I completed the Mini-Marathon, and surprisingly, my experience did not exactly go as planned.
Here were my pre-race goals:
- Carbo load the night before with a big spaghetti and garlic bread dinner, hold the wine. Hydrate with as much water as I can stomach.
- Go to bed at 9 to ensure eight hours of sleep.
- Eat a bagel, banana and Power Bar for breakfast, with a half glass of water. High calories, low fluids.
- Arrive at the race 30 minutes before the start for a short warm-up and two bathroom breaks.
- Run slower than pace for the first three miles to allow for course and weather acclimation.
- Run at pace for miles four through 10, downing Gatorade at two mile increments to keep the electrolyte levels up.
- Quickly and efficiently utilize a road-side lavatory should the need to urinate arise.
- Increase speed the last three miles and finish strong with a sprint. Do not get passed at the end!
Here’s how the race actually played out:
- Ate a box of sodium-laden mac-n-cheese for dinner along with a Coors Light to take the edge off a long week. Forgot the water, but did remember a Twinkie for dessert.
- Went to bed at 9 but did not fall asleep until 11:30 p.m., thanks to loud children, the cat (who has, I kid you not, learned to open doors) and anxiety from not being in dreamland.
- Opted for coffee and the bagel as we were out of bananas and Power Bars (my teenage son had hoarded them for his soccer game).
- Arrived at the race an hour early with a killer headache, and passed the time jogging back and forth to the port-a-lets, then realized I had to pee again mere seconds before the gun signaled the start.
- Ran way too fast the first three miles thanks to adrenaline and peer pressure. Go runners, go! We can do it! Thirteen miles is nothin’!
- Realized I was moving too fast and slowed down, but not soon enough to offset the fatigue that set in around mile eight or the cramping caused from consuming too much Gatorade, which I’d religiously slugged back at every mile marker since the second.
- Decided “wetting myself” wasn’t necessarily a bad idea around mile 11.
- Did not finish strong as I struggled to suppress the urge to vomit down the last stretch. And I may have been hallucinating from exhaustion, but I believe a pregnant woman and her grandmother sauntered passed me in the last 50 meters.
Ah, well. I survived, and that’s really all that matters. Peace out.