Monday, December 23, 2013

Life outside of running

There is life aside from running, amazingly. (running summary: I've been haphazardly chugging along the last couple weeks, using my $600 treadmill for all it's worth) Nick and I started remodeling our bathroom a few months ago. Yes, months. You know what's fun? Ripping stuff out of a crummy room and envisioning what the "after" will look like. You know what's not fun? Doing the actual work to create an "after." So we've been taking it pretty slow. 

We started with a pretty bleh room. There was not that was totally awful about it, but the whole thing taken together was unpleasant. The picture below was taken after I removed the wallpaper border in a fit of rage sometime last winter. Friends don't let friends hang wallpaper borders.

The before from May: walls painted with a, I kid you not, bear-shaped sponge, moderate mold, super gross linoleum. Also, I do NOT miss that awkward length of hair.

We then took a bit of a break. We're lucky because we have 2 full bathrooms and can take all the time in the world doing all these steps. I would occasionally get frustrated and want to just finish the damn thing already, but then momentum (or lack thereof) would get the best of me, and I wouldn't do anything. Then Nick and I painted quickly, over the course of about a week including a million touch ups, in November. Then we took a break, because the next step was daunting... 

The middle:  lots of painting happened, and now Nick grouting the cement board seams

The wall is kind of a medium gray, although in my mind it's kind of blue, like this color. The subfloor below the linoleum was solid wood, which was nice but apparently you can't lay tile directly on it. We got cement board and Nick cut it to fit all the weird nooks and crannies in the room. Then my dad and Nick spent a day laying out tile and cutting small pieces to fit. The next step was to slap down some grout and lock the tiles in. This is easier said than done, and Nick and I were not really looking forward to it. We bought "sheets" of smaller tiles, connected in a 6 x 6 sheet. I guess that made it easier overall, but it meant instead of dealing with large tiles with small pieces cut out of the them, we had lots of tiny tiles bits cut to fit specific areas. There was a large amount of frustration, but Nick completed the (first step) of the tile this weekend.

After-ish: tile is laid!

It looks dirty because omg, mortar everywhere. It is such a messy task. I vacuumed twice afterward (the bathroom is small, so vacuuming was pretty much my largest contribution.. Nick did great mostly by himself!) and the floors still felt gritty. There will be even more grit to come when we put in grout (which will be white and get rid of the mungy look). I am so proud of Nick and excited for the next steps. I would say we'll get it done during vacation time this weekend but we also just discovered Once Upon a Time on Netflix, which is surprisingly addictive, so that might win out. As I said, we're not in any rush. It might be nice to let the feelings of frustration fade a little before we get into another new step. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The off season

Although I did really well with training, and only hated the world about 80% of the time, I am still really looking forward to taking a step back and just doing what feels good for the next few months. I know that most likely means less running, but how much less is still to be determined. My runs last week were both (yes, both, I ran twice. and it was glorious) been 6 miles, and that felt perfect. Less than an hour of running, including cool down, but long enough to get some nice sweat going on.

Other things I want to add back in:
-Lifting! I had nice arms last year, and they slowly shrank to scrawny over the course of the summer. That's not ok. I'd love to get some definition happening again. Obviously, I won't be a powerlifter anytime soon, but I can definitely work on building back some strength. It's also just nice to feel like I'm capable of picking up things, when things need to be picked up.

I'm useful. Like picnic pants. Also, picnic pants are a great idea. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

-Biking. Indoors, obviously. I set up the trainer the other night and was reminded of the 800 reasons why biking inside is lame. Reasons #1 through 500: your body position never changes, so butt pain is basically unavoidable. Reasons #501: no way to tell how far you've gone. Reason # 502-800: boredom. My dad does these crazy bike workouts on Youtube that keep him from getting bored, but I'm not that motivated. I'd rather zone out and watch a movie (the other night was Little Miss Sunshine). My legs felt great and noodle-y after an hour on the trainer. It was a nice change from running.

-Swimming! Unfortunately, the pool is currently overrun by high school swim teams during the week, which makes this tricky, but Friday afternoons are open and it's a great way to unwind. Plus this will help with Project Have Better Arms

-Other things. Like going for a mini-hike with Nick. Or doing more HIIT stuff. Or finally finishing the remodel on our damn bathroom. Or just getting really, really caught up on TV watching. 

It feels weird to not have a plan, or something big looming. I don't even have any 5k's on the horizon. I'm trying to relax and just enjoy it, but my stupid need to do something will probably get overwhelming in the next month or so. And then I'll manically register for 10 races. Someone stop me if it comes to that.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I swear I'm still running: Jingle Bell 5K Race report

In the week since the marathon, I've tried to ease back into running. That means I've stuck to the treadmill, and one day of elliptical. Just trying to let my legs heal because I know that 26 miles is a long way to go. I felt fine all week, but I still waited to decide on Thursday that I felt up to running a 5K on Saturday. Might as well. It's closeish to my house, and a ton of my coworkers were running. I signed Nick and I up, not thinking about a concert we were going to on Friday night (Carbon Leaf!!!). The concert was awesome, but we got home late and I was seriously doubting my decision. Doubly so because my stomach was a mess. Mother Nature convinced me to suck it up by being a balmy 40 degrees. 4 hours of sleep, but I don't have to wear a hat? Decision made.

This is my area's biggest 5K (I think... don't quote me on that). It has about 1000 registrants, which is a ton for down here. Pluses: the start and finish are right outside a hotel, so you can hang out inside right up until the start. Bathroom lines are manageable. Minuses: They give you jingle bells to put on your shoes, which seem festive and cute, but are actually the work of the devil. Also, The turnaround point is a hairpin. Boo.

I jumped in near the front and wanted to start off quick, but for once I was unable to get any fire under me. I saw a guy I ran cross country with in high school, and made it my goal to stay with him. He seemed comfortable and steady. My splits were 6:55, 7:09, and 7:43 (?!?!). That is tragically typical for me in a 5K. I'm the worst at pacing. I was passed by a 9 year old with about a third of a mile to go, and I didn't have the heart to be ashamed about it. I think the race demonstrated how my legs might actually still be a little tired from that race I ran a week ago.

I stuck around afterward for a few minutes, seeing if I might get an award. I got one last year, and it was a fleece-y headband, which was cute and useful. When I saw this year's award was another headband, but in a different color, I decided to leave. Good thing I did, because I definitely did not get an age group award (I was 6th). I would have looked like a supreme loser waiting for an award that never came. YOU PROMISED ME A FLEECE HEADBAND! I GOT A PR! GIVE ME THINGS!

The unnecessary comma is killing me but the sentiment is spot on, so I'm going with it. 

I would like to say that later in the day I WON at a baby shower. I actually won twice, for having a super cute baby picture (I earned that by being born) and again by correctly guessing the number of candies in a candy jar (I earned that by picking random numbers). I'm the best at things.
Good god that's a cute taco.

I will end with a picture of our Christmas tree, which smells amazing and fit entirely in the back of my car. Not too tall, just how I like 'em.

I'd make some claim about how we're going to put more ornaments on it and maybe a tree topper, but I'd be lying. This is as much Christmas as we're getting. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Alexandria Turkey Trot: Race Report

This race happened over a week ago. Good thing no one pays me for this because I fail at being prompt.

This was taken milliseconds before I ran into the porta-potty, and about 1.5 minutes before the race start. We planned ahead.

Nick and I ran the Alexandria Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. It was my 4th time running it (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013), and Nick's 3rd time. The last 2 years, we've run it right after another race- either a local 5k (last year) or a huge DC 5K (in 2011). Those years were mildly miserable. We were rushed and had wicked tired legs. This is an ok strategy for a Turkey Trot, because it's supposed to be a fun day anyway, but it makes for a lot of stress on an otherwise glorious day of eating.

This year, it was 2 days pre-NCR, so we decided not to run 2 races in the same day. I'm so wise. We chose the 5 miler because it's just generally more fun and I figured I'd be highly likely to try and race the local 5k and trash my legs. 

So, I clearly like this race since I've done it for so many years. It has a nice big, warm waiting area in a nearby school. They have Quaker granola bars, those 80 calorie wonders that you can eat 45 of and still not feel satiated. Now in fun flavors like sugar, and sugar with brown things in it (seriously, their "peanut butter and whatever" flavor is not the least bit peanutty. Don't lie to yourselves). Parking is a bit of a hassle, but it is free and getting out of the streets after the race is always easy. Then it's just a quick 40 mile drive back home. Considering where we live, anything less than an hour is a win for me.

The first mile was sort of slow because we were caught up in the 1000 people who all thought that lining up at the front was a good idea. I am reminded every year that Turkey Trotters are the most fun racers you'll ever meet, because everyone is happy and friendly on Thanksgiving morning, but THEY SUCK AT RUNNING. Nick and I were dodging people left and right and did the ol' reliable "run on the sidewalk" trick for the first quarter mile or so. The crowd didn't thin out to a normal number of people until around the 2 mile mark. We chugged along, still passing people. The race flew by pretty quickly because there are a lot of twists and turns (annoying if you're trying to run super fast), and you run by joyful people drinking and cheering up a storm in front of their houses. It is a nice atmosphere. I didn't want to run way fast, because I didn't want to tear up my legs, so we just went relatively quickly and finished in 41:XX, around an 8:12 pace. 8:12 also happens to be my marathon goal pace. We all know how that worked out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November Totals

This month... oh how glad I am that it's over. I re-peaked, re-tapered, and ran a second marathon. In 6 weeks! I feel so fancy.
I just really love cats wearing clothes.

November will go down as my highest mileage month, ever. It didn't feel like it, at all. I cross trained a bit less, so maybe my legs had enough time to recover, but overall it just really didn't feel terrible taxing. I guess that's a good thing? December will be the exact opposite, because I hope to get more into cross training and back way off running. This also gives me an excuse to run outside even less! Because I needed that. 

November 1: 6.3 miles outside @ 8something pace
November 2: off
November 3: 18.25 miles in 2:41 (8:56 pace)
November 4: off
November 5: tmill 7.35 miles.
November 6: bike 19.35 @ 18.2
November 7: tmill 7.35
November 8: 6.35 outside @ 8:05
November 9: off
November 10: 20.1 outside @ 8:42
November 11: off
November 12: tmill 6.35
November 13: swimming! ~2100 m in 40 minutes.
November 14: 6.35 on tmill, 1 @ 6.2, 4.1 @ 7.7, 1 @ 6.7 plus c/d.
November 15: 6.3 on tmill
November 16: off
November 17: 15.7 on tmill
November 18: off
November 19: 5.35 on tmill
November 20: 45ish minutes of intervals
November 21: tmill- 1@ 6.1, 3.1 @ 7.8 (ah!), 1 @ 6.8 plus c/d, 5.35 total
November 22: tmill (it was raining, I swear), 5.3 total
November 23: 8.6ish outside at 8:40some
November 24: off
November 25: 3+ on the tmill, 3.3 total
November 26: off
November 27: off
November 28: 5 miles @ 81:12
November 29: off!
November 30: 26.25 in 3:37:07

November totals: 159.55 miles run, 19.35 bike, 2100 m swim, 1  HIIT

Monday, December 2, 2013

Race Report: NCR Trail Marathon

Short story: I did not BQ. 3:37:07, 8:16 pace.

Long story...
Thursday, Nick and I ran a Turkey Trot. I will write more about that later, but we finished right on in 40:58, which happens to be an 8:12 pace, a.k.a. my marathon goal pace. I felt good about it, but also a little worried because the pace felt a little hard.

Friday was a day of much relaxing. I ate gluten-free pasta, and a salad for an early dinner, then some chocolate chips and potato chips (not together!) before bed.

Race day nutrition: Nick and I got up around 5 on Saturday. Normal breakfast, banana, 2 eggs when I woke up. I drank a bunch of water. We stopped for coffee and I ate some rice chex around 7 or so (race start was 8:30am). I also had a Gu about 15 minutes before the start, plus more water. My stomach was feeling pretty crappy and unsettled, but I figured that was just nerves. Turns out, it was just nerves and luckily I never needed the bathroom because there were very few along the course. Noted. I had a (VERY COLD) Gu again at mile 5, 10, 15, and 20. They were chewy because it was so cold and they sat terribly in my stomach. Ugh. I carried a bottle of Gatorade, drank Gatorade at a couple of stops, and water a couple times. Fluid amounts felt pretty good overall.

The race was small, with around 500 runners plus maybe 100 more marathon relay people? It felt like a local 5k, really. We hung out in an elementary school cafeteria with plenty of bathrooms. It was warm and great. I saw a coworker who was planning on winning the marathon. He did! He gave me some course info, pointing out that the hill at the end would feel crappy, even though it was short. He said to relax and we chatted about clothing choices. I debated my attire a lot (it was around 20 degrees at the start!), and ended up going with some Saucony tights, a short sleeve tech tee, a long sleeve New Balance pullover, gloves, and a light weight ear warmer. I was never really too warm. Nick and my dad were there, and they offered to take any of my extra clothes, but I stayed pretty comfortable. My fingers were painfully cold at the start but warmed up after a few miles. My core sweated considerably but I wasn't uncomfortable.

Mile 1-5: 7:55, 8:06, 8:03, 8:11, 8:04
I set my watch to give me half mile splits. The splits were a nice check-in. I started off a little fast, but the first 1.5 miles or so were downhill, and it was freezing. I settled in with a few other people who seemed to be cruising around 8 min/mile and I tried to stick with them. I saw Nick and my dad around mile 5 and it was great! The trail up until that point was nice and even and I was cruising. I had a few moments of checking in with my body and being just a little bit worried about my pace, because it felt just a tiny bit hard. The first part of a marathon shouldn't feel hard... right? Or maybe it should? I've never pushed for a pace goal in a marathon, so I figured maybe I was doing what I needed to do.

Mile 6-10: 7:58, 8:01, 8:00, 8:11, 8:11
I kept chugging. It is a very lonesome race, which was actually nice. The NCR trail is beautiful and was well-maintained. The only slight gripe I have was that there were distinct tire ruts, and then gravel in the middle. The tire ruts were packed dirt, with occasional icy spots. It irritated me (spoiler alert, there was MUCH more irritation to come). I stayed on pace, but slightly fast, and was still feeling... ok? I guess. I was just so obsessed with my pace and that made it so I never felt relaxed.

Mile 10-15: 8:18, 8:05, 8:03, 8:07, 8:00
Still cruising. I saw my friend coming back toward me, in the lead, and he was looking great. This also meant we started having more runners coming back towards us. I knew that meant the turn around was coming up. I was hoping to hit the halfway point around 1:46 or 1:47, and I did. I passed the timing mats right at 1:46, which is a half marathon PR for me! Woohoo! The tricky part at this point, that I did not know, was that we crossed the halfway point and then had about another mile before the turnaround. That screwed with my head. I kept wanting to turn around and just get heading back, but we were still going forward. WHY!?!? I did not take into account that although it's an out and back course, the very beginning and very end take slightly different routes, so we didn't turn around at exactly halfway. I would have probably still been irritated if I had known this, because that was just my mental state at this point. There are no real "hills" during the middle 20 miles of this course, but there is a very slight uphill from mile 10-12, so a very slight downhill from 13-15 or so. That was nice, and although I didn't feel the uphill, I felt the downhill.

Mile 16-20: 8:00, 7:58, 8:02, 8:10, 8:20
I started to feel it for real. I was sucking wind a little, but I refused to back off. If I had backed off at this point, would I have been able to finish stronger? Who knows. My paces didn't drop but I was feeling a lot of mental fatigue. It became an effort to maintain. It also started getting really lonely. I lost the people I was pacing with and was totally by myself for a period of time. There were also a lot of walkers on the course, but not affiliated with the race, so I kept passing groups of families out for a morning stroll, and I was mad I was expending energy passing them. I know I wasn't really using any extra energy, but it sure felt like I was. I started doing mental math at this point... If I run 10 min/mile for the rest of the course, I'll finish at 3:44... now I'll finish around 3:41.. now 3:40... I knew I was still on pace, and felt good about that but I really started to doubt myself. I wasn't able to do the math to figure out what sort of cushion I had for my finish time.

Mile 20-end: 8:19, 8:32, 8:26, 8:49, 9:10, 9:30, 2:27 for last 0.25 (9:54 pace)
Annnnnd this is where it started to fall apart. I knew I only had a LITTLE bit of distance left. I knew it, mentally, but physically I just could not do it. I really believe I was using every ounce of energy to keep moving forward, and tried to keep my foot turnover quick and keep my form from falling apart, but I was scrunching my shoulders badly and getting really mad that I was carrying a water bottle. I am pretty sure if anyone saw me at this point, they thought I was dying. The last 2 miles have 2 legitimately sizeable hills, although they are very short. You come off the trail and need to get back to the start point. My watch shows about 100 feet over a quarter mile, a slight downhill, then another 130 feet over the last mile. I know that doesn't sound like much but it was all I could do to keep moving forward. I actually told myself, out loud, not to walk. I had a moment where I was not sure I would finish! I was so mad at myself as I saw my goal slip away. My dad was right there towards the end and I grouched at him, gave him my water bottle, and tried to keep from crying.

I finished, got a medal, tried to be cordial to the volunteers who gave me a space blanket and took my timing chip. I immediately felt HORRIBLE. Everything hurt, my stomach was upset, and I was upset. Nick helped me inside, I hugged my dad and cried a little. I drank a couple bottles of water and ate some chips and tried to calm down. The post-race food was delicious (pumpkin soup, chips, cookies, bagels!) plus hot water for hot chocolate, although I just sucked down hot water plain because I was freezing. I changed into dry clothes and tried to keep my legs moving.

So that's that. I will be back with some reflections later. Basically, I'm disappointed, but I am not sure how I could have done any better. I ran my ass off for 20 miles, but couldn't hang on the last 6. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The time I question every decision I've ever made


If you Google "how to pace marathon," the general consensus is to start out slow and comfortable for the first 20 miles and pick up the pace for the last 10k. Well, that's dandy, except if you want to hit a very specific pace. This Saturday (AHH!) I have to actually start off a little (comfortably) fast, and maintain. That's the plan. That doesn't sound unreasonable. Kidding, it sounds totally unreasonable and it's screwing with my brain big time... 

Obviously my big goal is to BQ. 3:34:XX or less... however, I would like to do that with some cushion. Ideally, 3:33 or so. Is this doable? Who knows. Here's some pacing breakdowns.

Situation 1a- perfect even split, finish in 3:33, no extra mileage: 
8:07 / mile overall
1:46:20 at the half

Situation 1b- perfect even split, finish in 3:33, with an extra 0.2 miles lost on the course, total mileage 26.4 mi: 
8:04 / mile overall
1:45:XX at the half

Situation 2a- start off a little fast, no extra mileage:
8:00 / mile first half
1:44:XX at the half
8:16 / mile second half

Situation 2b- start off a little fast, extra 0.2 mi run on the course
8:00 / mile first half
1:44:XX at the half
8:08 / mile second half

Situation 1 is an even split. More likely, I'll positive split because that's the way my brain works. I've been running tempos at 8 min/mile or faster, so 8 min/mile doesn't seem super fast to my legs, especially if I'm going in super fresh. Will it seem fast after I do it for 26 miles? Of course.

I have told myself that anything could happen during this run. Anything at all. I might hit The Wall (did this during Richmond last year, hated every single second of the last 8.5 miles of that race). I might start off too slowly and never be able to make up the time. I might run too fast and flame out. I might still be full from Thanksgiving and waddle my way through the whole race. I'm unpredictable!
This picture is absolutely hilarious to me. I'm easily amused.

I've been poking around the Internet, read peoples' race reports, and I was jealous for a little while that I won't have that big-time marathon experience I'm used to. I won't have a pacer or bands every mile. Hell, there won't even be all that many water stops. But that means this is MY race. It is me making my legs go at a specific speed for 26.2 miles and reaching my goal. That is really exciting. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

NCR marathon- one week out

This week's plan was just to get in a few more miles, one speed workout, and a short-ish long run. Check, check, check. 

Victories: It's taper! Eating breakfast is a victory. 

Failures:  legs are going crazy. Lots of treadmill. Questioning all my life decisions.

Monday: off

Tuesday: tmill 5.35 miles. not the most fun run.
Wednesday: pool was overrun by high school swim teams, so I did 45ish minutes of intervals at home. 
Thursday: tmill- 1@ 6.1, 3.1 @ 7.8 (ah! fast!), 1 @ 6.8 plus c/d, 5.35 total
Friday: 5.3 on the tmill
Saturday: 8.6ish in 8:40ish. Watch was being dumb.
Sunday: Off!

Totals: 24.6 miles run,  1 HIIT

My long run was a comedy of errors. I slammed some toast and a banana before leaving the house, and my stomach wasn't totally settled, but I was on a clock so I went for it. My watch wigged out and reset in the middle of the run and was generally being irritating. It was cold (~43 when I started), breezy, and sunny, and I kept getting buffeted by more wind when cars passed. My phone was misbehaving too. It was basically all the most frustrating things that can happen on a run, all bundled up into one run. The stomach and cold issues will be present at NCR, so I should be used to them. Speaking of cold, the Runner's World "What to Wear" tool is silly. If I plug in the likely temperatures at the start of the race, it says I need tights, a jacket, gloves and a hat. If I put in the temps toward the end of the race, it gives me short sleeves and shorts. NOT HELPFUL.

Here's what the rest of my weekend held:

Christmas shopping! Pretty watches. 

bathroom remodeling... I held the bucket while Nick put grout on the cement board. I'm so excited for the bathroom to be back together soon!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Strategery Part 2

I previously wrote about how NCR is very different from Steamtown. This is all about how I'm going to deal with those differences. 

1) Out and back course - Solution: zone out for the first third, watch the super speedy folks for the middle third, then watch the later folks at the end. You might say,"But Laurel, this so-called plan is called using your eyes, and any person with eyes would be doing this anyway!" My response: I need to be reminded to use my eyes when I'm running a marathon. Sometimes I forget.

2) On a trail - Solution: I will just take this as an advantage, and be thankful I don't have to overthink about running tangents, or running on banked roads. I will soak in the scenery and the peacefulness of running on a trail. I will probably sing to myself, count footsteps, generally let my mind wander. 

3) <600 runners - Solution: WIN IT. Just kidding. If I run my goal pace, and runners are anything like they have been in previous year, I will have a slight chance of placing in my age group. This would be the biggest deal of my life, so assuming I have a good day, I'll be looking for 20-29 year old women and racing them. It will be really weird to actually race a marathon (of course, I'm saying this based on me having a really good day... really, really good). I usually only do that with the super local 5Ks. I was going to wear headphones and distract myself, but the race website very explicitly says no headphones. I would rather not be DQed on my best race ever. 

4) There's a relay - Solution: Great distraction, and added motivation to make my half split speedy since I'll have people around me kicking it to the finish. Also, I'll use the fresh, quick runners who are starting up at the half as a nice distraction and a change of scenery. Again, using my eyes. I'm an innovator. 
Google image searches for "innovation" are sufficient fodder for a decade of Dilbert comics. I freaking hate buzzwords and cheesy clip art. Also, you can't see the light bulb because YOU'RE SITTING ON IT, you dumb featureless goldenrod person.

5) Fewer water stops Solution: Ugh. This is maybe the most irritating thing. I hate to sound prissy, but carrying water during races sucks. However, I don't want to deviate from my normal hydration strategy, so I'll carry my Nathan handheld with Gatorade in it, put my Gus in the pouch, and just deal with it. I have carried that bottle on all my long runs for my last 2 marathons. It's easy to carry and I'm used to it. My concern here is that during a race, especially towards the end, I get super pissy about every little thing. So if the bottle starts shifting in its holder (which it usually does) or leaking (which it also does), it is possible I will turn into a complete bitch and throw the bottle at a fellow racer. Or hopefully just a tree. I am really psyching myself out with this one. 

6) I'm running with a very specific goal in mind - Solution: Change my watch to half-mile splits. Not only will this help distract me from actual running, it'll give me frequent indications of how my pace is doing and let me adjust on the fly. This means the effect of a crowded start or dropped glove or water stop will be confined to just the one split, instead of seeing it reflected in a slow mile that I then totally freak out over. Also, 4:05 for each half mile is a really easy calculation to work with. 

7) (not listed on the original post, a new wrinkle I have recently discovered) It's going to be COLD. Solution: First, duh, it's late November, of course it'll be cold. Second, I am actually going to use #1 and #3 to my advantage and slightly overdress at the beginning, and shed layers when I see my dad and Nick. I get HOT when I run, so I know if I'm comfortable at the start I'll be toasty within a couple miles. Another facet to this issue is that I haven't done long runs in any of my cold weather gear. I have never run more than 5 or 6 miles in running tights, gloves, or a hat. I may or not wear tights, and I can shed gloves and a hat whenever I need to. 

It'll all be ok. 9 days.

Monday, November 18, 2013

NCR Marathon: Peak week 2

Kidding. Not a peak week at all! This week's plan was "Week of November 11: and now taper begins. Again. Total mileage: 35ish." I wrote that plan 4 weeks ago, when I was thinking I'd want a 3 week taper. When I wrote last week, I wanted this week to be another peak week. I really did.  I wanted the confidence boost of another 20 miler and a long tempo, but after lots of hemming and hawing, I thought back to the Steamtown, and decided my best bet was to step back this week. At least a little. A general guideline is to have taper week 1 be~ 80% of your peak mileage. I went for 85%. Look at me with the indecisiveness. 

Victories: Running! Swimming! 

Failures:  treadmill. Whatever. This week was weird and stressful and I got my runs in. Daylight savings is still screwing my schedule up and I currently don't care enough to drive myself 30 minutes each way to a trail or run next to 10 freshly dead deer every damn day.

Monday: off

Tuesday: tmill 6.35 miles. I fought the couch hard on this one, and won. Legs felt fresh!
Wednesday: swimming! Yay! ~2100 m (lost count) in 41 minutes. 
Thursday:  1 @ 6.2, 4.1 @ 7.7, 1 @ 6.7 plus c/d. Tmill. 6.35
Friday: 6.3 on tmill @ 6.9 and 7.1
Saturday: off
Sunday: 15.7ish on tmill

Totals: 34.7 miles run,  2100 m swim

This weekend's long run is a sort of random number. I was going for 16, but we had somewhere to be and I screwed around and delayed my run too much, so I got 15.5. Close enough, and considering the race is only 12 days away, I think it was an alright number. Also, my stomach was pretty great.

Considering my long runs the last 4 weeks before Steamtown were 13 @ 9:38, 20 @ 9:01, 10 @ 8:52, and nothing (we were traveling), I'm feeling great. I think. This marathon around, it'll be 18 @ 8:56, 20 @ 8:42, 15 @ 8:something, and whatever I do next weekend. I'm ok. It'll be ok. Somehow.

Am I feeling sprightly and ready to run 8 seconds/mile faster in 12 days? Absolutely not. I'm feeling a little taper crazy already, and just entirely not ready. But that's normal, right? 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Strategery Part 1

The only thing I ever think about is this marathon. I dream about it. I babble to my parents and my husband about it. I bring it up in conversations because I have no social skills and it's the only thing that's interesting* about me right now. Right now, what's weighing on my mind is my race strategy.
I sometimes say strategery and I worry people will think my brain is broken. I'm using it ironically, I swear.

Steamtown was fun. Tons of fun. I swear I was smiling the whole race. I didn't really start the countdown of doom until about 4 miles left (4 miles to go... 3.9 miles... 3.6... I'm going to die here.. 3.2... ) and I certainly never hit the Wall, very luckily. NCR will be a wee bit different though. Let's list the ways.

1) Out and back course - yup, 13.1 miles out, 13.1 miles right back to where I started (the first and last 2 miles deviate a little, but not much). That's bound to mess with my mind. A lot. Also, Nick (and my dad if he chooses to come) won't be able to pop up at multiple places along the course. They could theoretically drive to various spots, but it'll be tricky. Plus side- very, very few tangents to worry about.

2) On a trail - No cute holiday decorations to look at. No cars. No policemen. No screaming fans. This part worries me the most, since I thrive off of spectator support. Spectators are just the best thing ever, and I love that there are people out there cheering runners on. There will be less of that this time, and it scares me.

3) <600 runners - I won't have masses of runners around me. I won't have people chatting away, or fun costumes, or jugglers, or any of those nice distractions that normally occur during a bigger marathon. Just me and my mind movies.

4) There's a relay - this race has folks running a 2 person relay option. So that means I'll have speedy people who are only running for 1.5 hours blowing by me in the first few miles, and then nice fresh runners popping up again at mile 13+. I am imagining the amount of hatred I'll be feeling toward those runners, and it is substantial. Whole bunch of hate.

5) Fewer water stops - This is a small race, and they have water/Gatorade stops every 3-3.5 miles. This means I'll be able to get water almost as often as I usually want to, but not QUITE as often. And heaven forbid I deviate from what I'm used to and screw something up. So, I'll be carrying my own water bottle. This is not the end of the world but it sorta feels like it right now.

6) I'm running with a specific goal in mind - The piece de resistance. I'll actually be pushing myself during this. Instead of zoning out and running super comfortably like I did during Steamtown, I'll need to be checking mile splits and doing mental math. Although mental math keeps me busy, it's also detrimental to an enjoyable race. I'll be out there for more than 3.5 hours no matter what, so I hope I can find a happy spot between obsessing and letting my legs do their own thing. 

In a future post, I'll talk about how I'm dealing with these differences, and how I plan on making it a solid race, despite all these stupid things worrying me.

*Interesting is subjective. It's like pictures of your dog/cat/kid. Only you really care about it, but love makes you think that everyone else should care too. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

#BWorbust: 2.5 weeks out

It's getting real, folks.
nerd joke. 

Goal: don't be dumb. Show some restraint.

I hesitate to say I'm actually making progress with this, but this weekend I only had dairy (paneer) and gluten (naan). And booze, but that was gluten free! As a result, I began this week feeling like a normal human being instead of a blimp. Also, I got a new boss and this new one doesn't have a candy jar, so my mid-day snacks will be far less likely to consist of Reese's pumpkins. It's like my company doesn't want me to gain crazy taper weight and waddle through the marathon. 

Goal: go to bed a little earlier. Don't stress about not falling asleep in 0.2 seconds like someone (ahem, Nick) does.

Eh. I can't say I've really changed at this, but I think we might have tacked another 10 or 15 minutes onto bedtime this week. Progress! I have to thank Nick for this too, since he has been extra-willing to go to bed at 9pm. He's the best.

Goal: stretch well after every run. Foam roll 3x/week

Sort of? After my long run this weekend I jumped in the car, no stretching, and drove 30 minutes home. I didn't even have any water because the water fountains at the trail were turned off (for the winter season?) and I had forgotten to bring extra for myself. I did foam roll later, and I think most stretching is just a placebo, but it's still a nice habit to have. I'll work on this.

Goal: stuff will happen that will stress me out. Try and relax. Try not to take stupid stuff at work personally, and really unwind when I'm at home.

Eh, again. There's some upheaval going on at work and it's been irritating, and far too often I find myself fuming with rage by the time I come home. That's not healthy. I'm lucky I can vent about work to Nick and he knows what I'm talking about (we work at the same company). I just need to finish my venting feeling relieved, not still feeling irritated. 

Strength training 
Goal: planks regularly, plus a little extra strength work for funsies.

Yup. No HIIT this week or last, but sneaking in as much "strength" as possible. Just trying to maintain some degree of fitness.

Goal: 2x/day, every day

Yes? Ish? Again, I don't have an indicator of this. I should get one of these: 

Monday, November 11, 2013

NCR Marathon- Peak Week 1

This week's plan was "Week of November 4: same as last week, but even more miles! Total mileage: 40ish." I wanted to make this my (first) peak week, and have it look like my peak week for Steamtown. Because I wanted everything to be as identical to Steamtown as possible. Oh except I have decided to do a 2 week taper instead of 3 weeks. Why? Because I am feeling some self-doubt (see Friday's post) and I'll take 1 more week of training to help steel my confidence a little more. I am not sure it's the very best choice for me, considering I went into Steamtown feeling fresh as a daisy and antsy to run, but I also felt fresh and antsy the weekend before that race, so... 

Victories: Comfortable, even-paced long run on a trail similar to what I'll be on at the end of the month. Lots of miles this week. 

Failures: Treadmill. Treadmill. Treadmill. I know I've professed my love for it, but I hate to rely on it for half my runs. At least I got outside for my long run!  

Monday: off

Tuesday: tmill 7.35 miles. It gets dark early.
Wednesday: bike 19.35 @ 18.2
Thursday: tmill 7.35- 1 @ 6.1, 5.1 @ 7.7, 1 @ 6.7 plus c/d
Friday: 6.35 outside by my parents' house, 8:05
Saturday: off
Sunday: 20.1 @ 8:42

Totals: 41.1 miles run,  19.35 miles bike

Long run minutiae (I'm really trying to figure out meal timing/my stomach): Saturday night we went to a housewarming party and I snacked on veggies, and some chips/salsa/hummus. I also snacked on cupcakes. Except I DIDN'T, because apparently I learned self-control sometime last week. Only took me 28.2 years to learn that. Instead, I waited to gorge myself on Indian food at a proper dinner (paneer, why must you be so perfect? I'll take every stomachache forever... so yummy). Had a decent amount of food around 8:30pm, then came home and had dessert, and slept 9 hours. Glorious. In the morning (10am) I had eggs, banana and toast, then an apple and some date/coconut/almond bites at around 12. And tons of water.

I had planned on leaving for my run by 1:30, because that was the latest I could possibly leave and be done by 5pm when the sun sets. Around 1:00 I started to get everything together and realized my watch was completely dead. I could not handle that (I'm a data junkie). Instead of throwing up my hands and quitting everything, or hopping on the treadmill, I plugged in my watch and busied myself around the house for the next 30 minutes while the watch got a decent charge. I ended up leaving the house at almost 2pm, which was late, but I was determined to make it work. And I did. I drank my Gatorade every 2 miles plus Gu 15 minutes before and then every 5 miles. I just chugged along and let my legs go a little faster than I normally do on a long run. My pace stayed very consistent (8:30-8:48 for miles 1-16) and then slowed a little the last 4. I felt good overall and after I got back to the car I took a moment to reflect on what I had done. My body is getting (relatively) good  at running distances like this. It's unreal. I just go out and ask my legs to churn out 20 miles, and they do. I'm so proud of what I'm capable of doing. And now I'm crying. Ugh. Stupid emotions. 19 days till NCR!

Friday, November 8, 2013

The mental game.

In my head, I am a chubby, slow person. My trip from "I want to run a marathon" to "I want to qualify for Boston" has been quick. Too quick for me at times. My mind is nowhere near where my body is. When I see a mile split with a 7 in front of it- even during a 5K, I still think that I am going way too fast and I'm going to blow up (In a recent 5K I ran a mile in 6:53. My head spun even more at that one). I have run literally a dozen workouts with multiple miles at sub-8 pace. Why won't my mind catch up to my body?

This causes a lot of self-doubt. A whole lot. Going into Steamtown I was feeling normal taper crazies and I felt slow and heavy. That caused me to lower my goal from BQ (way back in September) to sub-3:45  earlier this month, to maybe sub-4 right before the race. I lowered all my expectations. As a result, I ran the whole race conservatively and had a wonderful time, but I also probably could have BQ'ed that day had I put any thought into my splits. It wasn't even within my realm of possibility.
Fear of failure = don't even try.

So now I'm a month out from another race that I registered for specifically for the chance to BQ. NO PRESSURE. Just $100 registration fee for nothing but a chance to reach a major milestone. I am doubting myself again. What if Steamtown was a fluke? What if I'm not a 3:3X marathoner, but I'm really the same 4:50 marathoner I was 2 years ago? What if this race is a huge disappointment? Every slightly tough mile and slow split  in training just keeps reinforcing this.

A big part of running is mental, of course, but I can quickly turn a mental struggle into a physical one. If I'm feeling self-doubt, suddenly the minor pain in my leg/arm/whatever feels 100X worse. If I'm feeling self-doubt, suddenly the 2 extra taper pounds I'm lugging around my waist feel like 20. If I'm feeling self-doubt, suddenly I get a mental image of myself that looks identical to 2009 me, who was... let's just say, not the sleekest/fastest person. 

I honestly have no idea what to do about this. I can look on paper, at real numbers, and see evidence that I'm not as slow as I think I am. Hard numbers should be sufficient, right? But they're not.

I wish I had a plan I could put into Excel and check off some boxes, and solve this, but this is bigger than just NCR. This is the same part of my brain that's surprised when I don't need a size 12 pant or when I am able to stop myself from bingeing on candy. This is the part of my brain that compares myself to other girls and tries to figure out if I'm thinner than them. This sounds horribly bitchy and shallow, but my brain is horribly bitchy and shallow... I try and be better than this but I'm not there yet. I lack confidence in pretty much everything, so the BQ is no different. Let's just hope I can keep those doubting voices quiet for 3:34:59 (or less!) on November 30. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

#BQorbust: 4 weeks out

First of all, why am I using a hashtag in my title? Did I suddenly start using any sort of social media where hashtags are involved? Nope. Just wanted to fit in with the cool kids, and nothing does that more than a self-determined slogan with a pound sign in front of it.

Here's how non-running stuff that directly influences my running has been going.

Goal: don't be dumb. Show some restraint.

Nope. Nope nope nope. During the week I do alright (even with a million types of very tempting Halloween candy all around), it's on the weekends I tend to say to hell with it, and eat whatever. This weekend I did that, sort of. I went to Punkin Chunkin on Saturday. I took a bunch of me-friendly snacks and got some fries but when I got home, I was pretty much like this:
if you know what this is from, you can be my friend. If not, you're probably a well-adjusted human being. But we can't be friends.

By the time we got home, I was pissed at myself for eating "too much," (my calories are stupid low on days I don't work out) and might have been buzzed from lots of cider and not a lot of food, so Nick and I got pizza. And I had a cupcake. On Sunday, we still had another couple cupcakes left, PLUS half a pizza. That pizza won't just eat itself! So I had more. I also ate some of Nick's pancakes at breakfast because I was doing a long run later. And therefore I should totally eat all the carbs. Ugh.

Summary: I suck at this, and I pay for it. I give up.

Goal: go to bed a little earlier. Don't stress about not falling asleep in 0.2 seconds like someone (ahem, Nick) does.

This.. yeah. I still like to lay in bed, just thinking about how many hours of sleep I'd be getting if I feel asleep right now. How about now? And now? Still awake? How about now? This is a problem I've had all my life, and I don't know how to change it. I'm just doing my best. When I was young, my dad said that even laying down and resting is beneficial, even if you can't sleep. There might not be science behind that, but I've always believed it. So even if I'm not sleeping, I'm still resting, damnit.

Goal: stretch well after every run. Foam roll 3x/week

Yes! I actually love/hate my foam roller, and I think I can actually feel a difference when I use it, so I have been doing well with this. Same with stretching. Any excuse to be totally stationary after running hard is welcomed!

Goal: stuff will happen that will stress me out. Try and relax. Try not to take stupid stuff at work personally, and really unwind when I'm at home.

Um. I don't know. I think if I don't have legitimate stress in my life, my life forms a weird stress vacuum and it gets filled with other stupid stuff to worry about. I'm basically at 50% freaked out at all times. I'm an anxious person. I will continue to be mindful of this.

Strength training 
Goal: planks regularly, plus a little extra strength work for funsies.

Eh. I did HIIT this week, which is strength, and did planks a couple times. I didn't want to do anything over the top or unusual, just keep on chugging and keep my body overall in ok shape for the next month.

Goal: 2x/day, every day

Maybe? I don't have any indicators of when I do/don't take it, because I don't have a pill bottle where I can count and see if I've taken all the doses for the day/week. I should probably figure that out. Regardless, my running has been going really well, so by that indicator, I'm doing ok. Just need to keep on it. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

NCR Marathon training- 4 weeks to go!

This week's plan was "Week of October 28: add a day of speedwork, a day of HIIT, and even more miles! Total mileage: 30ish." I also had an unspoken desire to cross-train one or more days this week. I did HIIT with Nick on Monday for the first time in over a month and it was BRUTAL. He and I spent the next 3 days hobbling. It wasn't until Friday that I really started to feel back to normal and fairly pain-free. I, somehow, still managed to get in workouts all week. Once I started running or biking, my legs didn't feel painful. I actually felt pleasantly strong. 

Speedwork returned also this week. I did 4 quick tempo miles with a slow mile at the beginning and the end. I wanted that run to be over before it started, basically. It was miserable, I felt sluggish, but I still finished. And then I was really proud of myself. That's kind of a theme right now. After the post-marathon endorphin extravaganza died down, it turns out I am just SO OVER training. "It's only 5 more weeks! That's nothing! You already trained for 18 weeks, what's 5 more?!" SHOVE IT. 

Victories: I did cross-train! Twice! Yay me! And I did a 4 mile tempo run pretty fast. And I did my long run. I'm pretty much just 100% success right now. It's ok. I hate my relentless positivity too.
Failures: Pizza happened. 2 days in a row. Oops?

Monday: HIIT, arms, and abs with Nick... it has been too long. My legs wanted to fall off and walking the next day was ridiculous.
Tuesday: 5.3 miles outside @ 8:23
Wednesday: bike 17.75 @ 17.1
Thursday: tmill 1@ 6.1, 4.05 @ 7.6 and 7.7, 1 @ 6.6 plus c/d. 6.35 total. (this felt hard, but in a good way? I wanted to puke, but I didn't, so I'm calling it a win).
Friday: 6.3 miles outside @ 8something
Saturday: off
Sunday: 18.25 miles on the tmill. 

Totals: 36.25 miles run, 17.75 miles bike, 1 HIIT

Friday, November 1, 2013

October totals

I knew this month would be wonky with a couple of taper weeks, a marathon week, then recovery. I tapered even better than I was supposed to (better = sarcasm. I skipped runs.)! This month is a big milestone (pun!) for me- 1000 miles for the year! I wasn't sure if this was a reasonable goal for me for this year, since I'm generally not a fan of high mileage and my running intensity wanes throughout the year, but I pulled it off. Even with most April running being rightly displaced by wedding fun. Yay me! I unceremoniously hit the 1000 mile mark sometime during my warm-up mile during yesterday's speed workout. There were no balloons. No party. I feel snubbed.

This was a lower mileage month for me for the year, and my legs are feeling great. They're fairly fresh and I've been able to knock out some decent speed in the last couple weeks without really feeling draggy. During the peak of marathon training, I'd be dragging my butt up the 2 flights of stairs to my office in the morning. Lately (except for being debilitated by HIIT), I've felt almost sprightly. It's a nice change. I might also be dosing myself with iron a bit better. Can't discount having the right amount of nutrients to actually fuel your body.

Speaking of nutrients....running less is really messing with my hunger levels. I am used to being able to idly eat from the candy dish at work (we just got Snickers peanut butter squared... they are pure magic) and know that I'll be running it off later, but with lower mileage I've had to stop myself. Then I get in this annoying cycle of wondering if I'm eating too much or too little and freaking myself out. I really can't win the battle with my brain, so I go back to counting every calorie, which kills me. Ugh. I hate my metabolism.  

Anyways... here's the month in review: October
October 1: outside 4.2 @ 8:14
October 2: bike 18.1 @ 17.6 
October 3: tmill, 1 @ 6.1, 3 @ 7.7, 1 @ 6.7 plus c/d. 5.25 total
October 4: tmill, 4.25 total
October 5: off (hike!)
October 6: off (walk!)
October 7: off (walk!)
October 8: off (hike)
October 9: tmill, 3 miles plus c/d in 30 minutes. 3.25 total
October 10: 1 @ 6.1, 2 @ 7.7, 1 @ 6.7 plus c/d. 4.25 total
October 11: off
October 12: tmill 2 miles plus c/d. 2.25 total
October 13: 26.35 in 3:37:58 (8:20 pace) Steamtown Marathon
October 14: off
October 15: tmill 3.1 @ 6.0 plus c/d. 3.25 total
October 16: bike 19.5 @ 18.7
October 17: 3.2ish watchless miles
October 18: 3.1 @ 8:10. Shouldn't have worn watch.
October 19: off
October 20: off
October 21: tmill 4 miles slowish, plus c/d. 4.25 total
October 22: off 
October 23: off (WHO AM I)
October 24: 5.25 outside @ 8:05 (who am I, again?)
October 25: tmill 6.0 plus c/d. Slow and unpleasant. 6.25 total
October 26: off
October 27: tmill 10 @ 6.6ish plus c/d. 10.25 total
October 28: HIIT, arms and abs with Nick
October 29: 5.3 outside @ 8:23
October 30: bike 17.75 @ 17.1
October 31: tmill 1@ 6.1, 4.05 @ 7.6 and 7.7, 1 @ 6.6 plus c/d. 6.35 total.

October totals:  97 miles run, 55.3 bike, 1 HIIT
Year total: 1006 miles running

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#BQorbust game plan: 5 weeks out

Aside from just the running itself, I'm trying to focus on other parts of my life to maximize the likelihood I'll accomplish this little goal of mine. Here's those other areas.

Food: Don't be dumb, Laurel.

I know what works for me and what doesn't. I know that day after day of little bits of things that don't work (tofu here, frozen yogurt there, bread all over the place) add up and I end up feeling like death by day 3 or so. And then it's several days for me to recover, that is, unless I just continue eating terribly. I blame part of my tummy issues during Steamtown on not being a stickler about my eats the week prior, particularly the day before (indianfoodcheesesandwichdonut). NCR is the week of Thanksgiving, so that presents a high likelihood of temptations. I'm going to be sure to make some sort of delicious me-friendly main dish and dessert so I can feel like I'm having proper Thanksgiving, but not tear my tummy up 2 days before the race.

Sleep: Initiating the getting ready for bed process 20 minutes before I want to be asleep doesn't work. That should be something I've learned by age 28, but nope. I need to shift back "bedtime" a little bit so there's still time to chat with Nick and get relaxed before I start stressing about not being asleep. 10 more minutes, that's all I need.

Foam-rolling/Stretching: If my choices are 10 more minutes to get ready to leave the house, or 10 minutes of cool down and stretching, I always choose grooming. No one actually cares if my eyebrows are perfect (right? please tell me the world isn't concerned with my eyebrows), so I can forgo those 10 minutes of staring at myself and maybe take better care of my legs. And at night, even when  the couch is oh so comfy (the most recent season of How I Met Your Mother is on Netflix! Christmas came early), I can sacrifice a few minutes to worship a the altar of foam roller.
This is actually the least stupid image search result for "foam roller meme." Oh, Internet.

Stress: I had a really bad work week leading up to Steamtown. Actually, 2 really bad weeks. I was up early, stayed late, and generally didn't relax. I would like less of that this time around. Although I don't have control over this, I can try and handle the things that come up as well as possible, and just chill out more.

Strength training: bad posture = bad running = slowpoke. I don't want to suddenly start new strength training, but I will be continuing regular planking and ab work, plus the mild upper body stuff I've been doing all summer. My posture never felt like it broke down during my last race (although my shoulders hurt like crazy the next day) and I'd like that to be the case for NCR again.

Iron: Take it religiously. Even if my levels are good (I haven't been testing in a couple months so I have no idea), maintaining them for the next month requires a little more diligence than I've been putting in. Twice a day, even if one of the doses isn't optimally timed, is better than nothing.

I'm not doing anything ground-breaking, but getting some light goals out there in order to keep myself sort of accountable will only be helpful in the long run. Pun intended, because my sense of humor is dumb.

Monday, October 28, 2013

NCR Trail Training Week Somethingorother

This week was about easing back into training and seeing how recovery feels on my legs. Last week, I ran a few times but maxed out at 3 miles. This week, I wanted to up the mileage but keep everything on the easy side.... well, life happened, and this week was a bit of a struggle fitting things in. Mostly because getting up and running before work is HARD and I am LAZY.
So true. I know if I'm in an unusual hurry to change into PJ's/any pants without buttons when I get home, my life is headed in the wrong direction.

Victories: I'm running!
Failures: Inconsistency. Taking 2 days in a row off for no other reason than being kinda busy makes me feel like a big ol' loser.

Monday: tmill, 4 miles slowish, plus c/d 4.25 total
Tuesday: off- we went and bought Nick a car!
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 5.25 outside @ 8:05 (who am I, again?)
Friday: tmill 6.0 plus c/d. Slow and unpleasant. 6.25 total
Saturday: off
Sunday: tmill 10 @ 6.6ish plus c/d. 10.25 total

Totals: 26 miles running, no cross training

If you look at my plan for this week, this was right on target. I ran 4 times (could have used some more cross training...) and got in the miles I wanted. My legs feel mostly good, just a few little tweaky pains here and there. My 10 miler on Sunday felt like I was flying, so that is good. I did the bulk of the miles at 6.6 and added in fast sections for the last 0.1 of each mile. I ran on the treadmill, but for this marathon, hill training is not of utmost importance. It's nice and flat. Oh yeah, laziness = excused.

One worry if I get reliant on the treadmill again (and watching New Girl. that show is hilarious and I'm sad I've waited this long to watch it!) is not figuring out cold weather long run logistics. On my Thursday run, it was about 50 degrees when I started. I wore shorts, a short-sleeved shirt, and a lightweight, reflective Brooks jacket. I got pretty toasty after the first mile or so. The jacket was too much. If I want to completely predict the future, it looks like a high of 50 on race day is the average, but it'll be mighty cold at the start. So I'll need a little extra clothing at the start, but I won't want to hang onto it all race. And I almost definitely don't want to wear running tights. I really need to figure out the Gu storage/short/tights/jacket situation in these next few weeks.

One more detail about race day logistics- I've always done long runs with swigs of Gatorade every 2 miles, because most races have aid stations approximately that far apart. I get a little thirsty by the end of the run, but I take in about 22 oz. over the course of 3 hours. During the NCR race, there will only be water/Gatorade stops every 3-3.5 miles. What if I die of dehydration?
There, there, Julianne Moore. PS I found this by googling "overdramatic crying." She was on the results page quite a few times. What a thing to be known for.

But seriously. This throws a wrench in my plans. I might actually have to carry water during the race, as much as I detest that thought. The one plus side to that is I was also planning on carrying my phone so I'd have music during the race, and I only ever carry my phone during long runs, so I needed a way to carry it anyway. Water bottle carrier to the rescue!
So much better. And you'll get fewer unattractive forehead wrinkles if you just cry less (although she's still aging beautifully, even with all her theatrics). PS again, I found this by googling "happy Julianne Moore" and there were way fewer results. Interesting.