Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run have 5 favorite cool weather drinks as this week’s Friday Five linkup. In my case that would be hot chocolate, and then tea, tea, tea, tea.
I suppose I could bore you with what kind of teas I enjoy during winter, but I decided to speak about some of the things I’ve learned from running half marathons instead.
Ditch the hat if it’s windy
I learned this one the hard way. The Green Mountain Half Marathon was very, very windy. That wind seemed even more intense since we were running along the shores of Lake Champlain.
I spent about 3/4 of the race clutching my hat with one hand. I’m sure I lost time (and definitely energy and running form) because of that. If it’s cold, wear a beanie.
I’m not sure what I’d do if it’s hot and windy. I haven’t run into that scenario yet.
Slow down if it’s hot
Someday I will actually do this.
Every hot race I have ever run I have started at the pace I planned. And every hot race I have ever run has been a huge disappointment.
If it’s hot & you’re BOTP like me, carry some water
On the other hand, every race I have run without carrying my own water has been a PR; of course, there have only been 2 halfs and 1 15k that I have run without carrying water so far.
The sad, cold fact that is races do run out of water for the BOTP (back of the pack) sometimes. It happened to me at ZOOMA Annapolis. And they also ran out of cups at one water stop!
I was carrying a small hand held water bottle with me. I also had the volunteers refill the water bottle halfway through. They were thrown for a loop by the request, but still happily obliged.
This was a hot, humid, hilly race. It was torturous enough and I really can’t imagine how I would have felt about it if I hadn’t had that small water bottle with me.
Check the timing chip if it’s not on your bib
My first half was RnR Vegas 2011. They did not have the timing chips on your bib; you had to loop it around your shoelaces.
I barely knew what a timing chip was, so it never occurred to me to check it. And when my husband was helping me put it on before the race, he realized it wasn’t mine.
We got it changed, but he’d signed up to track me and then couldn’t.
Carry a variety of fuel
If you’re racing anything over say a 10k, you never quite know what you might want to eat at the end of the race. Figuring out fueling strategies is part of training, of course, but training isn’t racing and you may find that you want something different as you get torwards the end.
That Vegas half was at night; my first night race. Trying to figure out what to eat for a nigh race is tricky.
Thankfully, I had a Honeystinger waffle with me — not something I normally eat during a race, as they’re tricky to carry with you (any suggestions?), but I often eat one before.
I wouldn’t say I hit the wall at mile 10, but I was getting kind of dizzy and the waffle really helped. Oddly enough I never carry with them with me anymore.
The point is that you may find yourself wanting something different than what you trained with as you get towards the end of a hard race.
What have you learned from your races?