The Cleveland Half Marathon is tomorrow morning and at this point I've completed enough races to have built up some pre-race rituals or routines. Like, say, getting all my clothes and gear and putting them on the dining room table a few days before so I can make sure I have everything ready to go before the big day.
Or, y'know, drinking wine and putting together a playlist. Normally I just throw a bunch of songs into iTunes and hit shuffle, but this time I needed a bit of a plan. Since I'm actually incorporating walking into my training I needed an easy way to know when it was time to walk without having to constantly be looking at my watch. After a friend suggested I add some armed forces cadences (the ol, "I don't know but I've been told" kind of thing), I knew that was just what I was looking for.
Through spinning I've discovered a whole bunch of songs I love working out to but I also didn't want to spend a whole bunch of money on songs I'm only ever going to be using for a running playlist so I ended up signing up for Spotify and using that to put together my playlist. So I've put together a playlist of 12-13 minutes of songs to run to followed by about 3 minutes of cadences to walk to. Rinse and repeat.
Putting the songs in order was trickier than I anticipated, mostly because I am so used to running with the music on shuffle so I have no control over what comes up. But knowing my rough pace and being able to say, well, this will be around mile 10 so what songs do I want to use to push me to keep going for those last few miles will hopefully help me tomorrow. (I mention Mile 10 only because when I ran RNRCLE back in October I specifically remember having a moment of OMG I still have a 5K left to run which was quickly replaced with OMG I only have a 5K left to run!)
I've also stopped thinking of those few minutes of walking as "just walking" and instead thinking of those few minutes as "active recovery." That's also courtesy of spinning as well!
And, of course, getting a manicure.
This actually started with the Conocophillips 10K last February and even then I only got the manicure because I was going on vacation, but it's become a bit of habit at this point. Especially when a racing medal is involved as I want my nails to be all pretty while holding it and showing it off!
Speaking of medals, I went to the Expo yesterday to pick up my bib and t-shirt and had absolutely no intention of buying a single thing from any of the vendors.
But then, well, I walked past the Detroit Metal Works station and saw all of their medal racks. I mean, I have a way to display my racing medals that I kind of Macguyvered together but I have been considering buying a proper one and, well, there was one in particular that caught my eye.
I mean, come on. How on earth could I leave without buying that?! (Especially considering it was only $30. I know the market on these and trust me when I tell you that was a fucking steal.)
What are some of your racing rituals?
Love from the ashes,