Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mitigating a Risk or Two

I don't tend to subscribe to the whole 'lucky socks' thing when it comes to running.

I don't have a good or a bad runs based on whether or not I remember to wear my lucky socks. Or my lucky shirt. Or use my lucky pins to pin on my race bib.

I have good and bad runs based on how I'm feeling, what my blood sugar does and all sorts of other variables that I can't possibly control. It's frustrating at times but I'm ok with the randomness of it all most of the time.

And I refuse to put faith in an article of clothing, a pre-race routine or some other thing that, for some people, can make or break their run. Or their race.

That being said, I do try to reduce the variables and mitigate some of the more predictable risks...especially on race day.

I pay attention to my blood sugar. I eat predictable foods at predictable times. I wear clothes that don't typically chafe...much. I slather on the Body Glide.

On Sunday I took a bit of time to work on another variable...music.

I have a running playlist that I've used for the last year or two. It has about 5 hours of music that plays randomly so I don't tend to get bored with it. That being said, there are two problems that I wanted to eliminate before race day.

The first was the tempo of the songs on my playlist. When I first made my playlist, I put songs on it that make me happy. Some are upbeat with a great tempo. Some are upbeat with a slower tempo. Some were not upbeat at all. They all make me happy. As you might expect, I tend to slow down a bit during the slower happy songs. In preparation for race day, I ruthlessly culled my playlist down to three hours. I took out any song that didn't a) start off with a great beat from the first note and b) have a fast enough beat to keep me moving. I also added a few new songs that fit my criteria.

The second problem I've been struggling with are my ear buds. My favourite ones died right before my Israel trip. They sounded great and stayed in my ears sans problème no matter how long I ran, how much it rained or how hot it was. I loved them.

I bought the Apple sports earbuds when I got home from my trip but they never worked well for me. They sound great but they fall out of my ears constantly. I have to reach up and tuck them back in 2-3 times a minutes for the entire run. I was getting fed up. My favourite pair that died back in March was purchased at the Boston Marathon expo back in 2011. They are not sold in Canada and the shipping costs are crazy. I couldn't justify ordering another pair.

I did some research and asked my running friends. It turns out that everyone has their favourites and one person's go to ear buds are often vehemently hated by another. It's a matter of taste.

I took a gamble and bought a pair of Yurbuds for Women. They are designed for smaller ears and 'lock' in place so they don't fall out. Many people love them. Some hate them. I was willing to drop $30 to try them.

I have two runs before race day to try them out. If they work, I'll have cooperative earbuds and a motivational playlist on race day.

Two variables dealt with. Two risks mitigated.

Now if I can discover the cure for diabetes before Sunday morning, I'll be all set to rock this thing.