I got up on race morning at 3am. My plan was to order a pot of boiling water to make my oatmeal and order some breakfast for Josh from room service so that I could eat by 3:30am, and to get it and start getting ready while at the same time letting Noah and Josh sleep as long as possible. (Josh didn't want to get up until 4:45am. We had to leave the room by 5:30am).
Room service came around 3:25am and I got my oatmeal mixed up and sweetened with some honey that we brought. I ate that and drank about 8 ounces of my Hammer HEED drink right as I had planned (I wanted to eat 3.5 hours before race time).
When it comes to running, the only part of my body that gives me grief at times is my stomach/GI track. I had to stop at porta-potties twice during the half marathon that I did in September, and knowing that each stop would cost me minutes to my time, I really really wanted to avoid a lot of stops in my marathon. So, starting a week before the race, I was super careful about everything I ate. I read that it is a good idea to cut out things that tend to "upset" you, and to limit dairy and some fruits, etc. As the week went on I ate less and less dairy and minimal fruits and ruffage, and I ate more and more carbs. I ate a lot of oatmeal, bananas, oranges, pasta and bread. I hydrated well the whole week and did well "carbo-loading" the whole week. I wanted to set myself up and fuel my body the very best I could.
After I ate, I got myself dressed and played with some things. I was trying to decide between bringing my IPOD or not. And then if I brought it, I was trying to decide if I wanted to put the IPOD in the pocket on my arm sleeves or use my IPOD armband. Then I was trying to decide if I wanted my beanie or my headband. And I was trying to decide if I wanted to wear my sunglasses or not. Sheesh! So many decisions!
I ended up thrilled with what I wore/brought, so the run down and a photo are below.
I woke up Josh at 4:45 and woke up Noah at 5am so I could get him changed, give him meds, fill up his feeding pump bag, change the ice pack for his pump and have him all ready for my parents. Dad and Pam got there just before 5:30am and after a few last minute preparations and a few quick pics we were on our way!
Here is the rundown of what I wore/brought.
Brooks Trance running shoes and Brooks socks - They have been my go to shoes for over a year now. I wore low cut running socks that are pretty thin.
CW-X tights - I am a new convert to the tights. They keep my legs cool and feeling very supported, and I am just much more comfortable in them than in shorts. They are great.
Skirt Sports Wonder Girl Tank - I got this on sale on Amazon and I love it! I have never worn a tank ever (to run or for anything else) and this one is so comfortable to run in. And, truth be told, it makes me feel a little bit bad a$$, which I thought I might need when running a marathon. And Josh really likes it. :)
Moeben arm sleeves - I figured if I was going to wear the tank that these would go great with arm sleeves. The arm sleeves you can pull up if you are cold, slide down if you get warm, and they have UV protection. They feel awesome and have all kinds of fun designs. The kids helped me choose the tie-dye. I wore them the whole race and didn't pull them down until I finished. They have great pockets on them too. I had some tissue and a gel in one pocket and my IPOD in the other, which worked out great and was a lot more comfortable than wearing my IPOD arm band. I was worried the IPOD wouldn't stay in there, but it stayed put the whole way.
My Nike skull cap - I LOVE this beanie. It is super light weight and has a pony tail hole. It is not a "warm" hat, although with all of my hair, I don't need a thick or super warm hat, even when it is really dang cold. I wore it the entire race and even though it got up to 60 degrees or so, I was never hot in it. It wicks sweat, and is the only headwear I have found that truly keeps my hair out of my face and doesn't budge or bother me (and I have tried lots of headbands and hats!) After my shoes, this is my favorite piece of running great right now.
Adidas light weight running gloves - I started with my favorite gloves but lost them along the way. I tried to tuck them into the back of my tights when my hands got warm but they were rubbing and so they ended up with the rest of the discarded clothes being donated to charity. Bummer!
Tifosi Logic sunglasses - These are really great too. They are super light, super comfortable and don't dig anywhere, and they also don't BUDGE when you are running, not even for 26.2 miles. :) I had them up on the top of my head until we were starting, and then pulled them down and didn't think about them again until we finished. We were running into the sun a few different times so I was really glad to have them.
"Throw away hoodie" - I knew it would be cold standing around at the start, so I brought one of the old, way too big sweatshirts that I had laying around to wear until we started and then toss. (They were collecting all of the throw away clothes for charity).
Nathan (brand) hand held 22 ounce water bottle - I wanted to be able to have the sports drink I was used to and to be able to drink/fuel during the race as I had practiced, so even though there were plenty of aid stations on the course, I carried my bottle and had my Hammer gels (apple cinnamon flavor) in the pocket. I did lose my bottle along the course too... I unscrewed the lid around mile 21 to get the last bit out and dropped the lid, and wasn't stopping or going back to get it. Bummer again!
My Garmin 305 GPS watch - I LOVE THIS THING. It tells you your current pace, average pace, mile splits, time into the run, and all sorts of other cool stuff. It was so helpful during the run to be able to look down and see what my pace was and know when I had to back down a bit and when I had to push it to make my goal. My Garmin was super super helpful.
I wouldn't have changed anything that I wore or brought... it all worked out great. Here we are just before leaving our room!
As we left the room (holding hands) I was pretty emotional. I kept thinking, "I am about to run a MARATHON... I have worked so hard for this day and it is finally here..." It really felt like the start of something huge.
We got into the elevator (with a bunch of other runners) and from there the emtions settled but the excitement grew. We had a very short walk over to the Mandalay Bay (next door to our hotel) and to the huge starting line area.
There were tons of people, tents with food, lines of porta-potties everywhere, music blaring and a really fun atmosphere. It was COLD though! Jenny and I run in a lot colder temps than the 42 degrees or so that it was, but it was the combination of standing around and nerves I guess that had me shivering! We checked our "gear bags" (that had the stuff we wanted when we finished), warmed up, used a porta-potty (lines were quick and painless even without the VIP treatment!) and headed over to our start corral.I was impressed with how smoothly everything went and how well everything was set up. They did a great job!
They had 32 corrals, with the "elite" runners starting in corral number one, and the slowest runners in number 32. A new corral was started every minute or two, with the logic that faster runners wouldn't have to go around slower runners, and to reduce the congestion of everyone starting at once. It worked super well! We were in corral #13 and we started just over 15 minutes after the gun went off and the elite runners started. Waiting in the corral was fun. The sun was coming up, it was starting to warm up a bit and I was just SO stinking ready to RUN. There was lots of fun people- watching, as lots of people were running in costumes (SO many Elvis impersonators!) and had funny shirts. We also found the 4:05 pace group leader that I was contemplating trying to follow.
A Cher look-a-like sang the national anthem and some Blues Brothers impersonaters were rocking out over the start line. They started the handbikes (which are so inspirational) and then the elites started right at 7am. Each time a corral was started the rest of us walked forward a bit, and soon it was our turn to start. I ditched my throw away hoodie, got my ear buds in and my sunglasses on and was ready to rock and roll (and run!)
Next installment coming soon (in which I actually get to the running part of the story). Hey, I warned you this was going to be detailed and wordy. :)
Right before we left the room...