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What {Not} to do the Week of a Big Race

A little over one year ago today, I was getting ready for the Shape Up Half Marathon, my first ever Half. That week, I rested, hydrated, and did all the things you’re supposed to do when you have a big race on the horizon. I even wrote a nice long post about how to prepare for a big race to show what a good little runner I was being.

Today, I’m getting ready to take my second shot at that same half marathon. I’d like to tell you that this passing year has left me feeling wiser, faster, and even better prepared for my second time around. But of course, that would be a lie…

You may not have even realized that I’m running a race in two days. Don’t feel bad – I’ve been living in denial. Since my approach to this year’s race is somewhat…umm…different…I figured it was only fair to show you what I’ve been doing this time around. Think of this as a Part II to my What to do the Week of a Big Race Post, the what NOT to do part.

What {Not} to do the Week of a Big Race

1.) {Don’t} Ignore the fact that you even have a race and pretend that as long as you don’t think about it, Sunday will never come

2.) {Don’t} Start trying to work lifting back into your exercise routine because you realize that while your marathon has left you in great cardiovascular shape, you’re feeling pretty weak in every other area.

3.) {Don’t} Eat copious amounts of Easter candy and any other delicious dessert that seems to be calling your name, everywhere you turn.


4.) {Don’t} Suddenly plan to move out of your current apartment, and then spend every ounce of spare time you have that week preparing for the big move. (yes, I know, I moved last summer and now I’m moving again. It’s a long story)

5.) {Don’t} Have your boyfriend make you a packing and to-do list for the week, only to leave out one important detail – the actual race.

movetodoSunday: Clean, Pack Bathroom. ….oh, and run 13.1 miles

6.) {Don’t} Start losing sleep over the fact that you have so much to get done before the end of the week….and because you’re staying up late trying to watch all your favorite shows (because when else are you going to have the time to get caught up on last night’s emotional Office??)

7.) {Don’t} Stop eating any and all fresh produce because you’re moving soon and you don’t want to buy new groceries.

8.) {Don’t} Incorporate new foods into your diet because they were sent to you, look delicious, and let’s face it – given the current state of your fridge, it’s either that or condiments for dinner.

lightlifesamplesLightlife was generous enough to send me these samples to try out for the blog. Full review to come.

9.) {Don’t} plan to spend the entire day before the race finishing up the packing, cleaning the apartment, and hauling the first of many loads over to your new place.


10.) {Don’t} think about the fact that the longest run you’ve done since your marathon (which was a month ago) has been a not so great 10-miler last Friday. And that you’ll need to run more miles in this one race than the total mileage you’ve done in some of the weeks leading up to it. (minor details…)

I can honestly say that this is the least prepared I’ve felt for a race in a very long time. This isn’t something I’m exactly proud of – I signed up for this race and knew it was coming. But there are times in life when, for whatever reason, training takes a backseat. When what used to be one of the most important aspects of your day becomes something you simply don’t have time, energy, or motivation to do.  And I’m trying to make my Type A perfectionist self be okay with that. I have {almost} convinced myself that this race is just going to be for fun. Now I know at this point you’re probably shaking your head thinking: we’ve all heard that line before and look how that turned out, but this time I’m serious. I’m not expecting a great time and I’m not even expecting to feel awesome the entire way. I just want to enjoy running through the streets of my city, and get in one final training run for the Cape Relay next weekend (oh yes, another race I sort of forgot about…). Is this the smartest plan? Maybe not. But I made these decisions and I’m owning it. And I’ll own whatever happens on race day too.


15 Responses to What {Not} to do the Week of a Big Race

  1. I will be at Gano street to cheer you and Becky on no matter how fast you run :-)

  2. Phew! Thankfully I didn’t do any of those things this week 😉

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you PR! Seriously! Sometimes having no pressure or expectations works out to your benefit.

    Either way, enjoy the race!

  3. About this race…umm…I share your sentiments. I also have a hefty supply of antibiotics with me. I don’t know what to think about the whole thing. I do know that your are very strong and you will be awesome tomorrow!
    Becky´s last post ..Running- A Love Story

  4. oooh boy! I’m sorta glad I resisted the urge to sign up (I’ll be honest). I’ve run a total of 5 miles since my marathon and no, not together. I’ll be there to support you. Sometimes when you have the least amount of pressure on yourself, you do the best so keep your chin up and have fun!
    Lizzy´s last post ..Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

  5. I can remember feeling unprepared for a race before! It happens. It’s hard when you sign up for races so far in advance, inevitably life gets in the way sometimes! I think it’s just important to adjust your expectations and make it your goal to have fun, or just finish. Hope you have a good time and good luck with the move!!
    Corey @ the runners cookie´s last post ..Spice it up

  6. You know, sometimes when we totally do everything exactly right, our races end up sucking. So you never know! But I think going into it with the attitude you have – doing it for fun, using it to get ready for other races – you can’t really go wrong. I can’t imagine getting ready to move at the same time though – good luck! And just look forward to relaxing in your new place very soon, yes?
    Kelly´s last post ..Tempo Tuesday

  7. Good luck with the race and the move. Those both take a lot of effort and energy.
    Steel Springs´s last post ..Training Update and Setting Long-Term Goals

  8. I’ve had at least 2 races where I thought, “one beer the night before the race is fine.” But that always turns into 4 beers. And that really hinders the hydration you put in all week long. I wouldn’t recommend that either.

  9. Oh, and I meant to say…good luck on your race! Nothing seems to go exactly as planned so just go with it and you’ll do great!
    Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run´s last post ..The Spartan Workout

  10. Good luck today! Go out and enjoy. Not every race or run has to be the best, just enjoy spring and the privilege of running as I limp around today I am majorly jealous!
    Stephanie´s last post ..The Benefits of a Good Running Partner

  11. I didn’t know you were moving again, Lauren! As someone who moved suddenly last fall, I feel your pain for all the hassles of packing, hauling, and unpacking. No wonder your races have been pushed to the back of your mind! I can tell you’re still beating yourself up a little over ignoring this next race based on your list of what not to do, but I think your final words about how this race is going to be FUN are perfect. I’m guessing for a high achiever like you, running a race for fun and not pushing beyond your expectations is hard, but I know you can do it! Just relax and enjoy it! Even if you don’t enjoy it all that much, this race is still an achievement and one to be proud of. I’m proud of you! :)

  12. At least you’re not going into the race believing you’re going to PR. I hope it went well for you. I can’t wait to read the recap.
    Cyndi @ Weightless Life´s last post ..ASRC 5k Race Recap

  13. I hope everything went well for you yesterday! I’m sure you still had a good race, despite everything you had going on. I can’t wait to hear how the new place is…moving is awful but hopefully this new pad is worth it!
    Kim´s last post ..Friday Faves

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