Mama’s Half Marathon – Race weekend logistics

The month of May is full of celebrations in my family.  We kick it off with my Dad’s birthday, then tip our hats to my sister on her wedding anniversary and soon we will get to celebrate Super Dad on his birthday!

This year, the 1st of May also marked the official countdown to race day with just 28 days to go.  It’s race month, baby!

First things first: a training update.  After last week’s ‘one step back’ training mishap, I wanted to make sure and kick it into gear this week.  I managed to squeeze in four runs for a total of 30kms logged including one long run of 15km.

Other distances included a 3.5km high intensity outdoor run, 4km treadmill run and a 7.5km outdoor run.  My long run felt great and was a really encouraging start to race month.  My goal will be to include one 15-18km run weekly until race day.  Included is a picture of my cheer squad keeping busy while I run on the treadmill.  Please notice that Clyde has his running shoes on because it was his turn first to go for a run.  So cute!

With race day being at the end of May, I still have a few weeks of training left but am making sense of some race weekend logistics in plenty of time.  Silly as it may sound, things like what to wear and what water bottle to use are valuable things to consider leading up to race day.  I’ve also included my plan for childcare, race day fuel and more.

What to wear.  I’ve decided on a t-shirt similar to this from Under Armour and these running shorts from Lululemon.  I like the Champion sports bra from Costco and a pairs of running socks like these.  I’m currently training in these running shoes but will probably break all of the rules and switch to a new pair in the next few weeks.  (My knees and hips were sore by the end of my long run this week which is an indicator that I’m due for new shoes.)

All of the above items that have been in my workout drawer throughout all of my training so I know that they fit well and are comfortable.  If you’ve been working towards a goal and intend to pick a new outfit for the race, do it a few weeks prior to make sure that it fits well for the duration of your activity.

Music.  If you’re planning on having a set playlist for the race, now is a good time to start putting it together.  Adam and I subscribe to Apple Music so we have full access to iTunes.  I like to pick my music as I go but may put a short list together in the next week or a two.

Race fuel.  After 45 minutes-1 hour of consistent exercise, your body will benefit from replenishing some of its stores (vitamins, minerals, sodium etc.).  Consider training with some whole food options (dates, bananas, dried mango etc.) and/or a homemade electrolyte drink.  The race will have fuel stations throughout the course offering you water and depending on the distance, a fuel option.  While these are great resources as you need them, you’re best to arrive prepared with food and drinks that you have trained with and you know your body can tolerate.

Childcare.  Since Adam and I are both running in the race, we have asked a set of grandparents to be responsible for the boys on race weekend.  The half marathon is on Sunday morning so the boys will go to their grandparents on Saturday afternoon for a sleepover and meet us at the finish line after the race.  This may just be the first time that we sleep through the night before the race.  We’re hoping it shaves a minute or two off our time.  Be sure to provide your family with a course map and a suggested meet point after the race.  We will also be providing the grandparents with a carrier for each of the boys.  If you read my babywearing series, you know that I am a big fan of not having to lug a stroller through the busy streets of downtown.

Since Jude is still breastfeeding full-time, I will be pumping that morning before the race to make sure that I’m comfortable while running.

Goal setting.  Now is when we start to set or modify our goals for race day.  With a few weeks of training behind us and a few more to go, we have a pretty clear picture of what a realistic finishing time looks like.  On my long run today, I finished with an average pace of 6m22s which would give me a finishing time of 2h11.  With that in mind, I will be working towards a sub 2h04 finish.  I’m counting on increasing my training pace over the next few weeks as well as an adrenaline boost on race day.

These are the things that are top of mind in our house these days as we get ready for Ottawa Race Weekend.  Please comment below if there are other things you like to do in preparation of a race!