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Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Five: Prepping for Race Day

Hola, welcome to another Friday Five with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia. If you're looking to join the linkup be sure to visit one of their pages for more information! I've joined in about 1-2 times a month for a little over a year now and it's been a great way to find new blogs and brainstorm new topics.

This week is a Free Friday and with the Medina Half Marathon looming (tomorrow!), I thought I'd take some time to talk about prepping for race day. Medina will be my 9th half, so I've got my race prep down to a science.

Stalk the weather
I check the weather daily leading up to a race. In the case of Medina, the temps will reach 87 on Saturday. At race start (6:45am) it will be about 67 and by the time I'm finished running it will be up to 75. Ugh. I immediately know I'll be wearing a tank, shorts, and probably a hat. I will also carry my own water... just in case.

Google weather and wunderground.com
Plan my pace
Sometimes I make elaborate pace charts
This one is usually pretty easy. I gauge my current fitness, assess any race goals, and figure out my per mile pace using marathonpacechart.com. Medina is a bit tricky. It'll be hot, there are hills, and I'm not at peak fitness. I've prepared a few scenarios, but my ultimate goal is to finish at least 1 second faster than last year. Not a half PR by any means, but I think it's a good finish time for hills and heat.

Pack my bags / lay out my gear
I haven't had an in-town half since last May, so my race prep almost always includes a packed bag. I use my travel bag from last week's post and... overpack. Better safe than sorry. The night before the race (like everyone on Instagram), I lay out my gear and narrow it down to one ensemble and accessories. I ask Alex for his opinion about three million times and he usually votes for the brightest shirt (or the Oiselle singlet) so he can easily spot me.

Eat a decent dinner, drink lots of water
I'm not too picky about my food the night before a race. I normally eat a Chipotle sofritas bowl (because I can find it anywhere), but I also accept pasta. In Nashville I had Jimmy John's and Cheetos because that's what I found. I don't think it's a secret I like beer. Once upon a time I wouldn't let myself have any the day before a race, but I'm not that strict anymore. But if I do drink, it's one and done. I concentrate more on drinking water.

Race morning ritual: always the same
Questioning my choices at the start
My race morning meal is way more important. I always (!) have the same thing: peanut butter and two slices of wheat bread. If the hotel has a toaster, great. If not, whatever. I still eat my bread. I also drink at least 16oz of water while I'm getting dressed and ready. After I'm dressed I go to the bathroom (and hope for my PRP...you know). Regardless of PRP, Alex and I head to the race about an hour early because I am always super paranoid about parking and bathroom lines. I usually have some type of "ughhh why am I doing this" chat with him, we park, I find bathrooms, and then I go to the bathroom roughly 2-12 times before the race begins. Alex will give me a smooch right before I go line up and we make tentative meeting plans for after. Then I stand on the line and wonder, "How am I going to feel at mile 6...?"

What are your tricks for preparing for race day?
Do you have any superstitions or rituals you must follow?


  1. ah, have so much fun at Medina! I simply loved that race last year.

    1. Thanks, Mar! It was SO HOT this year (and I though last year was bad!)

  2. Hope you had an awesome race. I usually have grilled chicken and some simple pasta the night before a race. In fact, because I had an icky tummy in London, I repeated this same meal three nights in a row. Weather is always tricky for race day, especially in the spring. Hopefully you survived the heat and had some fun too.

    1. I do chicken and pasta for races where we're not traveling because we have a great Italian place nearby. It was a good day, but I'll try to remember cold weather races are my forte when planning next year's halves! ;)


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