Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Race Brain Neurosis + IT Band Update

I tend to have some crazy/wild anxiety ridden thoughts and dreams leading up to races.  My brain is insane, what can I say.  Because I didn't want my race report to be 1200 pages long, I left out a lot of the random quirks.  But they're too entertaining, so here you go.

I was reading through my race report from last year's Sioux Falls Half (p.s. this is almost an exact report of this year's, except I through a minor tantrum in my head, instead of staying positive and enjoying the race), and laughed when I described my dream the night before.  The gist:  The race was being measured in a unit of measurement from the Star Wars movies.  No one would give me a conversion rate, and clearly my Garmin only works in kilometers and miles, so I was freaking out!

Fast forward to this year:  I woke up in a sweat in the middle of the night, and woke Kyle up to tell him my dream.  He was thrilled I'm sure.  In this version of the half marathon, the miles were broken down by colors.  Each runner had to be dressed head to toe in that color to advance to the next mile.  I remember being PISSED that the starting mile color was yellow and not green, thus negating my sweet outfit, and only made it through mile 3 of the race before I got tired of tearing off sopping wet clothes while running.  :)

The day before the race, I went to Scheels to pick up my race packet, and also needed to grab some GUs.  I love the Blueberry Pomegranite GU Roctane, and use them exclusively for races because they're roughly $1000/gel.  Scheels didn't carry any, so I thought no biggie, I'll head to the running store.  I know they have them, but the price is typically $1000.75/gel*.  Seriously, I could go out for dinner for a couple of those puppies!  When I got to the running store they were completely OUT of my favorite gel.  Panic mode.  These thoughts may or may not be exact thoughts that went through my mind instantly:

"Well, there goes the half marathon.  Might as well not even run!  I mean, how can I be expected to run a race without my gels?!?  That's like asking me to not run in green!  (not asking me to run, without... shoes or something NECESSARY, but green, told you my brain is insane!).  I wonder if this guy knows he just ruined 12 weeks of training.  I should probably tell him.  Make him overnight me some gels."

But instead I grabbed some pineapple roctanes, and they were fine.  Meh.

After fretting about town in search of the holy grail of GUs I set down to painstakingly plot out my race plan.  Mind you, I had a mountain of schoolwork to read and complete, but I knew my brain couldn't focus unless my t's were crossed and i's were dotted.  I color coordinated the water stops.  I drew in where I'd GU and highlighted them appropriately.  I marked out where my Mom and Kyle would be on the course.  I figured based on my goal paces approximately what time I would be at those spots for their spectating conveniences.  I did calculations TWICE on the final 4 miles of the route as to what my paces would need to be to hit 4 time goals.  Twice because the first time I was leaving out the .1.  Uh.  Oops!

And then come race morning, I put on my heart rate monitor while I was getting ready.  My resting heart rate is usually in the 48-51 range.  While sitting in the truck, silent, driving to the race start, it toggled anywhere from 88-101.  Imagine what my brain waves were probably giving off!

And there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed your little look in to this runner's neurosis.  :)
I think my IT bands are coming around.  My left one is almost back to normal.  My right one is still........ not happy.  I've been rolling as much as I can humanly stand, and icing as well.  My training program for Fargo was supposed to start on Tuesday, but that obviously didn't happen.  Fingers crossed that I could maybe get in a few miles tomorrow after work, before class.  I know last year I was super antsy to get back in to training for the Vegas Marathon, and I ended up only being able to run sporadically for almost 3 weeks because the IT band problems led to such bad knee issues.  Patience is a virtue.

And special thanks to Coach Jaseface who analyzed some race photos over the last year, and may have pinpointed my form issue.  I hope to wrangle someone to video tape me as soon as I'm able to get back out there to confirm and see the extent of the issue.  Racing in pain is just not the most fun thing in the world, in case you were curious!

Midwesterners, enjoy the brisk cool weather this week.  I hate you all. :P

*Actual mark up represented.  I mean, seriously.... an extra 75 cents a gel, that's outrageous!


Nobel4Lit said...

Agreed that those Roctanes are $$$! I have learned to live without them, but sometimes I get lucky and they hand them out during races...

Glenn Jones said...

Nothing like some pre-race jitters, eh?

Renee said...

Have you tried looking online to order them in bulk to get them cheaper?

Susan said...

Hahaha that's an awesome dream and totally something normal to have before a race...I like the changing colors every mile. That could make for an interesting race...

I'd be scared about trying to change my form. After my IT band gave me some nasty problems, I took two months off and switched my shoes. Not sure which one did the trick, but no more IT band problems. Yay!