10 things to think about race week and CORNBELLY’S

We are all season pass holders for Cornbelly’s and pretty thrilled about it.   

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Cornbelly’s is a huge Halloween/Fall carnival at Thanksgiving Point and it is Brooke’s idea of heaven.

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She spent a majority of the time studying the map (she did for the whole car ride home too).

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A gorgeous sunset.

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We will be back a lot over the next month.  A lot.  

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Runners understand that race week—>  IS A VERY IMPORTANT WEEK:)  The more races I do the more I am able to figure out things and what works best for me.  FYI, some of these might be the opposite of science but I think they are true so that is why I am blogging about them.  Here are 10 things that I think about/make sure to do race week.

1.  I don’t do anything new.  I don’t wear a new pair of shoes (running or non-running) all around town (blisters are not our friends). I don’t venture to a new restaurant with foods that I have never tried before. I avoid any sort of exercise that would cause me to be sore or leave my legs tired.  I stick to my routines and what I know works best for me.  I stay as boring as I possibly can.  

2.  I make a race day checklist (usually like this one below) and go over it plenty of times.  Being prepared with everything you need will help you out big time to avoid any extra stress!

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3.  I study the course.  The elevation maps, where the aid stations will be and especially the turns leading up to the finish line.  I have read multiple race reports (this one being my favorite) about the St. George course and the best way to race it.  The day before the race I will drive the course too!  

4.  I always go over my training cycle.  I read over the workouts I nailed, I remember what I did during those long runs to help me to keep going when I wanted to quit and I trust that the training I did over the previous 16 weeks are going to create a really great race for me. 

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5.  Anytime I start stressing out/worrying about race day I remember that running is what helps me to cope with the real stressors in life.  Running isn’t the thing that causes me stress.  If it is then I am putting too much pressure on myself over moving my body from the starting line to the finish line.  Running is my biggest stress reliever, not stress causer.   I do think that a little bit of race day nervousness is good for us and that the adrenaline helps us to go faster:)

6.  I sleep and sleep and sleep.  I personally think the night before the night before the race is the most important night for your sleep:)  For example—>  my race is on Saturday and so I am going to make sure that I get a killer night’s sleep on Thursday night.  This week whenever I am tempted to stay up late watching Jimmy Fallon I will remind myself that my alarm clock is set for 3 a.m. on Saturday.

7.  I get pep talks from the most positive people I know.  My mom.  My brother in Kentucky.  My coach and running friends like Josse and Rachelle.  They are all EXTREMELY positive people and it is contagious and it just rubs off on me.  Stay close to positivity and far away from anything that brings you down.  

8.  I cut out fiber the two days leading up to the race.  No salads, apples or high fiber anything.  I keep my meals extremely simple with easy to digest= carbs and lean proteins.  LOTS of water and plenty of gatorade for the two days leading up to the race.  The night before a marathon I salt my meal a lot too:)  This week is a little different though because I will be eating 3 different foods all week long due to IBS.

***I make sure to keep my calories up even though I am running less.  We wouldn’t expect our car to drive a long distance without enough fuel so we can’t expect our bodies to do that either.

9.   I spend hours on the perfect playlist.  Perfect.  I make a playlist with songs that have special meaning to me, lyrics that motivate me to hustle and plenty of angry songs that help me power up the hills.  I’ll make sure to post it once it is finished.

10.  And thanks to my mom—> I SMILE every time that I think about the race.  I visualize crossing the finish line with the my goal time on the clock.

A friend sent this to me… sounds like a pretty great race to me;)

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What are some of your race week rituals/things that you do?

Favorite fall activities?

Anything to add to the above checklist for race day that you always make sure to pack?

How many hours of sleep each night makes you feel your best?  

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58 comments

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I’m so bad with studying the course and tend to avoid it! Random things I avoid and others I’m so on top of. Nerves the week of really get to me! I typically sleep about 6 hours but probably need 7.

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I need 8 hours to feel good!

A good playlist is key! Especially one with music I don’t normally listen to on my run. I find I get caught up in singing along and the race is over before I know it!

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I always try to sleep as much as possible during race week, especially the 2-3 nights leading up to the race. The more I sleep the more rested I feel. I try to get at least 8 hours each night, but I love to get 9-10 on the weekends!

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I try to sleep as much as I can. Sometimes that works better than other times, but I do my best. The day before a race I set out everything I will need in the morning so that I’m not rushing around to find something or realize I haven’t charged my Garmin/phone, etc.

I just love fall foods! Warm drinks and comfort foods!

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I try to focus on hydration, rest, and staying busy prepping for the race.
Fall: baking and decorating!
I usually sleep 6 hours but 7 works best for me!

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I do pretty much all of the same things you do, although I never really thought about the night-before-the-night before the race. This year I will make sure to account for that tip!

I still need to create my playlist for Chicago. Be sure to sure your playlist when you have it ready :)

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That comic is hilarious! I’m saving that one :) Love the checklist..really helpful. I always bring compression socks for after races and it helps a ton. Also a lot of warm dry clothes because I’m always FREEZING!

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That comic is adorable! I am obsessed with studying course maps too, but they seem to fly out the window when it comes to actual race day! Alas- it does make me feel prepared!

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I honestly try not to think too much about the race. But when I do, I think about the finish and seeing/hearing my family, and that makes me smile. :)

Fall activities: I love haunted houses! I want to make sure I go to one this year.

That sunset picture is gorgeous! And one more reminder: you are so ready to OWN that marathon this weekend and nail your goal time. YOU GOT THIS!

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I always try to drive the course the week before and cut back on fiber, too.

I am a horrible sleeper every night, so if I have a night where I only wake up once, fall back asleep quickly, and sleep for 7 hours, then it is a good night. Unfortunately that is rare.

I love to go apple picking in the fall. We went a week ago and bought 25 pounds of apples for the three of us! We made apple cake and applesauce and have finished both. My daughter wants more of both this week.

I always have an extra bottle of water and an apple for post race.

You are going to do great, Janae! You worked hard and are ready! I am looking forward to cheering you on from Virginia.

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I usually focus a lot on visualization. Every night before bed I would visualize myself crossing the finish line and doing well during the race. (I also like doing this on pretty much every training run leading up to a big race). I also stretch a lot because I get a lot of phantom pains in the week leading up to the race, especially in my calves and IT bands.

You’re going to do great, I just know it!

Also I LOVED the bit you said about “Running is the thing I do when I’m stressed.It shouldn’t be what causes me to stress out.” Stealing that and reminding myself of that every single day. Excellent.

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I feel best with 8-9 hours, but I typically get around 7.5.

Race week rituals: ALL THE CARBS. I need to be better about watching my fiber intake before long runs:)

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I try to get extra sleep, hydrate well, do a recovery yoga session, and rehearse my mantras and race strategy during race week. Plus, I eat a very bland diet and cut out sugar and alcohol as best I can.

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I try to get as much sleep as possible all week just in case I cant sleep the night before the race! I also focus on planning everything out and making sure I drink lots of water and fuel properly:)

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Just recently I have realized 6 hours of sleep a night isn’t cutting it so I am trying for 7.
I love fall! I always take my camera and dog to the park and do a little photo shoot. He jumps in the leaves. A total ham. I go apple picking and bake afterward. And candles get lit in the house. So cozy. My birthday is at the end of October and it’s become tradition to travel. Last year the boyfriend and I did a road trip to cape cod with our dogs. And this year we are headed to Chicago.

Race rituals always include laying out my race day gear a week ahead so I have time to analyze and swap out if I need :)

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Rest, hydration and preparation! I stick to what has worked food wise too- simple crabs and protein. I also like to review my training and visualize me finishing in my goal time! Mental game is so important too!
My body needs 8 hours of sleep. As much as I wish I didn’t need the full 8, I do :-)

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Best fall activity is apple picking! It’s so much fun, but I love being able to make homemade deliciousness with all the fresh apple we get! I like to get about 8 hours a night… then I feel super rested. Anything less than 6… I am Mrs. Grumpy .

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Like you, I always study the course prior to a race. I must know where all the hills are so that I can plan my pace accordingly.

One of my favorite fall activities is going to the pumpkin patch, picking out a few pumpkins, shooting the pumpkin canon, and going through the corn maze. Typically this has been a “date-day” that my husband and I enjoy doing together, but this year we are taking our little boy!!! It will be fun to see how we do with a 4-week old… great photo opts I’m sure! ☺

I typically thrive off of 7-8 hours of sleep. These days I’m lucky if I get 6 hours max!

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I just recently started studying the elevation along with the course. I don’t know if it’s helping or freaking me out more, but we will see.

I also never thought of drinking lots of Gatorade leading up to the race.

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I’ve definitely experienced the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep the night-before-the-night-before. Such a big help! I like to get 8 hours…typical:)

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I love your checklist-thank you for sharing. I am at the halfway point in my own marathon training (my first, the CIM in early December) and because of the timing, am running a half marathon this Sunday-so your checklist is perfect timing. My half PR is 1:51:09 so plan to do many of what you have listed above this week as well. Thank you!

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AHHHHH yay for your first marathon! I have heard awesome things about CIM!! Enjoy the rest of your training:)

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I saw a tip recently that said to set your alarm for 15 minutes before you need to be in bed…as a reminder to get to sleep. Just like we set alarms to get our workouts it, set an alarm to get your recovery in :)

Only a few days left! I hope your stomach feels better soon.

PS I posted some new songs on my blog this morning: http://www.jessrunsatl.com/new-tune-tuesday-find-your-rhythm/

And last week I posted these about feeling like a winner/champion:
http://www.jessrunsatl.com/new-tune-tuesday-songs-about-winning/

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Oh, I *love* fall! One of my favorite fall activities is heading to a corn maze. It’s about time to have to start looking for one in the Salt Lake area! I also like to go to a haunted house. There’s a really great one back in Idaho where I’m from, and I’m kind of bummed I probably won’t be able to go this year.

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I can’t wait for your playlist!! You turned me on to Imagine Dragons and I don’t know how I got along without them. Best wishes and I will say a prayer for you on Saturday!

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Great thinks to keep in mind! I am going to re read this closer to my Nov 1st marathon. These are tips I can really benefit from. Best of luck to you this weekend!!

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Good luck with the rest of your training and you are going to rock your marathon in a few weeks!

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I would really love to know what’s on your playlist! I have a 1/2 this weekend in town and Nike on 10/18 and I want some good stuff on my playlist.

The only thing I really focus on race week is what I’m eating because my stomach is crazy and I absolutely do not want to have to stop to use the restroom during a race!

Favorite fall activities include pumpkin carving, ornament making, and Fright Fest!

During race week, I am really working on getting 8 hours of sleep each night. Otherwise, 7 is usually good :)

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My playlist/podcast will be key for the marathon – and a reminder to charge everything up the night before. Compression socks for after are on my post-race list too.
I saw a water bottle today at the gym that made me think of you Janae. It said “DO EPIC THINGS”. You’ve already shown us you can do hard things, so now is your time to do epic things – best of luck to you this weekend, you’ve got this! You have all us readers all over the country cheering for you and thinking positive thoughts!

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Cathy, thank you so so much! I LOVE IT—> Do epic things. I will be remembering that one on Saturday:) Thank you so much for the cheers and positive thoughts. It means so much to me. Have a fabulous day!

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Great things to keep in mind! I am going to re read this closer to my Nov 1st marathon. These are tips I can really benefit from. Best of luck to you this weekend!!

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I never study the course. I usually look at it once then but not putting too much analysis in it. Otherwise I get into analysis paralysis and overthink everything.

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Ha. Analysis paralysis. That’s me right there. I’ve never studied the course. It never occurred to me! I’ll look at it when I first check out a marathon to see if it’s well known for it’s 47 world record hills but other than that…what I get on race day is what I get. That’s part of what gets you through the race. The surprise around the corner.

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Your checklist looks the same as mine. I used to count how many hours of sleep I got because I was always worried about not getting any less than 8 but now I’m lucky if I get 6, so I just don’t count.

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I can get by on 7-7.5 hours of sleep but 8 makes things oh so much better.

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I like your point about running being your stress RELIEVER and not stress CAUSER! I just wrote a post about stress and anxiety and it can be hard to remember that running should help us and not hurt us by causing extra stress. Thanks for the reminder!!

Favorite fall activities: Going to fall festivals and drinking hot apple cider!

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great tip on getting good rest the night before the night before the race. i make sure the night before the race but your right you need to have good rest in before just the day of, gotta treat that poor body right! My pre-race ritual is to eat pizza or pasta. The one time I didnt eat this I ran my worst race ever. It must be the italian in me that needs the pizza/pasta :)

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Ahhh, I miss Cornbelly’s! It’s such a fun and festive activity to do this time of year. Brooke looks darling in her little dress + boots!

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I Think staying as boring as you possibly can is one of the best things you can do for yourself. There is no reason to try new things only to get sick or not feel well you know. I can’t wait to see how you do Janae. I can only imagine it’s going to be awesome and sub 3!

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Ideally I would get 8 hours of sleep, but I’ll settle for 7. Race week rituals: foam roll, check the weather obsessively, and study the course map!

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I would have LOVED Cornbelly’s as a kid…probably still would today, to be honest. That comic is too funny. If only it were that easy.

My favorite fall activity is definitely the pumpkin patch. I need at least 7 hours to feel rested which is easier said than done.

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Thank you for the list. I have a marathon on Sunday and aiming for an ambitious (for me) sub 3:30. Training has gone quite well but my old knee pain/IT band flared up on Sunday so I’m super stressed about being able to run now. But thanks to one of your previous posts as well, I’ve changed my way of thinking. At the end of the day running is just running and if my race doesn’t go as planned there will always be another one :)

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Um…3:30 is admirable. Don’t underestimate yourself and good luck!

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Aw thanks Tess. Fingers crossed :)

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My husband grew up in apple orchards so my favorite Fall activity is when we visit them and help out making their famous apple cider donuts.

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Those sound amazing!! You might have to send some over our way;)

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Omg minion corn cutouts! That is the cutest!!

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That looks like such a fun place, and it rocks that you have an unlimited pass. I get at least 8 hours of sleep or I am a grouch. I pack doubles of everything because I have the worst luck. I am so excited to hear about your race.
bakingrunner.blogspot.com

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I think everything is all about being mentally prepared. I know my body can run because of my training, but it’s convincing my mind of that. I try to get plenty of rest and hydrate up. I salt a lot too right before the race!

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8 hours of sleep is my sweet spot :) If I can consistently get 8 hours, I feel really awesome!
Race week for me is the same: rest, hydrate, rest, eat bland food, triple check my race day checklist, rest, stretch :)
Fall activities: Pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, baking, going on a hay ride, making apple cider!

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This is great! I’m running my 5th half – on the one year anniversary of my 1st!!! – in 2 1/2 weeks.

I’d love to know what’s on your playlist!

Good luck with the final prep!

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I am working on my playlist for Saturday too! I like to check out the parking situation in advance so I know where I am going, if it’s difficult to park and how early they close the roads.

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A killer playlist is a must! Although I also enjoy listening to podcasts during races too – it mixes it up a little and keeps my mind off the pain.
Funny though, I do stop eating salads the week of a race, but a big bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats is my go-to on race morning!!

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I take it easy race week, with easy short runs, no new shoes or foods, and trying to rest up (the hardest thing for me is getting to bed on time!).

I love everything about fall. Everything. The running, the weather, the leaves, the colors, the sunsets, the breezes, the pumpkins, the hot apple cider, the hot chocolate, the fresh apples, pumpkin candles, Halloween (my favorite holiday!), scary movies………….the list goes on and on!

I like to have the hubby bring our camera bc we have old phones and they don’t take great photos, so we use our camera for cool shots before and after the race. He takes photos of cool things he sees during my run and fills me in on it once I am done.

I am best with about 8 hours, but it usually ends up being 7.

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It’s also important to think about the post-race feast. Naturally :))) Thanks for the list–I’m definitely going to refer to it before my race in January.

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Love all of this. I’m running my first full on Oct. 18 and I’m already so nervous my stomach is in knots. I know I’ll be looking at this post again. :)

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JANAE!! This was the perfect race week checklist! I’m so saving this and using this before Tokyo! Excited for you. Believing Saturday is gonna be an amazing day! ;-)

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That place looks so fun, I love all of the cute fall activities!

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