Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hot Chocolate 15k - a helpful learning experience!

The motto for the Hot Chocolate 15k Race on Sunday became "What not to do before P.F. Changs."

We've been on track and have been doing so well throughout our training schedule! I'm not sure what happened, but we both spaced and did something really stupid before the 15k.  We went out on Friday night.  Seems harmless, but all the free wine coupled with a very late night was a very poor choice two nights before our race.  And the crazy thing is, it didn't even occur to either one of us that we should call it an early night.  As a result, we were sluggish, our legs felt heavy from mile one, and we were under hydrated. This meant for a looooong 9.32 miles.

I also made the mistake of eating wheat on both Thursday and Friday night (in the form of regular soy sauce). Between that and the wine and the mystery food at the corporate party, my stomach was crazy upset.  I was literally up all night on Friday and did not sleep at all.  I was miserable.  On Saturday I forced myself to eat, knowing that my food would make me nauseous and most likely wouldn't digest well, but was necessary for success during the run, and drank a bunch of coconut water.  This helped a lot.
This is my savior.  It's not Wai Koko, but it works in a pinch.

On Sunday, I was up at 5 to eat after a good night of sleep, and because it was nervous, my stomach was worse! I was popping pepcid and immodium all the way to the start line, which I'm sure did wonders for my hydration.  Seriously, I have to figure a way around this. It is the worst.

Not only does sleep need to be a priority, but these little dietary concessions I have been continually making have to stop.  I've come so far with my elimination diet and know what foods irritate me, but I put myself through it anyway out of convenience and being able to eat in public with others.  The remainder of December and the entirety of January have to be devoted to clean eating. I think that January will be devoted to bland eating to try and eliminate any possibility of stomach discomfort in the days leading up until the race. Seems strict, but I think completely necessary.
*Side note: I developed a cramp in my stomach at about 3 miles in.  It just went away yesterday (almost 4 days later).  It felt like a side stitch, but those normally go away? Not entirely sure if this water related, breath related (it was pretty cold so my lungs were constricted), or food related? I'm hoping not the latter.

A couple other things were off during the race.  It was cloudy when we arrived, so I left my sunglasses in the car.  Just before our coral was about the start, the sun came out in full force.  I was forced to squint for the majority of the race.  I also was stuck with the jacket that was completely necessary pre-race but was promptly tied around my waist from the start of the run.  It slid constantly (as did my shirt) and I ended up fighting with it for the entirely of the 9.32 miles.  I knew better, I should have left it in the car and just froze while I was waiting in the coral.

Pretty much all 9.32 miles was a challenge, but the beauty of the entire debacle?

  • It was a training run.
  • It was a wonderful test run for how much food/water/sleep was needed for race day in January.
  • We also got to test fuel during the run.  The favorite so far is dried cranberries, and we ate a couple at mile 4 and then a few more at mile 6.  The little burst of sugar helped deplete lost glucose and give a little more energy to sustain the next leg of the race.  Dried cranberries: delicious. Fresh cranberries: OH THE HORROR.  Tried that last week and that will never happen again! :)
We may have been slow, but there were still 600 people behind us!
Official race time: 1134/1774.  1:40:09

This is why it's important to train... to learn from your mistakes. :)

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