Half Prepped

by Jenn (eating bender) on June 9, 2012

Thank you all for the kind words and well wishes about our race tomorrow. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that we’ll be scrambling to complete 13.1 miles less than 24 hours from now, but I feel ready and know Bobby is, too.

I mean, how could you not be ready with these awesome race jackets?

I’m not the only one who has trouble keeping a straight face in pictures. :)

Too bad the weather will make it impossible for us to use them.

Yep. It’s going to be a hot one. The North Shore Half Marathon coordinators have already sent out warning emails and included maps of water, mist and sponge stations along the course in our race packets. I have a feeling everything will turn out OK – it’s a 7:30 a.m. start time and it’s not supposed to reach 90 degrees until 1:00 in the afternoon. Plus, the race route is through a lot of neighborhoods, which should have trees that provide a brief respite from the sun.

That said, I’m definitely taking your warm weather running advice!

In addition to my usual pre-race prep (Garmin, Spibelt, Shot Bloks, music…check!), this particular training has brought a new set of challenges to work on. In the past several weeks, my IT band has been really bothering me on long runs, so much so that last week’s 12-miler turned into seven miles of running and the rest walking. I don’t want to run the risk (pun not intended, believe it or not) of injuring it before race day, but I’m also trying to prepare myself for what might happen if the same problem rears its ugly head while we’re running. Bobby is amazing and has promised to stick by my side whether I have to run or walk, but I am bound and determined to have a pain-free race!

A big help in achieving this goal has been my foam roller, a birthday present from Bobby.

I’ve been doing stretch work on it every day…well, almost every day. 😉 Melissa sent me links to two great stretching exercises, and they hurt so good. Now I understand why people think foam rolling is PAINFUL, but it really does help.

My second tool for attack came this week: an IT band compression wrap.

Unfortunately I’ve only been able to try this out on three- and four-mile training runs, so it remains to be seen whether it will handle the race distance. But I will say that the four-miler was a speed workout, which normally could trigger a twinge that was noticeably (and gratefully) absent this time around. I know this band is not a cure-all, but combined with the foam rolling I feel optimistic that it will get me through the race.

Of course, not all prep work has to be tedious. I woke up this morning to find Bobby had gotten a jump start on the carbo-loading by surprising me with blueberry pancakes (this recipe).

And today we’ll be taking it easy with a visit to a lit fest (I’m SO excited – Veronica Roth is going to be there!) and some quality time on the couch watching game seven of the NBA East finals. Go Celtics! KG is a former member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, after all.

Next time you hear from me, I hope to be a half marathoner. Until then…

(This was the gorgeous view from Jill’s rooftop last night. Summer in Chicago is here!)

Hope you have an amazing weekend! Let me know if you have any other IT band tips.

What are you up to this weekend?


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica June 9, 2012 at 11:10 am

Hope the IT band cools off! Good luck again- so exciting! Josh and I had his Mom over for dinner last night. This AM I taught Body Step and am just getting things done around the house. Tonight=father’s day shopping for our Dad’s and dinner out!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) June 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Thanks again, Erica! Sounds like you are having a wonderful weekend. Good luck with the Father’s Day shopping!


3 BroccoliHut June 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm

How exciting! Best of luck to you and Bobby!
Thanks so much for the running advice–I am always in search of foam rolling info. Now if only I could learn how to make it a habit…
This is a random question, but I am becoming a tad obsessed with photo apps: What app did you use for the picture of you and Bobby in your awesome race jackets? I love the blurred edge effect.
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4 Jenn (eating bender) June 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Thanks, Caroline!! I totally hear you on making it a habit… :) As for the photo apps – I am obsessed, too. I typically take the photo in Camera+, which costs 99 cents but is so worth it because it has a bunch of different filters and boosters that Instagram doesn’t. If I have multiple pictures, I use the app Diptic to make a collage. But the blur effect is actually in Instagram itself! If you look on the top menu and click the button that looks like a water drop, you can choose from two different blurring options. The circle is what I used here!

Another great post for us photo app-obsessed from Jessica of How Sweet It Is: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/03/my-favorite-iphone-photo-apps/. :)


5 emily (a nutritionist eats) June 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Good Luck tomorrow!!! You will do amazing!
That last picture is absolutely amazing, I miss Chicago!!
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6 Jenn (eating bender) June 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thank you so much, Emily!! Chicago misses you and asks that you come visit soon. :)


7 Katie June 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm

You met Veronica Roth?!?!? So jealous….

Good luck at your race!
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8 Jenn (eating bender) June 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Thanks, Katie! And yes – definitely a “star struck” moment. I tried to play it cool since we went to the same college (and she graduated a year after me), but am sure I was awkward. 😉 I’ll have more in my next post!


9 Martin Koban June 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Hey Jenn,

good luck with your race today!

@ BroccoliHut,

first of all: I love broccoli 😉 … secondly: I’ve found the easiest way to get some foam-rolling done is to identify which area needs work the most. After that it’s easy to get yourself to at least take care of this high priority muscle, because it will only take a minute. Once you’re down there rolling, chances are you will work some other muscles at the same time. So basically, just pick one muscle you really need to work and set working at least this one as the lowest acceptable minimum 😉

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10 Jenn (eating bender) June 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Thanks for the tips and well wishes, Martin!


11 Katie H. June 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Hope the race went well and your IT band held up! I struggled with ITBS issues last fall, and can identify with how frustrating it is. I would suggest some well-earned, much-deserved time off of running to let it recover completely after your half!
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12 Jenn (eating bender) June 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Thanks, Katie! I’m sorry to hear you experienced ITBS issues, too. It really is one of the most frustrating moments because the rest of me was ready to keep going, and yet my knee said otherwise. I will definitely be taking some time off and seeing if there are alternative workouts/exercises that can help strengthen it once I’ve recovered from the soreness I am definitely feeling tonight. Let me know if you have any that worked well for you!


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