating protein, which wasn't so harsh), and having a big bowl of stove-top oatmeal the morning of the race (love my porridge).

Things that I know worked for me during the race include drinking a LOT of water (also ended up with a number of bathroom breaks during the race but I got to sit for about 30 seconds....ha ha), eating during the race (LOVE Hammer Perpetuem Solids, Ken kept handing me clementines, I ate zero junk during the race), and my decision to run every 4 out of 5 laps (each lap was 230 meters) and walking one lap. That one lap enabled me to drink and eat and not lose a lap in between. It gave my legs (and buttocks) a much needed break too.

I also got a ton of support from those running past me. And trust me, just about everyone was running past me but that was OK. I mean, its not like I was threat to anyone trying to get as many laps in as possible in 6 hours!!! SO many smiling faces, supportive comments, and genuinely kind people. Runners are just amazing! Women I look up to (Marylou and Maryka), my man who still commented to the world that I was sexy even when I know I wasn't looking so great (Scott), and so many others were there to put a smile on my face and give me an extra dose of energy.

I also added one new element (which is a mineral so pardon the pun) that seems to have helped enormously - Magnesium. I'm not going to preach about magnesium's incredible properties or why it is as helpful as it has been for me. That what Google and research is for. But here is what I know - I sprayed magnesium oil on my legs before and during the run yesterday. I have no pain in them today. None. My knees don't ache, my quads are fine, my calves are good. The two areas I didn't spray (my hips and buttocks) are a mess today. Sure, it could be completely psychosomatic but I've been using the spray in the morning and before bed for a few weeks now during training and I've had very little pain at all. And it is better than relying on Advil!

So how did I do? Are you sitting down? I surpassed 31 kms at hour 5 and 15 mins (yay me!!)  And then Ken wondered out loud if I could make it to 35 kms....damn....I hate those comments (not really because I respond better to a goal, remember?).  So for the next 45 mins I walked and ran as fast as my legs would take me. At the sixth hour, the finish of the race, I had completed 35.81 kms. Annnddd....I didn't come in last!!

I had perma-grin on my face for the rest of the day! Talk about a runner's high!! Funny how anything seems possible when you exceed your own goals!

I've got two days off for rest and then I'm back to my regular training schedule. Man, those 4 kms on Tuesday are going to feel like a walk in the park....I hope!!

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