What’s Your Race Day Checklist?

Raymond Shobe/flickr.com

By Megan Cox

Well, folks, my come-to-Jesus moment is approaching.

In less than a week, I’ll be springing out of the “corral” (Really? This is really what they call the place where they put the runners at the start of the race?) to participate in the Dallas Half-Marathon. This post-pregnancy body is about as ready as it’s going to get.

And I’ll tell you, the last two weeks have been no walk (or even a nice, easy jog) in the park. I’ve been fighting colds (I have my toddler to thank for that, who uses my T-shirt like a tissue when I’m not looking), a sore right foot, and a treadmill on the fritz.

Also, my race day buddy isn’t going to be able to join me on Sunday, and he totally has a great excuse. But I’m sad anyway.

But don’t worry! I am as pumped as this mama of two little ones can be. My nervous energy is already starting to build, and I can’t WAIT to get in that corral.

Neigh! (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.)

Since I haven’t done this race thing in four long years, I think it’s time to make sure I have my ducks in a row. Here are the nine things I need to check and recheck before 8 a.m. Sunday morning.

  1. Packet Pickup: First on my list of things to do, once I arrive in Dallas, is visiting the Health and Fitness Expo at the Dallas Convention Center to pick up my packet. I need to get my bib, chip, instructions, and my super cool participant shirt (at least, it better be super cool!).
  2. Carb-Load Dinner: I’ve got my cousin working on this for me. My family and I are staying at her home right outside Dallas, and she’s a great cook, so no worries on that count.
  3. Getting There: This might generally be one of the most stressful aspects of getting to the race, but I’m in good shape on this one too. My cousin’s friend, a Dallas resident and fellow race participant, will be driving me downtown, so I’ve got a ride with someone who actually knows where she’s going. Score!
  4. Corral Info: Once we’re parked and headed toward the race, I will make my way to my assigned corral. This is something I need to check on at the Expo—you know, making sure I’m in the right corral. Gosh, I’m having such a hard time writing this with a straight face.
  5. Clothing: Shorts or stretch pants? Tank top or short sleeves? I need to have a good handle on what the weather will be Sunday morning before I even start packing.
  6. Food and Water: Because the water stops are so well spaced for this race, I’ll be going bottle free. But I’m still trying to decide exactly what I need to eat during the race and how to carry it best.
  7. Bib number & Chip: These two items in addition to clothes, shoes, and my cell phone (so I can meet up with Daddy and Company after the race) absolutely MUST make it downtown with me.
  8. Sunscreen: Oh yeah, and this too. I can’t preach about it and not wear it.
  9. Have Fun: I’ve worked hard for this! I should love every crazy minute of this race and remember all the sacrifices of time and energy I’ve made to get to this point. This is my first race post-babies, and I’ll tell you, it’s is definitely a challenge. But that makes the end goal all that more worth it!

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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