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What not to do before a 5k

January 3, 2011
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About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to run the Jingle Bell Run, while we were in Dallas for Christmas. It was evening 5k race on 12/22 starting at 7pm, which is my favorite time of day to run. Howdy thought it sounded like a good idea too, so I signed us both up about a week prior. That was probably the only positive thing we did to prepare for the race. I had run about 16 or 17 races prior to this, and 7 of them were 5k races, so it’s not like I didn’t know how to prepare myself – but for some reason all of those past experiences just slipped my mind completely. No matter what, I wasn’t expecting a PR since I’ve been treadmill running since November. Treadmill running is always wimpy for me because I can’t seem to zone out and enjoy it the way I can outside.

So anyway –  if you are thinking about running a 5k (or any race), I’m going to give you some ideas of things NOT to do:
1. Don’t eat approximately 5lbs of cookies and other holiday goodies in the 3 days leading up to the race
2. If you’re going to run a race, it’s probably a good idea to run more than 2 miles at a time in the 6 months leading up to the race
3. If it’s an evening race, don’t forget to eat breakfast and lunch
4. Don’t eat a large Mexican food dinner at Luna de Noche an hour before the race
5. Don’t drink a margarita an hour before the race
6. Remember to stretch
7. Don’t run dehydrated – Drink water!

I’m sure there are many more things not to do, but those are a few observations I made while suffering through that race. I finished in my slowest time ever – 36:36 – and for the first time in my personal running history thought I might be sick during a race (Howdy actually did spend about 4-5 minutes of his 27:13 run on the sidelines revisiting his dinner- ugh!).  Oh well, lessons learned, and I did feel so much better after the race was over!

The race itself was fun! The race started and ended at the Hilton Anatole hotel in downtown Dallas. We primarily ran through the Design District, which is where I worked for quite a while before I got married and moved away. I hadn’t been down there in about 5 years, and I had never run through that area before , so it was nice to check it out. The race was also bigger than I expected. There were 964 finishers (plus quite a few dogs and children in strollers :)) – not bad for 7pm on the Wednesday before Christmas. So even though I felt like death while I was actually running – I was glad we did it and enjoyed myself despite the physical discomforts. 🙂

On a side note, something I’ve been thinking about today:
“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

-Alexander Graham Bell

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2011 8:54 pm

    OMG! M, that stinks! I feel so bad for you… that’s my big fear about night races! I worry that I’ll be so tired from the day that I won’t be able to complete 13.1 miles starting at 10 at night…

  2. January 4, 2011 5:30 pm

    I am obsessed with your blog!!! YOU ARE HILARIOUS!! I love the list!! I am sorry you weren’t feeling your best but at least the race was fun!! THANK YOU for the sweet comment you left me, it meant a lot!

  3. January 4, 2011 7:12 pm

    Oh I love seafood!! Good thing you can eat that because you are in ALASKA!!! I LOVE designer purses too….lets start a club! Have a great day!!

  4. January 6, 2011 9:28 pm

    i love that you were able to survive your race and even be able to say that you had fun! i love the races that let dogs and strollers, it makes it seem like a community bonding event rather than a race. and i love doing races while traveling. gives me a good excuse to get my rear in gear!

    good work!

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