Week 28: ultra marathon part 1 – the night before

(written on Sat night while out at dinner)
It’s funny how completely rational and intelligent people hang onto superstitions.

For example, the night before a long run or a race I always eat pasta (lasagne or spaghetti bolognese) or moussaka. I usually go out for the meal, and try to eat early.

Tonight I am dining at Il Primo Posto on Southbank. I have a small table by myself at the back of the restaurant. It is jam-packed with other early diners – mostly families, and probably some theatre goers, noting the proximity to so many arts venues. The waiting staff are alert and managing to deal with the insanity of dozens of family groups with no bookings (the restaurant won’t take bookings on a Saturday night). Side note: why do parents dress their children in identical outfits when they are not twins? Were there specials on? Does it make it easier to spot them in a crowd? 

Lasagne, salad and garlic bread

Lasagne, salad and garlic bread at Il Primo Posto

I have ordered Dale’s homemade lasagne and a green salad with a balsamic dressing, and have some garlic Turkish bread to accompany it (read: to mop up the sauce if it is good, as it would be uncouth to lick the plate in public). I am not sure who Dale is, and suspect he did not really make it at home, but hey! A little artistic license never hurt anyone. Post meal comment: It was a stock standard lasagne. Not brilliant. Not awful. Tasty, but just ok. It pales in comparison to the splendid lasagne served at Emporio della Pasta in the Crown Casino complex just a few minutes walk away. Roughly the same price, but definitely not the same quality.

After dinner I will stroll back home, work on a uni paper and do some chores before having a shower and heading to bed. As I will be getting up at 5am, I aim to be in bed by 9-9.30ish. Bet it stretches to 10-10.30pm (post script: yep, sure did). I do tend to faff a little when getting ready for bed. One of the pre-bed routines will be to lay out my running gear for the morning. I do this almost every day I run or go to the gym as I get up so early. The few minutes taken at night give me a few minutes extra in bed in the morning. I will also lay out my gels, snacks, electrolyte fluid and the like.

Once more – superstition: I will wear the exact same gear that I have done every long run in during my training for the ultra. It has proven it works, so no point changing it now! So from the ground up:

Shoes Asics Gel Nimbus 14’s. ordered from the US especially for the occasion. They are the exact same limited edition model I bought in San Francisco last year when I was running around the world. Lots of miles and memories. And they are purple.    : )

Asics Gel Nimbus 14s limited edition

Asics Gel Nimbus 14s limited edition

Socks 2XU knee-high compression socks. Some articles I have read from other runners are dubious on the value of ‘expensive’ running gear such as compression wear. I used to be in the same camp. Then I bought by first pair of Skins leggings. Never looked back.

Leggings 2XU thermal compression leggings. It is still winter here, and it takes a good few kms for my legs to warm up. Also, the compression aspect aids in looking after my quads, hammies and calves (esp with the socks underneath!). I used to dread the idea of running in leggings. No way would I ever have the body for that. Ok, I still have cellulite and a few odd bumps and curves that look a tad funny, but I am approaching that stage in my life when I care a lot less about what others think about how I look. The leggings are practical, and help prevent chaffing to boot, particularly when accompanied by a good slathering of Body Glide.

Underwear Bonds cotton hipsters. Black. Simple. Comfortable. Don’t ride up my arse. Is there really any other function they need to serve?

Sports bra Moving Comfort Rebound Racer. At $89 for a sports bra it had better be good! It is. Nothing moves. Nothing. As the tagline says, “Support your girls with the best”! And they look good! Sometimes I wander around the apartment in just my leggings and the sports bra at times in my fantasy of being an athlete, and the kit plays a big part.

Other undergarments 2XU white compression vest. It will be cold early, and as I don’t want to wear two long sleeve tops, it will aid in keeping me warm.

Running singlet Adidas v-neck ‘R4YL’ singlet. I have worn this in every race winter or summer. It has the picked synthetic material from where I have pinned innumerable running bibs (for the non-runners out there: the number on the front). It is still pretty much white as well, much to my amazement! Thank you Napisan.

Jacket 2XU lightweight running jacket. Great wind breaker. Slightly spray resistant. A good-sized zip pocket in the back. I can pop it on or off throughout the race with no problems and just tie it around my waist without it weighing me down.

Gloves Adidas. As it won’t be freezing tomorrow I won’t need the heavy-duty wind breaker gloves, but will still need the lighter weight Climacool ones. My Raynaud’s Disease dictates I look like my hands are going to the snow almost regardless of the weather.

Beanie my hair is short so my ears get cold. I will start the run wearing one of my lighter weight running beanies, which I will probably pull off around 5-10kms into the run, weather dependent. Then it will be tucked easily into the pocket in the back of my jacket.

I will also be wearing a Fly Active wristband or two with some Gu in it. I won’t need to wear my fuel belt as there are fuel stations every lap, so I can leave my drop bag with extra Gu, my electrolyte drink and some protein bars there. I prefer to run as light as possible and hate carrying anything if I can help it.

I think I believe that if I follow this schedule and plan, it will ensure I will be well set up for the run in the morning. I guess we will see!

See you around The Tan!

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