Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mayor's Marathon: Then vs. Now

Wednesday workout: 12 miles with 10 tempo (9:30), old Pace Gloves
Thursday workout: 6 miles, 10:50 average, new Pace Gloves!

Yesterday's tempo was brutal. It was really, really hot, I was directly in the sun the entire time, I was bitten to hell by mosquitoes (and probably swallowed a few), and I didn't drink as much water as I probably should have because I needed my supply to last the entire 12 miles. But I managed to finish, as I always do, and it was my very last "SOS" workout of this training cycle! Can I get a hoo-rah?! I'll wait while you hoo-rah.


Did you hoo-rah? My legs actually felt almost completely recovered for today's 6 miles, when I ran in my new shoes and generally looked like a fool. Think bright orange shoes, bright pink/orange trim shorts, bright blue shirt, light blue sports bra, and silver sparkly headband. So, like, the complete opposite of what I wear in my non-running life. I'm not entirely sure how that mix of clothing made it into my bag, but I sucked it up and only had to deal with a few disapproving looks.

The new shoes performed great! I mean, they're identical to my other pairs so I expected nothing less, but it was nice to see they haven't changed radically (or at all) since I bought my last pair a year ago. Also, the traction is so great it almost feels like the shoes "stick" to the ground when I walk around in them.

Pretty sights from today's run:


I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and revisit my last Mayor's race (the half). It was (after the fact) a hilarious and painful experience during which I managed to break every single running rule like the amateur I was. 

I think this story is most effectively told as a list of race day DON'Ts with suggestions for what to do the second time 'round.

1. DON'T sign up for a race you're not remotely prepared for.

I swear I planned to train for this race. If intent determined outcome, I totally would have won. I really, really thought I was going to train properly. But I didn't. I can't really remember why, except that I had no idea what "training" for a half marathon entailed and I was often too tired from chasing kids around all day (camp counselor) to actually run.


2. DON'T walk six trillion miles the day before the race, stay out late dancing, and have a shot of whiskey (which you despise) at 2:00 am to prove you're not square.



3. DON'T race when you're sick. Also, don't stay out until 2:00 am when you're sick.

The bulk of my training was pathetic, and the last of my training was nonexistent, with the exception of my next DON'T. I had been sidelined by a cold for the previous week and a half and hadn't run at all. I actually wasn't even planning to run the race but my mom had told her entire office I was racing and they were eager to know how I did. Basically, she shamed me into it.

FIX: let's hope this isn't an issue this time around.

4. DON'T run a hard interval workout the day before a race because you think that's what "running some short strides" means.

I read somewhere that fast people run some at race pace the day before a race. I interpreted that as "run a few 800 meter repeats as fast as you possibly can until you can't do anymore."

FIX: stick to the plan.

5. DON'T try anything new on race day, like eating a hardboiled egg for breakfast.

I read somewhere that fast people eat protein. Eggs have protein. I hated hardboiled eggs at the time and only managed to finish half of it. I was extremely nauseous.

FIX: pancakes with peanut butter on race day (yes, I'm still eating pancakes for breakfast).

There's that offensive egg.

6. DON'T GO OUT TOO FAST. If you've barely trained, DON'T THINK you are going to PR.

Yep. I really wanted to break two hours. I blazed through the first eight miles. I spent more time walking than running the last five.

FIX: duh. Control yourself, you animal!

7. DON'T shove random insoles you bought at the store into your shoes on race day because someone told you insoles make your body feel better.

Running in normal shoes killed my hips. These made them worse. My hips were screaming for days after.

Barely upright.

FIX: don't shove random things in your shoes.


Okay, I didn't die. But I thought I was going to. Instead I smiled painfully.

Kill me. Now. Just do it. But not before I eat that strange gentleman's cookie.

So there you have it. Let us hope that remains my second-to-worst race (we can save the worst for another day). In fact, four out of the six halfs I've done have been torture because it took me so long to learn from my mistakes.


  • Gimme your DON'Ts (and your fixes)!


  1. This is an awesome post. Can I please put a lot of Don'ts in there to race directors and blame them for my bad races?
    Don't: start a race at 8 am when temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 90s that day and we are all sweating before we start. Fix: people will wake up early so they will not die 2 hours later.
    Don't (to the same race director): allow your volunteers to completely f up the water situation at mile 10 so runners have to run miles 8 through 12 on said 90+ deg day WITHOUT WATER. Fix: check water stations. Make sure they are stocked properly.

    1. Thanks! And YES, this is an all don'ts welcome place! Also, those sound horrific. I assume they're based on something that actually happened? Running out of water is such an amateur (and dangerous) move! That's why I always run with a handheld-I don't trust the water situation in races, whether it be that they're too spread out for what I need or I accidentally grab Gatorade (which kills my insides) or whatever.

  2. Ahahaha 'fast people eat protein.' Yes, I'm in the boat where if I read it on the blog of a super fast runner or in Runner's World Magazine then I think it automatically applies to me like a damn Olympian or something. Wrong. I guess the overarching theme of my do's and don'ts is to seriously listen to your body and do what works for YOU. Sounds lame, but it's true.

    Also, "Don't Die" is usually my number one rule of every race and run because I'm pretty awful so it's actually possible that I could die out there.

    1. I USED to be all about doing anything I sorta read in a magazine (although I usually took one snippet from an article without reading the rest. Hence, "eat a hardboiled egg for breakfast on race day"). I've gotten smarter about it, fortunately.

      Don't die/shit my pants should be EVERYONE'S number one goal in any situation ever, I think.

  3. This was so funny! I love that you ate hard boiled eggs bc that's what fast people do! You are funny! I hate hard boiled eggs too......I can eat them crumbled on a salad, but hard boiled....ewe no way.

    1. Well, I like hardboiled eggs NOW, but at the time I despised them. I find that if you pour enough salt on them (or anything, really), they're quite tasty!

  4. Are you sure this is the same Jeano? Because really, you and she seem like total opposites. Truth be told, I think that the New You is destined to have a long and successful running career. I'm sorta lukewarm on DON'Ts, so how about if I share a few DOs?

    1. DO run your own damn race. [This would probably have fixed most of your problems.]
    2. DO exactly what you do in your training runs. [Clothing, food, hydration, etc]
    3. DO drink from the cups at the aid stations ONLY if you have practiced this move in the privacy of your own backyard. Otherwise, youwill surely choke. TRUE STORY.
    4. DO have fun! :)

    1. Totally same Jeano. I just had NO idea what I was doing. I was very new to running and that was only my second race. The first went better because I ran it with more experienced friends, but I was totally on my own for this one.

      Great tips! I hope to do all 4 on race day ;).