My busy fall schedule of half marathon following half marathon following marathon and so on, is over. I'm a little (!) behind in reviewing all the races, but they have mostly been fun, entertaining, quick (for me) and enjoyable.
I just spent a few days on a vacation in Vegas. The purpose really was to get away on my own, pretend that real life had gotten easy and smooth, kick back and relax. In place of the normal Vegas-gala show, I spent my money on a half marathon and a Santa Run 5k. Running is my joy and my hobby and I'd rather throw my money there than at someone who sings or dances or pulls rabbits from his hat.
This was my 6th race in the past few months (and well over the 100th since I started running marathons in 2001) so you'd think I've learned how to prepare. I have a list that I normally check while I'm packing but this time I started packing earlier than the night before the flight and thought I'd throw things in as they occurred to me. Bad mistake, as it turned out. To my list I'll have to add "don't talk on the phone while placing items in suitcase."
Since I don't think well in the morning I always set out my race gear the night before. Clothing and accessories, in the order in which I'll need them, all neatly placed for easy grabbing. In a hotel room my habit is to raise the ironing board and use that. I did the same this past weekend. Once I decided that it would be crispy cold at the start but warm by the end I picked out my clothing from the piles of choices I had brought with me. Running skirt, sports bra, long sleeve top, compression leg sleeves, socks, shoes, hat ... hat ... hat??
I checked through everything once. Then again. Then emptied my suitcase and checked again. Once more for good luck. No hat. I have a gazillion running hats since I collect them from most races. I forced myself not to buy a hat at this expo since I have a RnR-Vegas hat and many other RnR caps from other races. So for the one of the very few times, I didn't even have a new hat from the expo.
Further checking revealed that I didn't have a buff either. I use the buff on cold mornings to not only cover my ears, but to breathe through so that cold air doesn't exacerbate my asthma. No hat, no buff. But that wasn't all. I have many ear warmers, all of them in my garage at home. Lots of scarves, many of tech fabrics. All at home. The morning was forecast to be about 40 degrees and I had nothing whatsoever to put on my head.
Since the little cancer scare last year my sun paranoia is sky high. I can tell myself that between abundant sunscreen and a rim on my hat that the sun doesn't touch my face. My hat is not only to keep the sweat from flowing into my eyes, not only to keep the little ends of my hair from flying all over my face, but to keep my sun exposure anxiety from driving me nuts. The thought of being hatless for a half marathon on a day that was supposed to be mostly sunny pushed buttons I wasn't prepared for.
It turned out ok, the world didn't end and I had a good run. Lots of squinting, lots of wiping the sweat from my eyes, lots of pushing my hair away. It didn't make me run faster but it didn't slow me down either. I didn't get sunburned but I did worry while I was out there.
Reminder to self for next time: pack TWO hats.