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!


  1. Wow, you really are prepared. Where are you off to this time?

  2. Karen I have to be honest... I have missed you and your comments dearly while you were running countless miles in the beautiful tundra! Hope AK was amazing!

    Hubby and I are off to Hyannis MA (next to Cape Cod). It's suppose to be a nice race. Keeping my fingers crossed! Just hoping for some nice weather.