Before and After: Race Version

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Hellooooo! So by now, you know that my blog is a hearty mix of verbal vomit consisting of all things Zach, running and a few other random things.  Bare with me, as this is my second run post in a row 🙂  I received a few questions form the hundreds of three blog readers that I have 😉 regarding my pre and post race routines.  Here we go!

Do you like race expos and do you tend to buy anything from them?

Z and I at the most recent Phila marathon expo

Z and I at the most recent Phila marathon expo

I LOVE race expos, as in LOOOVE them.  And yes, unfortunately I DO tend to buy at least one thing per expo.  For instance at the Rock N Roll Half in September, I bought Z a onesie that was race themed.  I also bought myself an awesome soft hoodie long sleeve tee that says “I run so I don’t kill people.”  #TRUTH  At the most recent expo for the Phila Half marathon (I ran the Rothman 8K), I spend WAAAY too much as I got roped into buying a pair of Newtons.  Listen, I have been looking for a lighter racing shoe, and the technology behind the Newton Gravity intrigued me…or the rep was a REALLY good saleswoman.  Yup, prob the latter.

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Either way, I am glad I made the purchase although they will take a bit of getting used to as they encourage proper mid foot striking.  I also bought a long sleeve t-shirt from my favorite gear company, One More Mile.

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I LOVE all of their stuff and am gathering quite the collection.

Best way to prep for a race:  coffee in the 13.1 mug while reading an amazingly sweet card from an amazing friend

PS: I ALWAYS use that mug the morning of a race..eh superstitions.  OH and check out this adorable picture of Z “helping Mama” at the Expo. Too cute.

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How do you fuel before a race?

So I am a STRONG believer that what you do not just the DAY before (and certainly not the day of; I feel the day of is too late- what is done is done) but even the week before a race is the most important.  The one thing I DEFINITELY do the week before is drink a LOT of water, especially since the issues I had been having when I was not fueling (water) properly and becoming dehydrated back in April.  The day before I drink TWO LITERS of water at least. I do tend to “carb load’ not just the night before but the day before.  I try to eat at least one bagel and some simple carbs (think gummy candies).  My pre race meal the night before is ALWAYS the same and always works (thus far, knock on wood).  It is carby but also cheesy but doesn’t jack my stomach up…yup, you guessed it: PIZZA!  The best.

And what I REALLY fuel up on is SLEEP.  Sleep (for me especially) is SO important when approaching a big race.  And research shows that the night before the race doesn’t even matter. It is actually two nights before a race that mean the most in terms of sleep.  I try to bank a lot of sleep the whole week (then again, those who know me are aware of my love of/need for sleep in general).

How do you taper for a race?

So it depends on the distance of the race.  For an 8k like Saturdays or any distance below, I would train as normal the week of and just take the day off completely the day before.  For a 10-miler like Broad Street or a Half Marathon, I take the day off before and run maybe one or two easy miles two days out.  My taper is pretty scientific (I do 75% of training mileage two weeks out and 50% one week out) and I talk about that here.  A lot of people say tapering is REALLY hard mentally, and while I definitely agree in some ways (running makes me happy and the endorphins can’t be beat), but I disagree in other ways.  I tend to have LONG training programs (a typical on is 10-12 weeks) or even train from race to race.  For the Rock N Roll Half I think I trained 18 weeks. That is relatively long so when I reach taper I am generally not only ready to taper but feeling confident enough in my training based on its length.  Anyway, tapering does tend to me more mental than physical; the work you’ve done to the point two weeks out is truly all you can do.

What do you do the morning of a race?

I TRY to get up 45 minutes before I am going to leave the house.  The FIRST thing I do is drink coffee and (TMI) hope it “gets things going.” LOL.  Really.  If I am racing a ten miler or half mary,I eat a piece of toast w pb.  If I am racing less, I tend to only eat a simply 100 cals before race (usually in Gatorade form) or nothing as I tend to not need it for these distances.  So, I don’t LOVE waiting around at the start line.  I try to get to a race ten min before it starts; I know, risky, but I get super nervous and nerves lead to potty trips, and I’d rather do so in my own BR than in a port-situation.  Youknowwhatimean?! I try to drink a bit of water before the race (4 oz?) and if it is a longer distance, I take a pack of emergen-c as long runs can surpress your immune system…and I have a fear of illness 🙂 Also, I almost ALWAYS wear a throw away item (it goes to a good cause) because I deal with the cold about as well as I deal with early mornings.  Hahah…not well.  And yet I still LOVE to race.

OK, SO AFTER THE RACE…

What do you do immediately following a race?

After searching for and hugging my babies

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and a few selfies

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I drink some more water and Gatorade. I can’t eat anything right away. Usually the husband has driven to meet me as I take cabs to the race, and by the time I get to the car my stomach is able to handle something from the post-race goodies I have grabbed.  I need something simple and carb-y.  After the 8K I ate a shortbread biscuit and it was fantastic.  Then when I get home I immediately make another cup-a-coffee and jump in the shower.  Then I have some cereal.  My fave.  Oh, and I usually start stalking the race website to see results 🙂  Really.

When is your next workout post-race?

So this might sound crazy, but I have found that running the day immediately following a race REALLY helps to loosen my aching muscles, but you HAVE to do it right. I call it a “shake out” run.  Here are my tips:

– Go Slow

-Go Flat

-Go short (3-4 miles will do)

-Stretch immediately after

– Take the NEXT day off to recover

Shake out run post Rothman

Shake out run post Rothman

Then…plan your next race!  Please let me know if you would like me to answer any questions about running 😉 I clearly love talking about it!

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