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Once a padawan, now a freaking Jedi. I run really far, I write a bunch, and have super powers that allow me to grow amazing facial hair.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Race Eve

Do you remember Christmas Eve when you were still small enough to believe that Santa would come down your chimney while you were sleeping? Did you sleep well that night? Knowing that just hours from then you would be opening up a ton of presents? Hell no you didn't!

Especially If You Had Seen the 1972
"Tales From The Crypt" Santa.
Running your first ultramarathon will likely be the same way. You do everything right, have it all planned, get to bed early, and then you lay there. Awake. All. Freaking. Night.

Think about it. You're nervous, hopefully excited, probably away from your own bed, and you probably can't stop thinking about the fact that in less than 24 hours you will embark on a run that will literally take your entire day. Here are some practical tips to help you make it to the starting line:

1.) Make sure you arrange lodging AHEAD OF TIME, and for your first race, don't pick one that requires camping. It sounds fun... and it is... but it opens up a host of other potential problems.

2.) Just like I've said in previous posts, TRAIN LIKE YOU RACE. Train when you are tired. Intentionally prepare yourself for running when you have had less than ideal sleep, because I can guarantee you won't be getting 8 hours of REM sleep on race eve.

3.) If you can't sleep, then rest. We have all had those nights where we are trying to fall asleep to the point where it's actually work. If you can't do it, then just do something relaxing and restful. Read. Take a bath. Whatever.

4.) Prepare everything you need ahead of time so you have to do little more than roll out of bed in the morning, and then set as many alarms and wake-up calls as you can. Being in a rush on the day of is just enough added stress that it could ruin your whole day.

5.) Try not to take pills or anything else that will either wake you up or put you to sleep. I love my coffee and I drink a ton of it, but it's not the way to go. Furthermore, you don't want to be coming out of an Ambien induced zombie state when you have to run. Just roll with whatever your body throws at you.

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