Favorite’s for Race Day

I’ve been asked a lot of questions on my essential’s for race day.  I have my favorite’s and it’s very rare for me to leave for a race without them.  Here are my essentials:

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It’s “Miles to go” Birthday!

VA Beach Rock N’ Roll kicked off my jam-packed season of races.  And I am pumped…

Because it is my blog’s 1-month birthday: I took this week to organize my life, running schedule and blog schedule.  I have some great things coming up for the blog, which is amazingly cool.

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14 Things I’ve Learned in 3 Years of Running

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Here’s to 3 years of racing and 14 half marathon/marathon’s completed:

1.  Never, ever go on a run without food in your system.  I’ve been hungry at the starting line of a marathon, and it is not fun.

2.  A good playlist means everything.

3.  Splurge on good running shoes, sports bra, and shorts.  Being uncomfortable during a race is the worst.  I have thunder thighs, so normal Nike running shorts ride up – I splurge for a good pair of spandex.

4.  You can get the answer to any question if you run long enough.  There are many days I don’t want to run, and many that I do.  I am only 22, but whenever I have a life-crisis, fight with my boyfriend/family, or a hard decision to make: running puts everything in perspective.

5.  Don’t be afraid to cheer people on.  This goes during a race and outside of running.  Spectators and other runners: don’t be afraid to cheer and clap for everyone around you.  It means the world.

6. Competition doesn’t just mean 1st place. I compete with myself more so than I compete with other runners.  I want my best to be my best, no one else’s.  In running, you can be as selfish as you want.

7. Listen and be nice to your body.  This is a hard one for me.  I rarely listen to my body and see how it’s doing.  A little irritation while running isn’t a big deal, but if you honestly don’t feel right – listen.  Even outside of running, be nice to your body.  I once had a friend in college say she wasn’t going to allow herself to eat after 7pm every night.  I said “Be nice to your body!”  If you aren’t going to bed until 1AM, going that long without food probably isn’t the best, and your body will hate you for it.

8. Paying for a race is worth it.  The races that are expensive, are expensive for a reason.  I’m not made of money, but to me, spending quite a bit on the Marine Corps Marathon, Disney Dopey Challenge or a Rock N’ Roll Series race is worth it.  You’re paying for the medal, food, spectators, bands, water, gu’s but overall the experience.  Nothing can compare to it.

9.  Running means more than being healthy.  Running can be anything you want it to be.  It’s more than losing weight, building muscle and endurance.  It’s more about stomping your emotions into the pavement each and every step.  It’s about being a part of a community that loves you without knowing you.  It’s about running when you’re going through a hard place in your life.  More importantly, it’s about celebrating life.  You’ll never regret it.

10.  Being patient is important.  Training for a race, you have to be patient.  I’m impulsive and impatient, which is not always negative.  But, running teaches me everyday that results and dreams don’t come overnight.  Be patient.

11.  Spectating is a long and tiring job, too.

12.  Don’t outrun or overrun yourself.  From someone that signs up for every race I think looks cool, don’t overdo it.  I have to constantly remind myself that, as of right now, running will never be taken away from me.  This is something I can keep forever.

13. Smile. Smile while running, and during anything life throws at you.  I’m known as the laugher and smiler.  Secret: this isn’t because I’m perfectly content with my life 24/7.  It means more to smile through anything then to dwell on it.  Plus, it makes everything more fun and happy.

14.  Your family and friends will think you’re crazy.  And you take it as a compliment, always.

But, one thing I still haven’t grasped is how to get all the water in your mouth while running…it goes everywhere…

2011 - 1st half marathon: Rock N' Roll VA Beach

2011 – 1st half marathon: Rock N’ Roll VA Beach

 

Recap: VA Beach Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon Weekend

This is one of my favorite races and weekend of the year! I love all the runners and spectators I get to spend it with, and of-course Rock N’ Roll Series are awesome!

The weekend started Friday night, where I drove down to Norfolk late to skip Labor Day weekend traffic. I stayed at my old college apartment, with my old roommate: Audrey. It felt like coming back home :) I loved it.

Saturday morning, we headed to breakfast at my favorite local spot: Yorgos. Best breakfast place in Norfolk: their bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel…YUM. Rachel and Lea (my sister) met us there, before we headed to the expo!image

At breakfast, Audrey gave us the most thoughtful gift… imageLinmarie was Rachel’s best, best friend, and Lea and mine’s great family friend. We lost her to her battle with cancer in May. This whole year has had many down’s, but we celebrate her in every run. And with this gift, we will forever be with Lin while training and racing. So grateful for that.

After the sentimental breakfast, off to the expo we went! I LOVE Rock N’ Roll expo’s. The community, vendors, Brooks Running, etc. We got there right when they opened and spent about 2 hours there.image

I really want to sign up for the Rock N’ Roll Tour Pass (great deal!) but they aren’t on sale for 2015, yet. But, VA Beach half was only $45 for next year! Boom. We run this race every year so not even a question to register. So, we all registered for $45 AND received a free shirt. How sweet is that. While at the expo, I couldn’t contain myself. I ended up buying 2 shirts and an add-on “run” link to my running necklace.image

We started to get nervous after the expo so, we had pasta and watched The Lego Movie. It. is. hilarious. Seriously, it’s such a good movie. We watched it again on Sunday, after the race :) My dad, Joanna (dad’s girlfriend), and Lea came over to the apartment for dinner. My dad makes AMAZING bow-tie pasta, I can and do eat them almost every day. Perfect pre-race dinner.imageimageimage

Race day! Woke up with my stomach a little uneasy, but just nerves. Ate my usual english muffin with peanut butter and a banana. I tried drinking Vitamin Water before and during the race, actually gave me a little more energy so that might be a regular race tradition.  Audrey and I met Rachel and Lea at the start to take pics, and get ready.

Yeah, I was feeling it...

Yeah, I was feeling it…

Ran with Linmarie :)

Ran with Linmarie :)

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During the race, my stomach was still upset. I ended up having to stop and use the bathroom (yes, #2), mid-race. This was the first time in 3 years of running races that I’ve had to stop. It added a ton of time onto my finish, which I wasn’t happy about. I felt fine after the race, drank my beer and was happy. The heat is always a problem at this race, and wasn’t bad until around mile 8, I’m thinking the heat was what was making me feel sick. It became a very humid and hot race course. As always, the race course, itself, is great and the spectators and bands are awesome! I love the vibe. At the concert, we found out that this year was the highest recorded heat index for that race. Yeah, like I said, it was HOT.

Almost 20 minutes away from my PR, but OK with this since I stopped and walked a little.  To the next race!

Almost 20 minutes away from my PR, but OK with this since I stopped and walked a little. To the next race!

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It was a little hot...

It was a little hot…

My dad!

My dad!

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4th year of this race! Woop woop!

4th year of this race! Woop woop!

Plus, my dad brought this awesome face sign so we could spot them on the course.  How cool is this? And embarrassing… :)

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After the race, we went to Jimmy Johns: my fav. And watched The Lego Movie, again. We really didn’t do anything except lay around and eat…until Yard House and the Train concert on the beach…what what!? Train was amazing, such a great concert.  I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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Now, to today – HAPPY LABOR DAY! Hit so much traffic on the way home, highway’s 64 and 94 are always the worst. But, I finally made it and feeling very content about this weekend.  Rock N’ Roll hasn’t put up my results, yet…so I filled out a correction form.  Hopefully, my pics and results will be on there soon!

I haven’t had a great race in awhile, but I realize I can’t feel good at every race. I’m hoping to PR at the Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon, beginning of October!

And, now time to relax the rest of the night for this week :)
I hope everyone had a fantastic long weekend, filled with laughter and running.