So it’s been a few days since the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I’ve been able to get some sleep. My ITB is feeling better. So I can look at it with a little more perspective now.
Bottom line is I finished, and I need to celebrate that! There are people who didn’t finish. There are people who never even started. Just finishing, I’m already ahead!
There are some other factors that I need to take into consideration as well… (And the lessons I’ve learned from them.)
1) I’d been battling allergies or a cold for about a day and a half before. That involved LOTS of sneezing. Especially the morning of the race. So there was congestion involved as well as muscle soreness. My chest in particular was really tender to the touch, so for a good part of the race, just moving my arms against my chest caused some pain/discomfort. That didn’t help things.
Lesson: Well, while you can’t totally prevent a cold, you can do things to help try and prevent it. Vitamins, AirBorne, etc. will help a lot. And if it was allergies…well, staying in a house with cats probably isn’t my best option. They hadn’t bothered me when I was stranded in Orlando over Christmas break though, so I’m not positive it was allergies. So especially teaching, I need to up the vitamin intake for sure!
2) I spent Thursday criss-crossing Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, taking advantage of short lines regardless of the amount of walking I was doing.
Lesson: Don’t walk all around the parks within a couple of days of a race! I’ve already told my dad that on Marathon Weekend I’m going to plan to spend most of Friday afternoon/evening and all day Saturday after cheering a couple of friends on in the Half just chilling. Maybe at the resort pool. Maybe at the Expo Speaker Series depending on who’s scheduled. We’ll see. But definitely chilling and taking it easy on my legs. I am planning at this point to walk the 5K with my sister on Friday – but we don’t have to kill ourselves doing it, and I’d need to shake out my legs a little anyway.
3) Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition.
Lesson: This will be better with my parents there since we tend to eat normal meals. I know when I’m on my own I tend to not eat really well in theme parks and their environs. Snacks here and there if I’m hungry. And not always the most nutritious choices. Also at home before I need to prepare better, healthier foods. Even a couple of meals at Sweet Tomatoes (sooooo wish we had one of those in NYC!!!!) wasn’t enough to undo a few days of crappy eating.
4) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Lesson: (And I knew this one!!! I just didn’t do it.) I need to make sure I’m hydrating well the entire week before a race. Well, all the time, but especially the week leading up to a race. See the previous lesson about how crappy I eat in theme parks when left to my own devices. The same can be said for my drinking choices. Must improve that.
5) I forgot my Nuun tablets at home and they didn’t have a booth at the Expo. I also opted to go with the Clif Shot Blocks rather than my GU.
Lesson: Use what you’ve trained with for fluids and nutrition. While I didn’t feel sick from the watered-down PowerAde I had in my handheld or from the Shot Blocks, I definitely didn’t feel quite the same effect I’m used to from my Nuun and my GU Roctane.
I also need to look at the circumstances around both the Disneyland Half and the Disney Wine and Dine Half.
Disneyland was the hottest temperature I’ve run that long in. That definitely affects you. When I was getting up at 4 to do my long runs before it got too hot, I hadn’t been thinking about the temps in Anaheim getting as hot as they did. Also, we’d done a lot of park walking – and the hike down to Laguna Beach was gorgeous, but the incline and stairs were definitely not overly helpful for the legs. Especially just before a Half.
The Wine and Dine was my first late night race. And not having a training partner in NYC – and living in NYC – I wasn’t going to do a long training run at 10pm. That would have me in one of the parks after midnight, and while I generally feel pretty safe in the parks, there are some things that you just don’t need to do. And IMHO, being in the park alone that late at night is one of those things. You don’t realize how much that late hour throws you off, but it really does. It’s hard to know how to fuel for it. And it’s hard to really get the rest thing down. Getting ready was insane – I’d put one thing on, then wander around the house a little, then get something else on. It was trying to find the balance between being ready too early and not being ready on time. Lots to think about. And never having done it before, it was all new.
I did break one of the “cardinal rules” of racing: nothing new on race day. I’d gotten some compression socks from Running Skirts at the Expo, and I opted to wear them in the race. And honestly? My calves and lower legs felt better than anything else. So I’ll most likely opt for the compression socks again! This time breaking that rule paid off.
As I said before…bottom line is I finished. And I’m happy about that! Considering everything that was going on, I can now say I feel like I did well in finishing. 😀
I’ve learned from it, and ultimately that’s what matters most.
(I do still need to regain confidence for the marathon though.)