As the run draws near and I prepare for my seven-hour trek across New York and Massachusetts for the B.A.A 5k, I thought I would just share my thoughts and quickly touch on a couple of often-repeated suggestions for the newbie race runner.

I am looking forward to this race quite a bit, not so much for the normal reasons of improving my time or showing off my fresh, new kicks, but because of who is going to be there. Running has taken on a lot more meaning for me since starting this blog. Seeing people get more and more excited about getting in shape is pretty awesome. So many people talk to me now about how their training is going, how they are feeling better, getting faster, and running longer. It is a really rewarding experience to be a part of it. I am super excited that so many of my friends and family will be there for this race, all of us sharing the experience together. It is kind of cool that the main event, the single and only reason we are gathering, isn’t centered around eating or some kind of celebration that involves big dinners. Instead, it is about fitness and exercise.

Now, for some Quick Tips that have often been repeated:

  1. Don’t eat food that you wouldn’t typically eat before going for a normal workout. The first 5K in which I took part back in December 2011 offered

    Seriously, it isn't worth it

    the runners a ready-made chai latte “power drink” before the race, which I heard from numerous people afterward that they really shouldn’t have drank it before they ran. Keep to your normal habits and/or actually be a little bit more strict.

  2. Take a couple rest days before the race—you’ll feel a lot better.
  3. Do the race for yourself. Don’t get caught up in how fast or slow other people are going. Don’t fall into the trap of worrying about pacing yourself early. Just run like you usually run and focus on yourself.
  4. Have fun with it! After all, what is the point in doing it if you aren’t having fun?
  5. Leave plenty of time to get to the race, you don’t want to miss it because of a lack of parking or some other random thing!
  6. If you don’t run your best race to date, it is no big deal! Just like professional athletes, some days just aren’t your day.