Two years ago I signed up for a 50-mile race in Nashville. It was going to be my first and it was “easy” as they go – road, not trails. Small, well supported etc. But then I got pregnant…YAY! And then I had what would be the last of my miscarriages…BOO! and that took me out of training for awhile as I had a D&C. Then, about 10 months later, I went back for an Endometrial Ablation and D&C to solve some of my major reproductive issues, again taking me out for awhile. So, finally, I decided THIS would be the year to FINALLY go for 50 miles again. And that’s tomorrow at a 12-hour race about 30 minutes outside of Huntsville.
I actually hope to get more than 50 miles. My main goal is to make it the full 12 hours, and I’m just HOPING I get 50 close to the 10 hour mark. FINALLY. Two years away from my initial dream. My brother and his family spontaneously decided to make the trip from Denver to be part of this milestone. I feel like if there’s ANYTHING that will motivate me to keep going it’s the fact that they flew SO FAR to get here to watch me do it!
SO! How do I prepare? Besides the obvious: RUN A LOT OF MILES.
- HYDRATE. I don’t normally drink enough water anyway but you really have to hydrate the day before a big race. ESPECIALLY if temps are going to be higher than you would normally run in. Which they will be.
- Day Before Nutrition. I don’t do spaghetti. I haven’t done past before a race but once in a blue moon when it’s a group event. I stick to stuff that A) I know sits light in my stomach and B) is lean and efficient fuel. I’ve done potatoes and a chicken breast before, but sometime potatoes sit wrong on my stomach. Also, I don’t eat meat on my own accord anymore. So, today I’ll get my protein from my greek yogurt, I’ll have my oatmeal and my hummus and my soup for dinner. The key is: EASY ON THE STOMACH. You’re not going to be able to fuel up for a 12-hour run. But you don’t want to be fighting stomach issues during that 12 hours.
- Race Day Fuel. I don’t like running supplements like gummies or gel. I’ll use them for half-marathons, but that’s about it. If I’m running longer I find a way to put real food in my hydration pack, typically peanut butter flatbreads. But on race day? I treat myself to the best: UNCRUSTABLES. They have just the right about of carbs and they go down SUPER easy. And they’re DELICIOUS. My total fave. And, since this is a 1-mile course I can leave them at my chair and just get them whenever I want!
- Grease up. I’ll do that in the morning, but every runner has their chaffing spots. Ideally you have clothes that protect you – and I do have a running skirt (Brooks Mesh) which has shorts under it which protects my thighs. But, for 12 hours? I’ll still grease up with Aquaphor. Other spots? My arms where they rub against my ribs as I run and under my bra line. Those are my worst chaffing spots so I’ll grease up before the race and then again during the day.
- Layers. If you run for 12 hours this time of year you’re going to see major temperature changes. It will start off cold but 6 hours later you’ll get to the hottest point of the day. AND THEN IT WILL START TO GET COLD AGAIN. So I’ll wear some layers and pack dry other layers for later. (I won’t want to put on the ones I took off in the morning because they’ll be sweaty.) Since we have our own aid station, I can bring as many clothes as I want…JUST IN CASE.
- Sleep. They say the most important night sleep is the one TWO nights before your race. That was last night and I took some Tylenol PM and slept a relatively peaceful 7 hours. Not bad. I’ll hopefully hit the same target tonight.
- Playlists. This race is a closed course, no cars, so headphones are not discouraged. I don’t want to be obnoxious and put two ear buds in because I need to be able to hear runners behind me (Using headphones is a safety hazard AND makes it difficult for other runners to communicate with you) so I’ll stick in one earbud and keep something down low. I think I’ll load up some Harry Potter, hopefully some good podcasts, and of course my running playlist. Hopefully when I don’t have anyone to run with, this will help.
- Clip the toenails. I am prone to black toenails anyway. I’m currently about to lose one of my big toenails. So, I have to be VERY diligent about keeping the toenails VERY short. Because sometimes even if I do? BLACK TOENAILS. So! I clipped those babies a few days ago.
I’ll keep everyone updated, mainly through instagram tomorrow. But with Instagram I can post to FB and Twitter too, but I don’t always do that. I’ll try to check in every 5-10 miles at least. I’ll have my family there, which will be wonderful. I’m hoping to have people to run with a lot of the tough times. I’m banking on a 50K in 6 hours, so if I have to walk the last six, I can still hopefully make it to 50 miles. But, hopefully I’ll just drop my pace to a 12-minute mile and hit 50 by 10 hours and maybe 55-60 for the 12 hour total.
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