Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dress Rehearsal

Thanks to my involvement with my local running club, I had a great opportunity on Sunday morning. We ran a 13.1 mile training run for the Quad Cities Distance Classic Trisko (“half marathon”) – and not just any 13.1 miles. We got to run it on the actual race course!

I decided to look at the training run as a dress rehearsal for the main event. Would my plans for fuel, clothing, and so on work on race day? What would the changes to the course be like?

So, the night before the run, I totally forgot that I was doing a trisko the next day and didn’t make much of an effort to carb load. Dinner was cheeseburgers, baked beans, and grilled carrots. And let me tell you, it was delightful. Near as I can tell, my lack of carbs the night before had no ill effect on my running the next day. That is definitely one of the advantages of a trisko over a marathon!
For breakfast, I had a race day favorite meal: toasted English muffin with peanut butter and honey, plus coffee and some water. I meant to eat a banana, but I forgot . No problems there.

I brought two packs of Jelly Belly Sport Beans in cherry – that’s the good kind with caffeine in them. I figured one pack would be enough, but that the second pack would serve as a security blanket or would hook me up in case of emergency. I ate about half of them at 6 miles and the rest at 10. That was good, too.

It’s spring, so you can never be quite sure until the morning of a race what to wear, so I may not be in the same thing for the race as I wore to the dress rehearsal. But if I do end up in my yellow short-sleeved Brooks Podium shirt, grey C9 skirt, C9 socks, One More Mile hat (“Running is my happy hour”) and my Asics 2140’s, I’ll be very comfortable.


My faithful running companion Paula Garmin was on my left wrist, over a simple wristband for padding. On my other wrist, I wore my Road ID that bears my mantra ONE TOUGH MOTHER.

Tragically, my iPod is all screwed up. It is stuck in the locked position and I can’t get it un-stuck. I am going to mess with it more this week in hopes of fixing it, the alternative being to buy a new one, which I’d rather not do. In desperation, I borrowed Steve’s. I say desperation because Steve is notorious at Stately Wasser Manor for making the world’s worst running playlists. The songs are all good, but way too mellow. You can’t work up a sweat to any of them. I ended up not using it at all, which I’ll get into later.

My biggest experiment was wearing my Fuel Belt. I really like it, but would it be annoying or uncomfortable for the duration of a trisko? I loaded it up with Gatorade (yellow, adorably matching my shirt). I put the iPod in the pocket, along with just the key to my car, leaving the rest behind to not have any jingling or extra weight. Then I attached my Amphipod, filled with Sport Beans, to the side of it. My friend Cindy compared my Fuel Belt to Batman’s utility belt, which is so awesome that I will call it my Utility Belt from now on. The Utility Belt was completely comfortable, so I’ll be happy to wear it on race day.

The course has been changed since last year. There’s still a massive uphill right after the first mile and a big downhill at around 4. There’s a short, steep hill somewhere around 9 to get onto a bike path by the river that I’m not too worried about. The great news is, the nasty hill at mile 12 that gave me such grief last year is gone, baby gone. My strategy is to run the first half on pace to finish in 2 hours, giving myself the option to speed up in the second half if I feel like it.


There was a huge turnout for dress rehearsal – at least twice as many as the previously best attended training run. Among the people there was Kelly, a fellow runner who works with Steve. Her goal finish is about the same as mine, so we decided to run together. And it was delightful! I had such a good time talking to Kelly that I never used Steve’s questionable iPod – and the miles flew by.
So, all in all, Dress Rehearsal was a success. I feel totally prepared to run this race and to run it well. With any luck, last year’s 2:05 finish will be erased for a new trisko PR!

1 comment:

Roisin said...

Oh iPod issues...I hope yours does better than my old one :(

That's kinda cool, being able to run the course ahead of time. I don't think I could do it though, because I'd probably start panicking about how much farther I have to go!