Fall is definitely here.
So, apparently, is the wind. It knocked all of these babies off their tree near my bus stop at work! The ground was absolutely littered with ’em and it was 30* C yesterday! So about that fall being here? Erm…let’s give it another week or two before I say that again…
Red River Cereal Contest Winners!!!
Before I get on with the rest of this post, we need to get one thing out of the way! The contest! Who are the five lucky readers who will be enjoying a bag of Red River Cereal? Chosen by my own personal random number generator (his name is “Alan”), the winners are:
Congratulations! Please send me an email (lifestastyadventures at gmail dot com) with your full name and address and I’ll let you know when your loot is shipped!
First up is my race kit!
The breakdown is as such: Far left is my race bib (lucky #8882!), chip and race shirt. I hate complaining about these things but I really am not a fan of the colour!!! I look terrible in yellow! Oh well, it’s my very first half marathon shirt and I will wear it with pride tomorrow afternoon! Middle (from bottom to top): annoying amount of race flyers, two small samples of hand cream, a mini Taste of Nature bar, a magnet for a local foot specialist, an Oasis drink box, a small box of Vector cereal, small Degree deodorant and issues of iRun and Get Out There magazines. Plus the bag it all came in. I do wish races would cut down on their flyers, I just end up recycling them anyway and normally I opt to not keep the bag but I knew I was going to need an extra bag as I had shopping plans!
I was REALLY excited when I found out that the people from Bondi Band would be there. I’ve heard such good reviews about runners using their bands and I’m finding that the bands I’ve been buying are so small that they pop off my head or cause my scalp to hurt! Plus they come in all different designs and fun sayings! After agonizing over which ones I wanted, I decided on these three:
The first one because that’s pretty much my mantra while running, the second because that it what I think about while running and the third is actually just lounging around the house. I only wore the third one for a bit (and just put it back on) and I already understand why they’re so popular. They’re comfortable, fun AND stay put! Score!
I also picked up two long sleeved running tops. I’ve stopped buying short sleeve for the year as I don’t have too many fall and winter running tops.
First off, and I may have mentioned this before, but I LOVE New Balance clothing. They’re so comfortable, flattering and come in sizes that fit regular people and not the smallest athletes possible. I saw this shirt, fell in love, tried it on and bought it (at 30% off no less)! I apologize for the dark pictures, it was late when I got home!
You may notice that where the blue and white meet is broken up by reflective strips. New Balance is awesome for working in reflective strips into their clothing!
My second shirt was my second reason for bringing cash with me. I was DYING for a iRUNLIKEAGIRL shirt! I’ve been talking about it for months! So this is fuzzy picture of the one I bought!
And I happen to be wearing it right now as I type! I LOVE it. It’s nice and soft, is made of wicking material and sort of makes me feel bad ass but in a girlie way!
Next up I got some essentials but I got them because they were cheap! The eLOAD was $1 per and the gels were 3 for $5! I got two banana Hammer Gels (I’ll bring one with me tomorrow as I’ve had them while running before) and an apple-cinnamon to try out some time. All of my eLOAD is lemon flavoured as it’s all I’ve tried and I like it but I’ve heard bad reviews about the other flavours. But their lemon flavour tastes like lemonade! Although I’ve run with eLOAD before, I’ve trained with Gatorade and that’s what I’m sticking with for tomorrow!
Now onto the freebies!
Randomly, they were giving out these microwave egg cookers. Alan and I don’t normally eat eggs but, well, it was free and I’m bad like that…
The people at Clif were also giving out freebies! I admit, however, that I did NOT pick up the free Shot Bloks only because things that stick in my teeth make them hurt so I stay away from gummy running fuel. I snagged two Peanut Toffee Buzz Clif bars (NEVER tried this flavour and am very excited to try it!!!) and a strawberry Clif Shot (which I also enjoy).
And Gatorade was giving out their Pre and Post running fuels! The “Pre-Game Fuel” on the left is, of course, for having before your run and the “Post-Game Protein Recovery” drink is for afterwards. But vegans be aware, the woman says it contains whey protein powder. I’m looking forward to testing both out on a future long run!
So that’s the loot I picked up! I lugged two bags home with me much later than expected (I also had my niece’s birthday presents with me).
But the first thing I did when I got there was to grab a seat at the stage to listen to Ultra Runner Jenny Hadfield give a talk about 5 Simple Ways To Race Better Sunday. Jenny happens to be the “official” coach of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon AND is the co-author of the book that not only taught me to run but then provided the programs to get me through my first 5k and 10k confidently and safely. Jenny’s trip to Toronto this year was a bit different, she decided to travel to Toronto, from Chicago, on an ElliptiGO, a sort of elliptical bike! She biked over 800km and took her six days! She’s pretty awesome!
Here are the crib notes to Jenny’s 20 minute talk!
5 Simple Ways To Race Better Sunday
1. Go with what you know. Now is not the time to try that new running shirt, Gatorade flavour or free gel you got at the expo. Use what you know! You have no idea whether that new piece of clothing will chafe you or if that new high-protein pancake recipe will have you running to the bathroom, not the finish line. You all know what works for you so USE it and save the new stuff as motivation for your runs after your race (this idea is mine, not Jenny’s…).
2. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. (You know the joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.) Although, by race day, you are totally prepped for your half or full marathon distance it can still be extremely overwhelming to be standing in your corral thinking that you have 21.1k or 42.2k ahead of you. It’s a really terrifying prospect! Break it up! Create markers for yourself so that, mentally, it doesn’t seem like such a long distance. Pick aid stations, short distances (as in every 5k) or time (I run 10:1s so I always break mine up into ten minute intervals, works like a charm!). Having a mental roadmap for the race will help you gradually digest the miles!
3. Run Efficiently. Elite marathoners do not take the long way around the curve in the road, they hug it. That’s because the race is actually mapped this way. Running the outside of a turn can actually add miles to your race and no one wants that! Periodically check your posture so that you’re not slouching and your arms are pumping forward and not flapping out like chicken wings which will tire you quickly. Make sure you adjust your posture for uphill and downhill slopes and check your gait. In short, constantly check to make sure you are running as efficiently as possible so that you don’t tire yourself out more than necessary!
4. Pace Yourself. The biggest, and easiest, mistake runners can make is to start off too fast! With your freshly rested legs and the adrenalin of the race environment it is so easy to start your race like a bat out of hell. Make a very conscious effort to slow it down! Jenny gave three pace strategies that people will use. Some people use a positive split which is to start off fast and then gradually getting slower and slower because their body can’t handle the pace anymore. Others use an even split which is to use the same pace for the entire race and others will use a negative split which is to start off just a few seconds slower than your race pace and after the half way mark they pick the speed up a bit. Jenny highly recommends this strategy. It allows you to save your energy to get you to the end at a few miles to the finish line you can start “fishing”. Jenny defines “fishing” as picking out a runner in front of you and passing them and then picking out another and passing them, gradually getting faster until you get to the finish line. You want to pace yourself so that you’re not depleting your energy BEFORE you hit the finish line, this also can be tied to running efficiently!
5. Go with what the day brings. In the end, even after months of training, anything can happen on race day. You could wake up to a downpour or a “bad run”. At this point these are uncontrollable situations, you need to be flexible with these. Don’t let it it interfere with your celebration of all your hard work. It’s all about how you perform on race day. Adjust yourself if necessary. If you planned to get a personal record but the roads are slippery, it sucks, but adjust to it and plan for a PR some other day. All you can control at this point is how you react to the situations given.
And above all, HAVE FUN! Race day is a celebration of all of those hard months of work, enjoy yourself, be proud of yourself and run strong!
Okay my friends, that’s all for today, I’ll be back with a race report and hopefully a TON of pictures for ya’s! My heart is in my throat with excitement and nerves. My plans today are just to pick up some stuff at the drugstore and grab my Gatorade, I’m walking down just to loosen up my legs. Then the rest of the day is just some light cleaning, packing everything I need for the morning, laying out my race gear, putting my playlist together, having a pasta dinner and getting to bed EARLY!!!
Eek!!! I’m so excited!!! Wish me luck!!!