indiana jones to the rescue

After a crap-tastic day which finished off a crap-tastic week of what is proving to be a crap-tastic month in a crap-tastic year, I had two options in front of me to deal with my misery this evening. Go home and drink, or go home and run. As much as that warm, luscious glass of red wine just beckoned my name, I dug deep and decided to make what I believed was the wiser decision.

I ran.

Like the wind. 

It felt good. I ran 3.3 miles in 33 minutes. I haven’t managed to run a 10 minute mile outside in a long time. I’ve consistently been doing it at the gym but it’s easier to keep an aggressive pace on a treadmill. Apparently all I need is some bad news and self pity to get my feet moving faster.

Now there’s always the risk that those endorphins will wear right off and I’ll just lapse back into my misery. Better not take any chances. Wine and Indiana Jones. Coming right up. No way the blues can get a hold of me now. Mmm, vino. At least I ran first, right?

"throw me the rope." "you throw me the idol."

running to tahiti book corner

Recently I’ve come across so many great books on the subject of running. At least, I think they seem great. I haven’t read them yet, but the dust jacket blurbs are fantastic ūüôā¬†

I thought it would be nice to compile them all in one place and share with my fellow running enthusiasts. If you love running as much as I do, or are perhaps just in the market for some inspirational reading, I think these should do the trick. As I read through them I’ll be coming back and doing some book reviews on each. Here’s what I’ve come across so far:

What do you think? Have I missed any? Do you have any favorite novels or memoirs that inspire your love of running? If so, please share in the comments below.

my running valentine

Trolling through Pinterest today, I came across this hilarious pin:

It, of course, reminded me of Brad, because it’s 100% true. The times we’ve shared running have been adventurous, hilarious, challenging, and meaningful. Kinda like our relationship. Two years ago I published a post called “running is for lovers” in The Happiest Runner on Earth. Here we are 2 years later, still running strong. In honor of Valentine’s Day, and the best running partner around, I’d like to share that post again. So here it is. This should illustrate once again just one of the many reasons I love you Brad Light. Happy V-Day:

running is for lovers

originally published September, 2010

As I reach the end of this formal training regimen, I reflect back on the memories made, miles accrued, asphalt traversed, hills climbed, and calories burned. I have to say one of my favorite things about this adventure (start heating the fondue pot because this is going to be cheesy) has been the time I’ve spent with my beau, Brad.

Prior to this training process I was very much a solitary runner. I enjoyed running by myself and cringed at the idea of “running clubs.” Yuck! Who would want to¬†talk to¬†run with¬†people?! I considered running my own personal time of the day, a time to get in the zone and focus on myself, a time when I wouldn’t have to worry about making small talk or chit-chat, just run out whatever bothered me from the remains of the day. I still enjoy running alone sometimes for these reasons, reasons that are completely valid; but now mostly I look forward to sharing the experience with Brad, it’s true. I see a parallel between the runner I was then/the runner I am now to the person I was then/the person I am now. Before love, “I am a rock, I am iiii-iii-i-sland. And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.” In love, I am more of an atoll, and Brad is my coral reef. Alright, I don’t know what that metaphor is all about but you see what I mean, maybe.

When we first started running together, he would talk, I would listen. I wasn’t in good enough shape to talk and jog. I was trying to focus on breathing and maintaining consciousness. Brad however has always had pretty amazing lung capacity so he can talk and talk and talk no matter how fast we run. So we start our jogs and right away I say “Ok, tell me a story.” He giggles, knowing that I can’t converse but I don’t want to shut him out by listening to my headphones. I will be honest, at first I wanted so badly to fall back on my crutch, my old friend the “shut-out-the-world” iPod. I abstain, and decide I’ll give this whole “couples running” thing a try.¬† So again, I ask Brad for a good story. Who can remember a good story when put on the spot like that? Brad can. Somehow he always comes up with a good one. Like Owl in Winnie-the-Pooh, always some random story right up his sleeve.¬† I love listening to Brad’s stories while we run. It’s like my own¬†living¬†iPod. Ahh, to interact with people. What a concept.

As the weeks pass I find myself able to carry on basic conversation during our runs. Not chit-chat, mind you, I can’t be bothered. Isn’t that the best thing about love? Not having to chit-chat anymore? Meeting someone to whom you can actually say what you mean and mean what you say? Meeting someone who doesn’t care if you let out a little gas, emotionally or literally, in the middle of your workout. Brad still does most of the talking but at this point I’m able to provide insightful albeit succinct commentary.

Nowadays I’m at full-on conversation lung capacity as long as we’re running 5 miles or less. During a 3-miler just this morning Brad and I got into a somewhat heated debate over our definitions of ignorance. Who knows if we would have even started talking about it had we not been running. The dialogue isn’t¬†always¬†intelligent. Sometimes we just laugh, at who knows what, but we laugh. Or we go on adventures. I would have never run through cow pastures and made faces at bulls, or ran up a trail in Catalina to find the most beautiful sunset view I’ve ever seen, I would not have done these things had I run alone. Not to mention that I likely would not have pushed myself faster and faster and actually reached conversational lung capacity without Brad’s flash speed to challenge me.¬† It’s just pretty amazing the new things one discovers when one has another set of eyes to see the world through. Things I’ve learned: it’s fun to accomplish something, but boy is it tons more fun with someone you love. Run with someone you love. It will push you in directions you otherwise may not have wandered.

And here are some B&B Disney pics to get us all in the mood for Sunday!

wheel of death

back in disneyland already? or, a running dare for 2012!

Before I ever got the chance to post last year’s video of the Disneyland Half Marathon or even write about anything other than gummy bears, the time has come to sign up for THIS year’s race. Insane. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown. Admittedly, it seems the race sells out faster and faster every year so the advance sign-up window gets shorter and shorter. Registration opened just under one month ago and it’s already 80% full. The race is in September. That’s insane. Really what it is, is a testament to how much fun everyone has year after year at this event. Everyone is hooked. The secret is out. The Disneyland Half Marathon just might be the most fun you will have all year. So sign up why don’t ya?¬†

The running fever is spreading. I’ve got my mom hooked. She and Dennis are already signed up for the Family Fun Run 5K the day before the big race. I tried my best to convince her to take on the Half Marathon but I’ll have to keep working on her. Let’s see, who else has the running bug? I listen to a Disneyland fan podcast called Mousetalgia and all 4 hosts of the show have vowed to run the 5k. One of them actually did the Tinkerbell Half just a few weeks ago and I’m hoping she’ll sign up for the Dland Half as well. That’s how it works. It’s like an addiction. After every long race you think you won’t have it in you to train and do it all over, and suddenly a few weeks later you’ve got the itch again. Can I beat my time? How much further can I go? How can I push myself even more? Where’s my limit? Do I have a limit? It’s in our nature as humans and dreamers. We don’t like limits. The point is, this whole RunDisney thing is getting big. More and more people are lacing up their sneaks and hitting the running trails. More and more people are embracing their inner Disney geek, and I couldn’t be happier. Disney and running. Best combination since peanut butter and jelly.¬†

So this post is a little bit of a plea, sort of, kind of, not really. Let’s make it competitive. Let’s make this a dare. I want you to sign up with us. I want you to run this race. I guarantee you that at the end of it all, no matter how hard it hurts, no matter how many times you want to quit, no matter how many times you curse my name, you will feel better about yourself than you could ever imagine crossing that finish line. And if you don’t think I’m talking to you, I am, I’m talking to YOU. The Half Marathon is going to be a party, once again, and you don’t want to miss out.¬†

If you reeeeeally think you can’t quite take on 13.1, I’ll make you a second wager. Could you do a 5k? Perhaps you think the answer is no. Sign up anyway. The 5k is a fun run. Not timed, not super competitive. It’s fun. It’s so fun! You don’t even have to run. You can walk, you can run/walk, you can even push a stroller, so bring the baby. I’m telling you, you will thank me. If you are at ALL a Disney fan, and if you have ANY desire to get healthy this year, this is your opportunity. Sign up. You will have something to look forward to all year and you will feel awesome about yourself. Yes it’s somewhat expensive, but look at what you’re getting in return? Tell me, if you didn’t lay down the dough to run a race in Disneyland, would you hold yourself to the same level of accountability to work out and train? Probably not. Look at it as in investment. Are you willing to forego a few family trips to the movies, or a few nights out at fancy restaurants, to invest in your health? The answer should be yes.

I will help cut your costs. I will train you… for free. How will I do that? This blog. Every week I will post a training plan for both the 5k and the Half Marathon. I’ll post tips about avoiding injury, eating for energy, and staying motivated. I’ll give you a running schedule. If you live in L.A. you can even come run with me on the weekends. It will be awesome/easy.¬†

So that’s my dare to all of you. Run this race with Brad and me. This will be our 3rd year, and I’m already feeling amazing about how this year in running is shaping up, and it’s only February. I’ve got oodles of more time on my hands, just did 6.5 miles yesterday at record speed. I’m in it to win it. Against myself anyway. Personal record here I come. I’m saying it right here and now, I plan on taking at least 15 minutes off of my time. Wowzah! Yep. I can do it. Who’s with me? Both the Half Marathon and the 5k will likely sell out by the end of the month so don’t over think this. Just do it, as they say. Let’s make Labor Day weekend a giant party to celebrate our health, personal goals, dreams, and accomplishments all topped off with that special touch of Disney magic. You are invited. RSVP here¬†

how to run 786 miles in 3 months

It’s time for some major¬†calibration. If you look up and to the right you’ll see a “Running Tally” tab right next to “Here’s How it Works.” What you’ll find in the “Running Tally” is a whole lotta nothing. I have yet to create a useful spreadsheet that tracks all of our mileage and can be plugged into this web page cleanly. I have tracked our progress by writing down our miles right after we run on a checklist on our fridge. I know, I’m actually using a pencil and paper. It’s weird. I count up the miles once a month and make a deposit into our Smarty Pig Savings account, therefore I can track how many miles we’ve run by checking to see how much money we have in the “Running to Tahiti” Smarty Pig goal. I checked this morning and we’re at $481.90. Woo hoo! That’s not exactly a huge amount of money but it sure ain’t small! What’s even more exciting is that the percentage-to-goal ticker on the little piggy icon has raised to 11%. We’re in double digits people! Double digits to our goal! Yay!!

Sccccreeeech. Hold on there. Before you get too excited allow me to put things in perspective. Yes it’s great that we’re 11% to our goal. However let me break it down for you. If we were on track we’d be 37% to our goal and we’d have run 1,541 miles by now. We’d have $1,541 dollars in the piggy bank. Wah wah waaaah. Deflation.

I knew we’d be behind. I knew in January when we embarked on this adventure that running 20 miles a week while I’m on the AMC at Theatre of NOTE would be next to impossible. I set the goal anyway. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment (and disappointment). I figured we’d pick up a lot of extra miles in training for the Disneyland Half Marathon, and we did in fact make up SOME lost distance, but we all know that our training was not as robust as it should have been. I did not anticipate producing a main stage play at Theatre of NOTE during that time. There seems to be a recurring theme here that rhymes with Beater of OAT. I love my theatre company, I truly do, and I don’t regret committing to the AMC or producing “Wonderlust.” However it’s clear that my involvement there is keeping me from pursuing my goals and dreams that I supposedly want more than anything. Why do so many people in this crazy world, so many people like me, create so many distractions from pursuing their dreams? Often in the name of altruism, teamwork, or “duty.” Are we just delaying the possibility of failure? Are we just afraid that once we start going after what we want, we risk not getting it? Are we just so insecure with ourselves that we put others first so as not to have to admit that we don’t believe WE deserve to take precedent? And by all of this we, of course I mean me. I’m embarking down a whole philosophical discussion right now regarding the nature of dreams that I’ll save for a later time. For now, I’m disappointed. Disappointed, but not defeated. I possess a little thing called resilience.

I can't help but think the photographer just placed that flower there. Am i a cynic?

Time to crunch some numbers. Brad and I each must run 783 miles before January if we want to start 2012 on target. Est possible? I’m not sure. Let’s see. There are 13 weeks left in 2011 (how is that possible!?). To enter 2012 on target would mean we’d have to run 60 miles a week for the next 13 weeks. That is 8.6 miles a day for the next 91 days. Okay, get your laughs out now people, I agree. It’s not gonna happen. Notice I didn’t say it wasn’t possible, but it’s not going to happen. The sad reality is that we will enter 2012 behind on our miles. The good news is that December 31st, 2011 marks the end of my term on the Artistic & Management Committee at Theatre of NOTE. Next year I am exempt from the obligation to work on a committee, and I plan on mostly donating money in lieu of working hours for the company. I need time more than anything. Time to get back on track. Let’s create a plan shall we?

“Wonderlust” closes on Saturday. AMC tasks continue but start to become manageable. I believe that Brad and I should be able to handle 26 miles a week. Combined that’s 52 miles/week. That will take us 676 miles closer to Tahiti by 12/31/11. End of year pedometer will read 1,157.9 miles. That is the best we can do, and I’m excited about doing it. Here we go!

supergirls eat gummy bears

I keep delaying the epic post regarding our massive success at the Disneyland Half Marathon until Brad has time to edit the footage he took during the race. Until then I will systematically work through all of the little details that made the day so successful. Today, we shall talk about the magic of gummy bears.

I¬†have blood sugar issues. I’ve never been diagnosed with diabetes or hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia but my blood sugar is very sensitive and fickle. I’ve shared before the horrors of a blood sugar crash during a long run and I was so worried that would happen this year. It didn’t. I performed with fabulous endurance and vitality. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t get nauseous. I didn’t feel dizzy. My blood sugar remained steady throughout. I could posit that this has everything to do with the rigorous discipline I put into the Supergirl diet in the days leading up to race, but I might be lying to you. The truth is, I think it has everything to do with Gummy Bears.

¬†I have a bit of a celebrity athlete crush on Jeff Galloway.¬†He is totally the Chef Gusteau of the running world. He’s a class act, world-class actually, yet he makes running a completely accessible sport for anyone and everyone. He’s a guru, but down to earth. He runs something like 20 marathons every year and he believes that YOU can too. He’s even got my mom believing in herself enough to train for a half marathon. He’s like a magical running elf. He also happens to be the official trainer for the runDisney program. Disney picked the right guy to promote their running division for sure.

Okay, gush over. What I wanted to point out was that Jeff Galloway spoke at the Health & Fitness Expo hosted at the Disneyland Hotel the day before the race. I’m so glad that I got to hear him speak this year because one by one he addressed all of my issues with running that keep coming back to haunt me and gave me completely reasonable solutions. He talked about getting nauseous, trick ankles, what to eat before you run, hydration, heat, sleep, blood sugar. He hit all of the big topics. For now let’s discuss blood sugar. Jeff Galloway broke it down for us. It only takes about 20 minutes to burn through all of the glucose stores in your blood. After that, it starts to burn whatever else it can find like fat or muscle, but those are not as efficient forms of fuel as glucose. On a normal 3-5 mile run this is fine and even helps to burn fat, but if you go too long without replenishing your glucose stores (like you would on a half marathon) your body heads towards the sugar in your brain for fuel. Bad idea. It’s like you turn into a confused zombie that wants to eat its own brain. You should never let your sugar get that low. You can start to feel nauseous (check), dizzy (check), irritable (check) and disoriented (check). All of those things have happened to me. If not taken seriously this can actually lead to permanent brain damage or death and to quote Jeff Galloway, “I’m against death.”

“So how do we keep our ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† glucose levels steady in a long run?” Yes Jeff. How? I must know. I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried nuts, I’ve tried sports drinks, I’ve tried muscle milk, I’ve tried bananas, I’ve tried Gu. Eeew! Gu. Wait, suddenly I hear Jeff talking about Gu. I have to hear this. He goes on to say that for many people Gu is an excellent sugar replacement. No Jeff no! I hate G… “BUT some people can’t digest it very well,” he finishes. What?! That’s me. He’s talking about me. He goes on to explain how the other properties in Gu, the electrolytes and stuff, are hard for some people to digest and actually make them feel nauseous. So I’m NOT crazy! In all my years as a runner, everyone tells me that Gu is the salvation. Gu will keep my blood sugar from dropping and will prevent me from puking. For me however, the very sight of Gu invokes a gag reflex. I thought my blood sugar must have been created on opposite day. I didn’t understand why Gu worked for every runner in the WORLD except me. Turns out it doesn’t. Oh Jeff. You’ve just restored my sanity.¬†

He goes on to explain that the only thing in Gu that you need to keep your blood sugar up is the sugar. Just pure sugar. So if you’re the type of person that can’t digest Gu then you should just try life savers, a sugar cube, or gummy bears. Gummy bears? Really? Did an Olympic champion just tell me to eat gummy bears during a half marathon? Yes. Yes he did.¬†

Well I give it a whirl. I buy some gummy bears at the Disney store and count out exactly how many I will need to get me through the race. Galloway suggests 4 bears every 3 miles so I put about 20 in my wrist pouch just to be safe.

Friends, it worked. I think these particular gummy bears may have actually been magic. I never felt my blood sugar dip in the slightest. I never got dizzy or pukey. I actually increased my speed at the last mile, powered by glee, gummy bears, and Jeff Galloway. After two weeks of eating strictly raw almonds, rice, vegetables and hummus, the key to my performance success turned out to be nature’s enemy… high fructose corn syrup. Fine by me. Since I burned every single gram of gummy sugar I put into my body while running it’s really not unhealthy. I just had to remind myself to stop eating them after crossing the finish line. Now go get yourself some gummy bears!

i even look like a gummy bear

writing back-log: the suspense is killing me too!

I have so much to say! The past two weeks on the road to Tahiti have been busy, plentiful, and full of adventure. Half Marathon update, results of the Supergirl diet, news from Tahiti locals, the very nature of achieving our dreams! Yes OURS. Not just mine. Ours. These are the bubbles floating around in my head ready to pop.

However. Work, Theatre of NOTE, AMC duties, meetings, prepping for understudy performances of “Wonderlust” are all consuming my time. Actually they are consuming more than my time. They are consuming about 26 hours a day. I now exist in negative time. I have -2 hours of free time a day. Whew. Ok. Well after this week I should be able to hunker down and update you all on the the fabulous events of late. Here’s a sneak peak:

we did it

 

casualties of a 12 mile run

It wouldn’t be a Becky blog unless I had a horrible horrible training run in which something went terribly wrong and I thought I was going to die. Fear not, I have delivered. Luckily I did not die!¬†

Our training calendar demands that we complete a 12 mile run to prepare for the big day. We are woefully behind schedule so even though I have not finished the prerequisite 11 mile run, I simply must get 12 miles under my belt. If I do 11 and put 12 off until next weekend, that’s way too close to race day for a long run. I would risk injuring myself and would not be able to complete the Half Marathon at all. So I hydrate, throw back a protein smoothie, strap on my water belt and head out the door, Brad in tow.¬†

I feel solid for the front 5 miles. Brad and I are very sunny and smiley:

lookin' good babe

By now it’s about 12:30. Hmm, it’s getting warm out here. First mistake: running during the hottest part of the day.

Around mile 6 Brad takes me on a new route. We weave through the Venice canals, imagining which house we’re going to live in one day. It is lovely. We exit the canals and turn down a street that seems to be paved with mirrors. The asphalt is very bright, almost white, and the beating sun reflects from my brain to the ground and back up to my brain. We are on this road for 5 minutes but it’s long enough to make my brain feel a like fried egg. My body temperature rises. Second mistake: exploring a new route on an extremely long run. Third mistake: not wearing a hat.

The next part doesn’t have anything to do with why I nearly ended up going to the hospital, but it’s hilarious and I have to share. Around mile 7 I suddenly feel the urge. You know, the bathroom urge. The kind of urge that can lead to a Bridesmaids moment if not relieved immediately. So I say to Brad as quietly as I can that I have to “go.” We’re in the residential streets of Venice. None too populated, so of course Brad waits until we are 2 feet behind a group of Venice hipsters to essentially SHOUT at me “Can you wait to make it to a bathroom?” Said hipsters turn around in alarm and concern until they see two disgruntled (and now one incredibly embarrassed) runners behind them. I scoot past them as fast as I can, hearing them giggle uncontrollably at me as I pass. Mistake #4: running with someone who doesn’t realize how loud his voice is. (Just kidding sweetie.) In hindsight it was hilarious and not nearly as embarrassing as what was to come.

Back to the saga of how I lost a toenail and my dignity. Mile 8. Just 4 miles left to go and it’s a route that I’m very familiar with. Brad was going to stop at this point. He’d been nursing a calf injury the past week and started today’s run with the intention to do 8 miles but he is feeling so good at this point that he figures he’ll soldier on with me. I’m sure I can make it too, even though I feel bad things happening. My stomach has turned, my muscles have tightened, but I figure I can work through it.

Mile 9. Silence. Brad keeps talking to me and I hear him but I cannot speak. Cannot expend the energy. Symptom: extreme fatigue.

There are so many people out. Who cares if it’s a beautiful day, why are there so many stupid people everywhere!? Get off my beach! Symptom: Irritability.

Mile 9.5. What’s happening to my arm? My entire arm is cramping up from my shoulder to my fingers. First my left arm, then my right. Wait, now my jaw. My jaw is cramping shut. Symptom: muscle cramps.

Mile 10.5. The world is fuzzy. My stomach has turned incredibly sour. Every step is a challenge. This really can’t be good. Damnit. I have to stop. I may be stubborn, but I’m not stupid. I have to stop. Symptom: dizziness. Symptom: nausea.

Damn, I have to walk home. But wait a minute. Even walking is difficult. The sun is beating down on me like a spotlight. I feel like a vampire. I cannot stand the feeling of the sun on my skin. I hate the sun! I walk (only because I’m too proud to crawl) from shady spot to shady spot. Symptom: extreme sensitivity to sun.

I make it as far as the grassy knoll that runs parallel to the beach in Santa Monica and succumb to my body’s distress. I park it right under a palm tree and sit. I can’t move… or I’ll puke. I call Brad to see if he’ll come back and get me.

I forgot to mention that by this time Brad had pulled ahead of me. He was feeling oh, you know, GREAT, at mile 10 and wanted to sprint home. He was worried about me but of course in my stubbornness I convinced him I was fine and that he should run ahead. Mistake #5: if you feel bad pain, STOP! Mistake #6: if you’re too stubborn to stop, at least run with someone so they can drag your body back home.

I sit under that tree for a solid 15 minutes. When not moving, I can manage the pain and discomfort. The second I move bad things happen. Hey, at least it’s not a terrible place to potentially lose consciousness:

collapsed runner POV

I can’t sit here forever. My body is not in a good way and I have to get home. I somehow trudge on. Uh-oh. Nope, not gonna make it. But I can’t stop now. No shade. Dying in the sun. At least there’s a garbage can up ahead. Aaannd…

A young dude runs past me just as I’m letting go of my breakfast into a Santa Monica public garbage can. He looks like an endurance runner. I’m hoping he has some solidarity. Brad finally comes to get me in his car and I make it home. I collapse on the couch and all the symptoms return at the same time accompanied by a brand new one: hyperventilation. After doing some very quick Web MD’ing, Brad knows exactly what happened to me. Heat exhaustion. He takes my temperature and luckily I haven’t got one, which is a good sign. If I had, it would have been hospital time. After one more round of the Barf-o-rama, I get some fluids and food in me and I’m on the road to recovery.

I write with my tongue in my cheek, but in all seriousness, heat exhaustion is not something to mess around with. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is a life threatening condition and at the very least can cause permanent brain damage. I was dumb. I should have stopped when I felt my arms and jaw cramping up. That was a new and uncomfortable kind of running pain and I didn’t listen to my instinct which said “This is not good. Stop.” I was lucky that I was close to home, and that I have an incredible boyfriend who nursed me back to health and made sure I was ok before he left my side. Do not do as I do. Do as I say. If you ever develop the symptoms I’ve listed here, STOP. Allow me to repeat them:

  1.  Extreme fatigue (and I mean extreme, not just feeling a kick in the butt from a hard workout) 
  2. Irritability (and I don’t just mean general annoyance from having to work out. I mean having a strong and uncontrollable disgust for every face you see in the world)
  3. Muscle Cramps (not a little side-ache or foot cramp people. I’m talking your entire muscle clenching like it’s got something to prove)
  4. Extreme sensitivity to sunlight (think Maurice in Little Monsters)
  5. Dizziness
  6. Nausea
  7. Hyperventilation
And here’s how to be smart and avoid ever developing these symptoms:
  1. Run when it’s cool. Do not run during the hottest part of the day, ever. Think mornings. Think twilight. Think fall.
  2. If the sun is out, wear a hat. Your brain needs protection.
  3. When embarking on a really long run or bike ride or whatever, stick to familiar territory. You want to be physically challenged, but you don’t want to encounter any surprises that are going to put you at risk like a huge hill or a field full of rattlesnakes or a street paved with mirrors.
  4. Hydrate hydrate hydrate. Concentrate on hydrating the day before. If you get dehydrated during a workout, it’s too late.¬†
  5. Wear clothes that ventilate.
  6. Wear a water belt so that you can sip during the entire workout
  7. Bring your phone with you on long runs. If anything happens, like your pride has been wounded in a park in Santa Monica and you can’t get home, you’re going to want to be able to call someone who won’t judge you. Or you know, 911.
Everyone is built of different stock. Brad and I did the exact same run and he finished 12 miles with flying colors. He surpassed what he thought he was capable of, and I totally tanked. Exact same conditions, totally different outcomes. Further proof that running is a customized sport. Each runner’s limitations are different. I am more of a withering violet than I would like to admit, but at least I now know where my boundaries are.
Like I said, it just wouldn’t be a half marathon training experience if I didn’t have at least one health crisis. Last year it was my blood sugar. I seemed to have figured that one out by carrying a Larabar with me on the run and nibbling on it every 30 minutes or so. I didn’t feel a sugar crash, so that’s good. I just didn’t anticipate heat exhaustion. So now of course I’m totally bummed and scared and worried that it’s going to happen during the race. I just have to trudge on. I will not be beaten. I’m finishing that race. A lot of people have donated to Running for Wonderlust and I shall not let them down. I’ve learned my lesson and will take extreme caution to avoid any signs of heat exhaustion. An ice cold mojito after the race should also help to cool things off, dontcha think?