Having never run a winter race before, I decided that I needed a dress rehearsal before the marathon next week. So, last night, I laid out the running clothes I might want to race in and got my stuff ready. I also made a rehearsal dinner of pasta with red sauce, and downed it. I got to bed relatively early, but thought I'd let myself wake up without the alarm.
When I got up, I immediately felt the urge to use the bathroom. This is a very good sign, as I won't have to "go big" during the run. After some cereal and milk, I headed out for 10-12 miles, a basic route through Mt. Airy streets to Rittenhouse Town, and then up Forbidden Drive to the hill at Valley Green.
My body was still asleep during the first 5 miles. I wasn't particularly trying, but I just felt so slow. So, I took the gel I carried with me - powergel in chocolate favor with a serving of caffeine. Despite it's thickness and my lack of water, within a few minutes of eating the gel, I felt better. Therefore, lesson #1: I need pure sugar AND CAFFEINE before the run. Oh, and I should've practiced running first thing in the morning.
So, I finally hit stride on Forbidden Drive and the next 3 miles flew by quickly. I stopped to get a drink at the water fountain at Valley Green but it was turned off. I then saw some Wanderers and chatted briefly with them. It was nice to see familiar faces.
I decided to tag on two miles at the track, which ended up clocking 14:20. I felt relaxed but not particularly smooth. It's nice to know that once I'm on flat ground, I can bum along at a decent pace without breathing too hard. Lesson #2: 7:30 pace is attainable. I need to be patient.
Final stats: 11 miles, 1 hour and 26 minutes, 7:45 minute miles on avergae.
Lesson #3: I need to wear some bottoms other than the black tights in the marathon because they were too warm. Maybe compression shorts? cotton pants? thinner tights? long socks? I don't know.
Lesson #4: The blue shoes with smartwool socks did well.