Here is what I felt were some mistakes I made during training and during the race...
- Fuel during the race. I've never brought along food or really thought about it! Luckily, I think Emily knew this was going to happen and she had some extra packets of GU for me. She suggested taking them at miles 4 and 8. Well, I forgot, and didn't remember until mile 5. So, as soon as there was a water station I took a walk break and ate GU... it felt like eating hair gel, but I think the GU saved my life. (ok, that was dramatic. It helped a lot!). Then I took the second packet at mile 8ish. Why I did that so early is beyond me. Looking back, I wish I would have waited and maybe I would have finished the race a little stronger.
- Fuel before the race. I carb loaded just fine, but I ate so much at dinner the night before that I just couldn't choke down food in the morning! When I get really nervous or stressed out, my appetite is non existent. The thought of eating when I'm super nervous or stressed makes me feel sick. I made toast with peanut butter and brought it with me to hopefully eat on the bus, but even then, I just couldn't eat it. I thought I would be sick! Luckily, now that I have been through this once, I don't think I will ever be that nervous about a race again.
- Caffeine? Yep, caffeine. I didn't think about the massive caffeine headache I would endure after the race due to no pop or coffee the day of or the day before. I drank coffee the day before, but I didn't coffee the day of. Not for any specific reason, I just didn't have time because it was flippin' 5am. Silly me didn't realize that my headache after the race was due to a caffeine deficiency until about late Sunday afternoon. I thought I was dehydrated and began chugging as much water as I could again. I thought my head was going to pound right off, it hurt so bad. (How sad is this, by the way?! My body is that addicted to caffeine! I suppose there are worse things, but... sheesh.)
- Good SHOES! We all know about this one. I had a pair of old shoes and just didn't want to shell out the money for new ones. I am so glad I did and I will push just about anyone now to invest in good shoes if they are considering running regularly.
What rookie mistakes did you make before your big race? Are you training for anything now?
(PS: ALPITC is not going to turn into a running blog... promise. But, considering I had so much fun, I think you will be hearing more about it in the months to come. Watch for an update on the classes I'm taking this summer later this week - including adolescent lit!)