Marathon Week: Racecation Planning and Packing

Yesterday evening, after all the excitement that was yesterday morning — Twitter parties and Facebook updates and Instagram posts — I came home to two empty suit cases.  Oh sweet Mary.  I have to pack.  To go run my marathon.


A, calm as a cucumber. sweet muffin has yet to plan for her first racecation.

I had, not 6 hours earlier, told some of my dearest most supportive friends that I was ready, excited and most importantly NOT NERVOUS about this race.  As I started making lists {6 comfy outfits, 6 out to eat outfits, 3 running outfits, 1 marathon outfit} I realized it’s really not the race I’m worried about — although it is worth noting I have a HUGE amount of respect for 26.2 miles and to pretend that I don’t have a stitch of anxiety is a lie and also dangerous and full of hubris.  It’s everything leading up to the race that I’m nervous about.  With good reason.  Racecations, while super fun and always totally worth it, add a layer of logistics that you just don’t have with your local races.  Here’s what I’m tracking and how I’m dealing.

  • Packing — MB and I will be gone for 6 days total.  While that’s not a month, it’s also not an insignificant amount of time.  Since we’ll be gone for so long, I have to make sure we account for all the different types of activities we could be up to and make sure we’re prepared sartorially.  This is trickier for MB since he’ll be much more active {working out and exploring} while I’ll be much more sedentary {legs up the wall, napping}.  Plus NorCal is pretty unpredictable weather-wise, especially in Big Sur, so we have to be prepped.  I’m tackling this by making two detailed lists of all the things we both like to have on hand {my fav yoga pants, his fav hoodie} and then match them up to the days we are there and the activities we’ll be doing.   It’s an imperfect process but it hasn’t let us down yet.  I’ll probably regale you with my full list of must haves for my racecations later this week since I’m going on two in less than 14 days.
  • Getting to and from the airport — since we moved to the hellacious suburban wasteland that is Maryland, we are no longer a $20 cab ride away from DCA.  We’re flying SUPER early in the morning, so I’ve already planned out our driving route and parking plan {long term + bus to terminal = less money but more time!}.  Driving ourselves will be super worth it when we get back SO LATE on Tuesday and just want to get home.  Our hotel in CA, which is super close to the airport, has complimentary drop off and pick up, which I knew from doing my research ahead of time!
  • Race Day logistics — you may remember that I, like a crazy person, have already mapped out logistics for the day and for much of the weekend, but there are still some gaps to fill in once we get to CA.  Exactly HOW early do I need to wake up, can I get almond milk for my cereal, what exactly am I going to do with my sweats, did MB download the app to track me, etc.
  • Having fun — this sounds ridiculous, but sometimes, I get so antsy about travel, packing and the race I can lose sight, momentarily about what I’m actually there to do — the one thing that I truly love, in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I’ve had those moments of self-doubt that every runner — especially every marathoner — has had but in the end I will do my best and have fun.  And you know all that downtime with MB in Cali probably won’t be too too awful.

What’s your strategy for calming your pre-racecation logistical jitters?

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