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Friday, January 25, 2013

Dry Run

A dry run is a testing process where the effects of a possible failure are intentionally mitigated. For example, an aerospace company may conduct a "dry run" test of a jet's new pilot ejection seat while the jet is parked on the ground, rather than while it is in flight.

Listen, you all know that my training is going pretty well (knock on wood) and I'm feeling confident and ready for my goal race... but, I'd be lying if I didn't let you in on a little secret: I'm pretty fucking scared of getting the shits during the race. 

I've gone through phases where I've had GI issues and I've gone through phases where I haven't. Just when I think I've got things completely under control... BOOM, I DNF thanks to a severe case of the shits. Over the summer I eliminated some things in my diet that I thought might be causing the problems (flax seeds and chia seeds mainly), I researched whether maybe I'd become more sensitive to lactose or gluten. In general... I don't really have a problem. EXCEPT WHEN I DO. That's the frustrating part.

Add to that fact, that when I get nervous, my stomach goes into an atomic rage (as a kid, I could never play hide and go seek, because when I would hide, I would get so nervous from the anticipation of being found and I'd have to go to the bathroom. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?).

I can only do what I can do... but, I'm going to at least try to come up with a plan that will hopefully help keep my bowels from trying to explode on race morning. (Nice visual, eh?). And I am going to use these last two long runs as "dry runs."

Dry Run #1:
  • I am running 17-18 miles on Sunday morning. I am going to start at precisely 7am (the race starts at 7 on a Sunday morning).
  • Lunch the day before: I am going to test out having pizza as an EARLY lunch. Pizza is a bit of a nostalgic good luck thing for me. Although, I think it's too heavy and dairy-laden to have for dinner anymore. I think having it around Noon the day before should be fine. I will also probably have a package of Peanut M&Ms as a snack in the middle of the afternoon.
  • Dinner the night before: Regular pasta with spaghetti sauce and some bread. Not too much. Just a smallish portion of pasta and sauce. And I'd like to be done with my dinner BEFORE 7pm. (I'm banking on the fact that there has to be like an Olive Garden or somewhere else that will have simple spaghetti and sauce in Birmingham).
  • Wake up on Sunday morning at 4:30 am. Immediately eat half of an english muffin and a pop tart. I am also going to experiment with coffee. I've never had coffee before a morning run, BUT, I hear it can umm... clean you out?
  • Fueling on the run. I am going to try to figure out a good schedule for taking shotblox. Every half hour? And, The KoB suggested that I give a 5 Hour Energy Shot a try on one of these practice runs. I've tried it once before a run and felt nothing, but, I'm going to give it a try during the run this time. 
  • I think I've decided that I'm going to carry a handheld for the race. Being able to take tiny sips as much as I want works out better for my stomach than stopping at a water stop and wanting to down a whole cup of water/gatorade. Also, this way I can pop a shotblox whenever I want and not just when I'm coming up on a water station.
I realize that I sound like a complete newbie or an OCDed freak, but, a lot of this is for peace of mind more than anything.

Here's hoping that it goes well this weekend!

6 comments:

Carina said...

That menu sounds very similar to my pre-race plan, though I usually do something with less dairy/grease for lunch the day before, but I would think pizza would be fine.

I actually usually carry a disposable water bottle in races for the same reason -- sip at my leisure, fuel when I want, and drink about half a cup or so at water stops (a few chugs on the move). Then by about mile 22 or 23, I pitch the bottle so I cross the line empty-handed.

Have fun on the dry run!

wesa121 said...

I feel your tummy pain as well. Good idea to try an exact repica of race day. IDK if I would eat a poptart pre-run...just a lot of sugar/refined wheat/chemicals. I like a piece of whole grain break with almond butter/jelly. Everyone is different though. My issues are usually after the run, I PR'ed on the Half last weekend and was on the pot for the rest of the day.

Amy said...

Carina- Yeah, I'm going to try the heavier lunch + light dinner. The disposable water bottle is a good idea.

wesa121- Congrats on the PR! And actually refined wheat and sugar is exactly what I'm looking for on race morning. The healthier it is, the more likely I am to lose a sock during the race. Ugh. Between that and all the sugar during the race, I'm sure I'll feel like shit afterwards... but as long as I PR and have a good day, it will be worth the post race tummy ache.

Carina said...

I use a rule of about 24 hours from step 1 for dairy. It seriously hates me on any race longer than 13.1, and actually it's hated me on some of those too. And it hates me on most long runs over about 18 (but not all, hence the fun mystery that you seem to also have...).

wesa121 said...

Love that, lose a sock. LOL.

chacha said...

Coffee does clean you out. It's a pretty much a requirement for me pre-race. Even if all I can procure is crappy hotel room coffee.

Not sure if this would work for you, but my shot blocks routine is two packages. for a marathon. I start at mile 2 with one block and then I eat a block every two miles. The last block of the 2nd pack ends up at mile 24. I do the same for half marathons, but with one pack. I never feel like I am eating a lot or not getting enough.