What NOT to do 3 days before a 5K
** this is not my Hero Run 5K Review, only the mistakes I made leading up to the race**
I have known I was doing the Hero Run 5K since May, I had my costume picked out and done since July, except for the pants, and those were done last week. I have known I was moving since September. But I was completely unprepared for both events.
I had the Half Marathon on October 18th, and mentally blocked anything that would require too much thinking or energy prior to that. So I had to move out of my apartment in 3 days. Roger helped me out, but I moved about 85% of things on my own. I went up and down steps almost nonstop for two and a half days, and most of those times I was carrying a box or something heavy. Here are some of the things I regret doing in preparation for the Hero Run 5K.
Ate a ton of junk food- Because I was “Super busy” packing and moving things, I mostly picked up food for many days before the 5K. And with a family emergency, I ended up eating McDonalds for dinner very late one night. I *try* to eat cleaner on days leading up to a race, but I was tired and hungry, and my body just wanted to immediate gratification. The best I had to eat on 4 days was a small salad along with a grilled cheese sandwich. And the only day that I ate and didn’t feel immediately hungry, I had a spicy chicken sandwich, fries, a large soda, small soup, half a Carrabas’ kid’s pizza and 3 slices of a margheritta pizza. Nothing good at all! And the night before the race I had a quarter pounder with fries…. Bad!
I didn’t drink enough water- Yeah… I don’t understand why my body craves soda and fried food when I’m tired. So, I had tons of soda. And Ice tea. And very little water. The times that I felt thirsty, I would reach for the large soda that was already on the table, rather than going downstairs and getting my water from the car. On Saturday, the day before the 5K, I had only 3 bottles of water, and that was only because I chugged two bottles before going to bed. I was so dehydrated that I didn’t pee until the next morning.
I didn’t sleep well for 3 nights- Because of a family emergency; I went to bed very late on Wednesday (1:30 am). Because of moving, I went to bed late on Thursday (12:00 am), Friday (11:30) and Saturday (11:00). The only thing that saved me was the fall back schedule, which got me an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning.
By Saturday night, the night before the race, I was so tired, dehydrated and mentally exhausted that I thought about just dropping out of the 5K, and just resting. But I woke up early on Sunday, the race was scheduled for 9:30 am, and it was only about 10 minute drive from where I live. I woke up at 7 and I felt rested and excited to run! So I took a shower, got my son read and off we went.
How many mistakes can I allow myself to make in a single weekend? Apparently, I have no limit. I normally set out all the things I will wear for a race the night before, to make sure I don’t forget anything. This was a Dress like Your Hero run, and I knew back in July that I would be going as Selena. My costume was ready, I knew where it was. My running shoes were already in the car, so I thought I was ready. I put on my sparkly pants, put on my socks, without Vaseline, because I *always* have time to do that before the race. The only thing I didn’t put on was my sparkly Selena bra, the one I worked on for 3 weeks, and spent $10 on sequins. I put it in my book pack, and went to get my son ready.
Getting my son ready to go anywhere always requires extra time, and extra clothes. He had picked to be Harry Potter, and I had to find him comfy warm clothes to complete his outfit. I went to put an extra pair of socks, pants and a sweater for him in the book pack, and as I took some things out of the bag to make more room for his clothes. That was when he announced that he was going to be running the 1 mile fun run, which was music to my ears! I have been asking him for tons of races if he wanted to do the fun runs, his answer is always a very loud and eloquent *NO!* and of course this added a trip to the bank I had not accounted for in the trip.
I want to add up everything against me by this point : I was tired, had not done a practice run, had not eaten well on the days leading up to the race, including a quarter pounder burger from McDs the night before, I was dehydrated. But I kept my spirits up, I was at the race, my son was signed up for the 1 mile fun run and all I had left to do was put on my sparkly bra and run the 3.1 miles. After that I could go get some rest. Except when I went to get my sparkly bra, it wasn’t in the bag! There was an extra pair of pants for my son, an extra pair of socks for him, and an extra sweater for me. NO SPARKLY BRA ANYWHERE. And the race would be starting in 15 minutes.
Defeated, tired, and dehydrated, I chugged a bottle of water, put on my race shirt, (I never wear my race shirt, I consider it bad luck) and off I went to the 5K. I was hoping to finish in 24.30, or below. But tiredness caught up with me at 2.5 and I stopped and walked a few steps, also I never put on the Vaseline on my toes, which were starting to feel raw. My finish time was 25.30.
I have been excited to do this race since May, I was super excited to run as my personal Hero, Selena Quintanilla, and was really looking forward to having a lot of fun at the race. Plans had to be adjusted, as well as expectations. I am still very excited and happy that my son did the 1 mile fun run and enjoyed being at the race! And I’m hoping this will wake up an excitement for running in him. I made mistakes, but still enjoyed the run and will do it again next year! And hopefully I will learn from all the mistakes I made.... as in, pack all the clothes in the bag the night before and take NOTHING out of the bag, and eating and sleeping are priority!