Five Race Day Surprises is today’s topic for the Friday Five with Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, Mar at Mar on the Run and Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC. I’m sharing five not-so-fun surprises that you may be faced with on race day and how to deal with (or prevent) them.
1. Rain, rain, rain. Sometimes it will rain or pour on race day and you can complain about it all you want but you can’t change it! I learned all about this one at Splash & Dash (I mean Wine & Dine) 2014. It rained just about the entire race. I saw duct taped shoes and plastic ponchos and those may work for some but for me, I just ran the race in my regular outfit and shoes. The only thing I did differently was to use a LOT of Body Glide on all my at risk for chafing areas. It worked out just fine. I had my husband carrying a bag with dry clothes for me to change into after the race and the only thing I’d do differently next time would be to have included a warm jacket because I got pretty chilled! 2. Hot! When you race in Florida, you always know that it might be hot, regardless of the time of year. My best advice (especially if you’re traveling to a race) is to design your race outfit (or costume!) to be adaptable to varying temperatures. I love arm sleeves because I can just slip them off mid run and shove them in my skirt pocket. And I’ve had to ditch critical costume components before if a certain morning in February ends up being warm and humid. Better to look a little less awesome and avoid heat stroke! Don’t forget the sunscreen! 3. Tummy troubles. I always, always pack pepto and immodium when I race. Try to avoid rich or heavy foods the day before the race. And be wise and don’t go for the mussels or other adventurous foods! Having Pepto as a backup is a smart plan though. And if you’re really really sick, don’t race dehydrated. Get to an urgent care and get checked out.
4. Aunt Flo. I am not sure how I get such bad luck with this one, but if you have your period during a race you’ll want to stash some extra products (sparkleskirts are great for this with all the pockets). Advil isn’t particularly safe to take before racing, so check with your doctor for cramp relief that is also safe for running.
5. Getting lost, being late. I’m an unapologetic early arriver. My husband jokes that I worry about “being late to being early”. That being said, a race is like a job interview…if you’re late you might as well not show up at all. Make sure you know where you’re going and when you need to be there. A small local race may be fine for you to show up to 15 minutes before the race, but a race with lots of traffic, road closures or big lines for bib pickup and parking may require you to get there several hours early. At big races, I almost always stay at a host hotel that either provides transportation or that is close enough to walk to the start from. It’s just one less thing to worry about.
What is your strategy to avoid race day surprises?