Friday, March 9, 2012

Running...the simple sport. Or is it?

It dawned on me tonight as I was getting everything ready for my long run tomorrow morning that no matter if it's a training run or a race, I always go through a ritual. My ritual is most likely different from another runner's ritual, but I do it before every long run that is over 10 miles. It's very calming to me to go through this ritual and I think that's part of what was missing for last weekend's long run. I ran in the afternoon on Sunday, so I did not go through my nightly ritual.

After just over two years of distance running, I feel that I have FINALLY found what works for me. Not that I don't keep experimenting with different fuels, drinks, etc, but I have a pretty good idea of what my body needs and will tolerate. That takes a lot of the stress out of it for me which is a good thing (I stress about enough stuff in life, I don't need a lot of extra running stress. Besides, isn't running supposed to relieve my stress, not add to it?!).

First, I plug in my Garmin to be sure that it is charged. After that, I fill up all of my FuelBelt bottles and extra water bottles that I keep in the car for on the way home or if I need to refill in mid run. If I'm running more than 12 miles, I fill one bottle with Nuun water and one with regular water. Then I make sure that I have enough Honey Stinger Chews (Fruit Smoothie is my current favorite flavor) for the planned distance with some extra, just in case in the FuelBelt pouch. Now, if I'm going at least 13 or 14 miles, I will pack a LARABAR for the drive home.

For tomorrow's run, I have 14 miles planned. The first 8 miles will be with my friend, Kate, but the rest will be on my own so I also am taking my earbuds and my pepper spray (safety first!). So, unfortunately, I do not have enough room in my FuelBelt for everything so if the temperature is cool enough, I can pack some things in my favorite Brooks jacket pockets. If it warms up, though, I will also wear my SPIbelt to carry these extra items.

Whew! That's exhausting reading all that! (And I haven't even gotten to my clothes!) Here's what my kitchen counter looks like the night before a long run:

Whoever said all you need is a pair of shoes?!

Super exciting to me for tomorrow is that my new gloves will be making their debut run. I REALLY hope that they work. With the help of another running friend (yes, we do in fact diagnose ourselves, don't you?!)  we have decided that because of my low blood pressure, I have poor circulation. This doesn't typically cause a problem for me except on a long run in the cold. Until this year, I've never needed more than my cheap gloves that I get from the bargain bins at the store, but with several weeks of yellow fingers and unable to feel them for a while after I stop running, I decided it was time! Fingers crossed that I'll be able to give them a good review!

Now I'll head upstairs to finish the rest of my night before ritual; laying out all my clothes for the morning so I disturb my husband the least amount possible when I get up early in the morning. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I have more of my pre-long run and pre-race ritual with my coffee and breakfast before heading out for the much anticipated run.

For the first time in at least two to three weeks, I am EXCITED to run!!!! I am EXCITED for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in just over two months. I am EXCITED for my half marathon in two weeks! (More on all this later...)

So now that you know the nitty-gritty of my pre-long run and pre-race ritual, please share what are some of your rituals?


  1. Love it. My ritual is pretty similar, kind of gets me pumped up for the run the next day. Have a great run tomorrow.

  2. Great post. I always put my shoes on after I get down stairs so as not to wake everyone up.

  3. My counter looks a lot like yours the night before a long run (or even a short one during the week). :)
    I also put my entire running outfit on the kids stool in the bathroom--in a pile in a specific order. What I put on first, is on top of the pile. Undies, bra, calf sleeves, tights, shirt(s), jacket, headband/hat and my socks are in my shoes next to the stool. Neurotic much? ;)


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