The 2-Step Marathon Packing List
by Kathryn White, A.K.A "The Captain"
Step 1. Race Week-Reduce your already hyper-escalated stress level.
- Pack early; even the weekend before the race. If you realize you forgot or need something, you can pick it up leisurely the week before.
- Do not count on picking up anything you need the day before, especially not at the race expo. Ever heard “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”? No fun.
- Pack two of each essential clothing item (shorts, shirt, bra, socks, and shoes); one in a suitcase and one in a carry-on in case your suitcase if lost.
- Pack all nutritional needs for the weekend; not just the stuff you will use during the race. Even the uber-expensive hotels don’t always have that must have pre-race blueberry pancake or bagel.
- Pack plain old Vaseline unless you want to scream like a little girl when you jump into the shower after the race. Wear body glide during the race, but if after the race you discover chafing you'll be happy you brought the Vaseline. Apply liberally to raw areas and the shower will be much more pleasant.
- If you, for some insane reason, forget your shoes and have only your completely worn out shoes, you are far better to purchase and wear new shoes provided they are the same make and model of the ones you have been wearing.
Step 2. Race Day - There are some things that just need to be left at home.
- Don’t do anything or wear anything new. Chafing and blisters are annoying when you are trying to mentally stay strong at the end of the race.
- Forget the enema. Kid you not! If you have to stop to use the restroom then stop. Better to do that than stop because you are crippled by dehydration.
- Stop thinking bad thoughts before and during the run. A lot of runners really like to tell you how hard the half marathon and marathon is to complete and all the horror stories. Chances are they were not trained and coached as well as you have. In addition, if it was that hard, then why do they keep doing it? Ahh, the whole "talk up the hard to make the task seem daunting" which in turn makes them seem born of the gods. Yes, you will be tired, but chances are if you run as coached and do not do something stupid like running with the elites at the start, you will, in the end, enjoy and appreciate the experience.