(Trying to) Relieve Race Day Stress

Good morning! Happy Friday! I can’t believe the weekend is almost here. This week really flew by!


This morning’s breakfast was a Sweet Breakfast Scramble with canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in a jar.

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I had an almost-empty jar of Teddie Peanut Butter, so I cooked up the scramble and then poured it in to enjoy all of the melt-y peanut butter.

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I also drank a glass of Dandy Blend with almond milk. (Mal drank the rest of my pumpkin Americano this morning.)

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While I was eating my breakfast, Murphy stalked me waited patiently for me to finish and then give him the empty peanut butter jar to lick.

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He even followed me to the kitchen and back to my office when I got another scoop of peanut butter.

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Eventually, I gave him the jar, which he then managed to lick into a place where he could no longer get to it.

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Poor Murphy.

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A few hours later, I started to get hungry, so I reheated half of an acorn squash with coconut butter and raisins.

And cooked a veggie burger in the microwave for lunch. I topped the veggie burger with avocado mixed with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

After lunch, I started packing for the weekend. I’m off to Washington, DC to run the Army 10-Miler with my college roommate, Katie, and some blog friends. I haven’t run very much lately, so I’m feeling a tad stressed out about it. I ran 7 miles on Tuesday, which went fine, so, hopefully, I’ll be okay on race day. I just feel totally unprepared and nervous about this race. Ten miles is far!


Since I’m nervous/stressed/probably a bit under-trained for this race, I’m doing everything in my power to prepare for it, including:

  • Checking the weather for race day
  • Laying out all of my gear (and then checking and double-checking it about 10 times)
  • Previewing the course and elevation, so I can mentally prepare for hills and make them my bitch
  • Charging my Timex GPS Watch
  • Making plans to run the race with friends (I’m going to need all the help I can get!)
  • Adjusting my expectations to match my current health and fitness levels (basically, a PR is probably not possible, but that’s okay)
  • And I’m planning to get plenty of sleep tonight and tomorrow night

Question of the Day

Is there anything else I should do? How do you relieve stress and prepare for race day?


  1. Good luck! I just announced over on my blog that I’ll be running my first race ever which is also 10 miles – but not until next May ha. I have to learn how to run first ha! Good luck and have fun in DC it’s amazing weather in the fall.

  2. plenty of sleep is a must, and I also like to readjust my goals as well. I had to do that for the marathon, when I first signed up my big goal was sub-4 but throughout training I realized that was soooo not going to happen, I had a hard time keeping that pace for 8 miles, let alone 26.2! I needed to focus on finishing and enjoying the race!

  3. My fiance and I are running inn the Army 10 Miler on Sunday too! We’re in Wave 2. I hope to see you there! I’m sure you’ll do great! Good luck!!! 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh i don’t think I will ever get tired of Murphy photos. He is just so freaking funny. I love his face. I want to give him so many pets.

  5. I felt the same way when I ran an 8-miler recently. I had never run that long of a distance in my life! However I had run 7 miles before and was running 5 miles easily right up to it; I also knew that with the adrenaline of a race giving me that extra boost that it was possible. I envisioned myself being fine and finishing. The worst that could happen was that I would stop and walk (which I was determined not to do). I took it slow and ran the whole time and I was totally fine! Good luck!!

  6. I agree with SkinnyRunner. Enjoy the race day; you’ll do great. And remember that during the race, if you don’t feel well, it’s totally ok to walk. Sometimes I think we forget that – you’re still trying! Also, the best advice, is to never introduce a new food or new clothing or new habit before race day. Act like it’s just another run! (But a special one too 🙂

  7. The day before a race I type up or write out my schedule for race day by the hour (what time I’m waking up, when I will eat breakfast, when I will drive to the race, etc.) so I don’t feel stressed about time and can stay on track the next morning! Good luck! 🙂

  8. I always go into each race with the mentality that ‘it’s only ever a race against YOURSELF’. Takes the pressure off.

    Murphy has serious personality.

    And I’ve got to say I am really really loving all your meals lately. Everything looks super delicious and jammed packed with nutrition. I’m loving the squash, avocados, your meat choices, dinner concoctions, and paleo treats! It seems as tough you have been very thoughtful about your meals though not at all restrictive. How have you been feeling since you’ve started eating a much more paleo diet?? I have been so boring and stuck lately with food. You’re definitely inspiring me! I’m just a creature of (boring) habit.

  9. Murphy cracks me up, my dog does the same thing! Follows me all over the house, even if I don’t have food with me. It’s like he knows I’ll eventually head towards the peanut butter, and let’s face it, he’s usually right! Good luck at your race this weekend! I’m sure you’ll kick butt and surprise yourself!

  10. Good luck in the Army 10! If you did 7 the other day, you will be fine! Just keep telling yourself you only have a 3 mile run to go after the 7 🙂
    Did you post the pumpkin cookie recipe you were going to write up for Health.com?

  11. Don’t eat anything funny, plain and simple food that your tummy is used to. I also dose up on Vitamin C and B12 to give myself a boost before a race; food or supplement, ideally the latter but ascorbic acid for supercharged Vitamin C. When your stressed your bodies more open to infection, if not before, then after the race when your adrenal slows down. 🙂

  12. Overpack! Sounds silly, but I bring a race day outfit regardless of what the weather channel indicates. Shorts, short sleeves, two pairs of socks, leggings and a long sleeve shirt to put over my short sleeved one if need be. I’d much rather be comfortable than too hot or too cold!

  13. Good luck on your race!
    I am doing the Firefighters 10K in Boston on Sunday, should be a great day.

    *I think Murphy is the leanest/fittest Pug I have ever seen! All that walking/park playing keeps him svelt : )

  14. Sounds like a pretty good list to me. I’m sure you’ll be fine if you ran 7 feeling good the other day, and did awesome when you didn’t feel well at the Reebok race! Have fun in D.C. what an awesome city to be able to meet old friends in.

  15. I have a little race day stress as well but at least mine is only a 5k. However, it might as well be 10 miles because I have only run 3 miles twice in oh…several months. I got sick while training and just have not been able to kick it. I figure the worst that can happen is that my time really sucks. The best that will happen: I will have a great time with my friends, regardless and really….that is what matters most!!

  16. I am addicted to acorn squash lately. I’ve been stuffing it with everything especially ground chicken. I also love just a scoop of sunflower seed butter in the middle. Good luck this weekend girl! Looks like you are well prepared!

  17. I’m a member of a farmers market co-op and as part of my two large shares this week, I got 4 medium size pumpkins and 4 acorn squashes (!!!). Sweet Breakfast Scrambles every day for the next month for me, I guess. (I’ve been thinking of trying it anyway.)

    Good luck on your race!

  18. Mental Prep! Walking myself through race day always helps me feel prepared and remember to pack anything I may have forgotten. It also reminds me that I have done this before and I will be fine!

  19. Good luck with your race! I have no idea how to relieve the stress!! I have a marathon to run Sunday and I am coming off a groin strain from the last 2 1/2 months that decided to give me a problem this week!!! I’m trying to qualify for Boston so I am hoping that most of what I am feeling is just in my head. It’s not my first marathon, that one I suffered an IT band issue…. ugh it’s just frustrating!! Just need to remember it’s just a regular run with a lot of friends!!

  20. Oh Tina, you have to get Murph a “buster cube”. They are so entertaining. You put kibble inside and the dog has to roll them around to get the kibble to drop out. It will keep Murp occupied and you and Mal entertained for hours. Good luck to you and have fun.

  21. You’ll do great! If you could run 7 on Tuesday you can most certainly do three more! Just bring some rockin tunes for when you get tired.

  22. Good luck Tina! You are going to do amazing! The crossfit really helps with endurance so you shouldn’t be nervous. If I get nervous before a race I change my mindset from being nervous to being grateful. Just be excited that you’re running and having fun 🙂

  23. Good luck on your race!

    Murphy is so cute! Every picture makes me want a pug sooo badly. Plus his face and eyes remind me a bit of my cat (odd? Yes).

  24. Murphy’s face reminds me so much of my boxer Louie when he gets something he wants stuck in a place he can’t reach it! So darn cute 🙂

  25. No matter how I prepare, each of my races have been different. I have a sensitive stomach so its all up in the air on race day. I just do the best I can to prepare by eating healthy and drinking water and hope for the best!

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