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Two Weeks to Go! A few tips!

Well, just two weeks to go until the Medical Mutual Glass City Marathon! It’s hard to believe, it seems that just yesterday we were out running in long pants and avoiding the icy spots, and now we are starting our tapers. We’ve run our last twenty miler (or 10 miler if we are running the half), and we are anxiously hoping for a cool, clear morning for race day.

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind for the day of the race (some from experience and some from much more experienced runners).

1. Don’t go out too fast – as good as you feel on the morning of the race, stay on pace. Whatever pace you trained for, stick to it! If you trained for 9 minute miles, plan to run 9 minute miles, despite how good you feel after the taper, stick to your plan.

2. Don’t try anything new – it’s not the time to switch to new shoes, try a new flavor of gel, or anything else that you haven’t trained with.

3. Take it serious – this one comes from experience! Yes, you may have a number of runs under your belt, perhaps you are a veteran marathoner, or this is your fourteenth half marathon, but stick to what you know, and what has worked for you in the past. I have to remind myself, don’t get cocky! I personally have made the mistake of thinking, I’ve got this, no need to worry, just to get humbled on race day.

4. Get plenty of rest the week before – This is no joke, get as much sleep as you can, especially two nights before the race. All of us will be tossing and turning with the race-jitters on Saturday night, so Friday is especially important. Go to bed early, sleep in Saturday, get as much rest as you can.

5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! – Got that? I just ran a marathon and it happened to be our first 70-degree day. This greatly affected everyone out there, we’ve all been training in the freezing cold, as a matter of fact, just two weeks ago, we were still avoiding the ice on the road and running in multiple layers. Suddenly, and very suddenly, we are running in shorts and t-shirts. Unless you are coming in from out of town, you haven’t been training for this. I bonked early and found myself completely de-hydrated at the end. It’s very important to get as many fluids and electrolytes in your system for the couple of days before the race. Drink, drink, drink.

6.Don’t just pass the water station – Grab a cup! Those water stations are there for a reason. Your body needs the fluid and the electrolytes. No matter how good you feel, grab a cup of water, or sports drink, and get in as much as you can, otherwise you will regret it later.

7. Plan to get there early – you will be stressed out enough with race morning jitters, no need to add to the stress by not giving yourself enough time to deal with the crowds or the unexpected traffic.

8. Have Fun! – This is one that we must all remember. You are blessed with the ability to be out there. No matter what happens, if you don’t hit your PR, if you just miss that Boston Qualifier, if your best friend squeaks out the win at the last minute, keep everything in perspective and count your blessings. You just did something that very few people do! You are amazing! You are a runner! Celebrate in the day, the moment, the crowd, no matter the outcome!

So, enjoy your tapers, get some rest, and hydrate up. I’ll see you at the start!