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Half Marathon Race Week Checklist: The Runner's Rituals



The Lighter Side of Half Marathon Prep:

A Week in the Life of a Runner



It's race week for the Southern Utah half marathon, and while our training has taught us to endure, nothing quite prepares us for the unique mix of excitement, nerves, and the flurry of last-minute activities that define these final days. As we gear up for the big event, here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at the “essential” race week rituals that many of us will undoubtedly recognize.


1. Weather Watcher Extravaganza

First up, let’s admit it: we all turn into amateur meteorologists during race week. Checking the weather app becomes a compulsive habit, as if refreshing it enough times will ward off rain clouds or summon a cool, gentle breeze on race day.


2. The Great Carb Debate

Carbo-loading is serious business, but choosing the menu? That's where the real stress lies. Pasta has been the traditional go-to, but why limit ourselves when there are so many delicious carbs to embrace? Here’s to a week of pizza, bread, and maybe a side of pasta (for tradition's sake). Pro tip - if your race is on Saturday, carbo loading Thursday night is more important that Friday night.


3. Fashion Show at Home

Race day outfit planning can rival major fashion events. We try on every combination of gear to find that perfect ensemble that says, "I’m here to run fast and look good doing it." Bonus points if your outfit also color-coordinates with your running shoes.


4. Playlist Engineering

Crafting the perfect race day playlist is nothing short of an art form. It’s about hitting those motivational highs just right and having that power song kick in just as you're questioning your life choices around mile ten.


5. Expo Adventures

The race expo is where budgets go to die. You’ll wander the stalls, eyes wide, convincing yourself that you definitely need another race shirt, or perhaps one more fancy water bottle. It’s all about the gear (and the free samples).



6. Taper Tantrums

Ah, the taper. It’s meant to be about rest and recovery, yet here we are, pacing around because sitting still somehow feels more challenging than the actual running. Who knew rest could be this difficult?


7. The Loo Layout

Knowing where every bathroom stop on the route is could arguably be more important than the miles themselves. After all, strategic bathroom planning can make or break a race.


8. Goal Setting Gymnastics

Setting a goal is straightforward. Setting four goals depending on various acts of God and shoelace configurations? That’s just being prepared. We’ve got our A goal, and then a contingency for everything short of a zombie apocalypse.


9. Sleep Calculations

In race week, we all try to bank as much sleep as possible, which leads to endless calculations of “if I fall asleep right now…” Sadly, the excitement (and the nerves) often mean those calculations are just mental gymnastics.


10. Lucky Charm Logistics

Finally, packing the race bag. It’s checked and rechecked, ensuring that lucky socks, race bib, extra safety pins, and emergency snacks are all accounted for. Because you never know when you might need that half-eaten granola bar from last month’s 10K.



So here we are, ready or not! As we tick off each item on our quirky, pre-race checklist, let's remember to embrace the fun and folly of race week.

After all, it's not just about the distance—it's about enjoying the journey and all the little rituals that make race week uniquely thrilling.

Wishing you all smooth running and personal bests this week!

Let’s make those race day rituals count!


Comment and let us know what else you would add!


Happy running!


 

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I'll be posting more ideas this week on my IG & FB accounts




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