Thursday, January 10, 2013

Running a marathon in crazy rain and strong winds

It was amazing when Shavi improved his Personal Record (PR) by 7 minutes in CIM (California International Marathon) in those really strong winds and craziest of all rains. This was his 3rd time running the CIM, which was on Dec 2, 2012. It was a whole new science the day prior, trying to figure what to wear and what not. I got to run two legs of the relay, making it around 13.5 miles, since two people from a relay team backed out at the last minute and I sure was available. It was a great experience and so much fun running in the rain. The rains and side winds were seeming to slap you in the face but this was the first time, I realized that I loved running in the rain. With 1000s of people cheering the runners and 10,000+ runners completely soaked in water stomping their feet in water puddles on the roads, it was a fun time but it was not an easy race.
Here are some tips for running long distances in the rain and wind:

1. Use a trash bag as a rain-cover for yourself and trash it on the way, once it solves its purpose. Be careful that your bib is visible to identify your pictures later on:)

2. Wear as light as possible or have layers which you can throw away while running.

3. Some people wear plastic covers/plastic grocery bags on their shoes. That did not seem to work very well with anyone I knew.

4. Wrap the mp3 player in a waterproof covering. A ziploc plastic bag worked for apple shuffle for me.

5. Salt capsules might melt in the rain. So, put them in a careful place.

6. Use lot of Vaseline on your feet, even if you never have chaffing. Rain can lead to chaffing due to the socks rubbing your feet.

7. Use lot of glide and Vaseline on your body since I know so many people who got badly chaffed in the rain – people who never get chaffed otherwise.

8. Shavi double-taped his nipples to prevent chaffing.

9. For running in a headwind, if you can find a partner that works best. You can take turns in 'drafting' the other person, so that you get a relief from the direct wind.

10. Because of the rain, you might feel that you do not need enough water to drink, but do not skimp on drinking water and taking the right nutrition. Fatigue and cramps will kick in later in the race if you do not pay attention.

11. After the race, change clothes right away. Once the body stops moving, it starts shutting down. You do not want to be in cold-wet clothes when the body needs heat.

12. Just have FUN. Remember running is all about fun. There will always be another race and another day where you can do better.

This year’s CIM was really hard on many people who could not meet their goals but I am proud of Shavi for exceeding his goals in this one, even when he was feeling tight hamstrings the day prior. Not to mention that we took a red eye flight that evening to Florida. The coaches suggested Shavi to take an ice bath after the run and wearing compression socks on the plane. The suggestion worked well.

Any more tips on running in the rain are welcome!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Races for 2013.

2013 has barely started and I have already booked myself for the next 7 months. I won't lie. It is freaking me out a bit. Specially the one in July. Here is a Laundry list of races I have signed up so far:

  1. Way Too Cool 50 Km (WTC) on March 09.
  2. American River 50 Miles (AR50) on April 06
  3. Big Sur International Marathon (BSIM) on April 28
  4. Gold Rush 100 Km on May 11
  5. and the craziest race of them all: Tahoe Rim Trail 100 Miles (TRT100) on July 20.

WTC, AR50 and BSIM I am not too worried about. Mainly because I have run those distances before. BSIM will be my first marathon out of the Sacramento area - so I am actually looking forward to it. And secondly BSIM will be more or less a training/taper run before my first 100K run two weeks after the race.

The Gold Rush 100K will be my first 100K run. It is going to be brutally hot, but I think I should be able to survive. I have a good feeling about that race. And my finishing goal is not going to be too crazy fast to be much of a big deal.

What is giving me the woozies is the TRT100mi. It's not only a 100 mile run, its in trails with a minimum elevation of 7000 feet and a maximum of ~9000 feet. I have never trained in the mountains in that kind of elevation. So let's see what the next 28 weeks has in store for me.

I hope to stay strong and fit during my training, as the training itself is gonna require a great deal of mental and physical strength.

For emotional strength I know Ruchi will be along the way for FULL support. :D