A few weeks ago, I ran the Run 4 Luv Half Marathon, check out my post here. Prepping for that race got me thinking and sharing how to prep for your first race, your big race or just making sure you don’t forget anything.
Hydration – I always drink coffee the morning of a race (or any morning) but since this last race was later in the day, I managed to drink about half of my Gatorade before the race. Drinking water, Nuun, Gatorade or any other liquids the days before and the day of is essential to keep dehydration at bay.
Pre-run food (meal) – Everyone is different so I definitely suggest trying out options on your training runs. A bagel with peanut butter and slices of banana is one of my go-tos. I would suggest a bagel, english muffin, banana, toast or oatmeal. It’s all about seeing what works for you. Please don’t try anything new on race day though! Nerves are already up (I still yet butterflies) so you don’t need a food that doesn’t agree with you sending you running to the porta potty.
GPS Watch – This isn’t a must have but my running watch is a must for me on runs. I have the TomTom Multi Sport watch and you can see my review here. Whatever watch you choose just make sure it’s charged up the night before so it doesn’t die on you during the race.
Anti-chafe – I love the Body Glide anti-chafe stick. I actually didn’t start using this stuff until just over aa year ago when we went to the Caribbean. I was concerned about the humidity and chaffing so I picked so up. Now I use it all the time especially
Headphones – Music is a must for me during a race. I set a whole half marathon playlist that I try to only listen to on long training runs and during the half marathon. This is another one about preference but it’s something I prefer to have during my run.
Nutrition on the run – I’ve tried a few different options for fueling during a long run. From gel, GU, Shot Bloks and swedish fish. I love swedish fish during training runs but that’s because I run slower and sometimes take a walk breaks. My favorite is this Salted Caramel GU.
Fuel Belt – I like this FlipBelt to hold a GU and my phone so that I can have my music. This one is nice and thin so that it doesn’t add weight.
Proper clothing – Always check the weather and try to under dress a little lighter. You can also do layers that can be removed as you warm up. In the past, I’ve overdressed and get overheated and usually slow down. Now, I try to wear a tank top and shorts.
Support crew – This isn’t a requirement but a support crew including spouses, friends and puppies are definitely the best!
Reward yourself – At the end of the race, no matter how it went, give yourself a pat on the back. Make sure you hydrate, stretch and refuel!
I just realized that I missed posting my review of the City of Trees (COT) half marathon that I ran on October 11th. As you can see by my orange shirt, I was still working for OTF at the time and proudly showing it off. Thanks to my friend, Eric from the BAR for the pictures before and during the race below.
It was such a beautiful day and I “posed” by the lake before starting the race.
The race started off at 9am for the half marathoners and it was a much smaller race than I was expecting. The full marathon started at 8am and it looked like there were only 50 or so people at the start line for that. I got there early to pick up my race packet. They gave me my bib and timer which was worn on the wrist which I hadn’t seen before. I like the timers that go on the shoes because then it isn’t noticed but the wrist one didn’t bother me too much. I also got my favorite (so far) half zip sweatshirt that has super soft fleece on the inside. I love the fit and feel of that shirt so A+ for that.
I put my new sweatshirt, coffee and my jacket back in the car and got ready to line up. As I said, the race was small. There had to be less than a few hundred people. I actually really prefer big races. I love the energy from all the people and being surrounded by other runners throughout the run so I was a bit disappointed by the small turnout. I told myself to stay in check and don’t start out too fast and I did that well by settling into a 9:30 pace which I planned to keep for the first mile to warm up my legs.
Have you ever had this overpowering thought or feeling telling you to do something? I did race morning. That thought was to wear my Camelbak which I bought for training runs not races so I thought okay just bring it and leave it in the car. The thought stayed with me so I put it on and thought you won’t need it but just in case. Right???? Well turns out either from lack of people or putting all the race fee money into the awesome sweatshirts the water/GU support on the course was pretty much non-existent.
The first water station around mile 2ish was not even open or supported by people. I kept running and applauded myself for bringing my water. Then nearly around mile 5 the first aided water station was available. I was really surprised. They also did not offer GU or any other supplies and the course was for a full and half!
Overall the course was sorta boring because it was my usual greenbelt loops and the lack of support was very disappointing. Other than that, I love the sweatshirt….did I mention that? I also love my running group for being such awesome supporters. See my big smile below? There were lots of BAR members cheering me and others on at the finish line and that always feels so awesome!
Have you ever run a race that really lacked support? What has been your favorite shirt/swag from a race?
Saturday started really early at work for me. I went into the office a 6am to work until 10am since the Run 4 Luv race was at 11am. Crazy late start time, I kinda wish it was earlier than I could have gone into work after but oh well.
Started with my usual pre-run breakfast. A bagel, almond butter and jam. Oh and of course coffee!
The race was in the Ann Morrison park right downtown and a quick drive from work. I was glad about that since it’s tax season and working Saturdays is a must. I just couldn’t pass up this race have a special last fall for a $15 bib ticket. What a deal!
The weather has been especially nice lately too, I am truly grateful to be back in the beautiful state of Idaho.
This week I really tried to front-load my Ironman training for early in the week 1) to make sure I got them done 2) to give myself a decent rest day on Friday. Although I did swim Friday morning but at least it was the least impact of the 3.
My goal for this race was to start somewhat easy and keep it going with negative splits and finish strong with under 9 minutes per mile for at least 1/2 mile or so. The big goal though was to finish super close to 2 hours. My PR is 1:56:ish and I haven’t run a fast half marathon race in awhile, manly due to running with friends for company rather than pushing myself.
I PRed!!!!!! 1:55:05. I started the race fast and I felt good so I kept it up. I kept trying to keep myself in check but everything was going awesome until about mile 5. I knew I was getting close to the turnaround point since it was an out-and-back and I started losing my rhythm. After turning around, it was fun to start seeing so many people on the other side. I saw friends, people from my running group and so many others that it helped get my pace back (for a little bit). I started slowing down again around mile 10-11. I tried to push the pace like I planned but my legs felt like bricks so that didn’t happen. We had to cross a bridge less than 1/2 a mile from the finish and I was able to pick up the place finally. So many people cheering me on really helped. I was happy with my time but I got to keep myself in check in the beginning better.
Overall it was the most beautiful day (especially in February for a race), I had a good time with friends and it has given me some thought for planning future races.
Question of the day? Did you run any Valentine’s Day races?