Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let the "Games" Begin...

Not really 'games' but the little weird things that start this close to marathon for me.  I slowly start to become a 'hermit'; which isn't hard to do right now because its so darn cold here for us SE Texans that you don't want to go out unless you absolutely have to. 

I could also equate it to 'nesting'.  I start doing what some may call OCD or just odd...but over time, I have learned what works for me in all aspects: mentally, physically, nutritionally...I know its less than 2 weeks out but I start 'rain-man'ing'.  I start thinking about the course I am going to run (in this case Houston so I have an advantage of having actually run it before and also trained on all of it as well); I know where the hard parts are and I know where I can make up time if I have to go slower or I have to stop for any reason. 

I start thinking ok, miles such and such, go about this pace...slow down here, go faster here...and I know the ppm of each in my head as well.

While running, I become a mathematician.  Which anyone who knows me, knows I hate math.  But when running, I am excellent at it.  But then again, its pretty easy calculations and a lot of 'averages'.

I start thinking about different scenarios as it pertains to clothing.  What do I have that is going to be my throwaway stuff if need be.  Its all in my head and yes about 7 days out, 2 different 'outfits' will be ready to go and folded nice and neat on the dresser.  The socks will be placed on top of the shoes... You get the picture.

And the fascination with what goes into my body has already begun (stricter than usual).  You won't see me eating anything that is not cooked or prepared by me, especially since I am in the host city.  I don't trust any pasta party or get togethers of the sort.  It doesn't bode well for me.

In NYC it was a different story as I was there 3 days before race day, but still I ate fresh and what I knew wasn't something that tended to almost always induce some degree of botulism (e.g. lettuce; worst culprit ever).  I still brought things that I knew my body responded to with no issues and about 36 hours before, you didnt see me each much of anything.  Yeah the wait staff didn't always 'appreciate' my exactness on what I wanted and how it should be prepared.

Even now I am bringing my breakfast, lunch and snacks to work.  I normally do, but I stray to the cafeteria a lot.  Not for the next 2 weeks at least.  Think about it...every time you either got any level of food poisoning (includes bad gastro) was it because of something YOU cooked or because you ate it somewhere else (as in a restaurant)...I dont trust restaurants or carbo loading pasta parties at this stage of the game.

In the past couple of years, I didn't always have the circle of friends I do now, so because of the past (being usually with one person leading up to the race) gave me my time to focus a lot on just resting and honestly not a lot of social activity outside of him.  And because of that I find that I am now starting to 'withdraw' into my cocoon where I have complete control over every aspect leading up to that morning.

I do have plans to get together with my 'peeps' that I blogged about yesterday beforehand (outside of running together that is), but in moderation (and I won't be eating thats for sure!).

You see last year, 4 days before I was to run the 1/2 in Houston (after having to switch from the full), I got full on, worst kind of sick you can imagine from something I ate.  For 3 days I could not eat OR drink without throwing up.  3.  Days.  I lost 6 lbs and was only able to finally eat 1/2 turkey sandwich at noon the day before the race.  I was severely dehydrated etc.  Since my boss got it too, and we both ate the same thing that morning at our meeting...if I remember correctly it was from Starbucks...

I also become a germ-a-phobe.  I wash my hands constantly...I dont touch stair railings unless I pull my sleeve over my hand; same for the escalator in one of our buildings...I have alcohol wipes for the grocery carts...It almost killed me over the weekend being in a theatre that ended up being full to capacity and people all around me sniffling and sneezing...ugh.

Heck I will even have picked out exactly what lot I will be parking in on race morning.  You won't see me driving around aimlessly looking for a place to park.

The one thing I have changed though is my obsessing over the long range forecast.  Its the sole thing that drives me the craziest and stresses me out.  This time I am only seeing the 7 day forecast on the news and going with that.  Houston weather is ridiculous and it can change from one day to the next.  Therefore I am eliminating that stress from the process...what will be, will be.

We all have our rituals I think...well most do I would suspect, but then there are those fly by the seat of your pants kind of runner/racer. 

I'm just not one of them.


4 miles easy tonight, on the treadmill
Yoga (home): 1 hour

1 comment:

TX Runner Mom said...

I am the same way...and I'm only doing the 1/2. I agree about the weather. Maybe it's because I'm doing the 1/2 that I just don't care. No matter the temps, I'm racing and I will finish. It's the one thing we have no control over (other than how to dress), so there's no sense stressing about it.