Race Day Postscript: Takeaways

No need to pack your own banana unless you plan to eat it before the race. I always feel guilty eating fruit that has to travel so far to get here. But if the banana crisis (http://tinyurl.com/kou93zg) comes to pass, those post-race tables will need to groan under some other perfect fruit.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Get over feeling dorky about wearing a water belt. Sometimes it is nice to glide by crowded water stations.
  4. 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.
  5. Per above, study the route map for porta-potty locations.
  6. 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.
  7. Bring spare shoes.
  8. 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.
  9. STRETCH! ICE! POP ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PILLS! Take niggling injuries more seriously before they became debilitating.
  10. Oh, and turn up the training.

1 thought on “Race Day Postscript: Takeaways

  1. This is a great list… here’s a few more from my experience of the same race.

    — Unwrap the energy chews before the race. I’m not good with cellophane in the best of times, and especially not when galloping and panting along during the race.

    — Take it easy the day before the race. I read all this advice about how long to space your last long run before race day — a week or more. But then I foolishly spent the day before the race cleaning my house (like, scrubbing), dragging the kids all over the place on my bike, and dancing. Yes, dancing. Combined with a mostly sleepless night, it was a recipe for exhaustion before I even hit the starting line.

    — I agree about the water bottles.

    — This may be a point of contention, but I think I should have popped in my headphones for the last two or three miles. By that point the runners were very spread out, I was too exhausted for conversation, and all I could hear was the sound of my feet and heart and lungs pounding. I started singing the ABCs to myself just to distract from the misery inside my body.

    — Bring fresh EVERYTHING for post-race. Fresh bra, undies, socks, clothes and an extra layer to account for the inevitable post-race chill. Especially on the blue line. Why is the blue line always so cold?

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