Thursday, May 19, 2011

Race Day Prep School - My Packing List

After months of planning, I can't believe the Brooklyn Half is only two days away! This isn't my first half marathon of the year (I ran the Rock n Roll Mardi Gras Half Marathon in Feb, and the National Half Marathon in March), but it's special to me because I've trained pretty hard for it, and it's the last half marathon I'll actually race before going into marathon training. I'm trying to stay relaxed because at this point I've done all the work I can do...and the weather is so questionable at this point (very good chance of it being humid and rain is still very much a possibility) but I would really love to break that 2 hour barrier.

Since I'm staying overnight thanks to a very early start time, it's time to start thinking about packing. Normally I'm world's most last minute packer...but when it comes to race day, I try to be extra diligent. After all, the last thing you want to deal with at 5 am on race day is a missing left sneaker or pair of shorts! Here are my race day must-haves...

1. Outfit. Depending on the weather, I might bring a few options. But since the low is already in the 60s for Brooklyn...there's no need for anything besides a tank and shorts. On training runs I'm not so particular about wearing an "outfit", but on race day I like to try and stay a bit coordinated (of course without sacrificing comfort!). After all, you never know if your pictures might actually come out!
Asics Emma Singlet in Aloe/White; Asics AYAMi Print Short in Urban/RoseViolet Print, Moving Comfort Vixen Bra in Margarita

2. Shoes.  One last run with my current pair of Asics 2160s before I retire them for a fresh pair
Asics GT-2160  in in Carbon/White/Plum

3. Socks. Why a whole item devoted to socks? Well first, if you forget them, that could really, really suck. And if you don't have the right pair, your feet could end up pretty uncomfortable. I like these Thorlos because they are very thin along the sides so it doesn't affect the shoe fit, but they are padded in the heels and toes for some extra comfort.
Thorlos Experia Socks in Pink
4. Race Belt.  I know races will give you some safety pins to pin your number wherever you like, but I'm a big fan of a number belt.  If you find one with that doesn't bounce (the iFitness belt works great for me) I find them way more comfortable than the safety pins. It also gives you an easy place to stash your phone if you choose to carry it, clip your iPod on if you choose to race with it (the arm bands personally drive me nuts...too hot and restricting!), and easy access to your food. Since I like to carry my iPhone, I keep it stashed away in the big pouch, and added on a little pouch to keep my food in.

iFitness Ultimate Race Belt; FuelBelt Small Neoprene Pouch
5. GPS Watch.  I love, love my quells my anxiety when I start to get nervous about where I am and helps keep me on track with pace. I just hope it doesn't freak out on me like on Tuesday's Wall Street Run.
Garmin Forerunner 405 in Black
6. Sunglasses. My eyes are pretty sensitive to sun (probably because I wear sunglasses year round) so racing with a pair is a must. At first I wasn't too thrilled about the idea of wearing sporty-ones when I have so many pretty ones - but I must say, they are much lighter, and comfortable.  These are neat because they come with three interchangable lens - smoke for bright days, red for overcast days, and clear to keep your eyes dry on rainy days
Tifosi Slip Sunglasses in Neon Pink   
7. Headgear. Normally I would prefer to race without a hat or visor (I don't love the feeling of wearing one) but if there's threat of rain, it's definitely a necessity to keep your eyes dry and vison clear.I know it's cheesy to wear race gear to another race..but I like the reminder that I'm marathon-strong.

Asics 2010 (New York City) Marathon Visor
8. Music. We can debate running with music or not until the cows come home...but my iPod helps keep me going. I keep the music low enough so I'm not oblivious to my surroundings...and if the race has enough going on to keep me entertained, I have no qualms about shutting it off.  Headphones have always been an issue for me, but I swear by these Nike ones...they adjust every which way, so they actually stay on.
Apple iPod Nano Fifth Generation in Fuschia; Nike Vapor Headphones in Black
9. Race Day Fuel.  Sure it's not like I'm going to the middle of nowhere..but why risk a store not having what you want? Better to just carry it with you. I've been into Cliff Shot Blocks lately because they are easy to chew, don't freak me out like the gels, and are mostly organic. 
Cliff Shot Bloks in Mountain Berry
 And last but not least.....

10. Bodyglide.  The name says it all.

Anything else I'm missing? What do you all like to pack? See you all in Brooklyn!


  1. Good luck!!! Don't forget clothes for post race:)

  2. Thanks!! Haha yes, hanging around in yucky running clothes wouldn't be much fun. Now the bigger question is, if I make the effort bring my blow dryer/flat iron...will I actually be motivated to straighten my hair post-race?

  3. Good luck!! Love my toe socks.. shot blocks.. oh and my Garmin!!

  4. Wow. I'm with you in preparating for a race. I'm very organize and a bit anal. Good luck with Brooklyn this Sat! A friend is running that as well. ]Ran the National Half Marathon a few months ago which you also participated in (great race but poorly organized) and a couple of weeks ago I did the Frederick Half (MD). Like you, I wanted to do it under 2 hours and I did --1:56! Next race for me will be the Baltimore 10 miler in June, Queens Half in July, Philly Rock and Roll in September then the final race will ne the Marine Corps Marathon in October (2md marathon). Whew. Good luck again! Love reading your blog.

  5. A bit belated - but thanks so much for the well wishes and kind words!

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