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Race Day – Prep

So we are in running season.  For me running season starts early September and goes though November.  My sister mixes with the Santa Hustlers and braves the Chicago cold in December but it takes a lot of outside running in the cold to prepare my lungs for distance runs in the cold.  My legs end up on the tredmill in that type of weather and I hit the steam room after because the thought out outside gives me a chill.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll hit the pavement but my preferred method on cold days is inside running for the simple fact I’m not a fan of cold sweats 😉

Most race days for me are filled with happy anxiety!  The night before I’ll prep my stuff, put together my gear-check bag and pray that I can sleep at night:



I’ve learned for short races like 5k’s I don’t do a gear check.  Some small races don’t even give you an opportunity to do this (like a small race I did yesterday).  Longer races like the half or marathon it is a MUST for me to have a gear check bag.  This is what is typically in my “longer race” bags:

  • FLIP FLOPS! — My feet always swell a bit when I run, I love the moment after the race that I can rip those puppies off and slide into some feather light flip flops.
  • Cell Phone – I don’t have an iphone so I run races with my ipod (guess what phone is next on my list? lol unlike my husband, I’m apple fan).
  • Motrin – Yes I usually pack an anti-inflammatory in case my knee, back or whatever hurts a bit after the run.  Better safe then sorry.
  • Goodies – Some sort of protein bar or a good-to-me fruit bar (Larabar, homemade protein balls, a good old fashioned banana) – After the marathon the last thing I wanted to do was eat but after distances of 6-13 miles I’m usually pretty hungry!
  • Nice dry – weather appropriate shirt or shirt and lightweight jacket.  What?  I sweat! lol

I like to be prepared, and I don’t fear losing anything out of my gear check bag (but I also don’t leave valuables in there – my phone’s priceless photos? they are automatically uploaded by photobucket).

When race-day morning pops up and I roll out of bed way too early, I sip some coffee, down the water and have a pre-race breakfast which is almost always:  1 slice whole grain bread, tablespoon peanut butter (guestimate, I don’t measure) and banana slices.

I get my stretch on, and try to get my hubs to take a picture:


Because when I attempt – I forget things like the bib:


I also get pictures of my knarly toes… Poor things went through h-e double hockey sticks last running season.

I always have a fear I am going to forget something… like my shoes or my bib, how about you?

My sister has, in fact, forgotten a bib before and had to go ALL THE WAY home, to retrieve it.  Good thing she started that day way early:

Look at my itty bitty baby!!

*sigh* I love races, they are a great way to get you moving.  I always try to train to beat PRs and they are a great way to help you stay active.  Next year, we will be entering races that include jogging strollers so I can introduce my race prep to my little dude – I can already see his gear bag:  diapers, wipes, something to chew on and maybe so baby sunglasses.

How do you prep for race day?  Do you get race-day jitters?




  1. I ran the hot chocolate 5k too! It was my first race post baby. We drove from Wisconsin with the baby and with everything that a baby needs while traveling, guess what I forgot? My bag!!! I had to buy new shoes at DSW and everything else I bought at Target. It was a fun race and I’d definitely do the 15k next year.

  2. Jen

    Yay! I hope you enjoyed the city! I’m still planning on doing a race recap but life with a baby makes me behind on posts. 😉 — I’m a huge Target person, somehow they take all my money those target people.

    Next year I plan on doing the 15k! It is an expensive 15k but the chocolate dipping sauce is worth it 😉

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