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?


Year End Review

The “holiday season” is coming to an end with tonight being New Years Eve.  I’m sure many of you have already formed an opinion regarding resolutions…and if you’re a fan of them, like me, then I’m sure you probably already have a few in mind too!  Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my own thoughts, feelings, and goals for 2013.  Right now it’s time to review and reflect on 2012.

I mentioned here that I couldn’t really remember my 2012 resolutions (so that’s pretty telling on whether or not I kept them!), but there are a couple that stick out in my mind.

1. I always make some kind of resolution to be healthier – I feel that I’ve been better at planning meals and buying healthier foods, groceries, brands, etc.  We’ve also been eating more organic…so I think overall I accomplished this one pretty well.

2. I also always make some kind of resolution regarding my fitness and health – this one’s a win-fail for me.  I gained some of the weight I lost for our wedding (fail), but I am more conscious of my workouts and food choices (win), so hopefully I’ll be able to apply that knowledge and see some better results in the future.

3. Start a blog – I’ve been wanting to start one for a long time now, and just recently got the nerve to do it, yay!!  Accomplished.

Not too shabby – but I see some room for improvement, for sure! Now for some of the highlights 🙂

2012 Highlights:

Biggest Change: Moving to Downtown San Diego –  We left our town home in the suburbs of SD to go to the hustle and bustle of the city – a huge change, but so much fun.  I love being able to walk everywhere!

downtown san diego run

Beautiful sunset during one of my runs by the harbor 

Favorite Discovery: Cinepolis Luxury Movie Theaters – Recliners, servers, gourmet food and snacks, drinks…need I say more?!  I was just there last night with my girlfriends to see Les Mis (amazing!! – that was in my Oprah voice), and recently went for the first time to see Twilight with my hubby.  They are the best movie theaters ever and can’t even imagine going back to the “normal” ones.


Feet up at the movies, nice!

Best Memory: Celebrating our 1 Year Wedding Anniversary – Breakfast in bed, roses, spending the entire day together relaxing and walking around…and sleeping through our fancy dinner reservations!  Yup, totally took a nap and slept right through them, but I would’t have it any other way!

Just Married

Wedding Day Pic

New Friendships: My best buddies at work, Rebecca, Shannon, and Ivette – I am so happy and grateful to have formed this new friendship with these amazing girls.  We have a great time whether it’s at work, having lunch, happy hours, movies…everything’s a blast and I can’t imagine not having them to chat and laugh with everyday!

Best Trip: Costa Rica – Zip lining through the rain forest in Costa Rica is one of the best things I’ve ever done. ever.

costa rica zip living

Zip lining – amazing!

New Traditions Formed: SDSU football game tailgates – We’ve organized a few tailgates and are buying new items to put into our set-up, and I love it!  It’s so much fun and something I’m sure we’ll continue for years to come.

sdsu tailgate

Got these new SDSU chairs, next year…SDSU tent, yay!

These are some of the highlights that come to mind for 2012 – and I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!

Be safe, designate a sober driver if you’ll be indulging in libations, and spend the time with those you love. Cheers!!  catch you in 2013 –


Steph @ Steph Stays Slim