Morning! I’m still taking it easy after my race so have no sunrise photos for you, but I do have something that the Internet loves even more: a list.
During the 1.5 hours of my race the other day I thought of my top tips for running a half marathon. (or a full marathon, for that matter). Not your everyday tips either:these are my secret-to-success INSIDER HACKS, only finalized after running 12 half marathons! Most of them involve race day logistics — because the last thing you want to throw you off on race day is a silly logistical error.
1. Bring backup safety pins. Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to always lose or forget the safety pins given at the expo. Once I ran a whole marathon with only two corners of my bib pinned down — it was flapping everywhere during the race! So annoying. Now I bring backups just in case the expo safety pins fail. (This is me wincing at mile 25 because I hate my flappy bib so much)2. Get a rental car with detachable keys. There is nothing mooooore annoying than having to carry a handful of huge car rental keys during a race (like I did during Zooma Annapolis). If you don’t have a buddy or bag drop to back you up, make sure you get a newer car that has those detachable key parts. The detachable parts are still bulky, but at least they typically fit into a pants/shorts pocket. 3. Start a wave up. Work your way up to a wave that is slightly faster than your expected pace. You don’t want to waste time during the first couple miles weaving around people who are slower than you! Everyone does it. It’s okay to fudge your expected pace a little bit For example, during Rock ‘n’ Roll DC I was clearly in the Olympic men’s wave and that was juuuuust fine.4. Wear a throwaway top that zips up, not pulls over. Everyone knows to bring a throwaway jacket to wear at a chilly start line and ditch during the first couple miles. But the real secret to success is to make sure your throwaway top ZIPS down the middle, not pulls over your head. Running while pulling a top over your face is waaay too difficult to manage — and if you’re wearing headphones it gets even more tangled. Go with the zipper — you won’t regret it!
For example, check out the gorgeous 90s white puffy vest I found at Goodwill to wear during the Richmond marathon! It stripped off like a dream.5. Request a late check-out. If you have to check out of your hotel the same day as the race, you might not have time for a post-race nap if you don’t get a late check-out. Most half marathons start at 6 or 7 am — so by the time you finish, mingle, eat, go back to the hotel, and shower… it’ll probably be at least 11 am. Ask for an extra hour or two so that you have time to rest a little!
Also, ask someone to push you in the hotel luggage cart so that you can get to your room faster.And that’s it!
Returning to our scheduled program…. dinner!Since I was out of town for most of the weekend, Anthony was in charge of the groceries. He found a chicken tikka masala recipe in our Great American Slow Cooker cook book and put it on the Sunday night menu.It was a hit! We loved it — especially the cucumber salad topping. Our only change in the future would be to use milk/cream over Greek yogurt as an add-in. The yogurt sort of separated in the hot mixture and gave it a tangier taste than your typical creamy curry-like dish.
Red wine to celebrate our one weekend evening together And now I can’t believe it’s Tuesday already. Let’s hope this week continues to fly by. And don’t forget to add your own tips in the comments section!
- Top secret half marathon/marathon tips?
- Biggest race mistake you’ve ever made?
- Favorite cook book?