Race Plans – Pre-Race Plan, Pacing, Drinking on the Run, Barack Obama, and PARTY!
This is it! The Cap City Half Marathon is just days away and the Expo is tomorrow and Friday! You should all be resting up and thinking about what your race day will bring. A little planning and visualizing now will make your race morning much more enjoyable and less stressful. Coach Julie just posted some great advice on pre/during/post race nutrition, hydration, and support crew here. I want to give you last minute info on logistics for race morning, the race itself, and of course The Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line PARTY! A lot of the people worry about getting to the right place at the right time in the morning and having a plan will certainly help.
The Night Before The Night Before
This is the night to try and get to bed a little early. Have a nice dinner, maybe visit the expo and pick up your packet, get home and get to bed. The nerves have not settled in yet and the best thing you can do for yourself is get some good quality sleep on Thursday night! You might be a little bit nervous tomorrow and getting the rest you need Thursday, will make it so that it is not a big deal if you have a bit of insomnia/pre-race jitters Friday night.
The Night Before
First, if you haven’t already – pick up your packet. Take the time to confirm your registration and print the confirmation before you go so that you can head right to your bib table and pick up your packet. Make sure everything is right including the event you are doing, the corral you are in, everything. If you have any problems or need to make changes, there will be a solutions desk that will be happy to help you! Stop in and say hello to the M3S folks and Coach Julie and I. I will be at the Expo Thurs from 5-8 and Fri from 2-8 and I’d love to meet you and answer any last minute questions. Once you get everything that you need, get some good carbs for dinner and set up your race gear. Set out your race gear, including pre-race warmups and post-race dry clothes. Make sure you remember to pack any nutrition you plan to bring with you! Take a look at the parking options and plan your attack. Relax and try to get some sleep. If the jitters keep your mind racing, don’t worry. Just relax and do something soothing, you got your good sleep last night!
Try to arrive early enough to give yourself time to get parked, get your gear to gear check, hit the restrooms, and get to your corral. Note that the corrals will load by 7:40am. You don’t want to be fighting your way in so get there ahead of time and don’t stress. There will be plenty of awesome volunteers to guide you as you go. Once you are in the corral, enjoy the moment. There will be others like you getting ready and most runners are friendly folks, so don’t be afraid to talk to each other! David has put together an awesome starting line and each of the champions will be starting a different corral. Jerry DePizzo will be playing the National Anthem which is not to be missed! Then it’s race time. There will be about 60-90 seconds between each corral start, so remember that when you pass by the official race clocks out on the course. Your time will not start until you cross the start line though! Relax and take the first couple miles to settle in. Don’t let the adrenaline of the awesome start get you moving more quickly than your plan!
Race Plan and Pacing
First and foremost enjoy it. Take in the moment and enjoy what you have already accomplished by getting the training done. You are already a champion. In the first few miles you will most likely feel great and you should! You are trained, tapered, and ready to go. Hold yourself back. The two best ways to run an endurance event are to 1) Run an even paced race or 2) Run negative splits. Running an even pace is great for folks with a time goal and those who are good at knowing their pace. It is an awesome thing to tune into your body and hit a pace, then hold it for the race. An even more fun approach is to run negative splits, that is to start out slower than your eventual goal pace. One of the best things about doing that is that you will still be feeling great at mile 10 or so and you can run strong, when many others unfortunately will be wishing that they had started off a bit slower. As you pass them enjoy, pat yourself on the back (in your mind) for being smart and not blowing the first two miles out of the water. DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST. This is the best way to have a terrible day. If by chance you run the first mile or two much faster than your plan, fix it immediately. Don’t think “oh cool I’m doing great” and stay too fast. You will regret it in the last few miles. Start out slower than you want and work towards your pace.
If you choose to run with the MIT pacers, great choice. They will be running an even paced race. Most of them will be slightly faster (only a few seconds) than their posted pace while running in order to account for a little bit of slow down during the aid stations. A great plan is to keep an eye on them. They will be running with balloons of different colors signifying the quarter and the half. You don’t have to be right next to them to stay on pace, just keep an eye on where they are and you will stay on track. If you want to run alongside them though, they will be more than happy to have you! They are full of motivation and happy running vibes so take advantage of this terrific group of runners.
Drinking on the Run and Actually Getting it in Your Mouth
This is a skill learned only by doing it. If you haven’t already perfected this, join the crowd. I ran the Scioto Mile 15k a few weeks ago and got orange Gatorade mostly on my sleeve and my Garmin and NOT in my mouth. So I took my own advice at the next one which is … 1) Make eye contact with the volunteer and call out what you want “water” or “sports drink” 2) Grab the cup and move to the side before you slow down 3) Slow down a little or slow to a walk when you are sure no one is going to run into you from behind 4 ) Pinch the cup to make it flat and easier to get into your mouth 5) Get a good swig and try to hit the trashcan with the empty cup 6) Pick your run back up. Sounds easy enough, don’t worry if it goes a little bit less than perfectly. My best advice for this is to take a throw away bottle, like the mini Gatorade bottles or kids water bottles filled with sports drink for the first few miles. This way you can take your hydration when you want and don’t get stuck in the early aid stations which can be crowded. You can toss it in a trashcan at one of the aid stations when you are done with it.
Aid stations will only be on one side of the road. There will be signs that say “Aid Station Ahead” on the same side of the road that the aid station is actually on. Please make note of that and start moving that way before you get there and you won’t have any problem. Water will be first and Gu Brew (like Gatorade or Powerade) will be second. Call out what you want and the volunteers will be listening!
The President will be in town on May 5th at the Schottenstein Center. In addition, State Science Day will be going on at French Field House. Lane Avenue will be closed at that point for you all running so no worries. You should have no trouble with traffic on the way into the race, but it may be a little slow going home. So why not hang around and party with us!
Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line Party
Get your medal and take a finisher photo! After you get cooled down a bit and grab some recovery fuel, make your way through runner recovery to the Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line Party. There will be much celebrating! Toast your accomplishments with some bubbly, beer, and chocolate. Then enjoy what the party has to offer including a concert by SWAGG.
Congrats and Enjoy YOUR Moment
Congratulations to each and every one of you who chose to take on this journey with us. We are all so excited for race day to just hurry up and get here! This is your victory lap. The race is the celebration of the accomplishment of all of your hard work. YOU alone earned this and YOU deserve the celebration of your life. Enjoy!
See you at the finish line on May 5th!