Happy Friday, everyone!! Here are the Four Things on my mind this Friday, in all their bullet-pointy goodness:
- THING ONE – I’m starting the count down to WTH race day, and that means I’m in nailing-down-the-details mode. I’m not for sure on my outfit yet, but this week I’ve been figuring out what to do with my hair. About four and a half months ago, when I signed up for this crazy race, my hair was at that in-between length where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cut it short or let it grow long. Short hair, of course, is easier on race day – at most, I’d need a SweatyBand to keep it out of my face on the run, but long hair requires a bit more attention. My hair is
a giant rat’s nestwildly curly, so there’s pretty much no actual style to it other than “short” or “long.” Sometimes I have bangs and sometimes I don’t. Right now I don’t, but that’s only because it’s been almost a year since my last haircut. I asked IronHubs for his opinion and he said, “Well, I think you look great when your hair is short or long! I know you’ve had a couple of short haircuts you didn’t like, though, and you’ve never been unhappy with long hair.” (This, BTW, is the secret to our long and happy marriage – did you notice how he managed to say, “Please, please don’t cut your hair short!” in a diplomatic and even complimentary way? Gotta love him.) So now my hair is long enough that it gets stuck in my bra straps and I have to hold it out of my way when I shave my armpits. Awesome. Mostly when I’m swimming, I just put it into a bun at the back of my head. When I’m biking, I wear a low ponytail and when I’m running I wear a high ponytail. The trick, of course, is to find a style that’s comfortable under a swim cap and a helmet that won’t get in my way while running. So this week I’m experimenting with a long french braid and so far I like it! It passed the individual swimming, biking and running tests and didn’t look completely awful after any of them. I’m also going to try the braided piggytail look, a la Chrissie, before I make a final decision.
If the braids make me even one-third as fast as her, I’ll be a happy girl!
- THING TWO – Have I mentioned that there’s about 5500 feet of climbing on the bike leg of the WTH? Yeah, well, that’s because I’ve been in denial about it. I’ve been working on my “Hillacious” and “Uphill Grind” Spinervals DVDs, but I’m sure you already know that nothing prepares you for hills like actually climbing some, so this morning I did just that. I have to drive about 45 minutes to get into even moderately hilly terrain, the American River Bike Trail that I’ve mentioned before. There’s a really nice 2-mile stretch that includes a few small hills and about one solid mile of 6% grade climbing. I did this out-and-back (oh, how I loved the “back” portion of this ride with that sweet long downhill – hello 28 mph, where have you been all my life?!?) four times, plus another short steep hill at the end of my ride just for fun. It was 18 miles of confidence-building awesomeness! It’s true, I was very slow, averaging only 15.6 mph for the ride, but my cadence was spot on (average 84 rpms) and my legs didn’t feel completely trashed at the end. I’ll take it!
- THING THREE – I took a little 2-mile dash in my Newtons this morning. It’s been over a month since I’ve run in shoes, but I am a little worried about wearing my VFFs at the WTH. Mostly I’m concerned about the VFFs because of how long it takes me to put them on, which is sort of silly considering that I’m obviously not racing for time! But the Newtons with speed laces would be super easy, so I’m trying them out before I make a final decision. Here’s what I noticed about running in shoes again: they are really, really LOUD! I have become very accustomed to being a silent little running ninja in the VFFs and today I felt like a galloping rhinoceros – TROMP, TROMP, TROMP!! Also, I remember the Newtons feeling very roomy before, but today my toes felt claustrophobic. The good news is that now I am definitely running correctly in the Newtons. The forefoot strike is completely muscle memory at this point, so I’m good to go with either shoe.
- THING FOUR – I admit that I am
green with envya teeny, tiny bit jealous of all my super speedy bloggy buddies who are off to Beantown this weekend, but honestly, I’m super, super excited for all of you who are running the Boston Marathon!! I think my online stalkingtracking list is well into double digits. Hopefully, I won’t get into too much trouble for watching the action online at work. I will be virtually cheering for all of you as you enjoy the race experience of a lifetime – good luck and have fun!!