How to Prep for a Race

Sweaty Stats: I did it!  The SD Rock and Roll Half Marathon was Sunday morning and I felt great crossing the finish line!

I’ll have a race recap up tomorrow, but today I want to focus on the prep that goes into getting ready for race day.  I signed up for the race, I trained for months, and (most importantly) I bought my race day shirt, but there’s still more that goes into getting ready for that early morning wakeup call on race day.  I have a bit of a routine to get ready mentally and physically.

First Up:  The Expo

Rock and Roll SD Expo

I really enjoy going to race expos, walking the aisles of running goodies, and getting even more excited for race day.  I know a lot of people try to get in and out of the expo to avoid the crowds, but I feel that it really helps get me mentally prepared for the race.  Seeing how many people are out there and ready to rock their own race really pumps me up!

SD Rock and Roll Expo

Now I totally understand that for those top runners that are running races every month (or more!) then this becomes very routine, but for us normal Joe’s that only do a couple a year…I say enjoy the whole experience!

Rock and Roll Expo Swag

So we picked up our race bibs, picked up some goodies from the expo, and are headed out…now what?

Next Up: Dinner Time

This year we had a late start to the expo, so when we left it was just about dinner time.  We had already planned on having pasta for dinner…and what better place than The Old Fashioned Spaghetti Factory?!  Since we rarely eat pasta, I forget how delicious it is…and this dinner was no exception.

Spaghetti factoryDid somebody say carb loading?  Top one is mine, and bottom is the hubby’s.

Finally – Getting everything ready…and I mean everything!

I always get everything out and ready the night before.  There’s nothing more frustrating than being up early on race day and looking for your favorite sports bra.  There’s enough energy that goes into the actual running, so you don’t want to waste any of it on looking for your gear.

race day gear

I have my Nike running capris, new* Nike running top, Gap sports bra, Nike socks, my custom ID Nike Free running shoes, Knockaround polarized sunglasses, running phone case, earbuds, and a Run Now bracelet in memory of the Boston marathon that we got at the expo.  I spared you full view of my underwear…their hiding under the sports bra in case your wondering!

*Disclosure on the new top- I already have other running tanks like this new bright one, so that’s the only reason I wore something new.  DO NOT wear anything new on race day.  Been there, done that even though I knew I shouldn’t have and I suffered the entire race!

Aside from getting my clothes and accessories all laid out, I also have my prepping and fueling goods ready to go too!

Prepping for a race

Sunscreen, chap stick, and chaffing stick are a must for long runs, so race day is no exception.  I use the friction block stick along the back of my ankle where my shoe may rub, and all along where my sports bra would rub (you get the picture).  And yes, I wore deodorant but forgot to sneak it into the pic.

race day fuelI had all my fuel ready to go too.  About 1 1/2 hours before the race I had some pretzel sticks with peanut butter, and then about 30 minutes before I had 1 black cherry blok and 1 margarita blok.  The black cherry has more caffein, and the margarita has more sodium.  I sweat VERY salty and have found that this helps me feel stronger throughout the run.  I took the sportbeans with me, but didn’t use them.  In between the morning munching I drank water and Gatorade.

Clif blok to go I take 2 bloks with me in a sandwich bag to fuel during my run.  I cut the top of the baggie off so that it’s easier to get while I’m running, and since they’re sticky, they don’t fall out so it’s a win-win for all!

Along with all of this prep, I make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day and try to get to sleep at a decent time.

ready for race daySo here we go!  The race recap will be up tomorrow 🙂

What do you do to prep for races?

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More Bento Fun and A Festive Salad

Sweaty Stats: Thursday I did my last run before the race on Sunday… 5 miles.  It felt good and easy, so bring it on 13.1!!  Friday I hit up the elliptical and did some ab work.  I’m not sure if I’ll do anything today, maybe just walking and stretching tonight.

I feel totally ready and really excited for tomorrow’s Rock and Roll Half Marathon!   I have some friends running the race with me, and some friends coming down to cheer me on along the course!  Talk about amazeball friends!  I’m a lucky girl 🙂

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because I have a race expo to get to in a bit, but I wanted to share a couple of my eats from this week.

You know I love my bento meals!  Check out my last bento post on how to build the perfect bento style meal.  Here’s my latest bento breakfast box from this week.

PB banana sushi bento

I took 1 piece of my favorite Alpine Valley bread and cut off the very edge of the crust.  Then I flattened/smashed the bread, this is important!    I spread about 1 Tbl. of peanut butter on the flat bread and placed the whole banana right in there.  Roll it up and carefully cut the roll into bite size pieces.  I tried to be careful but you can see this is a bit delicate and can break up a bit.  Finish off with some fruit and the breakfast bento is complete!  It was so good and cute looking, give it a try! 🙂

Next up, this corn-avocado-tomato salad.  I’m loving corn right now and it’s cheap and in season!  I’ve seen variation of this salad, but I wanted to keep it simple, and free of creamy dressings and cheese.  Try this light and refreshing salad for any occasion this summer!

UPDATED – I didn’t realize that half of my post wasn’t up, agh!  So here’s the salad and quick recipe for it.

corn avocado tomato saladI love love love corn in the summer!!  I always try to add it to salads, sides, and pretty much anything I can!  This lil salad is delish on it’s own or to compliment a main dish.  Since it’s a salad, the measurements don’t have to be super exact…you know how salads go, pretty much throw stuff in a bowl and call it a day!

1 Small Serving (About 1 Cup):

  • 1 ear of white corn boiled and cut off the cob (grilled would be even better)
  • Small handful of grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 small avocado cubed – this ones up to you, the more you add the more healthy fats you get…along with more calories.
  • Dressing: 1 tsp honey, juice from 1 lime, dash salt, pepper.  I added a bit of cayenne pepper for a lil kick
  • Mix it all up and enjoy!
What’s your favorite summertime fruit or veggie?
Have you tried my bento breakfast ideas?  What’d you think?!

Fueling for a Long-ish Run

Sweaty Stats: Not too much to report on Wednesday’s sweaty status except that I did a few living rooms moves.  You know…abs, lunges, pushups, etc.  Every little bit helps, right?  Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself 🙂

I haven’t talked to much about Rock and Roll Half Marathon that I’m running here in San Diego, except that I’ve gotten some good long runs in these past few weekends.   I haven’t done any races in about 2 years, and this time around when it came to training…it was hard!  Like, just throw a cupcake in my face and let’s just call it quits, hard!

Rock and Roll

Fortunately it got better as the time went on and I’m now in a good running place.  I’m doing a lil 5 miler today and then resting my limbs before Sunday’s race.  One of the things that I really had to get better at this time around was fueling.  I tend to get lazy and not bring anything with me, but that’s just plain bad, period.  I have always had low blood pressure and low blood sugar, and that’s def not a good combo to have when you get out there and run or do any type of physical activity for an extended period of time.

fueling long run

 

Are you s super duper fueler?!

So keeping in mind that I am in NO way an expert in the field, a pro athlete, nutritionist, doctor, etc., these are just some of my tips for fueling for long runs that I came across through trial and error…with a lot more error than success 😦  But I think I’ve got it down now!

Fueling for Regular Gym Workouts and Short Runs (under 6 miles)

These workouts are usually no longer than 1 hour, so I don’t worry too much about over-fueling for these because I tend to go after work so I’m not on an empty stomach.  My go-to pre-gym foods:

  • Small (100 cal) granola bar
  • Almonds
  • Spoonful of Peanut Butter

If I’m Still Full from Lunch

  • Half Banana
  • Handful of Fruit – Strawberries, Cherries, etc.
  • Couple gulps of Gatorade, Juice, etc.

Fueling for Long Runs:

Since these runs are definitely longer than 1 hour and much more strenuous for me, I have a bit of a routine when it comes to fueling and having a successful run.  For these runs, I try to go in the morning as opposed to after work.

  • Upon Rising: Water!  About 2 glasses.
  • 30 minutes Before Run: Whole Wheat Pretzel Sticks with Peanut Butter  (with swigs of Gatorade to wash it down).
  • Right Before Run: 2 Clif Shot Bloks and more water
  • During Run: Water and 1-2 Clif Shot Bloks at mile 9 or 10 depending on how I feel.

shot blok

This has been working well with me and not upsetting my stomach in the process.

Here’s another take on how to fuel long runs.

How do you fuel for long runs/workouts?  
Are you systematic about it?  Or just go with the flow?