Entering Race Day Mode

The countdown is on!

In less than one week, I will be traveling to D.C. to run the National 1/2 Marathon. Despite the fact that I’ve been sick for the past week, I’m getting totally pumped for the trip and for the race.

Getting psyched!

When I first signed up for this race, I set two goals for myself:

  1. Train injury free.
  2. Complete the race in less than 2 hours, which would be a new personal record and make me feel pretty bad ass.

Obviously I can’t vouch for the second goal yet, but I’m feeling proud of the way I’ve taken care of my body in order to remain healthy throughout training.

I foam rolled often, stretched regularly and cross trained. I stuck to my rough training plan and experienced both good and bad long runs.

As race day approaches, I feel ready and I feel confident.

This morning, I enjoyed a nice 4-mile run along the river. The air was brisk, but the sun was shining. I kept an easy pace so as not to push myself too hard.

Gorgeous day

So, with race day just six days out, here’s what I’ll be doing this week in order to stay on track:

  • Carbo loading — starting now. You bet I’ll be eating lots of pasta plus plenty of veggies.
  • Staying hydrated. Honestly, I always stay hydrated and I drink water constantly. I’ll just keep that up.
  • Not drinking alcohol. This is both because I’m still on antibiotics and because I don’t want to get run down or dehydrated leading up to the race.
  • Getting rest. I say this, but hopefully I’ll actually stick to it. I never get enough sleep, and I have a very busy week coming up. I’m going to try very hard to get plenty of shut eye.
  • Making lists. Packing lists, shopping lists, cooking lists, etc. I’m a list gal, and my bullet points will be in full force this week.
  • Foam rolling. I do it, but not enough. I want to really roll out my sore muscles this week so they’re ready to rock on Saturday.
  • Picking a race day outfit. At this point, I don’t know the weather forecast and I honestly haven’t thought one bit about what I’m going to wear to run. I’ll figure it out — or, more likely, I’ll just pack everything I own.
  • Wearing flats. This is the one I’m least likely to stick with. I live in heels. But I want to try to wear flats a bit more often this week. (Don’t hold me to this one, pretty please!)

TELL ME: Any other pre-race day advice? What are your tips and tricks for staying prepared as you approach race day?



0 Responses

  1. I’m not running the National, but I’m going up to DC that weekend to spectate and see some friends. Let me know if you know of a blogger meet-up! It’d be fun to meet you!

  2. I will spend the next six days eating and obsessively checking the weather. I will haunt any and all friends who will listen to my ridiculous marathon madness. I think it’s key to have someone to talk you out of taper madness…or am I just super crazy?!

    I think you will be great next weekend! You’ve done all the hard work to prepare for this race. Enjoy every second of the experience!

  3. I’ve been sick this week too and I’m running the National Half! It totally sucks to be sick so close to the race, but I’m sure you’ll nail your goals! Rest up this week 🙂

  4. I agree with David on the massage! I get one the week before the race and its works for me. I have to admit that I go almost every 2-3 weeks due to my very thight IT Band and Hip Flexor so this helps a lot for me combined with foam rolling. I will be racing this coming Sunday as well, so my plan is very much like yours 🙂 Hydrate, carb load and rest!! Good luck 🙂

  5. Hey Ali! I recently came across your blog and Twitter — we both live on the Upper East Side, and I have to say, you’ve inspired me to try and run more along the East River! Most weekdays I head to the gym to run and I do long runs on the weekends the park or along the West Side Highway. Let me know if you want to go for a run some time!
    Also, agreed with what David said, Eastside Massage is amazing (though I usually go after a race as a treat) and though it’s a little pricey, it’s WAY cheaper than a spa massage!
    Good luck in the half this weekend!

  6. My pre-race routine almost always includes a massage (at Eastside Massage on E78th St). A little pricey, but my legs usually feel much livelier as a result, and it’s generally super-relaxing overall. But otherwise you seem to have the bases covered. Glad you’re feeling better, and good luck in the race!

  7. I ran a half today (recap in my blog). I started eating lots of carbs on Thursday, and drank lots of water all week. I also avoided heels all week. I pretty much wore tennis shoes all week to have proper support. I made a new running playlist. Saturday I did nothing but relax.

    Good Luck next weekend!

  8. Wow, I never would have thought about how heels might affect you, as I live in flats and boots. Is it because of blisters, or what?

    My pre-race advice would be to not try anything new on race day. Even though my first full marathon attempt was ultimately foiled by terrible weather last spring, I know that going for the provided GU gels and Gatorade mid-race was a bad idea since I never consumed them during training, and they really wreaked havoc on my stomach. When I ran NYC last fall, I chugged Gatorade both before and after the race, but stuck to straight water during the run and felt great throughout.

    Good luck!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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