Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Transfering From the Treadmill to the Streets

My running often alternates between treadmills and streets, and it all depends on the weather and season. Since I begun training on the treadmill, I noticed that my times are different compared to my outdoor runs. And after I read a friend and fellow runners (Karen from la chanson de ma vie) blog post about the differences between the two runs, I had to share the info with my readers also. The chart (located below) from hillrunner.com provides the difference between treadmill and outdoor pacing. For example, on a 0% incline there is a 30 second difference in pace.

Besides wind being a contributing factor to pacing discrepancies, there are a few other variables that I have found to be problematic in transferring from the treadmill to the streets.

(1) Gym treadmills are notorious for having horrible calibrations. If you are running on a treadmill at the gym I suggest that you bring your own device to record your time, distance, and pace (for example your Garmin paired with the foot-pod accessory). I have experienced treadmills being off by over .5 a mile. And once I ran a treadmill that was off by 8 minutes. As a runner these are huge discrepancies (especially when we are picky over time and pace down to the second).

(2) Treadmill running doesn't require the runner to be hyper-aware of their surroundings. Treadmill running lacks numerous variables like potholes, cars, dogs, other runners/pedestrians, bikers, downhills, rain, sun, and I could go on and on. When transferring from indoor treadmills to outdoor streets, being aware of your surroundings makes running safer and easier.

(3) After running on the treadmill during the winter months, I had become accustom to using the gym television as a way to entertain my mind. When I had my first transfer from the gym to the streets, I found myself bored and dreading my miles. The boredom passed after a few weeks, but some runners might not wait that long and might find themselves wanting to give up before they have figured out how to train their minds to adjust to the long distance without distraction.

The truth is treadmill running also has some perks. It really depends on the runner and their preference. But it is important for all runners to be aware of how the running environment changes between the two, especially if you are training for an upcoming race.

Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Treadmill Pace Conversions

Because of lack of wind resistance while running on a treadmill, the effort of running on a treadmill at 0% incline is less than that of running on a level road at the same pace. Below is a chart that you can use to get approximate equivalent efforts between running on a treadmill at different paces and inclines and running outdoors on a level surface.
Treadmill MPH setting Pace per mile Equivalent paces by incline
0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10%
5.0 12:00 12:31 11:44 11:05 10:32 10:03 9:38 9:16 8:56 8:38 8:22 8:07
5.2 11:32 12:02 11:18 10:42 10:11 9:44 9:20 8:59 8:40 8:23 8:08 7:54
5.4 11:07 11:35 10:55 10:20 9:51 9:26 9:03 8:43 8:25 8:09 7:55 7:41
5.6 10:43 11:10 10:32 10:00 9:33 9:09 8:48 8:29 8:12 7:56 7:42 7:29
5.8 10:21 10:47 10:12 9:42 9:16 8:53 8:33 8:15 7:58 7:44 7:30 7:18
6.0 10:00 10:26 9:52 9:24 9:00 8:38 8:19 8:02 7:46 7:32 7:19 7:07
6.1 9:50 10:15 9:43 9:16 8:52 8:31 8:12 7:55 7:40 7:26 7:14 7:02
6.2 9:41 10:05 9:34 9:08 8:44 8:24 8:06 7:49 7:34 7:21 7:08 6:57
6.3 9:31 9:56 9:26 9:00 8:37 8:17 7:59 7:43 7:29 7:15 7:03 6:52
6.4 9:23 9:46 9:17 8:52 8:30 8:10 7:53 7:37 7:23 7:10 6:58 6:47
6.5 9:14 9:37 9:09 8:45 8:23 8:04 7:47 7:32 7:18 7:05 6:53 6:43
6.6 9:05 9:29 9:01 8:37 8:16 7:58 7:41 7:26 7:13 7:00 6:49 6:38
6.7 8:57 9:20 8:53 8:30 8:10 7:52 7:35 7:21 7:07 6:55 6:44 6:34
6.8 8:49 9:12 8:45 8:23 8:03 7:46 7:30 7:15 7:02 6:50 6:40 6:29
6.9 8:42 9:04 8:39 8:17 7:57 7:40 7:24 7:10 6:58 6:46 6:35 6:25
7.0 8:34 8:56 8:32 8:10 7:51 7:34 7:19 7:05 6:53 6:41 6:31 6:21
7.1 8:27 8:49 8:25 8:04 7:45 7:29 7:14 7:00 6:48 6:37 6:27 6:17
7.2 8:20 8:41 8:18 7:58 7:40 7:23 7:09 6:56 6:44 6:33 6:22 6:13
7.3 8:13 8:34 8:12 7:52 7:34 7:18 7:04 6:51 6:39 6:28 6:18 6:09
7.4 8:06 8:27 8:05 7:46 7:28 7:13 6:59 6:46 6:35 6:24 6:14 6:05
7.5 8:00 8:20 7:59 7:40 7:23 7:08 6:54 6:42 6:31 6:20 6:11 6:02
7.6 7:54 8:14 7:53 7:34 7:18 7:03 6:50 6:38 6:26 6:16 6:07 5:58
7.7 7:48 8:07 7:47 7:29 7:13 6:58 6:45 6:33 6:22 6:12 6:03 5:55
7.8 7:42 8:01 7:41 7:24 7:08 6:54 6:41 6:29 6:18 6:09 5:59 5:51
7.9 7:36 7:55 7:36 7:18 7:03 6:49 6:37 6:25 6:15 6:05 5:56 5:48
8.0 7:30 7:49 7:30 7:13 6:58 6:45 6:32 6:21 6:11 6:01 5:52 5:44
8.1 7:24 7:43 7:25 7:08 6:54 6:40 6:28 6:17 6:07 5:58 5:49 5:41
8.2 7:19 7:38 7:20 7:04 6:49 6:36 6:24 6:13 6:03 5:54 5:46 5:38
8.3 7:14 7:32 7:15 6:59 6:45 6:32 6:20 6:10 6:00 5:51 5:42 5:35
8.4 7:09 7:27 7:10 6:54 6:40 6:28 6:16 6:06 5:56 5:47 5:39 5:32
8.5 7:04 7:22 7:05 6:50 6:36 6:24 6:13 6:02 5:53 5:44 5:36 5:29
8.6 6:59 7:16 7:00 6:45 6:32 6:20 6:09 5:59 5:49 5:41 5:33 5:26
8.7 6:54 7:11 6:55 6:41 6:28 6:16 6:05 5:55 5:46 5:38 5:30 5:23
8.8 6:49 7:07 6:51 6:37 6:24 6:12 6:02 5:52 5:43 5:35 5:27 5:20
8.9 6:44 7:02 6:46 6:32 6:20 6:09 5:58 5:49 5:40 5:32 5:24 5:17
9.0 6:40 6:57 6:42 6:28 6:16 6:05 5:55 5:45 5:37 5:29 5:21 5:14
9.1 6:36 6:52 6:38 6:24 6:12 6:01 5:51 5:42 5:34 5:26 5:18 5:11
9.2 6:31 6:48 6:34 6:20 6:09 5:58 5:48 5:39 5:31 5:23 5:16 5:09
9.3 6:27 6:44 6:29 6:17 6:05 5:55 5:45 5:36 5:28 5:20 5:13 5:06
9.4 6:23 6:39 6:25 6:13 6:02 5:51 5:42 5:33 5:25 5:17 5:10 5:04
9.5 6:19 6:35 6:22 6:09 5:58 5:48 5:39 5:30 5:22 5:14 5:08 5:01
9.6 6:15 6:31 6:18 6:06 5:55 5:45 5:35 5:27 5:19 5:12 5:05 4:59
9.7 6:11 6:27 6:14 6:02 5:51 5:42 5:32 5:24 5:16 5:09 5:02 4:56
9.8 6:07 6:23 6:10 5:59 5:48 5:38 5:30 5:21 5:14 5:07 5:00 4:54
9.9 6:04 6:19 6:07 5:55 5:45 5:35 5:27 5:19 5:11 5:04 4:58 4:51
10.0 6:00 6:15 6:03 5:52 5:42 5:32 5:24 5:16 5:08 5:02 4:55 4:49
10.1 5:56 6:12 6:00 5:49 5:39 5:29 5:21 5:13 5:06 4:59 4:53 4:47
10.2 5:53 6:08 5:56 5:45 5:36 5:27 5:18 5:11 5:03 4:57 4:50 4:45
10.3 5:50 6:04 5:53 5:42 5:33 5:24 5:16 5:08 5:01 4:54 4:48 4:42
10.4 5:46 6:01 5:50 5:39 5:30 5:21 5:13 5:05 4:58 4:52 4:46 4:40
10.5 5:43 5:57 5:46 5:36 5:27 5:18 5:10 5:03 4:56 4:50 4:44 4:38
10.6 5:40 5:54 5:43 5:33 5:24 5:15 5:08 5:00 4:54 4:47 4:41 4:36
10.7 5:36 5:51 5:40 5:30 5:21 5:13 5:05 4:58 4:51 4:45 4:39 4:34
10.8 5:33 5:48 5:37 5:27 5:18 5:10 5:03 4:56 4:49 4:43 4:37 4:32
10.9 5:30 5:44 5:34 5:24 5:16 5:08 5:00 4:53 4:47 4:41 4:35 4:30
11.0 5:27 5:41 5:31 5:22 5:13 5:05 4:58 4:51 4:45 4:39 4:33 4:28
11.2 5:21 5:35 5:25 5:16 5:08 5:00 4:53 4:46 4:40 4:34 4:29 4:24
11.4 5:16 5:29 5:20 5:11 5:03 4:55 4:49 4:42 4:36 4:30 4:25 4:20
11.6 5:10 5:24 5:14 5:06 4:58 4:51 4:44 4:38 4:32 4:27 4:21 4:17
11.8 5:05 5:18 5:09 5:01 4:53 4:46 4:40 4:34 4:28 4:23 4:18 4:13
12.0 5:00 5:13 5:04 4:56 4:49 4:42 4:36 4:30 4:24 4:19 4:14 4:10

Week 4 Recap

Monday - Hill Work (1.5 miles), Strength Training

Tuesday - Interval Training (3 miles), Barre Blast (1.5 hours)

Wednesday - Abs and Strength Training

Thursday - 3 mile walk

Friday - Rest

Saturday - Rest

Sunday - Hyannis Half Marathon (Finish time - 3:04:58)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Getting Around Desk Exercises

As I get up from my desk to go get some lunch I glance up at the clock. 5 hours! I have been sitting here reading and writing (ok... and some social networking) for 5 hours! As a PhD student and researcher most of my time is spent in a chair at a desk. Because my work life is sedentary, I make sure that my home life is the opposite. I clock in a minimum of 10 miles a week, 2 days of strength training, and at least one day of yoga. But the truth is even though I put in all that effort outside of work, sitting for 5 hours isn't healthy for anyone. As I got up to get lunch I was stiff and uncomfortable (probably from my half marathon yesterday), but this is a common occurrence even without a 13.1 mile run the day before.

So what am I to do? I Google desk exercises and as fun as they may look I am already the laughing stock amongst my non-school friends because I am pushing 30 and still in school. The last thing I want is for my school friends to laugh at me too. I could purchase a treadmill for my desk, but that is crazy expensive.

Instead of rotating my feet and doing wall sits, I decided to change my habitat a little bit. Here is my attempt at tricking my mind and body to not sit for such long periods of time.

#1: I moved my trash can across the room. This way I have to get up to dispose of any trash.
#2: My stapler is no longer on my desk, but now across the room by the printer. People will also think I like to share and it will make me more popular.
#3: I will stop using the bathroom down the hall, but instead use the one on the second floor and take the stairs (I am a big girl I can hold it).
#4: I will go outside for at least five minutes for some fresh air during lunch. I find that fresh air makes me more active.
#5: If I begin to feel stiff I will get up and move/stretch (simple I know but often ignored).
#6: I will visit a friend on the fifth floor for a coffee break and take the stairs.
#7: I will keep my cell phone in my purse and put it under my desk. You might be scratching you head for this one, but it makes me have to get out of my chair and squat to reach my purse.
#8: There is a motion sensor light in my office. If there is no movement during a 20 minute period the lights go off. For every time I allow the lights to go off, I owe myself an extra 30 seconds of plank at home after work.

hmmm... it might be a feeble attempt. But we will see next week how I am feeling!
Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Hyannis Half Marathon Day 2 - Race Day

After relaxing at the hotel for a little bit on day 1 we headed out for dinner to get our carbs for the next day. We decided on the nice restaurant in town, Albertos. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as we had wished for. One guy behind us even sent his meal back because it tasted so bad. One thing they did get right was the oysters on a half shell. I know it is a slightly unorthodox prerace meal, but my husband and I are suckers for fresh oysters. The plus side of dinner was that everyone around us was talking about the race or running. The man behind us was discussing the Boston Marathon compared to New York. The two young people beside us were talking about the difference in the new "it" running shoes. A couple with two children sitting along our other side were talking about their Garmins and discussing upgrading to the new MotoActv. All around us was running and I was LOVING it.
Fresh Oysters

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and searched for a parking spot. It was FULL with cars donning 13.1 and 26.2 stickers as well as run, swim, bike love stickers. It was a parking lot full of people who just love to run. Once in the room I turned on the weather channel and  started sitting out our gear for the next day. The weather man was saying high winds with low temps in the morning, but gradual temp increases throughout the day. So to be safe I made sure we had wind jackets and some layers. And after a nice warm shower, I headed to bed.

Running attire ready for the race
I think I slept well, but in all honesty I woke-up feeling like the night went by way too fast. I started the day before the alarm and threw on my basic running outfit and headed down to the hotels continental breakfast. I thought I had beat the rush since it was so quite. But I was wrong! The eating area was packed with runners and their families making small talk. I grabbed some raisin toast, bananas, and tea and headed back up to the room to make sure hubby was up and getting ready.
The parking lot in the morning. 10 am start time means sleeping in.

Hubby taking advantage of the late start time
The race was a late start 10:00am, so most of the runners from the hotel were only starting to head over to the start around 9:00. But I was eager to go and make sure that we got a parking spot. The starting area was packed and parking was horrendous. I am glad we got there early. Once we found a parking spot we headed to the start. When we arrived at the starting line we noticed no one was actually at waiting there. Everyone was waiting in the Conference Center to stay warm so we followed the crowd. When we were 30 minutes away from the start, hubby and I started to look for bathrooms. But the lines were LONG. We finally decided to use the port-a-potties and headed outside. Those lines were horrible and we waited 20 minutes for a bathroom.
Everyone at the conference center warming up before the race.

At the start trying not to worry about the wind
Starting Line

At the beginning of the race everyone started to pile into the start. I made sure that I was towards the back, but once the race begun a wave of people passed me. They must have been waiting for the bathrooms but they were not suppose to be in my marked pace group. With the rush sweeping by, I got swept up in the pace and found myself running a little too fast the first mile.
First mile

After the first I decided to stop at a bathroom since I had skipped using one at the start. BIG MISTAKE. It literally took me 5+ minutes to get in. That one bathroom break had a huge impact on my time and I lost the group that I had begun pacing with.

At about mile 2 the course went from residential to beautiful. We were starting our leg around the bay. The sun was just really starting to rise and it was breathtaking. The course was by far the hilliest course I have ever ran. And today the wind was a killer, it really started to weigh me down. I was trying for a PR but it didn't happen. I am just happy with the fact that I finished and I tried hard. It was a witch of a course but I enjoyed it. Pictures of the first 6 miles below.

A few downsides of the race were the lack of bathrooms, the awkward spacing of water stations, lack of food after the race for runners, no real mile markers after mile 7, and not enough markings on course to make sure we were going in the direction we were suppose to.

*At one point (mile 12) I accidentally got turned around. I was following the runners in front of me and I must have followed the wrong pack. Because about two minutes after making a right turn on the course an ambulance driver chased me down to tell me I was going in the wrong direction and I would have made a second lap (when I didn't need to). So thank you random man for saving me an extra 12 miles!

Some awesome perks of the race were that it honestly felt like I was doing a long training run in a local neighborhood, the community was great support, NOBODY said you are almost there (except for the last .5 left in the race), there were a lot of police officers directing traffic because it was not a closed course, and the feeling of the race was intense because it was a BQ.

In the end my times were not ideal. But considering the hills, wind gusts, and long bathroom breaks I am also not too disappointed in the end result. Mile 11 was pretty difficult because I ended up getting some pretty bad indigestion from my GU. I did forget to stop my Garmin when I crossed the finish line, so the overall time is off. You can find my splits below:

My next half is in 20 days, hopefully I can achieve a PR during my DC race.

Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hyannis Half Marathon Day 1

We are finally here! It was a five hour trip with car-to-car traffic over 1/3 of the way. The weather during our drive was horrendous switching between rain and snow with steady gusts of winds.
I don't pack light!
When we arrived at Comfort Inn Cape Cod they checked us in and gave us our Welcome Runner's Bag, which included a bottle of water, granola bar, an itenary for the weekend, a map of the town, and a book of things to do. We settled into our room, ordered some dinner (delivery), and went to sleep.
Gift Bag from Comfort Inn.

Our room

Our Room
This morning we woke up late (we could sleep in since little MG stayed at home with grandma) and took our time getting ready. We headed out to breakfast and decided to stop at the famous Keltic Kitchen. An amazing choice! The atmosphere was perfect, a hopping breakfast restaurant with old wood paneling and family pictures gracing the walls. The food selection is strictly breakfast, but there were more than enough choices. The best part was the quality, the food was to die for. Hands down the best breakfast I have ever had.

After we finished breakfast the hubby and I headed over to the Expo at the Conference Center. Compared to other expos, it was relatively small. Most of the vendors were in the outside hallway. I am glad we went right when it opened because I could see it becoming extremely crowded fast. There weren't many vendors selling items. I did get a massage to help get the kink out of my back. I also did find a top and a pair of shorts for a pretty decent price (50% off all items!).

Hyannis Half Marathon shirt. Made of 100% cotton. I am only wearing it before the race so you can see what it looks like.
The coolest part of expo was exploring the new MotoActv. I will trade in my Garmin for one (pretty big deal).
It has some pretty cool features including charting what songs you workout best to, it connects your texts and phone calls to the device, it can be used for multiple activities (pilates, running, walking, biking, etc), it connects to a wireless waterproof bluetooth headset (which has a heart-rate monitor built in), GPS with map viewing features, Android software that can be updated (not a hardware update like Garmin), it is scratch proof, has the option of armband or wrist watch, and it has a built in accelerometer to use indoors. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get my hands on one of these little guys to test out. 

After finishing expo, hubby and I headed down to the beach to walk around. The wind was crazy! But it was fun looking for sea shells. After walking the beach we headed to Main St. with numerous quaint shops. Most were closed for the season, but I found a great jewelery shop that sold handmade items. A certain friend is going to have a great gift for her upcoming birthday :)
Crazy Wind!

That is it for Day 1! Tomorrow morning is R-Day. So we are relaxing tonight and going to head out for dinner shortly.

Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Running in the Wind

It might be that I am only going on 4 hours of sleep (MG was up and ready for the day at 5:00 am and I finished packing at 1). But as I sit here watching the twitter event happening at DisneyWorld for the Princess Half Marathon, I am starting to second guess my choice to stay close to home and run in Cape Cod this weekend for the Hyannis Half Marathon. Not because of the race but because this is what the weather man is reporting:
"Sunny, with a high near 38. North wind between 11 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph" 

The Running Weather Man is reporting:
"Winds will be gusty in the morning but should diminish some for the end of the race by the afternoon as they come out of the northwest around 10 to 20 mph. This will make it feel like the teens and 20s at times."

TEENS!?! I know hundreds of thousands of people run in colder weather. But if this weather holds up it will be my coldest run to date. Thank goodness I have checked the weather a few times. It really does look like I need to put in our Thermal underwear.

Besides packing some extra warm gear I will also be putting in a prayer to the weather gods asking for NO ice. I know I can handle the wind but pair it with ice and I might be a disaster on the course.

In a last minute ditch effort to make sure I am prepared for this race I have been doing research in how to run in windy conditions. An article by Coach Jenny @ Runners World suggests the following:

Repeat after me, "it can always be worse." Mind over matter.  If you use your energy to fight the wind, you burn through mental and physical energy at a rate so fast you can end up in the bite-me zone by mile 12.  When inclement weather strikes (like Mr. Wind), use a mindful mantra to keep things in perspective and avoid getting sucked into a negativity loop. Play the game and think about ways it could be worse...perhaps a thunderstorm, or hail. Once you get into it, the day's challenges will seem like gifts.
Think energy management. Break the race into three equal parts and run by your effort (feel) rather than your watch.  If you run by the numbers (pace) and into a headwind, you will expend a lot more energy at your normal pace and risk a crash and burn performance.  The idea is to keep your energy consumption  below the red line (hard effort or threshold) until the last act.  For the first part of the race, run in the green zone or at an easy effort where you can't hear your breathing and it feels effortless.  Run at an orange effort for the second act where you can hear your breathing but you are well under control.  And save the red zone (harder breathing and effort) for the final miles when you need to dial in your mental zone and push to the finish.  Running by feel also allows you to run by the wind and terrain.  If you come to less windy sections, you will naturally increase your speed. 
Make like a cyclist and draft.  Find a taller, larger runner going at your pace and draft behind them.  If it is a headwind, run behind.  If it is cross wind, run to the side and if it is in between, sit in the corner pocket.  You'll know when you're there because it will feel effortless and magical.  Better yet, form a pace line with a small group of runners and trade off taking the lead.  After your turn leading the group into the wind, rotate to the back and relax and enjoy.

Here's to hoping that a warm front comes through and the winds calm down.

P.S. I am thinking about wearing a Bomber Ear Flap hat in in honor of my roots (Yooper!) What do you think?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Training Thursday: Preparing for a Racecation

A runners mentality can make or break them during a race. If you think you can succeed you probably will. This is why when I get a few days away from leaving for my racecation, I start to mentally prepare for the trip as well as the race. I actually have some rituals that I do to help calm my nerves.

Done The Week Before
- Pack by laying out my running outfits so I can visualize what I am putting into my bag. You can find my packing list here
- I print out all my confirmation emails (hotel, race, dinner reservations)
- I print out maps to all destinations (hotel, race, expo)
- Call the hotel to verify the reservation and provide an estimated time of arrival (I have found myself without a room once b/c of hotel error, this is why it's always good to double check).
- I go shopping for snacks and Gatorade for the trip and after the race.
- Once my training slows down I treat my feet to a mani/pedi but I make sure that the manicurist doesn't shave the bottoms of my feet.
- Update the music on my iPod.
- Have running podcasts ready for the road trip (my two favorites below)

Running with the Pack
Marathon Show

Completed The Day/Night Before Leaving

- Go and get frozen yogurt (or ice cream) with my son (easy way to relax and celebrate the hard work thus far).
- Once little man is asleep the hubby and I snuggle up to watch a running themed movie.
- Make sure my Garmin is fully charged.

Everyone Loves Ice Cream!
Day Of Departure
- Breathe because everything is done and taken care of.

With all that said, now I am going to bed because we are off to Cape Cod tomorrow for our next half marathon! Happy Running :)

Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday: Packing for Racecations

Yep it's that time of the week, Wardrobe Wednesday! Unlike my typical Wardrobe Wednesday, today I am not going to feature running gear. Instead I am going to give you the low-down on how I pack for a racecation (a vacation that involves running a race). And right now I am knee deep in racecation packing as we speak.

So far every "big" race I have taken part in has been away from home. I have come to think of myself as a semi-pro racecation packer, but by the end of this running season I will give myself the title of Pro with 4 races in 3 months away from home (and still adding more to the itinerary).

So how does one pack for a racecation? 
My carry-on from Disney Marathon Weekend
First thing to consider is if you are flying or driving. If you are flying I would suggest packing your important running gear in a carry-on, while your backups and regular clothes can go into checked luggage. If you are driving everything can go into one bag. The reason I suggest a carry-on is in case your checked luggage goes missing or someone decides to ruffle through it and steal something. This way your important items are close to you at all times and you don't have to worry about getting to your destination and not having your shoes, etc. **Always pack electronics (Garmin, iPod, camera) in your carry-on bag**.

So what to pack?
I would rather be over prepared instead of under prepared. It is important to have options especially if the weather is unpredictable.

With that said here is my packing list (with explanations)
Running Attire (packing for unpredictable weather)
- Main running shoes (can't run a race without them).
- Backup running shoes (never know when your main ones might have undergone misfortune, for example a sick child).
- 2 Running socks (if you wear compression sleeves... those also)
- 1 compression socks for after the race (especially if you are driving or flying back right away, helps with blood flow).
- 1 running shorts (in case the weather is warm)
- 1 pair of running capris (in case the weather is mild)
- 1 pair of running pants (in case the weather is cold)
- 1 running tank (good for layering or if the weather is warm)
- 1 running shirt (usually my main top)
- 1 long sleeve running top (in case of rain or cold weather. Also good to pack in checked race bag)
- 2 sports bras (always have a backup of something you can't live without)
- A handful of hair-ties and a headband
- A hat (to go with the weather just in-case)
- gloves (if it is cold)
- a throw away track suit (usually purchased at Goodwill) if you predict that the weather will be really cold at the start and there is a long wait for the gun.
- sunglasses

Running Accessories
- A running belt (to carry belongings)
- Garmin
- iPod and headphones
- water bottle

Other Running Items
- Gu or other sustenance (whatever you have used during training)
- Gatorade (I always pack Gatorade, because many races provide Powerade and I usually don't train with it)
- Tylenol (for achy joints, especially if you are returning home same day)
- Ice packs (for the above reason)
- Body glide (to prevent chaffing)
- Vaseline (to treat chaffing)
- Sunscreen (skin cancer can be prevented)
- Chap-stick (obviously chapped lips)
- The stick (to roll out after the race)
- Good snack food (in case the race doesn't provide it)
- A cell phone or camera (you never know when you might need to take a picture)
- A plastic bag for stinky running clothes (last thing you want to do is drive 5 hours with the smell of sweat seeping out of your bags into the car... yuck!)
- Lotion (my hands get insanely dry)
- baby wipes (to have in your race checked bag to clean up/freshen up after the race).
- Airborne (to prevent getting sick)
- Inhaler (because I use one)

Racecation Items
- A printout of your hotel reservation confirmation (better safe than sorry)
- A printout of your race confirmation (better safe than sorry)
- A printout of the race map (if you are driving to the start this will help avoid crazy traffic in areas your not familiar with driving in)
- An idea of local restaurants (that way you can prepare for prerace carb loading)
- A printout of directions to the hotel (sometimes GPS stops working)
- Your typical everyday stuff (clothes, shoes, bath items, sleep items, etc).

Tomorrows Training post will be about preparing for racecations. My prerace rituals help me get to my destination and the starting line excited and prepared. If it seems like preparation is my top priority, well it is. I blame it on the numerous years I spent in Girl Scouts (10 years to be exact - all the way to 12th grade) and having the motto "Be Prepared" drilled into my head. Well as I always say, "better safe instead of sorry".

Be Inspired, Stay Motivated, Run Strong!