#FBF to last Saturday.. The Airbnb Brooklyn Half, my 10th half marathon.
When looking back and thinking about this particular race I can't help but smile and chuckle a bit for many reasons.
First off, it was probably my favorite half to date.
The course was perfection. The weather was ideal.
And I could not be more proud of my two best friends for completing their first half marathon with me that day.
Now for the chuckle..
Here I am, an experienced runner and coach giving out advice on how to prepare and train for races, and I did the complete opposite of what I was preaching.
Looking back on it all now, I feel compelled to tell you how I prepared for this race and why you should do the complete opposite when preparing for your own.
1. Nerves are a good thing
With all my focus on calming my friends' first half marathon nerves, I forgot to feel them myself. I created a thought out training program and plenty of coaching tips and tricks for them, yet neglected to follow them myself which lead me to this slew of what not to do's..
What not to do #1: never be over confident otherwise you'll find yourself writing your own list of "what not to do's"
2. Failing to plan is planning to fail
Welp, I planned to fail.
That's right no training plan for E. Not going to lie, life after Boston left me pretty unmotivated to get back into training. With all the faith that I'd still be in marathon shape, I neglected to do any speed work, tempo runs and very minimal long runs.
Although, I was able to endure, my speed definitely suffered.
What not to do #2: never not train. My main goal of this specific race was not to win but rather have fun. However, a competitor at heart, knowing deep down that I could have done better had I trained was not a good feeling.
3. Scope out the course
Note: expos are meant to be embraced, don't rush through them.
This expo may have been one of my favorites. It was located right on the pier overlooking Manhattan, yet I didn't give myself enough time to take it all in, as I rushed to BK right before the expo closed and had no time to actually see and mentally (forget physically) prepare for the course I would be up against.
What not to do #3: never not know what you're in for, both mentally and physically.
4. Fuel your body the right way
I talk a lot about feeling better eating gluten and dairy free. In fact, I not only feel better doing so but I race lighter and quicker not feeling weighed down.
Well, after Boston I sort of went on a gluten-full hiatus. Being that this specific half occurred during my birthday weekend, I completely over indulged in bread, pasta, and ice cream days before leaving my digestive system a mess come race day.
What not to do #4: never switch up your diet routine days before a race, go with what your gut tells you otherwise you'll be making more trips to the porter potties then you'd like.
5. Rest + Relax
Ah R+R, the answer to almost anything, especially involving competing.
Well as you probably guessed it, my days leading up to BK were jam packed with teaching, personal training, constant errands and birthday soulcycling were anything but relaxing.
In fact the day before the race I was so out of race mode that John and I stayed out way later then we should have only to come home to find out the start to the finish was way further then we expected and I should have been fast asleep hours ago.
What not to do #5: never overbook yourself days before a race, it will leave you stressed, tired and unable to perform at your highest potential.
6. Plan out your race day transportation
Note: not all races take place at the same spot as the expo..
Not really sure what I was thinking with this one but I decided to look at the course map at 9:30pm the night before when it was clearly already too late. According to googlemaps I should have been in bed an hour before.
Well not only did I misguide the race but I completely underestimated the travel time to BK and ended up sprinting over a mile to the start, completely missing my corral and worst off not having time to enjoy my ritualistic red eye.
Talk about stress.
What not to do #6: never not plan out your race day. In fact, know what you're getting yourself into days before and leave yourself ample time to get yourself acclimated so you don't end up sprinting to the start.
7. Run in your corral
Wave 1, corral B was where I was meant to be. Seeing as how this wasn't my first rodeo I wasn't too upset about missing my start time since all that really matters is your chip time. Plus, I was happy to start with my friend.
What I wasn't happy about was all the weaving in and out of runners going at a significantly slower pace then I was used to.
Had I ran with my level I'd probably finish with a faster time.
What not to do #7: never sell yourself short. You're placed in a corral for a reason, if your goal is for time, run with your speed because weaving in and out is not fun.
8. Live and learn
Every one of my races, whether 1 mile or 26.2, tells a story. This one is clear.
I finished this race with a beaming smile. 1:36:17 was my official time, not the best but certianly not the worst considering..
I lived and I learned through the 13.1, all I can do now is look back, smile, have alittle chuckle over it and share my what not to do's with you.