“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Big Ten Network B1G 10k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
On the eve of the Big Ten Network 10k, I am calm and confident. Why? I believe I have my race day prep under control.
Ok, so maybe it’s also because it’s the 4th time running this event. It is also what feels like my 100th 10k or something like that.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get a little nervous or worried about race day, but doing the following helps me “stay the course.”
First– I plan my outfit. Yes, there are some races where I have been known to wake up and just grab some gear. I can do that because I know what I like to run in, and I usually have planned my outfit in my head. Laying out my gear, and taking a picture of it, especially while traveling makes race morning that much easier. Also, it’s easy to visually see something you might have missed. Once, I have done this, I can just wake up and get ready as everything is together.
Second – I review the course. Sure, I have yet to lead a race, but there have been times I have been alone on the course. Having a general knowledge of what directions I should be headed is helpful.
Third – Checking race start times. This is probably the most critical, I then know when to wake up and start my morning routine.
Fourth – Logistics. Do I need to check a bag, where is that? Where is my corral entrance? Do I need to get there via public transportation? Do I have to pay to park? There can be so many little things that can throw a wrench in race morning.
Fifth – Fueling and hydration. For a longer race I make sure I have been drinking extra the week before, for shorter races I try to limit my alcohol. I also try to eat pretty bland before a race. I could push the limits, but I do best with food that is similar to cardboard.
Sixth – Sleep! This is one of the most crucial, in my opinion. It can be hard to catch some zzzz’s while traveling and race day nerves may have you up all night. I try to at the least crawl into bed earlier that normal, just resting my legs is a great place to start.
Finally, the seventh pre-race ritual – Coffee! This has been my routine since I can remember. I wake up at least an hour before I need to start, I drink coffee. This is the crucial step that leads me to a successful trip to the bathroom.
If I have prepared correctly and walked through all these steps, I am happily snapping selfies on the starting line with Herky tomorrow, or my fellow BibRave pals and Hawkeye friends.
Good luck racers, rest up, eat cardboard and drink some coffee!