If it is important enough to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse.
(Mantra’s like this have gotten me through many tough days. Since life has no do-overs, don’t waste it with excuses!)
Many said it couldn’t be done. Today (May 7) in 1954 Rodger Banister proved them wrong by running a mile in sub-4 minutes. Impossible things happen.
I mentioned that I wanted to do a brief recap of the Capital City Half Marathon Race Expo and Race day. The Capital City Marathon really is a great race to participate in. Everyone is nice, the crowd support is enthusiastic, the course takes you through all the main highlights of Columbus, and you get to chill with around 14,000 of your closest friends. Thankfully all three years that I have run the Cap Half have been accompanied by decent weather. This year was special though to me because, not only did I PR, but it was the first race that I have run side by side my main squeeze. He generally is a faster runner than me, so we hit all the expos together and hang out around the port a john’s, but then we split ways about 1 mile into the run. This time, he paced me through like a champ, bringing back memories of his stellar delivery room coaching skills when we had our 2 sons. Having a good looking man by my side to distract me and yell at me when needed, was just what the doctor ordered.
Jonathan finding out the root of all of his problems from this nice sports medicine professional. Too bad they didn’t have a mental health professional. We would’ve been there a while! 🙂As a side note, isn’t it funny how when I don’t have my kids with me, Jonathan becomes my object of obsession again? I guess I need someone to dote on and take copious pictures of. Love my men.
Here are glimpses into the race day Expo. If you have never done a medium to large city race, you need to. It will most definitely provide you with the motivation that you need to keep exercising. It is so inspiring to see all of the people from all sizes, shapes, skin colors, countries, and back grounds come together to achieve a moment of personal greatness. Not everyone will win a major sports championship, but almost everyone can cross the finish line of a large race feeling like they are surrounded by adoring fans. Small town 5K’s and gimmick runs do not provide this same feeling of Olympic stardom, but they can be a good place to start. I really hope that I can inspire you to run. I have found nothing that helps balance my mind, body, and spirit for maximization like running does. (Riding my bike is a pretty close second, but running is still my go to.)
Race expos are a great place to find and purchase running gear. I got my Mother’s Day gift early, a new pair of Brook’s Adrenaline GTS-13. Jonathan finagled us an even better deal than the rock bottom price they were already offering since we were buying two pairs. The His and Her shoes are our big holiday gift to each other. Yes, we are weird and frugal.
The main expense involved in running is keeping your feet blanketed in appropriate wear. I have flat feet, bunions, and a whole host of other foot related issues, so if I didn’t spring for shoes I would be bed ridden or crippled. I try to buy my shoes at the cheapest possible prices. I have purchased them from race expos, zappos, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Nordstrom Rack depending on who has the lowest prices at the moment of my need. This requires some sleuth skills, but even with nice tennis shoes every 4-5 months (depending on the mileage I’m running), running is infinitely cheaper than risking my health. (Remember my dad was in his 30’s when his kidneys failed and he had complications of diabetes and heart disease leading to his death at 51). I must stay in shape and keep my weight down. I always tell myself this isn’t about my appearance, it is literally life or death. I guess I’m blessed in a morbid way to already have a view of the grave and my mortality at only 33 years old. After all the Bible says “Teach us to number our days and make our days count.”
Pre-Race Fuel: Bagel with Grape Jelly and some Mixed Fruit and a Small amount of coffee and water
You want to be hydrated and caffeinated, but you want to avoid stopping at the potty during the race if you want to PR, and you discover that the pre-race bathroom lines are INSANE, so you only want to wait in line and go as few times as possible. I was totally shocked at my first official race by the bathroom scene. It is also common and accepted practice at these events to discuss your personal number 1’s and 2’s with total strangers. It is like being at a “Mommy and Me” meeting where women discuss ultra personal health, hygeine, and birthing stories with each other. Don’t be grossed out though. You can learn a lot about how to be a better runner by learning to fuel, hydrate, and go to the bathroom well.
During race fuel: A Mandarin Orange Flavored GU and Gatorade or Water at fuel stations as needed (Seriously you haven’t lived until you have gotten a drink at a fuel station. Watch up for cups flying into your face, friendly volunteers, and people getting tangled with each other.)
Post Race Recovery: Water, Free Panera Bread Cinnamon Crunch Bagel (heaven handed out at the finish line), Coke Zero, and Coffee
I can guarantee you that the Capital City Half marathon toilets weren’t near as scary as a toilet I used on Sunday. The bathroom was full of advertisements on getting screened for HIV and STD’s. It definitely brings comfort to your soul to know that the majority of people using these public toilets with you are living lifestyles that would urge them to get frequent tests on their bodily fluids.
What is your worst public bathroom experience?
Any race day hydrating or fueling strategies that you would like to share?
What is your favorite recovery beverage after a long run? I always crave caffeine, so it is an ice cold soda (preferably Coke Zero even though it has ZERO nutritional value) or coffee once I’ve had my water or a sports drink with electrolytes as needed.