Traveling ALL DAY. I’m still not home, I’m sitting in my sister’s basement in Manhattan… KS that is. The Little Apple, not the Big Apple.

So as most of you know, I have this crazy cyber-stalkish thing going on with my favorite blogger, SkinnyRunner.

Yep, no denying it. I think she’s smart and quirky and I love to read her posts. It’s like an addiction or something.

A few days ago, I got mentioned! YAY! Okay, well I sent in a few pics of me and Mirda from San Diego. She posted it. I felt special.

So HELLO to my new viewers, y’all are at home here.

In honor of SR and my sis, who I’ve spent the past week with & who is running her first half in the fall, I am going to reblog part of her advice from Feb of 2012 about running your first race. I love it, it’s GREAT stuff. It helped me get through my first marathon! Enjoy!

“So let’s dive in first with running tips; you’ve probably heard of these before, but I steal all my information from others so get used to it.

*Don’t try anything new on race day.  Nothing new: no new shoes, new food, new outfit, new pace, nothing new.

There will inevitably be someone who’s all “I did everything new on race day and still PR’ed.”  Great, good for you.  You want a cookie?

If you’re a new runner, there’s no upside in risking a blister, an upset stomach, or some nice chafing.  Why risk it?

Use a (training) long run as a dress rehearsal and treat it like the race: run your race pace, eat your pre-race breakfast, take in your race fuel, etc so you have a feel for how race day will be.

A gear tip: set out all your gear the night before, from shoes all the way up to headgear.  Plug in your electronics nearby your pile of stuff so in the early morning head fog, you won’t forget anything because it’s all together.

IMGP1902 SoCal Running

(There’s a good checklist on that site too of all marathon gear you might need)

*Start the race at the pace you trained at, not your I’m geeked up and superstoked pace

Everyone does this – we get excited, nervous, full of energy and rip off the line running way too fast, but for first time racers, the faster you start, the slower you’re gonna finish.  Take it easy the first couple miles and then put the hammer down and finish strong.

*Take in fuel whether that’s energy drinks, gels, bites, etc

If you’re running 13 miles, I think you should be taking in calories somehow.  This goes back to doing your dress rehearsal run – figure out in training what type of fuel works best for you.  Some people have iron stomachs and could eat a traffic cone while others can only do one specific brand of energy drink.  Know what works for you.

Now, onto racing etiquette and courtesy:

*Start in the right corral according to the time you are going to run: not your wishful thinking time but a realistic time.

A huge complaint of pretty much all racers is when people don’t start in the correct corral because it makes everyone’s start more chaotic and less efficient.

For example, if this is your first race and you’ve been training to run a 2:00 half, then get in the 2 hr. corral even if you see some 1:50 people that you could beat or you feel really good that day.  Get in the corral that correlates with the pace you’ve trained at.

Whatever you do, don’t hop in the front corrals because you think it’s advantageous to start earlier.  not at all.  Almost all races have chip timing so your time doesn’t start until you cross the start line.

All that happens when you start too fast is that you get passed by a bunch of people (demoralizing) or you start off way too fast and then blow up at the finish.

Rock_N_Roll_Marathon_Start

So pick a corral that’s realistic for you.  You don’t win a race in the first mile; it’s the last ones that are important.  And you can always speed up after the first few miles.

*If you need to stop, walk, stretch, whatever, move over to the side of the course, preferably the right side. 

Don’t ever just stop in the middle of the road -you could get hurt, someone could hit you from behind, etc.  Think of cars driving: if the one in front of you stops suddenly, there’s gonna be a wreck.  So gently move over to the side when you need to stop.  And it’s ok to stop and walk!

*When going through aid stations, you don’t have to grab the first cup.

In big races, there are tons of volunteers handing out cups every 2ish miles so don’t swerve over to grab the first cup you see; go on a little bit where it’s less crowded.  It’s less energy you’re having to expend and lessens the risk of colliding with someone.

*After you drink, look around before tossing the cup. 

It’s usually best to toss it to the side of the road and not just drop it at your feet.  If you see trash cans, try to aim for those. A drinking tip:pinch the cup together to make a little spout which makes it easier to gulp down.

water-during-run source

*If you have to hawk a loogie, look behind you before you do.  Move over to the side if need be.

*Thank the volunteers.

They’re out there just as long as you are but not getting any glory or endorphin high so try to smile or say thank you when can.

*At the finish, move on through it.

There’s going to be hundreds of people sprinting in hard behind you so grab your medal, water and space blanket and keep on walking a little further until you’re out of the crowd.  Then stretch out, sit down, get something in your system without being run over by other runners.

To sum it up, it’s important to start in the correct corral and then while racing, think of what you’d want the runner in front of you to do.  Would you want them to suddenly swerve right in front of you, toss their gel wrapper right over their shoulder, stop right in the middle and tie their shoe?”

Now back to me.

I love y’all, you’re fantastic. I plan on a 5:30am run, I have some errands to do (like applying for a job in the fall.. yay college!) in the morning and getting some awesome stuff ready for fundraising for TNT! Then when I get home it’s CrossFit time. No days off! … Well.. Today doesn’t count.

Run on.