Ahhh pre-race day– tomorrow I’m running the RockNRoll Half Marathon. And it’s not a day too soon, as I’ve been “tapering” for a little more than a week and have tons of pent up energy (and extra carbs!) that really needs to be dealt with.
I’ve got two goals for this race:
- Run my first official sub-2hour half. I’ve done it twice in training runs. I know I can do it. I just need to keep my head together and run the race I know I can.
- Not look like this in at least one race picture:
Today I’m linking up with Courtney & the DC Trifecta crew for a race day Five for Friday:
5 Things I Never Do On Race Day
1. Change anything. Every list about race preparation will tell you this, but I take this to a fanatic extreme. The normal things: I eat the exact same dinner the night before a race, the exact same breakfast the day of the race, wear the same outfit I’ve worn in training runs, etc etc. The not so normal: I mark my socks after my last training run so I am even wearing the same sock on the same foot during the race. This way, when the going gets tough I can say to myself: There is nothing different today than there was last week. Even your socks are the same. You can do this. Kind of hard to argue with that kind of self-talk logic.
2. Eat my last bit of breakfast at home. During training, I had some fueling issues. Obviously without gluten and sugar, I’m fueling differently than lots of other runners, but I think most people will tell you they like to eat something like a granola bar or toast with peanut butter 30-45 minutes before a race. Lots of people will do this at home before they leave. I did that once and will never, ever, ever do it again. Why? Races often start late. I was once stranded at a race that started an hour late–and it was a big race, which meant I got there early and there were wave-starts, so my corral didn’t get out until almost 90 minutes after the scheduled race time, which was more than 2 hours after I got to the starting line. So that last bit of breakfast I ate as I left the house? It was like 4 hours before the race. Really not helpful to start a race hungry. So I eat my race-day breakfast (two Van’s gf/sf waffles) at home when I get up and bring my Lara bar with me. When I get to the starting line, I assess for levels of chaos and try to gauge the Optimal Lara Bar Eating Time (very official) from there. Usually, I eat about 20 minutes before scheduled race time and save about 1/4 of the bar in case they announce with 2-minutes-t0-go that they are running late.
3. Minimize pre-race hydration (or caffeination! ) to avoid the portapotties. This has got to be the dumbest line I hear in the pre-race crowds: Okay, I’ve got to stop drinking so I don’t have to pee in a portapotty before/during the race. Um, just no. Yes, you should not be chug-a-lugging water at the start line, but if you are thirsty BEFORE you start your race, you’ve got a long couple hours ahead of you, sister. There is nothing better you can do for a body that is about to be running for a long distance than making sure it has what it needs, and it needs to be hydrated. Hold your breath and don’t look back–those are the rules for portapotty engagement, people. (Plus: Brooks is sponsoring fancy pit stops at RnR this year.)
4. Forget my cheering team. The big pull for me when deciding to run RnR this year was that the course runs by literally each and every one of my best friends’ houses. Some of them are happier about this than others (FlailingKef calls road races a “herd of hegemonic runners”). I start harassing a bit early so that I can map out those points in my head during training runs (in the spirit of #1, I even give a little wave to those intersections during training runs). Special thanks in advance to NoLongerClevelandParkKef, SummitKef, BFKef, AKAKef, and MollyMarymountKef for being with me on race day.
5. Listen to music. This training cycle, I ditched music entirely. I’ve been faster, more efficient, and less annoyed during runs (all the things in this world an iPhone can do and it still can’t just read my mind and play exactly the right song at exactly the right time. Get it together, Apple.). I admit it- sometimes I have to push myself through a tough spot by singing the Mos Def verse from “Two Words” to myself just-a-little-audibly (BFKef calls this the Barbara Streisand version), but we do what we gotta do. Plus, without headphones on the race course, you get to hear all the fun, inspiring things going on around you.
Okay, Keftanis– which me luck! Should you feel so inclined, you can track my progress on my twitter page @ChefKefiRN . Apparently, splits and updates will be posted there. Have a great weekend!