It’s time for Friday Five linkup with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run!  Be sure to stop by their blogs and say hello!  While you’re there, be sure to check out other bloggers who are participating in the linkup, too.  During this busy racing season, the DC Trifecta chose Race Day as this week’s theme…..

Loudoun Half Marathon & 8K.  Ashburn Virginia, April 13, 2014. Photo Courtesy Shawn Ferry

“Why run a race?
You race to test yourself, for the ritual, the camaraderie,
and for the adventure and discovery.”
~ The New York Road Runners Club Complete Book of Running


The best way to avoid making rookie mistakes on race day is to have a race morning ritual.  Figure out what works for you and write it down.  There’s nothing like making a list to help you remember every little detail.  I have previously shared my race items check list which you might find useful, but be sure to add your own items as you think of them. (Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. For details check the lower right column.)

So what do I do on race day?


1.  I wake up extra early to drink lots of water (16-24 ounces) to help me wake up and to get my system going.  Now that you know how much water I drink, do you really find it surprising how many trips to the restroom I make prior to a race?  Being well hydrated is paramount to running strong, and makes a huge difference in how much oxygen is getting pumped to our muscles, and how well they can withstand the demands of running.  Drinking lots of water also helps to get other things moving, if you know what I mean.  Runner’s World recently posted an article entitled How To Make Yourself Poop.  If pre-race elimination is a problem for you, read it.

2.  Once I’ve checked the weather for the millionth time in seven days, I get dressed in what I think is most appropriate for the predicted temperature for during the race, once I’m warmed up. Last year I wrote A Flat Runner Guide To Dressing For Your Run, which my friends find useful.  On colder mornings, I wear throw-away jackets and pants that I keep for just such purposes.  Races collect the thrown away clothing and donate it to area homeless shelters and organizations such as Good Will.

3.  After selecting the perfect racing ensemble (no sparkle for me, Erin) 😉 , I head downstairs for my pre-race fuel.  My go-to breakfast is half of a toasted bagel with a very thin layer of peanut butter and a banana.  I don’t like coffee, but I’ll get a little caffeine in me with a few swigs of ZipFizz.  I’ll continue to alternate sipping water with making trips to the porta potties until the race starts.

4.  Often my friends either meet me at my house, or I’ll meet them at their house to drive to the race together.  Usually there are a few more friends that I’ll try to find once I get to the race.  If it’s a short race (a 5K or 5-miler), I’ll go for a short warm-up run.  If time permits, I’ll try to go to the MRTT multi-chapter meet-up location for our group photo.

5.  After not starting my Garmin in time to find the satellite before the race started on Sunday, my newest plan is to start my Garmin when the race director announces the National Anthem is about to be sung.  Once the gun goes off, it’s time to run, trust in my training, and have fun!

Race Afternoon Happenings:  Once I get home from my race, I put my running stuff away, shower, and grab something to eat – not always in that order.  I usually spend much of the afternoon after the race editing pictures and writing my race recap!


  • Questions:
  • What are your race day rituals?
  • What is the biggest rookie mistake you’ve made on race day? ~ Bill and I got about half way to a marathon that was about an hour away, and stopped to gas up the car.  We realized that we had both forgotten our wallets. We didn’t have enough gasoline to get to the race and back home, so we had to turn around and drive home, missing the marathon!
  • Who is racing this weekend?