I have to admit, I’m still riding a bit high from finishing the Marine Corps Marathon. I was pretty sure I could do it, but I had enough doubt in my mind that I carried enough cash for a cab and also had my metro card. Yes, I believe in being prepared.
Know what else is a amazing? By Monday morning, I was barely sore. Seriously. I did five loads of laundry (2 flights of stairs between the hamper and the washer), went grocery shopping (where someone did not believe I’d run a marathon because I was walking normally LOL), and took Shoo to the doctor (where we went up and down multiple flights of stairs.) Feeling fine really blew my plan of spending the day sitting on the couch eating bon bons.
Anyways, MCM was such an awesome experience for a lot of reasons, but I’ll share that in my recap soon. Instead, let’s talk about today’s topic “Night Races.” Patty, Marcia, and I want to hear your tips and experiences.
I’ve written some tips for running in the dark, but I’ve only “raced” at night 3 times: a twilight 5k (that really wasn’t that dark), Ragnar DC (where I ran at 1am, and Ragnar Cape Cod (where I ran around 10pm.) I would hardly call myself an expert, so I hope that some of you link up some good tips.
Here’s what I’ve learned from my night time races:
- Plan your meals – You don’t want to be carrying a huge meal in your belly, but if the race is longer than 5 miles, you are also going to want to make sure you have some fuel in your body.
- Familiarize yourself with the course – You aren’t going to have the same visual clues you get during a daytime run. Having at least some idea where the turns are will help you anticipate things (and help you not get lost during a night leg at Ragnar.)
- Have the right equipment – It’s always good to have reflective gear on at night. It’s also not a bad idea to have a headlamp (may even be required at some races.)
- Practice ahead of time – Get out there and do a short run near the time you think you’ll be running. Make sure you know how to use your headlamp and make sure any other items you will be using won’t chafe. (You don’t want to figure out a few miles into a half marathon that wearing your reflective vest over a tank top was a very bad idea.
- Dress appropriately – 60 degrees in the bright sun is very different than 60 degrees in the pitch black. I find that I need to wear a bit more in the middle of the night.