You're the runner who arrives late to the race. The corrals are getting ready to close and ignoring the call of nature, you squeeze into whatever corral is open. Even if it's not the one you are assigned to.
Maybe you signed up at the last minute for the race. Got in under the wire. Picked up your bib on race morning. You're feeling the pressure, trying to get ready to run the race.
Or maybe you signed up for the race that morning.
You get in line for the portapotties. All the lines around you are moving forward except for yours. And it's last call for the start.
Sorry for the crude title to this post. But have you ever done this? I think most of you know what I'm talking about here.
There has to be nothing more panic-inducing for a runner than not being able to take care of business prior to a race. Can't get out the door in time? Stuck in traffic? Late to a race?
Imodium, anyone? It doesn't always work.
It might surprise a lot of you that in general, I'm somewhat of a procrastinator. As type A as I can be, I'm not great about planning ahead. I often sign up last minute for a race. I've run a lot of races but I still can't get it together on race morning.
I put the "pro" in procrastination.
Even though I may be a procrastinator I am good at prioritizing. One of my priorities is making sure that I don't have any unexpected surprises along the race course.
Sh** happens. Especially to long distance runners. No one wants to talk about it. It's one of those unpleasantries we have to deal with. And if it hasn't happened to you, you've run up behind a runner who has.
Don't you wonder what the elites do about this? Does Shalane have potty problems?
Even though I may wait until the last minute to sign up for a race, I make sure I give myself plenty of prep time on race morning to make sure--ahem--that there are no unexpected surprises. Which includes getting to the race with plenty of time to spare. There have been a few races that I've gotten to the start late. It's not a good feeling to cross the start line with unfinished business rumbling in your tummy.
Pretty sure you catch my drift. Well, actually, I hope you don't. Ahem.
While I can't control everything, I do the best I can by:
The week before a race: My diet is bland. Boring. No salads. Nothing green. No corn. No beef. Lots of cheese, chicken, bread, and low fiber foods. Foods that are easy to digest. My family complains.
The night before a race: Thin crust cheese pizza. A glass or 2 of wine. Tried and true. I had a friend who had shrimp scampi the night before a race. Garlic and butter were not a recipe for success. I also review the race course and check out the location of the aid stations. Knowledge is power.
The morning of the race: Coffee for motility and energy. Cereal for a blood sugar boost. Orange juice and vitamins. A few trips to the bathroom before I leave the house with plenty of time to spare. I make sure to have extra wipes in my waist pack. Just in case.
Before the race: While in line for the portapotty, I sip on my secret weapon. I take 8-12 ounces of Tailwind Nutrition to keep my blood sugar up and to hydrate. After using the portapotty, I get back in line again for insurance.
During the race: I take frequent sips of Tailwind. I try to time my sips with every song on my playlist, which usually turns out to be about every 4 minutes or so. The goal is 24 ounces of Tailwind every hour.
This plan of action has worked really well for me the last couple of years. Sometimes it's a little warm and I need to drink extra water at the aid stations. Sometimes it's a little cool and I have to stop to pee. One time I left my Tailwind bottle in the car and you can bet that I sprinted back to grab it. With no time to spare to start the race, I even gave up one of my prized portapotty trips.
No matter what fueling plan you have, make sure you test it out before you race. My final advice here is "nothing new on race day." Unless you are a gambler.
All in the name of success. All with a little planning ahead.
Are you a procrastinator? How do you plan for the unexpected on race morning? Any horror stories to share? What fuel works for you?
Have you entered my giveaway? Check out the featured post on the sidebar and enter to win a pair of SKINS DNAmic compression gear!
I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word is procrastination. Of course, I'm writing this post at the last minute....
I'm also linking up with the ladies of Coaches' Corner! Debbie, Lora, Rachel, and Susie all have great info for all of us!
And Wild Workout Wednesday! Annmarie, Nicole, Jen, and Michelle are the hosts!