Right Before the Race

Good morning! Happy Sunday!

Right now, I’m on my way to Cape Cod for the Falmouth Road Race. Boy, do I hope I’m ready!

I’ve been running pretty consistently since my not-so-great performance at the ZOOMA 10K, but I haven’t run more than 6 miles at once and, well, Falmouth is 7 miles. However, I remember at the beginning of June, I was struggling with running 3 or 4 miles without dying and stopping a million times to walk, and I know I’ve come a long way since then. I’m actually feeling pretty confident about tackling 7 miles today. I don’t think I will break my previous PR at this race, but I know I’ll finish. And I’d be pretty pumped if I run the whole thing without dying/stopping. I just need to stay consistent and not freak out/get discouraged when I hit all the hills in the beginning (and, of course, at the very end).

photo

Yesterday afternoon, I laid out all of my gear in preparation for race day. In case you’re interested, here’s the rundown:

When I was laying out all of my running gear yesterday, I started thinking about what else I could do to ensure that I had a good race. Obviously, it was too late to squeeze in anymore training, so I started thinking about the mental aspect of training, which is something I admittedly know nothing about. Before a race, I’m typically chatting with friends, waiting in long porta-potty lines, and making jokes to Theodora about how she needs to tell me stories during the race because I didn’t train well and will probably die on the course. Basically, my head is never in the right place, so I started to think about what I could do right before the race to mentally prepare myself. Here’s what I came up with:

Focus on myself. I’ve blogged about this before, but, in the past, I’ve allowed myself to get too caught up in what other people are doing when it comes to running and racing. Instead of worrying about everyone else, I’m going to take a few minutes to focus on how I feel and my goals for the race.

don't let comparion steal your joy
[image source]

Don’t allow myself to give into self-doubt. I always seem to go into panic mode at the start of a race, usually in the first mile or so. I see other runners cruising by me, so I start to doubt myself and my abilities. Instead of letting this happen and psyching myself out, I’m going to remind myself of how hard I’ve worked in recent weeks and that I will finish the race.

stronger than you think you are
[image source]

Remember my pacing strategy. My pacing strategy is simple for this race: start out slow, stay consistent, and try for negative splits toward the end. I don’t have any specific times in mind. I just want to run a good race and have fun. The Falmouth Road Race is a party, and I want to enjoy every second of it.

negative splits ryan gosling
[image source]

Soak it all in. Ok, this will probably come off as cheesy, so let me explain myself first. As you probably know, I’ve been flaring for a year now. There have been times when I’ve been “healthy” (thanks to Prednisone) and times when I haven’t been so well””like right now. I’ve been in a really bad flare (for me) since before I left for California for the CrossFit Games, which obviously sucks, but I know I’m not as sick as some people with IBD. I fully understand this and realize how lucky I am, and it truly breaks my heart to hear stories about people who suffer so much. I hate this disease and wish no one had it. I’m rambling, but what I’m trying to say is I will definitely take some time before (and during) the race today to soak it all in and appreciate the fact that I am healthy enough to run 7 miles. (Of course, I’ll be praying for no emergency bathroom stops on the race course!)

i_run_because_i_can_

Load my Timex GPS Watch. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to load my watch and then struggle to get it going for the first 1/2 mile of a race. It’s happened way too many times!

timex gps watch

So, those are the things I’m going to do right before the race today. I hope they help me run the best race that I can. I’ll be sure to tell you guys all about it tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Questions of the Day

What do you do right before a race?

What’s your best piece of advice for race day?

49 Comments

  1. Right before a race I make sure to use the bathroom, and then I usually just walk around to get my legs loose and listen to music. I usually give myself pep talks too (this usually happens during the entire race). My best piece of advice is to just enjoy it & don’t get down on yourself if you don’t do as well as you’d hoped. My last half marathon in May was a disaster and I was upset with myself, but after a while it made me want to train even harder for my next run. GOOD LUCK!

  2. Good luck today!!
    I always remind myself that it’s an awesome gift to be able to run, which makes me thankful rather than dread the run….And I also always remind myself that I CAN do it – I worked so hard to train that I am ready!
    I’m sure you’ll do great!

  3. I love all your tips! I am in training for the Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon and I am booking marking this page so I can look back for when it’s my time to pack! Good Luck and enjoy your race! I can’t wait for the recap!

  4. Thank you for this post! It’s so easy to compare. The “I run because I can” quote is a favorite of mine. When I think about it mid run, I always push myself harder knowing there are people in my life who would love to be able to run if they could. 🙂

    -Lauren

  5. I used to get so nervous before my races. I remember shaking in my wetsuit and feeling nauseous on this beautiful beach right before one of my races. CRAZY! Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I do these races for fun, I can’t go back in time and train more right before the race, and that I need to be thankful that I’m even there. Also, all I can do is my best during a race. My “best” fluctuates depending on my training, stress levels, sleep, etc. Also, I realized that I was wasting so much energy thinking all those negative thoughts about myself. It is extra stress that no one needs!!!! Of course, it took a couple of years of constantly reminding myself of all these things before I began to really believe them! I think laughing is the best thing to do before a race because it tends to calm the nerves. 😉

  6. Good luck today! Just try to have fun with it and don’t be too hard on yourself! I have a hard time with this myself and it really makes for an unpleasant race experience if this don’t go exactly as planned. I look forward to reading the recap!

  7. Good luck! I totally understand what you mean by soaking it all up. Right before my first half I injured my calf. 6 days before the race I couldn’t run at all, yet somehow I miraculously recovered in time for the race. Come race day, I felt so blessed to be able to run (I couldn’t really run the whole 2 weeks before the race.) I had tears streaming down my face the first few miles.

  8. I love the quotes you found – especially the “I run because I can” one. SUCH a great reminder! One more tip is get there early enough to not feel rushed – I need time to park without feeling frazzled, hit the port-o-potty, get in my starting corral, stretch or warm up, etc., and starting the race ALREADY stressed out is never a good thing! Can’t wait to hear about the race!

  9. You’ll kill it! How could you not with an outfit like that laid out? Whenever i’m having a lack of self esteem, I list off all of the cheesy, cliche mantras in my head. Sometimes they’re so ridiculous that they work.

  10. I know I’m not very fast and even though a lot of people pass me I love the first two or three miles of a race because I don’t feel very tired yet so that’s the part that I can really soak in.

  11. Good luck tomo! I totally psych myself out the vast majority of the time but I think the best thing is just to remember to enjoy it! I’m usually ok on race day, it’s the days coming up to it I start panicking! Just think of all the crossfit challenges you’ve made it through…if you can do them you can do anything!

  12. My routine is very similar to yours…I have to make sure that I lay everything out in advance, have my snacks/meals planned, iPod and Garmin charged…so that I can sleep peacefully. My best piece of race day advice is just to relax and have fun! I do races because I enjoy them, but when I try to get too competitive or fall into the comparison trap…the joy is sucked out!! I absolutely love the inspirational graphic you found!! 🙂 I added it to my pinterest inspiration board!

  13. Run what feels good that day. I usually run a 9:30 min/mile in training, but ran an 8:30 min/mile on race day. It felt good physically and mentally knowing that I had trained and prepared! If you can find someone running your race pace, try to stick with them. I love finding random running “buddies” for part of a race. Keeps me going!

  14. I’m glad you are healthy enough to run-walk-laugh-play.. I’m sad that you are flaring 🙁
    I am glad you acknowledge your blessings. I feel so lost. Can’t run, muscles so tired and weak that I have to stop after walking up only one step at a time. Don’t know what to eat anymore and end up forcing in mini-meals all day and then eating a LOT of food at 11 pm every night out of depression (?), easier at night because can then go to bed despite discomfort (?). I miss my old identity. Used to run miles and miles. Felt so — alive.
    I know diet does not determine these flares, but I’m still struggling in that department – a lot, a lot. Really lost to be honest and just . tired of it.

  15. Good luck with your race! You’ll do great! 🙂

    Like the others, I use the restroom…multiple times! I think it just comes with the nerves! I like your comment about ignoring what others are doing and focusing on yourself. I too find myself glancing at the other runners to see what they’re doing before and during the race.

  16. On thinking about you and only you- I ran a race recently and within the first 1/2 mile I wanted to turn around and go home and stop for pancakes on the way. I repeated to myself to not worry or think about what anyone else is doing but to run my own race and focus on each and every mile as it comes- don’t think about upcoming miles. And it worked and by mile 2 I felt great and began passing people left and right and just repeated over and over to run my own race.

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