Every time I have a race, I have a set of things I do and things I bring for the race. So here's my personal run down...
A few days before I begin my hydration and health process. This sounds cheeseball... I mean, I should always stay hydrated and eat healthy, right? But I'm a realist, and know that isn't always the case. So a few days before, I raise the water intake A LOT. I try to cut out anything greasy or high fat. I up my carbs a bit. Nothing crazy... because I'm not quite that hardcore, though I sometimes wish I was.
The night before I plug in my Garmin watch so I can have a full charge in the morning. And I lay out everything I'll need the next morning:
- Race Bib with pins hung in each corner ready to attach
- Shoes with timing chip already attached
- Body Glide (if you don't know what this is... look it up... although I don't really need it for distances shorter than the half marathon)
- Running bra (guys, you can skip this one!)
- Technical shirt
- Jacket to stay warm before the race, if needed (obviously NOT needed right now... geesh)
- Clif bar (chocolate chips and oats) and water bottle to eat/drink while I'm getting dressed
And I pack a bag... in my Nike gymsack, I usually put the following:
- Banana (or something else small to chomp before the race)
- Bottle of water
- Sunblock, if needed
- iFitness belt (this thing ROCKS) with ID, credit card, medical insurance card, and a little cash
- Gloves, if needed
- GU (at least one for every 5 miles in the race)
- Directions for race day parking
The last thing I do is put a towel in the car so that my seats don't get all nasty post-race. Some people bring a change of clothes, but I rarely have the energy or desire to change.
Something I intend to add to my checklist is a small cooler with water and gatorade in case the supply at the finish line is depleted, which apparently does happen. Especially for slower runners or when there are different distances and the shorter distance runners will come in way before you. It shouldn't happen, but it does.
So what are your must haves on race day???