Nerves, Marathon Tips, and a bit of Chuck Norris

September 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

This Sunday, September 11th, I will be running in my first official race: The Mizuno River Kwai International Half Marathon. And even though I’ve been aggressively training these last couple of months, I am still a bit nervous! I guess the thing I am most worried about is that the first half of the run is on a gradual incline– and I haven’t really done any hill runs to date. Fortunately, the second half is down hill, so I’ve read that runners generally post a negative time split. Whatevs, I got this! 😉

I decided to run in this half marathon last minute because I wanted to get experience in a real race situation, to see where my training is going, to build confidence, to predict how I will do in my marathon, and to take off some of the pressures of running an actual marathon. 

Anyway, in preparation for this event, I’ve gathered a bunch of tips to prepare for race day. Here are my favorites:

  1. Update your running playlists, charge and pack your iPod and earbuds.
  2. Pack your running clothes, socks, sports bra, and running shoes (plan for unexpected changes in weather!).
  3. Pack a “Running Kit”: Tylenol, imodium, band-aids, toilet paper, sunscreen, chapstick, hair bands, bobbie pins,etc.
  4. Pack Vaseline for your nipples (Haha! I’ve never got chapped nips before, but, what the hell–sounds like it might be a good time…).
  5. For a couple days prior to the race avoid eating spicy foods (this might be difficult in Thailand!). Stick to food loaded with complex carbohydrates. But most importantly, stick to what you’re used to.
  6. If you are traveling to a race and have to stay at a hotel, bring your own pillow with you so that it’s a bit easier to sleep the night before the race.
  7. Stretch the night before the race.
  8. Eat your last meal/snack at least 2-3 hours before the start of the race and have your last drink at least 1 hour before the start. This will help eliminate your need to use the toilet during the race.
  9. You can never go to the bathroom too many times before the race!
  10. Run a steady race! Pace yourself! Don’t get caught up in all the excitement– run at a pace at or slower than your training pace.
  11. You don’t need to drink at every water station! Drink when you are thirsty.
  12. Pump your fists in the air and yell as you cross the finish line!!!!!!1!!!11!!!!
  13. Post race: eat! Bananas, apples, yogurt, nuts, etc. Replenish the fuel that you’ve burned.
  14. Post race: keep moving; it will help your muscles cool down and it will help you recover faster in the days following the race.
  15. Arrange a meetup place with your family and friends in advance as it can be a nightmare trying to find them without one.
  16. Wear your medal until people passive aggressively comment on it!  Screw ’em! You’ve earned it!


Anyway, I need to finish packing. Wish me luck, friends!


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§ 2 Responses to Nerves, Marathon Tips, and a bit of Chuck Norris

  • amandasvids says:

    Just discovered your blog and I can not wait to hear how everything goes with your first race. You put in the training, so don’t stress – just go have fun! EMBRACE IT:-)

  • dgjury says:

    Good sound advice for any runner. I’m running my first half marathon in two weeks (Run to the Beat in London). Did a 10K to get over the nerves of a first race. Good luck. It will be over before you realise it and, yes, wear that medal ALL DAY LONG.

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