Game Face Redux

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Oooooh yeah.


Have you not made the Autumn Grilled Banana Sandwich yet?  Because you REALLY should!



Game Face Redux


I had grand plans to write a post about getting my game face on for my marathon (THREE DAYS – AHHH!).  I woke up and starting to mentally put together my post when I vaguely recalled talking about this before.  Guess what?  I’ve already written that post!  :)  I guess that happens after 2,600 posts.


Get Your Game Face On:  What To Do The Days Leading Up to a Race


My advice includes:


  • How to taper
  • Eating cleanly (no alcohol!)
  • Eating a few extra hundred calories beginning two or three days before the race to top off your glycogen stores (for endurance events)
  • Review race website
  • Check the weather obsessively
  • Drive to race location or print out a map
  • Put together a playlist
  • And lots of other last minute tips


How do you get ready in the days leading up to a race?  What things do you worry about?  I always fear:  not being able to go to the bathroom (sorry if that’s too much information, but its a serious concern for a runner!) and getting lost on my way to the race.


PS – The winners of the medal display giveaway are Allie (her motivational mantra is “Can’t stop, won’t stop!”) and Megan (she repeats, “Hills are friends! Hills are friends!”)  Congrats!



  • Louise@allthingsbridal October 27, 2010, 9:42 am

    Good luck on the weekend! Looks like you’re really prepared for it!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin October 27, 2010, 9:45 am

    I have the same fear about the day of the race! I also get nervous about waking up and tend to wake up several times leading up to actual wake up time for fear I’ll sleep through my alarm!

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow October 27, 2010, 9:45 am

    That sandwich is to die for! Fall perfection all on a little plate.

    For me + races, it’s all about visualization- putting myself there, imagining how I will feel, how my body will feel and reminding myself that my body can DO IT! I’m a bit crazy on prepping- need to know the when, how, where and why of everything so my mind can be at ease. 🙂

  • Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 27, 2010, 9:49 am

    Only a couple more days… so excited for you! Good luck with weekend!

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 27, 2010, 9:51 am

    Congrats to the winners — wish I was one of them!

    I know what you mean about the fear of not going to the bathroom — just try not to worry and it will happen. I just try to rest and drink tons of water for days leading up to the race. I can’t believe it is this weekend already!

  • skinnyrunner October 27, 2010, 9:52 am

    the one thing i stress and worry about is being late to the race. or oversleeping like i did this past weekend and missing the whole thing. oops.

  • Kristy @ October 27, 2010, 9:54 am

    My confidence definitely goes down as my tapering-induced mileage does as well. I am just trying to remember all those looong runs and how great they were! 🙂

  • tina October 27, 2010, 10:01 am

    putting together my playlist is TOTALLY my favorite part of getting my game face on… i love thinking about how each song will make me feel and making sure i have a few pick me ups a long the way… and a couple songs that bring me peace… aw man, thats so fun!!!!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 27, 2010, 10:01 am

    I definitely worry about not being able to find bathrooms before the race because I ALWAYS need them! Also, the whole tapering thing – I’m always scared something is going to happen where i injure myself, so i take my taper very seriously and make sure i get lots of rest!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 27, 2010, 10:02 am

    Wow, your marathon is coming up so fast!

    You’re going to do awesome 😀

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 27, 2010, 10:03 am

    Um, yum! The cashews on top of that masterpiece just put it over the edge in decadent!

  • Wei-Wei October 27, 2010, 10:04 am

    LOL “hills are friends”!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman October 27, 2010, 10:08 am

    That is a monster breakfast. Holy yum.

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? October 27, 2010, 10:10 am

    That sandwich looks awesome!!
    I’m so excited to hear about your marathon! I’ve never run a race before so I kind of feel like I’m living vicariously through other bloggers. 🙂

  • Kelly October 27, 2010, 10:11 am

    I’m ALWAYS worried I won’t be able to go to the bathroom, but typically I have such a nervous stomach I go multiple times, haha.

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 27, 2010, 10:13 am

    I’ve only written 500 some odd posts and sometimes think I have written something before. I imagine that easily happens after over 2 years of blogging so much. LOL

  • Camille October 27, 2010, 10:16 am

    Haha, sometimes I wonder if I am reusing titles 🙂

  • Corey @ The Runner's Cookie October 27, 2010, 10:29 am

    The fall version looks amazinggg – I gotta wait until I get my hands on more pumpkin!
    The days leading up to a race I try to be as positive as I can and relax – sort of a balance between having empowering visualizations of running well and finishing and also just relaxing and being calm.

  • Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul October 27, 2010, 10:30 am

    My pre-race plan includes getting lots of rest. I try to sleep at least an extra hour per day in the days leading up, if possible!

  • Sana October 27, 2010, 10:31 am

    Alright alrightttt! you have convinced me to make this amazingness for b-fast 🙂

  • Sandy October 27, 2010, 10:33 am

    Looks like Marie Claire stepped in it again. I dont know if you have discussed this already–I have been out of town–but see link below, truly disgusting.

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 10:37 am

      Saw and disgusted by! Marie Claire clearly blows on multiple levels and has no editorial oversight, or their editors are equally horrendous as their writers. I’m writing to their advertisers today to complain.

    • Kara October 27, 2010, 11:37 am

      Just came back to HTP today to say this (Glad I searched the page for “marie claire” before submitting a new comment)! How do they get away with this ridiculousness??

  • Rob Runs (Slowly) October 27, 2010, 10:38 am

    I wish I liked bananas, that breakfast looks amazing! Good luck on Saturday! I’m running my first marathon Sunday and am so nervous already I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep down all the extra carbs I want to load up on. I’m trying to keep a positive outlook, visualizing success, but I’m such a worrier it’s becoming more and more difficult by the day.

  • Natalia - a side of simple October 27, 2010, 10:52 am

    I can’t get over how good that breakfast looks… if you picture that at the end of your marathon I’m sure you’ll fly!

  • Balanced Healthy Life October 27, 2010, 11:00 am

    Before I run, I try not to think about what I am about to do. I just take it as it comes so I don’t get overwhelmed. Then I break the race/run up in to smaller segments like 2-5 miles and go from there. One thing I do worry about is over drinking water. I love it so much, but am always fearful I’ll chug too much and get a cramp or have to run with the water swooshing around in my stomach- so not fun!

  • Stacey October 27, 2010, 11:05 am

    I try not to think about it, and make it seem like ‘just another race’ in my mind. Though I do get worried about getting lost on the way to a race too! Or about not being able to find the starting line…silly, I know 😉

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) October 27, 2010, 11:07 am

    Great tips!
    But what I want to know is how Megan got hills to be her friends!? Those hills are some b!tches… 😉

    • Megan October 27, 2010, 8:57 pm

      haha most times they aren’t my friends at all! But somehow pretending they are helps me get to the top!

  • Mary (Sisters Running the Kitchen) October 27, 2010, 11:08 am

    Hey Caitlin,

    Good Luck to you this weekend! I would have to agree with you, I always fear that I won’t go to the bathroom…and sometimes I don’t go to the bathroom…and I feel a little off, although it really does not affect me that much! Last week I was at a restaurant and ordered a salad that had roasted pumpkin and Parsnip (just like your parsnip fries!), golden raisins, pumpkin seeds, and locatelli cheese…it reminded me of you right away! I thought I would share with you my recreation of the recipe since it seems right up your alley!

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:21 pm

      oh that sounds really GOOD!!

  • Ashley October 27, 2010, 11:10 am

    hi there, good luck with your marathon!!!

    this is unrelated, but sort of as a follow up to that ridiculous marie claire article that vilified you healthy living bloggers for what you do…the mag has come under fire for a piece that was published two days ago called “Should Fatties Get a Room (Even on TV)?”. I can’t imagine what they were thinking. I know the mag doesn’t even deserve any more attention, but the lack of responsibility in that piece is baffling, and even more so, the hypocrisy and incongruity it creates after slaying you well-meaning bloggers…it’s just bananas and i thought it was worth mentioning.

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:21 pm

      yup – saw it and am disgusted. Marie Claire owes readers an apology.

  • grocery goddess jen October 27, 2010, 11:34 am

    Eeek, I can’t believe your race is so soon! I love reading about the races everyone runs, it’s so fun.

  • Linzi @ Destination 26.2 October 27, 2010, 11:35 am

    Yay for your second marathon! Soooo exciting! You are going to do great! 🙂

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up October 27, 2010, 11:35 am

    The more I see this grilled banana sandwich, the more I want to try it! I’m not a HUGE banana fan but it looks soooo good!
    And good luck on your marathon! You are going to rock it girl!

  • Beth @ bride in the little white dress October 27, 2010, 11:39 am

    Definitely bookmarking this yummy breakfast! Good luck on your marathon, you’re going to rock it! 🙂

  • Lisa October 27, 2010, 11:52 am

    Funny because my fear regarding bathrooms is not being able to find them during the race, which is why I really don’t want to do any mega marathons. I’m so paranoid about keeping hydrated that even for shorter races I need to make a pit stop. In both of my marathons I’ve been able to pull off the side of the road and take care of business without any crowds.

    And the getting lost? That’s happened to me at about the 41km point during my first marathon – no signs or people directing runners. I had to stop at a kiosk and ask some folks who were sitting around playing backgammon! Which is why I refuse to ever do that marathon again (although I have heard the organization is a little better now, I’m still annoyed!)

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:20 pm

      ahhh getting lost DURING a race is the worst.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In October 27, 2010, 12:25 pm

    I worry about the weather and that bathroom issue too!:)

  • Amanda October 27, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Hey Caitlin!

    Great post. My question for you is, I’ve found online I shouldn’t taper for a 5k. This is my second one, but I’ve never been a straight through runner..more run 3 laps, walk 1. Now I’m training and at the 1.75 mile mark. I will make the 3 mile mark the week of my event. Do you think I should take off any days? I have horrrrrrible shin splints (made better by good shoes) but I’m still nervous and not really sure even after all of my online research.

    Thanks girl! 🙂

  • kathleen October 27, 2010, 12:45 pm

    getting to the race on time is the only thing i worry about. other than that, i try to relax. i worked really hard to get there,i know i can finish, so the race should be enjoyed, no?

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:18 pm

      a race is a celebration of your training!

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim October 27, 2010, 12:47 pm

    Holy cow that breakfast sandwich looks amazing! I really need to make myself one of those 🙂 I definitely have the fear of not being able to go to the bathroom before a race!

  • Emily October 27, 2010, 12:50 pm

    I also fear the bathroom thing, every time! I get ready for a race by listening to my pump up songs EVERYWHERE I go and obsessively making lists about what I’ll need for race day (and travel if it’s out of town.)

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 27, 2010, 12:57 pm

    Your marathon is SO CLOSE!!! Good luck!

  • katie October 27, 2010, 12:57 pm

    that meal is fall on a plate!

  • Charlie October 27, 2010, 12:58 pm

    This grilled sandwich always makes me drool. I need to make it. Having bread would be a good start ;).

  • Gabrielle @ Weightless October 27, 2010, 1:43 pm

    As for preparing for marathons, I drink lots of Powerade Zero (I stop drinking alcohol several weeks before my fulls — which is sooo hard to do!), I get as much sleep as I can TWO nights before the race (since I know I won’t sleep the night before!) and mentally prepare myself by visualizing crossing the finish line. Best of luck to you Caitlin! Rock out that 26.2!

  • Joanne October 27, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I agree with you on the biggest worry: Bathroom issues. But drink a lot of water..I mean A LOT the day before the race. Eat nothing new and try to keep it bland (little or no sauces). My perfect snack: A baked, PLAIN, sweet potato.

    Don’t check the weather because there is nothing you can do about it. Just get to know the temperature. That’s all because are you really going to run 26 miles with a raincoat on?

    Make a list of the mile points where you will take Gu or whatever the fuel is of choice. I check the race course to know exactly where the water/gatorade and porto-potty stops are. Since I won’t run with a fuel belt in a race (too heavy, bouncy and cumbersome), it’s important to sync the fuel with the hydration stops.

    Make sure any potential chafe areas are coated with Glide and then a piece of sports tape.

    Charge your phone (if you run with it). Charge your Garmin.

    Race morning: locate your pacer (if you are running for a set time). Seed yourself in between your target pacers so you try to stay ahead of your slowest acceptable speed and behind your fastest (cats rearend goal) time.

    Take deep breaths to get lots of oxygen in the lungs and in the blood before setting off.

    Stay calm. You wanted this and no matter how you do it, you WILL cross that finish line.

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:18 pm


  • Lisa October 27, 2010, 2:15 pm

    I worry about injuries. Or getting sick. I seem to get sick right before races! UGh!

  • Heidi October 27, 2010, 2:38 pm

    Bathroom worries are always #1 for me, probably followed by getting sick. Lately I’ve been cutting down on high fibre foods in the days before a race. Not the common thought, but it does seem to help with the tummy troubles. Hydration is important too.

  • Susan October 27, 2010, 2:40 pm

    Although the prep blog post is great, I love with a fiery passion the chickpea 10K post. So hilarious, but also shows how important it is to listen to your body when it is not feeling well.

    • Caitlin October 27, 2010, 2:41 pm

      OH MAN those chickpeas SUCKED.

      • Susan October 27, 2010, 2:58 pm

        Buuuttt…you were the top female finisher! (I just love that part)

  • Meaghen October 27, 2010, 3:31 pm

    I haven’t made one of your grilled banana sandwiches in so long. I must rectify that soon!

    2,600 posts? That’s crazy! Good for you for blogging for so long!

  • Amber K October 27, 2010, 4:27 pm

    Not being able to *go* in the morning is the main reason I don’t do races! They start too early and my body needs at least 90 minutes from when I wake up to get moving!

  • Red October 27, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Only a couple of days left to you marathon day. You sounds very ready for your weekend race. You will rock it.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now October 27, 2010, 7:15 pm

    I can’t wait to see you own this marathon. You are going to great–I know it! 🙂

  • Lea @ Healthy Coconut October 27, 2010, 10:48 pm

    I finally made your Banana Grilled Sandwich, woohoo! It tasted really great and don’t know why I waited to long to make it. Love it!

  • megan October 28, 2010, 8:46 am

    My biggest fear leading up to a race is not sleeping, and the fear itself usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, ugh! I need to train myself to just RELAX! Before my half-marathon, I slept for a total of 2 hours. But, I finished in my goal time of under two hours and felt great. Any tips for dealing with pre-race insomnia would be appreciated!

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