Always Try Something New on Race Day

One thing I forgot about barely running the week before a marathon (aka the taper, heard of it? On the blogosphere, where us runner addicts lament the loss of endorphins and the feeling of slothiness?), is that being less active makes me much less sleepy.   This whole week I’ve been popping awake at 6:00 a.m. or earlier despite my 7:00 a.m. alarm—even though my normal running self would happily sleep in until 7:00 like a log (barring rude neighbor noise).  No running = I only need about 7 hours of sleep.  Running regularly = I am wiped out if I only get 7 hours (read: I'm often wiped out).  It finally makes sense to me how some people are fine on 5 hours of sleep.  They don't run?

I woke up way too early and put on jeans for casual Friday, only to despair that these normally comfortable jeans were giving me a hell of a time trying to squeeze into them.  Curse you, taper, you’ve already attacked my thighs! Or curse you three thanksgivings!

Ultimately I determined that I had put my jeans in the wash, and so they shrunk.  That is always the right answer.  

The forecast for marathon Sunday in Sacramento, improving ever so gently.

Yesterday, this forecast was accompanied by a bright red warning of floods, and a higher wind speed.  Does anyone know for sure if South wind is a head wind or tail wind? I have really high hopes, as my friend Lesley chimed, that these winds are a tailwind.  I’m just going to strap a sail on my back and fly!

I can say one thing: if the weather sucks, at least it takes off any remaining pressure to dig for a PR.  I can’t break any records while facing 25+ mph winds.  Not even music video wind hair records.

It’s easy to have a good attitude about this.  All you have to do is say “the weather will be terrible, but so what, marathons are not easy anyway! You deal.”  I don’t/can't worry about the weather.  It’s totally out of anybody’s control.

But for someone who runs just ONE marathon a year, it is bad luck that the one day of 365 falls on Sacramento's most blustery storm all year.  Just bad luck.  And it's okay to be bummed about bad luck!

2011 bragging about its clear, perfect weather...
One other thing I can say is this: there are a TON of friends--friends in real life, and friends from the internet--who will be running CIM on Sunday too, and that knowledge brings a feeling of camaraderie and togetherness that makes it seem 1000% more exciting and manageable, no matter the conditions.

I am mentally prepared for the forecasts to remain accurate, and for the possibility that heavy wind gusts and/or flooding make the course too difficult to finish or just not worth it after two chilled hours only finding me at the halfway point.  But, I think and hope it's going to be completely fine.  Just some rain, and some normal wind.  


Seriously shut it.  That's the rule, that's my rule, and it has not backfired on me so far.

Two very significant things I will be trying on race day (make that three).

1) Wearing these lightweight Adidas capri tights with great nooks for Gu and other snacks, which I bought at my gym today out of concern that I don't have a great solution for how to run comfortably in really wet conditions.

My thighs look way less cute in these, but at least I have shins and a torso

I simply don't think this will lead to a disaster.  They fit, more or less, and I will run in them.

2) This one's stupid.  I might run with a new GPS running watch that I have never tried out.

I currently rock the Garmin Forerunner 305, but for MONTHS and months now, it has been testing my patience.  It will not turn on anymore unless I do a Hard start while it is plugged in.  And even then it takes several minutes of work to get it to turn on.  So I haven't turned it off in weeks.  It just stays on, in the charger.

My clunky 305 from last year's CIM

I told my mom that I didn't think the 305 was going to survive much longer, and would like a new watch for Christmas/birthday, maybe the 410.  When I directed her to the Cyber Monday sale that Neon Blonde Runner alerted me to ($150 with free shipping!), my mom pounced on it (unbeknownst to me) and had it mailed straight to me.  I received it tonight (Friday) and played with it after getting home from watching Lincoln.  (JGL is in EVERY good movie this year!).

Circle is the new rectangle

It seems really crazy cool.  I think I'm going to enjoy this baby.  And so I'm thinking of using it on Sunday (it's so much LIGHTER! and so much less dead/dying than my 305!).

So, Garmin 410 users, is the watch user-friendly enough that a newbie can comfortably run with it from day one?

3) Sounds like I will be wearing a visor due to the rain, and no sunglasses due to the rain.  I usually do the opposite.


Taper has turned me into pudding.  That is how I would describe the feeling of only moving my body 20 miles this week.  Does that make me psycho? Yes.  Talk to you after [trying to] run 26.2.