Pre-Race Chatter

I didn't mean to cause any alarm over my hip with that last know how as a race approaches, you have a heightened awareness of your body, and every single little subtle pain turns into a Code Red emergency?  Well for me, this nagging hip issue, which I have had since November of 2011, began to frustrate me more than normal because I knew I had to race on it.  Stressful.

But, I ran 26.2 on it, and nothing bad happened except that miles of the race were rough.  I ran 20 miles at a 6:55 average pace last week on it, and just had to stretch a lot.  I ran for a full hour at 6:27 average pace just 4 weeks ago, and I don't even remember hating my hip during that run.  Flipping through my handwritten miles on my desk calendar, I've averaged between 70 and 90 miles per week since February without trouble and without making anything feel worse.  My mileage for the past two weeks, for example, has looked like this:

March 12--March 24
Monday: 17
Tuesday: 0
Wednesday: 12.5
Thursday: 20
Friday: 0
Saturday: 18
Monday: 16.5
Tuesday: 0
Wednesday: 18
Thursday: 11
Friday: 0
Saturday: 0

None of the runs described above made my my bod feel worse.  Just the same, same, same.  My angry post came after Thursday's 11 miles, which included two miles easy, one mile at 6:20-6:30 pace, repeat 3 times.  Somewhere around mile 10 I got pissed with my body.  I wasn't feeling good, and those miles were feeling hard.  Some runs are like that...I'm over it now. 

Tomorrow at the Oakland half, I will survive despite this nuisance, and perhaps even run well.  I will not further injure myself, because running has not proven to make it worse.

Last minute race logistics:

The Weather

I guess I was in denial about the weather because I didn't even check it until last night, and realized it was going to rain.  One weatherman says 100% chance of rain, another says 60% chance.  Maybe the chafing that comes with rainy races will help keep my mind off my hip?  I would love to hear any advice as to what to wear or how to otherwise handle a rainy race.  I did it once for San Francisco's U.S. Half in 2010 and it was true misery the whole time. 

Fake smile.  Miserable! This was my first half-marathon ever, btw.

Tights were a terrible idea.  I chafed in the most indescribable areas.

headphones, or no headphones?

I had one experience where I deeply regretted not bringing music, because the course was lonely, monotonous, and an out-and-back.  I got so bored I slowed my pace to a point that was well below my capabilities.

This trail was never ending.  Western Pacific Half

I had another experience where I was running so hard that I was in that state where everything annoyed the hell out of me (you know this feeling -- where you are running so hard that you can't help but grunt and glare at every person in your way) and so I wanted to punch the music.  I turned the volume way down since I didn't want to deal with taking it off and shoving it in my pocket.

This was the race where I hated them.  Look how awkwardly long the wire is!

I'm leaning towards no headphones.

Food or no food?  

I have eaten during a couple half-marathons, but mostly as a "trial" for eating during a full marathon.  I don't have time to "bonk" or get hungry during 90 minutes of running, so I could take it or leave it.  I did buy a Gu and a pack of Chomp's at the expo today just in case.

I'm leaning towards no food.

I also bought a honey stinger waffle (vanilla) to try, and ate it for funsies on my rainy walk home from the expo.

They were not cheap, unfortunately

It was the best G.D. piece of sports fuel I have ever tasted.  I thought it would be some sticky flat piece of honey.  It is just a waffle cookie!  A sweet, crumbly waffle cookie.  Lance Armstrong knows his stuff, these are great.  I'll have to try eating one while running sometime and report back.  Have you tried one while active?