1.) Don't try anything new: No new shoes, no new gels, no new breakfasts on race day, DO NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW!
2.) Do your last long run with what you'll be wearing: Test your bra, underwear, shirt, shorts ( make sure they are on the right way) socks, shoes. If you're planning on wearing it, you want to know how it reacts with you long run. I will be contradicting myself here. Since I'm running for the Panera Training Menu, they'll be giving us a shirt that we have to wear. Unfortunately, they haven't given it to us so I can't test it. You want to know what's lose, what's tight, what is chaffing, you don't want to be 6 or 12 miles through and realize something is extremely uncomfortable. Also, make sure your shorts aren't on backwards or with the price tags still on them. (Yup, personal experience)
3.) If this is your first race: You will fear being picked up by the buggie. If you don't know what that means; races are only a specific amount of time. If you can't finish, a cart picks you up and drops you off at the finish line. I thought that was going to happen to me last year and I feel like that's going to happen this year. I think everyone I talk too thinks that will happen on their first 1/2 or full marathon. Chances are, if you're running, you are able to walk but you probably aren't going to get picked up unless you walk the entire race.
4.)No one cares how fast you are: This race is for you. Whether it takes you 2 hours or 6, don't worry about your finish time. Your only goal is to cross the finish line with a smile.
5.) Don't fear the taper:This is my biggest issue. I was planning on two 20 milers but I only got one in and now have to taper. Taper and know that you will get over the finish line.
6.) Always use positive thoughts: That's what get your over the finish line. I'm not the best with this but you have to tell yourself you can do it.
7.) Rest!!!: If something hurts, don't hurt it worse! Chances are, if you're reading my blog, you aren't going to win. TRUST ME. I'm one of the slowest people I know. Rest.Ice.Compression.Elevation. Don't run injured. Take care of yourself. It doesn't say you're weak or a big baby. It says you're smart and want to at least cross the finish line. I see so many people post that they couldn't race on race weekend because they were injured for something that could have been prevented. That's a huge waste of money and I'm pretty cheap. When you take time to rest, you will come back stronger.
8.) You aren't going to sleep the night before: Nope. Try to start to go to sleep at 6pm because you will lay there for a couple hours just thinking.
9.) Thank your spectators: If there's spouce, parent, friend that drove you or drove to watch you, thank them. They know you appreciate it but while you're running they are standing there. Usually they can't sit so they are standing the entire time. This also goes for the people stopping fourway traffic so they don't hit you.
10.) Don't think too much and just have fun: After all the training you're going to say this is your last or one and only but chances are, you're going to cross the finish line and if you did it right, you'll be back. The pain is temporary but the feeling is forever.
11.) You're going to have to pee: ALOT. Nerves, water, more nerves. This is not the time to say,"I'll hold it. I don't have to pee that bad." You do have to pee and you better wait in line because the wait for ports johns on the route is much longer! I usually go a good four times in an hour before a race. I basically come out of the porta potty and get back in line. With that, when you start you'll have to pee again. Hold that one. And don't think about it. It's not a real pee it's a nerve pee. It's goes away by mile 4.
12.) Practice your "day before": This goes with food and rest. Some take a light run some rest completely. It's up to you. The most important thing to do is practice your food with a long run the next morning. This is where you realize that you're lactose intolerant and can't eat fettachini Alfredo before a long run. If you're lactose intolerant, you know what happens. If not, well, I'll be glad to tell you what happens...you find the nearest porta potty, bathroom, empty wooded area ASAP. if not...yikes. (you don't want to be that runner)
***AND MY ABSOLUTE NUMBER 1 RULE IS: SLEEP IN YOUR RACE OUTFIT! If you've ever watched Full House then you know you're going to feel like Michelle on her first day of school and just wear your outfit to bed. (It's okay to not sleep in your running shoes) Then you'll wake up just like Michelle and shout, "I'mmmm ready!" I do this for a few reasons... Because you're going to be sleepy when you wake up. No one what's to have to think about what they're wearing. Also, you're going to be nervous. Chances are, you're going to be up a while thinking about what is going to happen the next day. You don't want to forget something or not be able to find it. I sleep in everything other than my bib and shoes. I even keep my hair gumbie on my wrist so I know that I'll have one.
I love running. I love the community more. I've never seen a community so supportive like the running community. I wish everyone could run just one race to see how great it is. If you're running Pittsburgh, just be comfortable and have fun.
You know I've been doing the Panera Training Menu. I went on my rest day on Monday to refuel from the weekend.
And I always forget to ask for the apple. I got the Chicken Tort with a Med Veggie Sandwhich. I love that I'm working with Panera through the training program because Panera is the only "fast food" restaurant that I got too. It's great quality food and fuels your during training. If you haven't tried the training menu, I would suggest it. Let me know what your favorite item is!
Do you have any helpful tips for anyone new to racing?
I am open to any race questions. I've been new. Newer than old and TRUST ME, I've been through basically everything. Ask me on here, Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram. I don't care. Don't hold back. I want to help you and I'll do my best.