30 Day Challenge: Countdown to a Half Marathon
The OC Half Marathon is a week away and it's time to start mentally preparing for the 13.1 miles that lie ahead. With this race being my first, I thought I'd enlist the advice of seasoned veteran, Danica, from Chic Runner. Competing in over 35 races to date, she asserts, "It's not about the time or your place in the race, but the journey it takes you to get to that finish line."
When you run your first race, you can easily get overwhelmed! There will be so much going on, so make sure you know where the start is, what time the race starts and pick up your bib in advance. Be confident in your training, you worked hard, and you know what you're doing. Race day is just a big celebration for you! Here are 5 tips for making your race day GREAT!
1. Don't try anything new! This should go without saying, but those new, bright shoes you just bought should stay at home. Run in the shoes you've trained in! They are what your feet are used to and they've done the training with you. Don't try to eat anything new or wear new clothes for your race either as this usually ends in chafing or blisters! Choose an outfit you've trained in and you'll feel more prepared and confident.
2. Smile for the camera! There will be cameras along the route taking your photo, and you want to remember your first race as a fun one. Look for your family members and friends too, they will take the best photos of you and they are free. No one wants to see a photo where you look like a deer in headlights, so smile big and try to look at the camera, those are the photos that come out the best! Who knows, you might want to purchase it after the race as a keepsake.
3. Eat a light but carb heavy meal. Many people opt for pasta the night before their race. Personally, pasta and I don't see eye to eye right before a race. It's a little too heavy for me but I know how important it is to get carbs before a race. I opt for a light pizza and some beer. It's not as heavy on my stomach and the sauces usually aren't as buttery as some pasta dishes. You can also try a few other foods like a sandwich, eggplant or something with potatoes!
4. Make your playlist. This is important when you're struggling towards the end of the race, or even to get you pumped up before you start! Make your playlist with all your favorite songs from training, ones that really getting you moving, so you'll never have a lull or have to press fast forward when you're running. I always end my list with a few of my favorites that will push me across the finish line!
5. Lastly, ENJOY IT! So many people get so caught up in the time you'll finish in, how they'll feel, or how nervous they are that they forget to enjoy the race! What you're doing is quite a feat, so smile big, take in all the people cheering for you, give out high fives and cross that finish line with a pep in your step! You DID IT! Your training has paid off and this is your victory lap! It's your race and it's what you make of it, so make the most of it.
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