***if you are new here, and have no idea what this is going to be about you have two intelligent choices:
a) Leave Now.
b) Start here, then work your way back, m'kay?
I have a thing for details. I like to obsess over them. Obsessively.
In the weeks leading up to the marathon, I obsessed like a BOSS. I read articles, I polled the audience (aka Twitter), I re-read articles and consulted my plan at least 2-3 times a day…just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything. I would be damned if this marathon dream didn’t come true because I had blindly overlooked some devastatingly minute detail like what color shoelaces are the most aerodynamic.
Truth be told though, I am glad that I put the time in. Ask any of the running gurus – or don’t ask…just follow them on Twitter, they are bound to dole out all sorts of advice and axioms about this shit – and they will tell you that a marathon is just as much a mental race as it is a physical one. So you need to train your brain. Or something like that. To be fair, there is a lot to think about. In no particular order, these were the things that captured the lion’s share of my waking thoughts in regard to the race:
1 – What was I going to wear?
2 – Would my iPhone battery be capable of getting me all of the way through the marathon?
3 – What should I wear?
4 – Should I try and eat something before the race?
5 – WHAT CLOTHES AM I GOING TO PUT ON MY BODY????
Priorities man, I has them!
Seriously though, focusing on these things helped me to not focus too much on ohmydeargodhowthehellamigoingtorun26.2miles?!?!?!?! And the thing is, lots and lots of the advice out there centered on these issues. And the one, overarching sentiment that is expressed again and again is “Don’t try anything new on race day.” This applies to food, drink, clothes and form. Everywhere I turned, I was hearing that I should be sure to give whatever I planned to wear at least one good, solid dress rehearsal. All of the experts insisted that I eat what I usually ate.
As for the phone? Not so much with the guidance…but I figured I could work something out.
In the name of fiscal responsibility, I planned to pull my race day outfit from the running clothes that already dominate my wardrobe. Not knowing what the weather was going to be like threw me for a bit of a loop, so I was trying to work two angles - a shorts/warm weather option, and a "Nanook of the North" look as well. I tried out some of my favorite shorts for some of my longer runs, only to determine that they did not make the cut.
Now, perhaps at one point in time they might have. I do know that I hadn't necessarily ever paid attention to the washing instructions, so the "wicking failure" experienced in the Reeboks might have been based upon the fabric breaking down from too much heart in the drying process. Additionally, the Nike's had been purchased fairly early on in this odyssey, when I was still wearing a size 12. By this point in my training, I had already crossed over into the small 6/large 4 range, so there is a fiar chance that a smaller size might not have bunched and chafed so.
After the 20 mile run, we ran out and picked up several different styles of compression shorst for me to try out. While cute, and not uncomfortable for a shorter run, each and everyone of them would creep up and leave me feeling like I was running in a pair of bikini bottoms...which my husband may have nejoyed, but I felt was something of a crime against humanity.
The race kept getting closer, and I was running out of long runs to try out gear...my stress level over this started to reach a frenzied pitch.
I made an appeal to Twitter, and asked folks what they liked to wear. The only sartorial item that received a plug was the Lululemon Pacesetter running skirt.
I Googled it.
I fell IN LOVE.
It was gorgeous. Cute, with ruffles in the back, and compression shorts underneath that have a band designed to prevent them from riding up? Yes, please!
Unfortunately, they are a bit spendy. And we have no Lululemon locally. (Imagine that...no high end fitness apparel store in Amish country? Whodathunkit?) I was leery of shelling out that kind of money for something I couldn't see and try on ahead of time. What size would I be? Would they actually work? Could I rationalize getting not just the skirt, but also a pair of cool knee high compression socks, so that i could totally rock the whole "school girl" look??
In the end, I resisted the temptation, and turned back to what was in my closet. And picked up right where I had left off, in the panicky obsessing.
The upshot is, that the closer we got to race day, the better of an idea we had of what the weather would be like that day. The downside is, that the closer it got, the more it seemed it was going to be a tad on the chilly side.
I finally settled on a long sleeve technical shirt, a favorite running bra and a pair of knee length compression pants.
The worry wart in me (read: most of me) insisted that I also pack a few other, warmer pairs of running tights, just in case.
Bags fully packed, we took off for MN and hoped for the best.