Pre-race! All ready, inside and out! #UsFatGirls

Running Gear layed outIt was hard to sleep.  The last thing I did after drinking lots of water and laying out my gear was to read through all of the encouraging and inspiring messages I received from tons of other UsFatGirls!  Then I forced myself to close my eyes and got some Zzzz’s in order to get up by 4:00 am to make it to the start line.

A dear friend, and fellow UsFatGirl, that I’ve known for 20+ years sent me the following notes, that arrived 2 days before my race.  Her words were just what I needed right when I needed them.  I was feeling anxious, worried, excited and scared and her words hit deep in the part of my heart that needed her encouragement.   (Thanks, Christina!!  Love you!)

Here is her note, I hope it encourages you too (and the words apply to much more than just a single race):

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So the race is just a few days away.  I wanted to send you some helpful race

advice for a distance longer than a 10K.

1.  Trust in your training! The hardest thing about running, like anything else, is your mind playing tricks on you. Think of it as a long training run and you will do great.

2.  Don’t do anything out of your normal training.  Don’t try any new food this week.  Eat what you have normally trained on and you don’t have to add any extra calories to carb up.

3.  Don’t get caught up in the fast runners at the beginning of the race.  Remember the tortoise wins the race.  If you start off too fast, you will only be disappointed at the end when you are tired.  Start slow and finish strong.

4.  Don’t take any medicine before race day.  No pepto,  No laxatives, etc.  Don’t worry, on race day your body will know what to do and won’t disappoint you with lots of bathroom breaks.

5.  Get up early and be prepared.  I always lay everything out the night before.  My race pile is what I call it.  Have everything ready to go.  It is better to wake up early and be prepared than to arrive late and nervous.

6.  Don’t wear too much clothes.  Remember your body temp will rise at least 10-15 degrees.  Perfect race weather is 35- 55 degrees and you will run faster.  If you think you will be cold in the morning, have a throw away shirt.  The race will donate all throw away shirts to charity.  I always have throw away gloves as well.  It’s easier to donate than to run 13 miles with something around your waist when you aren’t use to it.

7.  If you run with music, have a couple of new songs to get you motivated.  It’s always a surprise while running!

8.  Don’t look at other runners while racing.  If someone else walks, it doesn’t mean your body is telling you to walk.  If you feel great, keep going.  If you feel like you need a break, stop.  I always stop every,  and I mean every, water station to take a break.  What happens in a race is that you will see someone having a harder time than you, or someone who passes you at mile 12 that looks like they just started.  You are different than every runner out there.  So whatever you do, don’t compare.  This is your race and trust in the training.

9.  Drink the fluids.  I alternate between Water on the first station to Gatorade.  If you feel thirsty, it’s too late.  Drink a little every water station so you don’t get tired at the end.  Again, don’t worry about drinking too much on the race, your body will adapt.

10.  Finally, have fun! This is supposed to be a goal and is supposed to be fun!  I high five every kid I see for motivation.  I say “hello” and thank every police offer I see.  If you take a cell phone, stop a moment and take a picture, update your facebook page, just take it all in.  Enjoy the awesomeness of doing something that less that 2% of people in the world will ever try!  Don’t worry about time for your first race, just think about finishing!

When you finish, reward yourself with something good.  My reward after a race is a great meal with, yes, a beer!  Wear your medal for the rest of the day as you deserve it.

You will do great, and I’m so proud of you!

PS. One final thing. It is considered, among racers, bad luck to wear the event shirt on race day.  Save it for the day after.

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Me and ChristinaHere is a photo of me and Christina on race day (the writer of the above note)!  She met me at the starting line to encourage me and give some final pointers including:

  • Watch out for the white stripes on the road, they get slick when they are wet (by water stations or puddles).
  • Watch out for reflectors in the road.
  • Do not spend too much energy if you are on the edge of the crowd by going up and down curbs, stay to the street – going up and down on curbs will wear you out.

If you are just starting out, please ask others that have been where you want to go.   They know how to get there!

Thank you, Christina, fellow UsFatGirls, and countless others (seriously there’s a huge list of people) for helping me reach my dreams and check items off my bucket list.  I couldn’t do it without all of you!

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