TOP 10 REASONS TO SCRAP YOUR RACE PLAN & RUN FOR FUN
1. There is absolutely zero packing anxiety when you're racing for the hell of it. Forget your Body Glide? Whatevs, you can just grab something similar at CVS when you get there. Don't have enough GUs? Not a prob....just throw some jelly beans or M&Ms in your bag and hope for the best.
2. When you aren't worried about your race day performance, you can eat whatever you want all week up through the morning of the race itself. Ok, no, I wouldn't experiment with a Chia seed burrito the night before the race, but at the same time, I could stray from my normal diet of bagels and pasta for multiple dinners in a row.
3. If you're not worried about your race time, you can stay up later with friends the night before and enjoy a glass of wine without an ounce of guilt. Personally, I did not do either of these things as Kirsten and I were pretty wiped from our road trip and ended up going to bed early. I know, not a shocker. But, still, it's a nice option.
4. When you're planning to take it easy, you don't really need to taper the week before which means you won't be dealing with the usual TAPER MADNESS. That's all I need to say about that.
5. No race agenda means no pre-race freakout. On race morning, I was excited to meet up with Kirsten but my usual pre-race jitters remained behind. That was easily one of the best differences.
6. My typical pre-marathon ritual includes checking the weather at least 20 times a day for the entire two weeks leading up to race day. Sure, I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of running in the rain or the heat for two hours, but at the same time, it wasn't going to impact my game plan, so it was not something I was checking on a regular basis.
7. With no pace plan there is no need to check your watch every mile during the race. That's a huge relief. Now, granted, I had planned to do this for Kirsten so she could take the pacing off her list but she's admittedly a bit obsessed with checking her watch through her races, so she took that job off my hands for this one.
8. Usually, when I've pushed hard and finished a race with nothing left in the tank, the post-race food and drink options aren't even remotely appealing. This time around it ALL looked good and I was not afraid to help myself.
9. Normally, I'm hobbling back to my car, my hotel, my house, whatever; barely able to walk when I've "gone for it" on race day. Stairs? Forget it. When you're just running for fun, your body thanks you by functioning as it should afterwards. This was particularly nice for Kirsten as I was able to drive us home in her car giving her a much-needed break from having to deal.
10. Bottom line, regardless of the outcome, there's nothing like truly going for it on race day. But, having had a grand old time this past weekend in ME, I now can appreciate how nice it is to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride (and the views).
Kennebunkport, ME on race day
Listen to this:
Runnin' - David Dallas