Now that I have had time to really sit back and reflect on everything that happened on Sunday, it’s blaringly apparent why Sunday happened the way it did.
I am usually a very methodical, organized person in the weeks leading up to a marathon and this was not the case for this race. Even though it was a “training run” it was a MARATHON and 26.2 miles needs to be respected. There is a reason I am such a freak so methodical and organized and that lesson was definitely learned.
Now a blog post to make sure I don’t forget these lessons…
DO: Drink a lot of water and hydrate!
I am always very conscious of upping my fluid intake the week leading up to and the day before a marathon. Hydration, hydration, hydration!
DON’T: Drink more coffee than water
I never cut out coffee, but I usually try to limit my intake, at le. This past week I was stressed and tired and this definitely lead to an increase in my coffee consumption (and big decrease in my water consumption), even the day before the race.
DO: Eat healthy carbs and pay attention to eating frequency.
I am always really good at eating healthy and often the days leading up to a race, especially the day before! I make sure to have food with me always and don’t get too busy to eat.
DON’T: Not pay attention to food consumption or be too busy to eat.
The day before the race I had a bar, coffee, more coffee, a vegan donut, a half bar, then finally many many hours later (after becoming very cranky), some salad and pizza. I definitely was not prepared and did not do a good job at making sure I was fueling properly for running 26.2 miles the next day.
DO: Sleep in the day before a race and relax!
My rule is to not set an alarm the day before a race. I let myself sleep as long as I can before the excitement kicks in and enjoy some down time and rest. The rest of the day I try to remain as relaxed as possible and just enjoy doing nothing.
DON’T: Stay up late, set an early alarm, and be active the day before a race.
After getting home late Friday night, I got up really early Saturday morning and spent the rest of the day running around like a maniac. Although it was all worth it, I should have been smart about it, recognized what was happening and planned accordingly.
This was also the first marathon that I have slept in my own bed, so I wasn’t forced to pack early or think about these things. Since I was home, I was also distracted by house distractions and definitely think there is a big benefit to staying in a hotel the night before.
DO: Have your stuff set out in advance, have your breakfast ready and have your race day game plan figured out.
I always have my race day outfit, fuel, and electronics all ready to go a couple days in advance so I am not worrying about where things are and what I am going to wear. My breakfast is always purchased, my playlist is made, and the night before is for relaxing and making sure it’s all in one place.
DON’T: Set your stuff out late the night before, obsess over what you are forgetting, don’t have anything to eat for breakfast, and decide last minute what is going on race morning.
When I got home Saturday night I was scrambling around looking for things all over the house. Were my favorite socks clean? Was my sports bra dry? What flavors of Gu do I have laying around? The second I would sit down I felt like I was forgetting something, so I would get back up and wander around trying to figure out what that something was.
DO: Have your mental game ready. Be excited, be pumped, it’s a marathon!
I am always nervous the day before a race, it just comes with the territory for me. I get excited, I get pumped, I get nervous… all of those emotions feed into my mental game and get me ready to run 26.2 miles.
DON’T: Be so nonchalant about your race, you forget how far you are actually running.
Since I kept telling myself that this race was a “training run” and because I was so tired from everything else going on during the week, I just didn’t really have much thought about the marathon. Sure I knew it was happening, but I had too much going on before it, and was so tired, I never got nervous or that butterflies in my stomach feeling I always get before every race. Obviously my head was not in the game.
So based on all those factors it was obvious that Sunday was not going to go as planned for me. I wasn’t ready mentally or emotionally and really just needed to say no to a few things in the days leading up to the race. I definitely was reminded why I am such a freak the week before a race, and I most definitely will be leading up to the Portland Marathon!
All things considered, Sunday actually went pretty freaking well.
Have you made any of these same mistakes before a race?
Tell me I’m not the only one!