You are here

Every Runner's Internal Monologue Before Race Day

Let's eat enough pasta to make Mario Batali weep tears of joy.
And yes, I will have an extra dinner roll. Better make it two. Actually, do you have a loaf of French bread back there? No need to cut it. I'll swallow it like a python. Oh, tiramisu? I'm all about those simple sugars. Let's do it.


I wanna stretch until I feel like Gumby.
Now that my stomach is appropriately distended from eating for three (for one), it's time to relax those muscles. Related: Two hours of foam rolling isn't excessive, right? Roll, roll, roll your bum, gently down the rug. Ahhhh. How deep is deep tissue? Am I hitting bone?

Where did these beast feet come from?
Time to cut my toenails. I forgot before my last race and my talons made the entire 5K miserable. Hey, when did my calluses become hard as stone slabs? Should I paint my toes? LOL. What's the point?


Race day superstitions aren't crippling at all.
Where are my lucky green socks? Here's one...where's the other? FOR THE LOVE OF MEB, WHERE IS THE OTHER—oh. There it is. Whew. Is it weird that the most expensive article of clothing I own is a mesh Panache sports bra? Don't answer that.

Should I let it all hang out?
Race shirt? Check. Bib? Check. Underwear? Check. When men ditch underwear it's called free-balling. Is there a term for women who do the same?

Now for a strenuous seminar of mental math
If I need to be at the race by 7:45 a.m., I should take the 7:15 a.m. train, but given the weekend service — and my own tendency to consistently run eight minutes behind schedule — then the 7 a.m. is a safer bet. But I'd like to have a little nosh in the morning, and prepping my 1/4 cup of oatmeal takes two minutes and 20 seconds, so by these calculations...multiply by 7, carry the 2...I should wake up at 5:45 a.m. Which means I should go to bed by 10 p.m. at the absolute latest. Perfect plan. So reasonable. Recipe for an instant PR. I wonder if the U.S. Olympic runners need a new teammate?

*Checks clock*

Oh. It's already 1 a.m.

Even my dreams are consumed by running.


Only 3 a.m. More rest! I dreamt I ran a sub-6 mile. Yup. Definitely a dream. Do I need to pee? Should I pee? I gotta pee. But I'm too tired to pee. I'm going to pay for this tomorrow.



Forgot to charge my Bluetooth headphones. Again.
Which is fine because I also forgot to make a new race playlist. As much as I love that camouflaged chameleon Sia, I think 274 plays of "Unstoppable" is my absolute limit.

Now for the all-important bathroom plea...
Dear Running Gods, I hope everyone out there today has a safe and enjoyable race, and the only favor I ask of you on this fine day is that I poop before I leave the house. Amen.


Is my bib crooked?
Yes, it's always crooked.

Is the train late?
Yes, the train is always late.


Won't you be my new best friend?
There's my corral. These folks look fast. Nice calves. How long can I pace off someone before it gets weird? I always feel like I'm chasing them. Whatever. I'm gonna make like Radiohead and embrace the creep.

Will I ever learn how to properly run and drink water?
The question that resounds through millennia: How does one sip and run without getting it up one's nose? Pinch the cup? Rotate? Tilt and dip the head? The physics behind this are exhausting.


Where's my cheer squad?
My friends said they'll be at mile 3 and 12. Or was it mile 2 and 13? And did they say the lamppost on the right or left side of the intersection? Oh dear. Maybe I should have written this down.

Am I ready?
Here we go. Yay, national anthem. Wow. It's so early. How did I get here?




I've gotta pee. Too late.