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December 1st, 2012 |

13.1 Observations

The 2012 BAA Half Marathon is in the books. I offer a few observations from my journey. Next up is the 65th running of the Troy Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.

  1. Nervous energy messes with you mentally but IT WILL BE OK. Repeat, IT WILL BE OK. If you’re prepared, you’ll be just fine.
  2. Most runners are very cool but a select few are ruthless, pushy and rude in the cramped start area. No, NO, people it is not the time to stretch! You should have done that already. Keeping loose is one thing, but sticking your arms and legs out in every direction is really annoying.
  3. Start slow. Nervous energy often turns to race adrenaline but its always good to stick with your practice pace, at least in the very beginning. Pick it up later. This is important for races that have downhill starts (BAA Half and Boston Marathon).
  4. Go ahead, use your elbows and don’t feel bad about it. The beginning of the race can stay bunched up for awhile. This is your time to avoid being stepped on by the select few mentioned in observation #2.
  5. Stick to your plan. The gel was offered at mile 6. I didn’t want it at mile 6. I didn’t even want the one they provided. I brought my own (Vega raspberry gel) and had it at mile 9. That’s how I trained so that’s how I raced.
  6. Running skirts baffle me. I don’t know why. They do. So, I use them to my advantage. I count them along the course. It makes the miles pass. I counted 13 on the course yesterday. One was very bedazzled. Hey, whatever makes you happy.
  7. Water stops can be skipped. Plan this one by the temperature outside and your sweat rate. You might be ok with every other or every 3rd water stop. Try to remain true to how you trained.
  8. Slippery objects include squished waxy cups, damp leaves, acorns, banana peels, gel packets and discarded clothing. Be mindful as you step.
  9. Too many people are tuned out. If you’re listening to your favorite playlist, please have the courtesy to look around before you cut people off. Many races want you to leave the IPod at home but I’m sure that rule will never be truly enforced. Running solo with music is different than entering a large race with music. Stay alert!
  10. Complete strangers motivate me. Fast, slow, goofy, serious, young, old. You all motivate me. We all showed up to do the same thing. Run 13.1 miles. And we did.
  11. Little kids love cheering on strangers. They treat you like a rockstar. Little kids have no idea how fast or slow you are. If you’re wearing a race bib, you’re a rockstar.
  12. Barefoot or minimal running is on the rise. This ‘trend’ is for real.
  13. Savor the finish. Pick up your pace no matter how fatigued you are, finish strong and always finish with a smile (it makes you look faster). Let the feeling linger..1  The 3 Rs. See how your body feels. Take time to rest and recover. Then get out there and repeat!