Happy Friday! September is in full swing now, which means that many runners will start thinking about upcoming races. So, today’s Friday Five topic is very fitting! As always, I am linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia. Be sure to visit their blogs and comment and join in if you like!
I think everyone is different with their race rituals, based on what works best for them. What works for me, might not work for you, and vice versa. It is with almost two years of running under my belt that I feel pretty comfortable with my rituals.
1. Lay everything out the night before.
I always know exactly what I’m going to wear ahead of time and I make sure it is all out and ready to go the night before. Shorts, top, sports bra, undies, socks, shoes, Road ID, Garmin, and safety pins for the race bib. That way I’m not rushing around the morning of the race. Also, I never wear anything brand new for a race, it is always something I’ve work before so I know exactly how it will feel while running.
2. Go to bed early.
This one is easier said that done. I am always excited the night before a race and find it hard to go to sleep. Even if I’m not tired, I will lay down at a decent time and try to fall asleep earlier than later. The earliest I’ve ever had to wake up for a race was 3am, for the Best Damn Race in Orlando due to the drive. If it’s local, I’ll get up around 4 so I can take my time getting ready.
3. Eat breakfast.
I have to eat breakfast for a race, especially the longer distances. I have two breakfast meals that are tried and true for me, without giving me an upset tummy. The first is a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter and a banana. The other, that I’ve recently tried and loved, is two whole wheat Eggo waffles with apple butter and a banana. I also try to drink plenty of water with my breakfast (as well as the night before). Hydration is so important.
4. Be prepared with water and fuel.
I take plenty of GU Gel and/or Sports Beans with me. I also have my water bottle which I will start with full. I drink from it between hydration stops, and take water and Gatorade at each stop. I use to worry about having to go to the bathroom often if I drink a lot of water, but I’ve found that I usually sweat it out. Again, it’s best to be hydrated and stay fueled, especially for the longer distances. This will be a challenge for me during my marathon because I’ve just never run that distance. But, that is part of what training is for and I’ll hopefully have it all figured out by the time race day rolls around.
5. Arrive early.
Rarely do I get nervous about a race, I am usually excited about it. What will make me nervous, though, is being late. Especially if it’s a new to me area and I am unsure of parking. I like to arrive early, stand in the porta-potty line with everyone else, and then be ready to go at start time. I think it’s worth it to lose a few minutes of sleep to avoid the stress of being late or not finding parking or anything else that can go wrong.
There you have it…. My race rituals. What is your top race ritual you’d like to share with me?