There are two kinds of people in the world: people who look at a race course map in advance, scope out the parking situation, check the weather a few days out, and make a plan to arrive with plenty of time before the start… and monsters.

We were talking about this after our training run the other night (well, not the monsters part). One camp doesn’t want to know. Says knowing all this stuff ahead of time doesn’t change anything and just adds stress. Others feel that having a plan helps reduce race-morning decisions and makes it less stressful.

I wish I could live in the world of the former, but my brain isn’t wired that way. I am a planner. I started running hills on Thursdays back in early August to be ready for a hill on October 9. I check the weather in advance, which helps me decide on the right thing to wear for the temperature and distance. I either know where I’m going to park or have arranged for someone else to get me there. I tweak my race-day playlist and make sure it shows up on my phone. I charge my watch and headphones.

And this week, in an example of perhaps over-preparation, I changed my phone background to my Garmin map from last year’s Army Ten-Miler.


One friend called it “some form of self-torture,” but I consider it more like exposure therapy, or a motivational tactic. Either that or it will reduce the time I spend looking at my phone.

But the reality is that when I don’t plan ahead, things go awry. Tuesday I had a late meeting at work and got home with just enough time to change clothes and fill up my water bottle before I had to leave for training. I pulled into a parking space and looked at my wrist. NO GARMIN. My routine was off, and I’d forgotten something fairly important because I hadn’t planned ahead and put it in my backpack or set it next to my shoes. So clearly, my penchant for planning was at least somewhat borne out of necessity. Or bad memory. Or something.

So I’ll continue to overprepare, and y’all can continue to be monsters. I’ll run with you anyway. 😉


6 thoughts on “Preparation

  1. I’m a big planner too! But don’t show me a race map before I race!! I’m in the ‘Don’t wanna know’ camp on that one


    • Yeah, I kind of get that one. And if it’s an out-of-town race (other than the ATM, anyway) most of the time a map doesn’t do me any good because I have no idea where the hell I am. 😉

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