December 8, 2010

About: Running

Today will be a marathon of final exam grading, followed by a much-welcome break to go to the gym and run. I'm in week eight of C25k this week - which is unbelievable to me. I couldn't believe I was capable of running for sixty seconds during the first week, then I couldn't believe I ran a full mile without stopping in the fifth week. Now, I can run two and a half miles like it's nothing! I totally understand what everyone has been talking about when they have used the term "runner's high."

lovelovelove nike+ ... it's so fancy and fun!
Last week, I was doing some research on running for the winter holiday survival guide that I am preparing to help get me through my trip to Connecticut. I am going to finish C25k while I am there, and then I will keep up my running for a couple more weeks before my first 5k on 1/1/11. Although I have walked in 5k and 8k races before, I wanted to see what information and advice was out there for first time runners in road races. Luckily, I found dozens of great articles on About.com, one of my personal favorite websites. I feel like About.com totally gets overlooked in terms of awesome sites. I refer my students to it often, as their explanations of French grammar are terrific, and there are a lot of quizzes with immediate feedback that can be taken for extra practice.

Two articles in particular were relevant, so I added them to my guide. One talks about outdoor running in winter - everything from how to properly dress to how to stay safe in less than ideal conditions. That article can be found here.

The other [ linked here ] gives tips for the day of your first race. Since I have walked races before, I'm familiar with a few of them - picking up your race packet early, eating a nutritious breakfast and drinking water on the course, pinning your race bib onto the front of your shirt, and not getting right up at the starting line (unless you would like to be trampled, or at the very least, cursed at). Since this is going to be my first running race, I'm going to have my support team at the finish line to cheer me on. I'm also not focusing on breaking any records - all I'd like to do is finish.

The one thing I found interesting was their last bit of advice:
10. Don't Wear the Race T-Shirt
Lastly, you'll most likely get a race T-shirt when you sign up for the race. Don't wear it until after you've completed the race. Not only are there superstitions associated with wearing it in the race, but it also makes you look like a rookie!
This one really made me think. The other stuff is pretty obvious - make sure you don't eat too much or too little, make sure you stay hydrated, etc. But this one left me wondering. go go green 5k - 10/23/10Even though they will be giving us shirts at my first running race, I'm planning on having my brother help me decorate a shirt to wear over a technical shirt and under a fleece (the race is along the Connecticut shoreline - not as cold as Chicago, but still pretty chilly!). But for my walking races, I've always worn the shirts that they gave us - most people do. It's neat to see everyone in the same uniform, ready to accomplish an awesome task. I posed the question on Twitter, and Jayme said that while she does not believe in superstitions, it does make sense to "earn" the shirt before wearing it. I had never thought of it that way!

What are your thoughts on this? Any other advice for a first time 5k-er?

7 comments:

Maude said...

Not really - you sound like you've got this situation in hand! I'm so excited for you - you're going to do great! I bet it'll be even easier than you think because there's that race day excitement that gets you moving and all the people cheering you on. As far at the t-shirt goes, almost everyone wears them during the race, so I doubt anyone will point you out as a rookie if you do. Good luck!

Jessica said...

I usually don't wear the shirt until after the race. I try not to wear anything for the first time during a race because you can never be sure how something will feel on your body until you've worn it. You don't want to be running your race with an itchy shirt sleeve chafing your armpits :)

Anne H said...

My advice?
"Run away!"
Just kidding, of course!

Christina said...

Runners are weird about their race shirts. I think it's fine to wear a 5k or even a 10k race shirt at the race. So what if you look like a rookie - you are one! I came across the same rule when I started running a few months ago, and I think it's silly. It's a t-shirt - you paid for it, so wear it if you want. I mean, it's not like you're walking around wearing a finisher's medal before the race starts. It's also considered rude to wear a marathon shirt to a 5k because it looks like you're showing off. Seriously? I think that's just silly, too. Personally, I don't wear race shirts to races anymore, but that's just because I'm afraid to wear a new shirt that I've yet to wear for a run. What if it makes me chafe or something?

That's awesome you found some good articles! I can't wait to hear how your first race goes! Racing is totally addicting. :)

As far as breakfast goes, make sure you're done eating two hours or so before the race starts so you don't have any GI issues. Do you usually eat before you run? Don't try anything new on race morning.

Melissa said...

Hi there, new commenter here. I stumbled across your blog last night (and spent quite a bit of time reading through past entries) and I really love it. I've recently (within the past several months) have been getting into fitblogs and I'm on a similar journey as you. I find your blog to be very inspirational and informative. You've come a long way in such a short time! I had added you last night on twitter and came to find out today that you had blocked me (not sure why??) but I hope you change your mind. I really look forward to reading your blog regularly now.

Amy said...

this is huge accomplishment. It totally inspires me. I have always wanted visualized myself as a runner, but I am brutal at it. I am thinking of starting C25k in the Spring

Tim said...

I'm glad you wrote this post about running because it's something I would love to get into. The other day I ran for a couple of minutes, which was unthinkable for me, so I would like to get to the stage where I can take part in a 5k or something similar and really push myself the whole distance. Those links were very interesting! Thanks!