this is one of my favorite parts of the race. yes, the beginning. when we are all stretching and jogging in place, connected through our excitement to run. and the announcer acknowledges our hard work and struggle to train and dedicate ourselves to running, and tears surround my eyeballs. then we have a moment of silence to those who were affected at the Bosten Marathon finish, and those tears are coming. although running is mostly an individual sport, I just love the unity I feel in races.
some of my rituals for races:
-try to defecate, or go #2, before the race. having to use the porta potty while watching minutes add to your race time is the worst. thing. ever.
-start slow. adrenaline is usually racing through my vessels when the gun goes off, so I try to start with a 5 mph pace. you know, so I don't run at a 7 mph pace, and crash at mile 3.
-ride the downhills. these are my best friends- I sprint down hills and they give me momentum for whatever is next.
-sprint the uphills too. if you hate them as much as I do, sprint through them so they're over with.
-imagine a rope linking you and the runner in front of you. then imagine the rope getting shorter and shorter. you will catch up. :)
-have a mantra of encouragement to chant in your head when you get tired (mine is, "you're not even tired"). only use selected mantra after mile 7, or halfway through your race.
-utilize course loops. soak up the cheering from the runners ahead of you, but be prepared to cheer on the runners behind you. this love will keep you going.
-lastly, have a groupie (haha). they are the best support! they encourage you, they drive you to the race, they babysit while you run, they take pictures for you at the finish line, they bring you dr. pepper after you finish, they adore you (my groupie is my hubby, and he is most definitely the best).
happy running! xoxo