Before I continue, this week I'm linking up with the Tuesdays on the Run blog link up. The Tuesdays on the Run blog link up is with My No-Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs and Marcia's Healthy Slice. When you're done reading here, be sure to check them out!
Even though I'm treating this race like a training run, it still requires planning and packing like any other destination race. So not only is there the stress of the race itself (getting to the expo, race start, um...running), there's the whole traveling aspect to make it even more stressful. Thankfully, this race is within driving distance so we can just throw things together in the car. But traveling to a race that requires an airplane ride makes things even trickier.
I always start out by checking the weather for the race and then I make a list of everything I typically need for a long run, with the weather and race course (e.g., trails) in mind:
- race clothes (layers and/or jacket if it will be cold or rainy)
- shoes (Altras, of course)
- throw-away gloves and pre-race clothes if it will be cold or rainy
- dry clothes for the drop bag if it will be cold or rainy (otherwise, I don't usually do a drop bag)
- hydration pack
- nutrition (I've been using different stuff such as my own sweet potato, pretzel bites, Honey Stinger chews and Skratch fruit drops. I haven't yet decided what I'm doing for this race)
- stuff specific for a trail race if necessary (gaitors, buff, etc.)
- post-race items such as compression socks and flip flops
- massage tool (travel size The Stick or foam roller)
- empty plastic bags for nasty running clothes
I typically bring extra of the hydration and nutrition stuff just in case. If I'm driving to my destination, I'll bring bottled water with me to make up my Skratch when I get there. If I'm flying, I'll just pack the Skratch and deal with the water when I get there. But I get all that stuff together in my suitcase first so I know I have it. If I'm flying, I try to take as much of my race gear in my carry-on as possible because I'm anal and I want to make sure everything makes it with me to my race in case my suitcase doesn't. It makes for a heavy carry-on but a less stressed-out me.
After I have all my race gear together, I pack my regular clothes and shoes, toiletries and anything else I'll need for travel. Then I make sure I have any waivers or other materials for packet pick up and throw them into my carry-on with my boarding pass. I also pack plenty of snacks because, well, I like to eat.
And that's all. I try to keep it simple. I remind myself that I'm usually traveling to a city that will most likely have something if I forget it (trust me, I've traveled to a race before and forgot my shorts). If I make a big deal about things, I'll get obsessive and crazy. I'm obsessive and crazy enough already. In fact, I've been on this "did I lock the door and/or shut the garage" kick lately that will be the death of me. I can't tell you how many times I've left for work or whatever only to return 15 minutes later to make sure I've locked the doors and shut the garage door. I need an intervention.
Anyway, those are the main necessities I bring with me for a destination race. Did I forget anything? What do you have on your race-cation travel list?