Getting ready to run your first race or your 10th, these reminders are to keep you focused and on track . . .
RACE DAY TIPS:
You do want to carb up the night before. I would go with something like spaghetti with meat sauce or something similar you like. (but nothing fatty or cream based.) Race morning be sure to eat but a few hours before you race to make sure your food is digested. I usually go with oatmeal and half an apple. If my race starts at 7, I'll be eating it by 4:30.
Pre-workout drinks. Don't try ANY of the ones they give you in your goodie bags and don't drink anything you have not already tried before a run. It might make you sick and that is the last thing you want on race morning.
Layers in case the temperature is hotter or colder than you are used to. Wear what you are used to wearing. Don't wear anything new.
Plan ahead. Arrive early, don't stress by showing up late on race day.
Stay out of your head. You have trained, you are physically ready. Just go do it.
Keep YOUR pace. The beginning your adrenaline will be pumping but fight the urge to go faster than you are used to because about mile 10 (of a half), that fast off the start will hit you hard. And try not to pace with someone faster than you, you will just tire yourself out.
Do what you have been doing as far as fuel and water. For example, a lot of races offer gatorade during the race. If you don't normally drink it, don't start on race day. I did once and my stomach was killing me after for several miles of running. No fun.
Make a plan with the family as to where to meet up after. The last thing you want is to have to walk around forever trying to find them after just running 13 miles. Have them bring an extra jacket for you too, just in case its cold after. Your clothes will be sweaty and you don't want to be freezing walking back to the car.
And PLEASE . . . HAVE FUN!! You may never do it again so look around, take in every single view. Look at the other people and their funny outfits and weird strides. Look at the people you pass that are dying alongside the road, be thankful it's not you. Watch the people speeding past you, look at their gate and how they carry themselves. And cheer on the ones you see really struggling but still moving. Its an amazing feeling to hear some stranger tell you to keep going or good job!