Runner’s Lounge is currently asking the question about Preparing for a Race. I am going to post it as a blog as well as on the forum. If you have something valuable to add, go to their site, become a member and share it with us.
My pre-race preparations start at least a week in advance with watching the weather channel. 😉 But seriously, here are the things that I do before a big race:
- If I run a marathon I start carbing up 3 days prior to the race with just adding additional carbs to my diet, such as pasta or a bagel, however I do not eat heavy the day of the race. The dinner the night before is something that my stomach is used to and won’t sit too heavy in the morning.
- If I run a 1/2 marathon I don’t increase my carb intake (because I run that distance alot currently), I just make sure that I have a “good” (I didn’t say healthy) dinner, such as pasta or pizza.
Gear wise. I get my running gear ready the night (sometimes even two nights) before. I have three piles:
- One for all the stuff that I need to wear, such as shirt, shoes, etc. and things that I need to put on, like body glide, Vaseline, etc. I also lay out the nail clippers in that pile to make sure I double check my tootsies before I slide them into the socks.
- The second pile consists of items that I will need to put on when I am at the race (before the race starts), fuel belt, garmin, iPod (if I wear one), GU, cell phone, and most importantly my race bib, safety pins, and timing chip. That pile also includes some kind of food, like a banana or a power bar, and a bottle of water to be consumed before the race.
- Pile three is stuff that I need for after the race, which I have my hubby carry, such as a change of clothes (or at least a shirt), two bottles of water, a power bar and a banana. The most important item in that bag are my sandals! I usually end up bringing all that food and water back home, but all that running I need to wear my sandals, which does not inhibit my toes. 😉
- I try to get several good nights rest starting 5 days prior to the race, not necessarily counting on getting 8 hours of shut-eye the night before (that never happens, I am the nervous type).
- During taper madness, which usually hits me the hardest the week prior to the race, I tell myself something similar to what Amy posted about Taper Madness is real: “It’s ok, I’m not sick, it’s all in my head, I’m going to be fine, and I’m ready to run.” I also tell myself over and over that all the hard work is done, going out there and trying to break world speed records now is not going to do anybody any good. It becomes my pre-race mantra, so to speak.
- In order to avoid any confusion as to where to go on race day (if I am not familiar with the starting area or don’t have someone who knows where we are going) I Google all the information I can about it.
- If I am not able to drive the course, I’ll study the course map and mentally run it.
- I also have a “I expect you here and there” conversation with the hubby, making sure he knows what times to expect me where.
At the race:
- As soon as I get there I find the line for the porta-potties, it makes me look like I have something to do. Even though my bladder might be empty, my brain thinks it’s overflowing. Once I am done with that I find my place in the crowd, take in all the chatter around me. I try to loosen my muscles by moving around a bit, and constantly tell myself to go slower the first few miles.