Ok ladies, I’ve got the Princess Half on my mind today so I thought I’d cobble together some lists (from various running websites) to help us all prepare for the upcoming race. Can you believe it’s only 6 weeks away? SIX WEEKS!!! If you’ve run a half before, you can probably skip this but if you haven’t then maybe these tips/lists will be helpful for you. I’m sending this out to you all early so that if there’s anything on that huge long packing list that you don’t have and think you might want, you can buy it and start training with it now.
Oh gosh, this is long, here we go….
The week before the run:
· It’s time to start tapering. Do no more than 40% of your peak mileage. Begin to store up your energy both physically as well as mentally.
· Make sure you take the time to relax during the last days before your race. It is important that stress is reduced, the proper foods are eaten and the right amount of sleep is gotten.
· Eat carbohydrates during the last three days. Foods like pasta, breads, fruits and low fat treats have the energy that you need. Your body will store that energy for your race. Eat the same amount too. Eating too much won’t help you out. As long as you are eating the right foods, you’ll be well equipped.
· If you’re running in a costume, be sure to get at least one training run in with it. You don’t want a wardrobe malfunction on race day!
Day of Race Tips: If you don’t have someone meeting you at the finish line, Disney has a bag check so you can pack things that you need in your race bag and you’ll have it available after the race.
· Start your day with a good, carbohydrate rich breakfast. Eat it two to three hours before start time. Eat the food and run in the gear that you trained in – don’t introduce anything new to your body on race day!
· Have a pre-run breakfast routine? Don’t break it. Just bring your food with you. I tend to do oatmeal but some people like bagels or other starches. Eat two to three hours before the race starts. Since Disney makes you wait in the corals starting at 3am and the race doesn’t start until 6am, you might want to bring your breakfast to the coral and eat it there.
· Warm up. Only do light warm ups and stretches. The best marathon tip here is to not bring up your core body temperature and don’t start using your stored energy. A little jog or even just a light walk is all you need.
· Relaxing is also important. Enjoy the scenery, take in what’s around you and don’t worry about your race.
· Grab up those sports drinks offered along the way. They refuel your carbohydrate levels and will keep you going.
· Your heading to the end. Here are two marathon tips. First, go hard late. Once you hit the halfway mark, you can start to push. Don’t be overly aggressive though, save that hard run for late in the race. And, talk to yourself about the simple fact that you are almost there.
· Dry socks and shirts can make the Finish-Line/Post-Race experience much more enjoyable.
Stuff to Pack
Clothing: My recommendation is that you pack everything that you think you might need and then the night before the race you can decide which of these items are actually essential and which are not. For instance, the rain jacket… if there’s no chance of rain that morning you wouldn’t bring it with you, right? But if you don’t have it with you and the forecast changes to rain, you’d probably regret not packing it. =) The one thing that I will say is that the last time I ran this race it was 35 degrees on the morning of the race and there was frost on the ground. IN ORLANDO FLORIDA THERE WAS FROST ON THE GROUND. It was the coldest winter in their history and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I will not be making that mistake twice.
· Running Socks
· Running Shirts (Long and Short Sleeve)
· Running Shorts/Tights
· Running Undies
· Sports Bra
· Compression Shirts/Pants/Shorts/Sleeves
· Any Knee Brace or Stability Item Needed
· Sweat Bands/Hair Bands
· Rain Jacket/garbage bag
· Throw Away Clothes – Disney races start early and they have you standing in the corals for ages. You will freeze your butt off (yes even in Florida) if you don’t have something warm to wear from 3am to 6am. These can be anything you don't mind parting with; many people go to Goodwill and stock up on cheap sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc. Disney donates throw away items to shelters after the race.
· Gloves (for cold mornings, you can toss them mid-race)
· Warm Hat/Ear Warmers (again, can toss these mid-race if needed)
· Warm Clothes to Put on at the Race Finish
· Body Glide, Skin Lube, Vaseline, Nip Guards - If it can chafe or bleed...it will!
· Hydration Belt (if you plan on using one) & Bottles – so I am not going to wear a hydration belt for this race. Disney has plenty of water/drink stations and I don’t want to carry a belt. If you’re used to wearing one though, go for it.
· Running Belt (if you plan on using one)
· Garmin Watch & Charger
· Foot Powder
· Shoe Laces
· iPod, Earphones, & Charger
· Any Paperwork Required for race check-in - including proof of time of a 10k or more if you want to try to move up in corrals
· Race Number if it was mailed to your prior to the race (Disney does not mail them out)
· Timing Chip if it was mailed to your prior to the race (Disney does not mail them out)
· Towel - or 'borrow' a hand towel from the hotel
· KT-Tape or other medical tape if you need it
· Pain Relievers (for a few hours AFTER the race)
· Safety Pins - usually included in race packet but you never know
· Analgesic Cremes (e.g., Bengay, Icy Hot, Myoflex, etc.)
· Travel Size Deodorant (for your race bag...we all will stink but this might help some)
· Emergency Blankets (to sit on while you're waiting or wear if it's raining at the start)
· Face Wipes/Baby Wipes
· Chap Stick
· Gel Energy Supplements & Other Race Fuel – Disney has some of this on the course but it’s always nice to have your own.
· Snack/Breakfast Race Items (e.g., Bagels, Muffins, Fruit, etc. that aren't readily available race day)
· Sports Drinks
· Salt Packets (if you used them in training)
· Electrolyte Tablets
· Recovery Drink
· Prescription Medications
· Band-Aids – Blister band-aids are the best thing in the world.
· ALL Chargers for electronic equipment – I’m also bringing a way to charge my iPhone after the race. During the last race, my phone was basically dead when I crossed the finish line. I was trying to connect with my family to see where they were but my phone cut out and then it was just a mess. So I’ll be putting a quick charge pack in my race bag and leaving it at the bag check for sure.
· Ziploc Bags
· Thin Draw-String Backpack to use at the bag check. I feel like Disney might even give these to you when you check in at the Expo, but I can’t remember.