I'm racing the Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon #2 tomorrow morning and I love, love, love to have a pre-race day plan.
Yesterday I ran 5.5 miles nice and easy. I wanted to do that on Wednesday, but I didn't get to it.
Today I am feeling a bit sick, but hoping to get my carbs in anyway for tomorrow and get some good sleep tonight. But before that, I have to have a plan for tomorrow!
Race time is 7:30, and check-in is at 6:30. However, I will not be checking in until 7, because that's how I roll.
5:00 am: alarm #1
5:08 am: alarm #2
5:15 am: coffee + smoothie
5:45 am: get ready
6:30 am: leave my house
7:00 am: check-in
7:05 am: clif bar
7:30 am: race start!
Shoes: Montrails. I just can't take those Hokas anymore.
Hydration: Aid stations. I'm not bringing my own hydration tomorrow because it's going to about 57 degrees and cloudy (perfect running weather!) and I've been doing a lot of running without hydration. When I ran the GP Half (#1) it was hot out and I drank too much water - meaning I had that water sloshing around near the end which really slowed me down. There are three aid stations, and if I have a cup of water at each I'll be good to go.
Nutrition: Caffeine. I think I'll pop a caffeinated Clif shot at mile 8 and that should be plenty. There's significantly less elevation changes in this race than November, which means less hiking. Less hiking means I won't have that slower pace to actually get a gel down and complementarily that I'll be able to keep my momentum better without a boost. One should be fine.
Race goal: My time goal for this race is 2:14:00. That's an average pace of something like 10:15. Obviously every mile won't be 10:15. My secret to a successful pacing strategy is to follow someone you know will be running the pace you want to run for the race. But since I don't have that for this race, I used someone else's Strava activity from this race last year. I used her run as a gauge of the "effort" for each mile, then arbitrarily added a minute to each of her mile splits because I thought that sounded about right for me. She ran it in 2:01... add 13 minutes and you have me coming in at 2:14. I'll just go for those mile splits. I haven't decided if this is strategy is lazy, obsessive, or just genius. If it works, it will be genius.
Other goals for this race: Don't start feeling sick. I know, who can really control this? I just feel crappy right now. My stomach is in knots for absolutely no reason and I just want it to go away. And have fun. Of course... I don't think I've ever ran a trail race and not felt like it was fun.
Final thoughts: I think I'm okay if it rains. And I can't wait to make my goal time!