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My Pre-Race Ritual: Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Before my first Tri, I was a hot mess.

I looked over my gear 100 x only to realize I had everything except my sanity. I researched what I should be eating and when. I went to be at 9:00 PM only to stay awake, anxious until around 1AM. The race went fine, but I tell you, the 24 hours leading up to that race were miserable. I was too concerned with carb loading, hydrating and resting.

So this time, I decided to take a slightly different route before the GW 10 Miler on Sunday.

On Friday, I was lucky enough that my sister, Genie, came into town. Genie is a crazy amazing lady and works like a boss on the west coast so seeing her is a real special treat these days. She texted my mom and me earlier in the week letting us know that she was in Syracuse and thought she would “pop down” for the weekend. We were so excited!

Genie is usually a pretty healthy/light eater….but I was really craving some seafood and pasta…so I took advantage of her long drive and how hungry she was to go to my favorite pasta place: Villa Bella. I immediately ordered a seafood pasta, housed it and felt so content.

Carb loading: check!

We slept over at my mom’s on Friday night so that Steven could take the car to the mechanic in the morning and so we’d be in town for my friends’, Baby-Q* (*No babies were harmed in the making of this blog post). The morning was productive: we walked to the mechanic, dropped the car off, picked up bagels for the family (including a doggy bagel for Booty Dog) and enjoyed breakfast together.

Cab Loading, check!…again!

Steven also got a hair cut and is looking real handsome. I know that is important for you to know.

Devon and Cam are two amazing people and are expecting a baby girl in June! To celebrate, Devon’s parents threw a “Baby-Q” which was so wonderful; Lots of delicious food, good friends and baby shower games…and by baby shower games, I mean the men had a chugging contest with baby bottles. It was fabulous!

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Sadly, Steven didn’t win. Photo Courtesy of Laura Ulsh

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I had to get in on the fun too:-) Photo courtesy of Laura Bouamri

We had some drinks and played a lot of corn hole.

Warm up: check!

A big thanks to Devon’s parents for throwing a fantastic party!

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The girls with our girl and the newest addition to the group!

After, we headed to BBQ #2.

My best friend Matt has made a crazy fun life decision to join our friend Ben as he pursues the life of an organic farmer. You can check out what they are up on the Street Fare Farm blog, especially if you need some good produce in Charlotte!  Matt is one of the best guys I know (and an extremely talented artist). We said “see ya later” in style with more food, backyard games and booze.

Hydration: definitely not check.

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Smiling, but crying on the inside! Love you, Matt!

Even though I was having lots of fun, I headed home early-ish since I knew Sunday would be miserable if I didn’t. I was so pooped from the day that as soon as I got home, I chugged some water and went straight to bed.

Hydration: sort of check.

Rest: BIG check.

I woke up early on Sunday morning, got ready in the dark (I ended up only wearing 1 sock inside out, score!), and got picked up by my running buddy (and now chauffeur), Eric. We headed to Old Town to park the car and catch the bus to Mt Vernon where the race would start. We overheard someone talking about how weird it was that we were taking a bus to run a race back to where we started…it was definitely something to noodle.  We had a bit of difficulty getting into the parking garage so by the time we were parked and got to the shuttle pick up spot, the line went all the way around the block. No worries though, Pacers had it covered. They had tons of shuttles and we even got a first row seat!

We drove along an empty GW parkway where we would soon be running back on. I had a window seat so I watched the mile markers go by 1…by…1. It was like they wanted to torture me.

“How am I supposed to run this!?” I thought to myself.

We unloaded out of the shuttle, and Eric and I meandered to find the bag check. It was really organized and I had piece of mind knowing that my stuff would be waiting for me in Old Town if when I got there. I took off my long sleeve shirt and immediately turned into an ice cube.

I was really hoping to get one of those tin foil blankets (I’ve always wanted one!) but no dice. “Freezing it is!”

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Our sad attempt at a pre race photo

Eric and I got into the 9-10 minute pace corral with a few minutes to spare which ended up working out really well; we didn’t have time to stand around, freeze and get nervous. A national anthem and countdown later, and the we were off!

Eric waved good-bye and headed up to his appropriate pack while I began to set off at my own pace. I had anticipated running an easy 10 or 10:30 pace to prevent any potential issues with my foot. All I wanted to do was finish the race in one piece with no blood or tears. OK I would have taken blood AND tears. I just wanted to finish.

I normally don’t run with music but brought headphones just incase… and thank goodness! I immediately put them in as I started freaking out about the race around mile 1. The parkway must have some weird signal or God must have been my DJ because the only station that would work was “NSYNC Radio”. And it was perfect.

With Justin and the guys in my ears followed by the Spice Girls and a LOT of Britney, I was in cruise control. I had planned on documenting the entire race on Snapchat since I thought I’d be going pretty easy on the pace…but when I glanced down at my watch and saw I was maintaining a 9:20 which made me really happy because I felt great. It also made me really nervous; I feared I was pushing it too hard, too early and that I would poop out by mile 7. Or that I would actually have to poop.

My body felt good, though, so I kept on on trudging. My SnapChat idea was put on the back-burner. Next time!

I don’t even need to recap the rest of the race because amazingly, that good feeling just persisted. Before I knew it, was mile 8. This was significant because I kept telling myself if I could make it to mile 8, I was in the clear.

In the last mile, there was one large hill to conquer. My heart sank a little; the entire course had been really mild rolling hills but this one looked I needed climbing gear to finish. I looked over and saw a sign:

“Theres a hill, get over it.”

I cursed the man, laughed and then got over the hill. I ran the last half mile with a smile on my face and finished around 1 hour and 33 minutes.

I was met at the finish line by Steven, my mom, sister and Eric who had finished about 15 minutes earlier than I had (wowwie!) We got our stuff, had a sit in the finisher’s festival for a few minutes and then headed to brunch for some bloody mary’s and a lot of food.

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Genie, me and mom! Yahoo!

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Hi Steve!

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All in all, a FANTASTIC weekend. I could not be happier with how things went, considering the tough and dissapointing February and March I had.

I realized after the race that my TomTomSpark does an amazing job at capturing splits, route, elevation and heart rate! Here are the end splits.

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The moral of the story: my pre-race ritual moving forward will always include booze, cupcakes and a lot of love.

On to the next race: The EU Embassy run. 13 miles, 10 embassies and a lot of fun (I hope!)

Happy Tri-ing!

 

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4 Comments

  1. You did amazing! Great times! I seriously dream of the day I see 9’s! 🙂
    I get the pre-race ritual thing. I had sushi one night before a particularly good 7 mile run and have wanted it ever since. I haven’t actually had it, but come to think of it, I should!
    Happy hump day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jessica! I’m not exactly sure how it happened but I am attributing most of it to race atmosphere and NSYNC. Sushi sounds like a delightful pre-race meal!!! Happy humpday to you too!

      Like

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