Wonderful Wednesday began with a glass of lemon water while listening to Pete’s Sumatra brewing in the machine. I’d forgotten that I’d planned to drink a smoothie for breakfast, so I measured out exactly one cup of Special K and another cup of milk (skim, of course).
After a disastrous attempt to get my girls to match their skirts to their shirts to their socks, I gave up and they got in the car looking like red-eyed rag-a–muffins. I dropped them off and headed home for a fairly quick three-mile run.
Much like my girls and their pre-school fashion drama, I’ve been kvetching a little about my own race day outfit. The CW-X pants are out, my beloved Dash tights have gotten a little too roomy in the legs and I must resist the urge to wear shorts with my “how I love thee” compression socks. The socks would be wonderful, but shorts would leave me with the seriously chafed thighs; a horrendous and rashy mess. I tried my Lululemon Inspire crops today, but they slide down too much. I may prefer a low waisted jean, but when it comes to my running pants the higher the better!
This weekend I have scheduled a call with my first marathoning hero and second Scibelli sister, Sandra. We are going to go over the list of things I need to take on race day and I’ve written out my array of questions, for which I need some help to answer.
For example, there are different theories about how one should pace their race. Some people feel you start slowly no matter what and speed up when the mileage gets higher. I tried this in training, but found that I was so tired later my overall speed was really terrible.
I also attempted a long run where I did a form of speed work; would run comfortably for a bit and then speed up for a certain distance before slowing down again. This seemed to leave me feeling pretty good and I was happy with my time, but it may not be the best strategy.
With twelve days to go I don’t have much more to do.
It’s a nice feeling to just have to focus on the day-to-day tasks, relax a bit, sleep more, and stay committed to eating clean.
Now I know why so many people told me to enjoy the taper. It’s really quite nice.
Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny and Peach offered to take the girls even though she was feeling rough. I took her up on her offer and am glad I did, because today is cold and rainy and it’s my turn to feel rough. All my recent tiredness was indeed the pre-cursor to a brand new cold virus. I should have known.
Thankfully, I can report that I have no fever or closed up throat, and had I not run yesterday I would have missed week fourteen’s long run and been unable to review the CW-X Pro pant that came in the mail last week.
Everyone knows how I love my Lululemon. It’s not just that there is thought behind the design; the stuff performs. But still, I’ve had trouble with my hips and couldn’t resist the urge to try out a pair of compression pants to (hopefully) reduce the pain. I will certainly continue to run long distances once the marathon is over, since I am hooked, so I was hoping I could add them to my arsenal of gear goodies.
After a visit to Raleigh Running Outfitters a few weeks ago, where I invested in a pretty pink and painful foam roller, one of the running geniuses (sincerely) confirmed what I had learned through my research regarding compression gear; they are helpful to some and could aid in quicker recovery. CW-X seemed to be the ones to try and the Pro is made to help stabilize the hips and flexors.
I wore them yesterday and had high hopes. I wanted to love them, but I’m on the fence.
The good news is that the do what they are meant to do; they compress!
From the waist through the legs and to the calves they are tight with very little stretch. It took a while to wiggle myself in and get the placement just right to avoid any chaffing. The bands that act like Kinesio tape, used by sports doctors and trainers to help stabilize and protect the muscles, are made from a material that I could only compare to the sails on boats; rough and hard.
I did notice less pain in my hips while on the road, which was my main goal. My legs didn’t feel lighter or springier, but the compression made for less bouncing, which is always a good thing.
There were things I didn’t love, though.
For starters, the compression around my waist was sort of painful. I bought a medium, since my height and weight fell in the section of the size medium graph, but the tightness left a red mark on my skin long after the pants came off. I usually like a higher waisted running pant (it helps me stay focused on form) but the elastic on these dug into me so much that and I had to gradually move them down as the miles continued on. It took about forty five minutes to feel comfortable enough to quit fussing with them and I was seriously debating a pit stop at home to switch them out for my Dash tights. I missed the stretch and snap of my Lululemon’s, the softness of their luxtreme, but like I said, no hip pain was my motivator so in that sense, job well done.
When I got back to pick up the girls, I hung out on Peachie’s porch and watched the crazies running and falling the tall grass, creating huge stains on their knees. I also watched the salt evaporate through my new pants.
I have never noticed any of my running pants do this before and I had no idea I had such sweaty knees. I suppose this could be viewed as a positive, the wicking properties were working, but who wants to walk around with their pants covered in chalky whiteness, remnants of their workout? I don’t know why, but this grossed me out worse than that stripe of wetness that the lower back and rear end gets from a good sweaty workout.
It was time to go. I collected the kids’ stuff, buckled them in the car and drove home for tubbies all around.
I didn’t have time for a good epsom soak, so I worried that there would be pain today, but I’m happy to say that I’m feeling fine in the lower extremities. Maybe the pants worked after all?
I’ll try them next Saturday as I set out for the tip top of the marathon training mountain; the final twenty miler. I still have hope that they’ll be useful, so I’ll give them another go.
For now and the next day or two, the only running that’s happening is occurring in my sinus cavities.