Monday, October 25, 2010

#2 - Things I Learned the Hard Way @ the Half Marathon ...


1. I overdressed for the run.

I kept checking the weather because the reports kept changing. When we were driving to Niagara Falls and then for the entire evening before the run, it was a torrential downpour! I kept telling myself that this was a good thing because all that rain would pass through the area before morning and not affect the run. This did turn out to be the case, and the day was *perfect* for running.

However, I wore my track pants, a long-sleeved (l/s) shirt under my short-sleeved (s/s) shirt, in addition to bringing along a sweatshirt, my running jacket, and my shorts (just in case). Hindsight is 20/20, but I was so concerned about being cold and getting chilled to the bone while waiting the 1 1/2 hours for the run to begin that I ignored (?) / forgot (?) what I already knew - that it is best to be slightly cold before starting a run because you will soon warm up. Sure enough, within the first 5K, I started to sweat with my baseball cap and two shirts on. My legs would have been just fine exposed in shorts, too. My error stemmed from looking at what everyone else was wearing, and deciding that I liked what I had on rather than dressing appropriately for the run. :(

2. I drank too much water along the way.

Because my body temperature was rising and I was starting to sweat during the run, I made sure that I drank water at every water station. I also went through the three bottles of water I carried with me on my water belt (I lost the 4th one during a run about a month ago). However, in my effort to make sure that I did not become dehydrated (and because I was too warm with two tech shorts on), I really started feeling "heavy" with water halfway through the race. I didn't need to pee; I just had too much water in me. It was not great running with that feeling and the only thing I could do was hope that the heavy feeling would eventually dissipate.

My sister does not run with water nor does she stop for water during her HMs. However, I have noticed that most women with my body type wear water belts so I am not alone with needing to carry water. I have also heard stories about marathons running out of water (this one did, too - marathoners encountered tables without any water left, as I gathered from the comments made on the NFIM Facebook page), and I have been in races in which the water stations were set up badly (too far apart; too close together). Since I have learned to run with my water belt, I am going to keep running with one, but I wonder if I will need to rely on having water on me the more fit I become, as well as the faster I become.(?)

Unfortunately, #1 error helped create the situation for #2 error.

#3 - I wore a shirt I have never worn before!

How could I make such a newbie mistake!?!?! There I am at the starting line, shaking my head at the number of people who are wearing the cheap & tacky wine coloured jackets that were handed out to all participants the day before with the swag bags, but yet I am not cluing in to the fact that I am making a similar error!

I really like the black s/s Grand Bend tech shirt I received from the Pinery 10K (I am wearing it in my large top-of-the-blog photo). It fits me really well and it is so comfortable to run in ... a smart idea to run in it, right? Especially since I have run in it several times beforehand to make sure it's right for me for running, like a so-called smart, experienced runner ...

But I have decided that this might be too cool to run in (mistake #1) so I put on a white long-sleeved tech t-shirt from another run earlier in the summer under it (mistake #2). Not only do I become too warm during the race, but when I finally decide to take the short shirt off so I can cool down, I realize that the white l/s shirt is not that great fitting and I have to fidget with the sleeves multiple times for the rest of the run! And how silly - the l/s shirt should have been on top for easier removal rather than under my favourite shirt (mistake #3).

To add to my discomfort, I was so concerned about keeping my bib in view that I pricked my fingers while moving the bib from my s/s black shirt to my l/s white shirt! Ben saw the blood on white shirt and expressed concern, but it was from pricking my bloody finger - grrrr! This is why the official pics of me from the NFIM show me wearing the black shirt at the beginning, and wearing the white shirt at the finish with my running hat and black shirt tucked into my water belt.

Before Ben took the pics of me holding my finisher's medal while standing in front of the Falls, I insisted on putting my black shirt back on. Not only was I beginning to feel the chill that sets in after a run like that, but darn it - I wanted to be wearing my favourite black shirt!

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