They say long training runs before long races are as much about rehearsing logistics as preparing your body. My takeaways from the Chicago Half Marathon:
- Sleep more in the days leading up to the event. A sleepless night before a race is OK and usually inevitable. But try not to have an overall sleep deficit.
- Eat 2nd breakfast. Despite the 3:30am hearty serving of oatmeal, I was not well fueled. Also, do a better job of gently carbing up in the days before.
- Get over feeling dorky about wearing a water belt. Sometimes it is nice to glide by crowded water stations.
- Get over fear of mid-race pit stops. It’s not like I am some elite athlete where an extra minute or two is going to make that much of a difference.
- Per above, study the route map for porta-potty locations.
- Don’t pack bananas unless I plan to eat them pre-race. There are mountains of potassium to be had after the finish line and bananas are gross after being cooped up in a bag for hours.
- Bring spare shoes.
- Run negative splits. . .according to my own pace abilities. Until I improve my speed, I need to concede that my pals are faster than I am, and forgo in-race company and conversation.
- STRETCH! ICE! POP ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PILLS! Take niggling injuries more seriously before they became debilitating.
- Oh, and turn up the training.