13 October 2012

What I Learned at My First 24 Hour Race (aka Cherie's Running Secrets)

I thought that I would hate 24 hours, that I would be bored, that it would not be for me (I consider myself an in-the-woods trail gal...nice pretty not super technical trails, even hills, are my thing...) - but I ended up completely LOVING the race. They're SO much fun - normally, if you run two miles per hour faster - or slower - than me - I'll see you at the starting line and that's it. But in a 24 hour race, you pass them, they pass you, you chat each time, you see people when you pause to change your shoes, or whatever. So it's very social. You see the volunteers so often too - they get to know your name, what you eat, etc. My friend Phil ran the infamous Across the Years, and when the volunteers realized they ran out of the instant maple-flavoured oatmeal he was eating, they ran out and bought more. 

But I def wasted some time, and learned a few things...

  • Organize. I didn't have things organized well, esp bc when it started raining I put my stuff under my neighbor's table. But I'd have to stop, sort through gels, figure out where certain things are. I was to a degree, but really, didn't have things organized into little plastic tupperware dressers like some people did.
  • Have a chair. This would've made things SO much easier. I was constantly squatting down, going through my stuff, changing my socks and shoes, and when I got up, I would be completely cramped. A table would've helped too, but next year when I do Hinson, I'm going to see if my sister has a camping chair or if she doesn't, I'm going to buy one and leave it in her house. You know, for her...and to use every year at Hinson and other 24 Hour races in NC.... 
  • Not wear that stupid purple-pink bra that looks oh-so-cute but cuts me up. (Enough said.)
  • Don't spend so much time at aid stations. I did this a bunch, esp at the end when I was trying to figure what to eat that wouldn't make me vomit.
  • Plan where you place your stuff. My stuff was with Shannon, nice for talking w her and Ray, but not so good for my planning. Sometimes, I'd get to an aid station, walk through drinking my orange gatorade, munching a cracker, then grab a gel a bit later - I wish my stuff had been closer to aid so I could've had water/gel on a walk through the aid station area. Better planning needs to happen.
  • Music. I'm not a music person while running but it really helped.
  • Don't have the cell phone on. I sent a quick text to Wayne, my sister, and my mom, telling them I was tied for first 13 hours in, but that was it. Even that cost time. A lot of people were texting, updating Facebook, checking email, calling...if you're down, I think that can be a HUGE help (Call your significant other and let them cheer you up...but maybe not your mom. My mom would tell me to stop and go home and go to sleep.) but don't get sucked in. Enjoy being unplugged for just a little while.
  • Extras! Keep extra socks, sneakers, whatever...you have the space. Just organize it so you can find what you have.

No comments: