Happy Hump Day! Today is the last installment of this series and I’m ending on a high note with one of my favorite blogger/runners – Christine of Love, Life, Surf.

MY PLACE

I love the mid-pack runner because she is every runner. The middle-of-the-packers are those who lead a balanced life. They train, but not insanely like those at the front, but are more seasoned then the back of the pack. The mid-packers are the heart of the race and I especially love this one.

I’ve met up with Christine several times and even roomed with her at Ragnar, and I can tell you that we work and play very well together. If you haven’t read Christine’s blog, you’re missing out. But, before you jump over there, check out what she has to say about racing and why 8 seconds pisses her off so much:

I'm the one you can barely see, huddled under the blanket with Melissa Burton, at the end of Ragnar. It was freezing and we were on a beach. In the rain.

I’m the one you can barely see, huddled under the blanket with Melissa Burton, at the end of Ragnar. It was freezing and we were on a beach. In the rain. Christine is the only one smiling. I think she’s laughing at me.

 

  1. Name and favorite race distance

Just looking back at my year last year, it looks like the half marathon is my favorite distance. It’s long enough to be challenging but it’s not a marathon.

 

Finished! Philly half-marathon.

Finished! Philly half-marathon.

  1. Pace for that distance/ PR if you want to share

Over the course of the year, I lowered my half marathon time by nine minutes – a two-minute PR at the San Francisco Half in July and a seven-minute PR at the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. My PR is 2:00:08 – so so close to breaking the two-hour mark, which is my goal! Damn 8 seconds.

 

  1. Do you have a pre-race ritual? Do you plan your outfit, meal, sleep, etc the night before or the morning of?

I don’t have a pre-race ritual (I don’t race enough to have one) but I do plan out my outfit, fuel, transportation and logistics beforehand. I do not like to be stressed or worried on race morning. I can’t imagine winging it on the day of the race!

My go-to breakfast is overnight oats. I know. I didn’t think that this would work for me since there’s a bit of dairy in it but amazingly, it does. It doesn’t upset my stomach and it gives me good, sustained energy. If it works, don’t fix it, right? Oh, and coffee of course. In terms of outfit, I tend to gravitate towards the clothes that I’ve worn on recent runs where I’ve felt good and strong.

Christine takes the most amazing pictures on Instagram, like this one of her running though one of the many snow days in NYC.

Christine takes the most amazing pictures on Instagram, like this one of her running though one of the many snow days in NYC.

 

  1. Where do you line up at the start? Front, back or somewhere in the middle?

I actually line up in my assigned corral. Am I the only one? Sometimes it feels like it as everyone tries to inch up closer to the start, no matter what their corral or pace. I generally prefer to start towards the side of the road since I don’t like feeling like I’m in a herd of cattle.

 

  1. What happens during the race? Is the vibe relaxed, tense, do people run the whole time or walk? Is there crowd interaction? Do you hear a lot of GPS watches beeping? Do people text or take pictures? Do you fuel?

I usually listen to music when I run so I don’t hear a lot of watches beeping or crowd noises. It helps me focus on running my race and not get distracted by everything that’s going on around me. Generally, people are running the whole time although some do stop to take pictures (please move to the side and don’t stop in the middle of the road!). I take some fuel around 4-5 minutes and again around 9-10. Depending on how I feel, I may take a little extra as I near the end of the race.

Running a race that your family is spectating adds another dimension to it all – a slightly stressful one! There’s nothing like seeing the disappointed faces of your little ones at the finish line because they missed seeing Mommy along the route.

During Broad Street Run in 2013, my family was out to cheer for me. We had our meeting points mapped out and I knew which side of the street they would be on…until I started receiving texts from my husband while running saying that plans had changed. I don’t know how I managed to continue to text him while running without falling on my face. I missed them at the first meeting point and managed to see them emerge from the metro (faces sulking) just as I was running by. Like a good Mom, I doubled back around to give them all a quick hug.

They look happy with their mama!

They look happy with their mama!

 

  1. What happens at the finish? Gasping for air? Hugging friends, family? Is it crowded? Do you head for the food tent? Take selfies?

I’m usually gasping for air when I cross the finish line and it takes a few moments to catch my breath. I don’t linger in the finish area because I’m usually focused on finding my family or meeting up with them. I grab my medal and space blanket, maybe take a photo and find food and water.

 

  1. What do you do when you get home? Ice bath? Massage? Foam roll? Wine? Cheeseburger? Sleep?

When I get home, I may foam roll right away depending on how I feel but I’m most concerned with getting into the shower and cleaning up. Sometimes I move through some of my favorite yoga poses for runners. Then it’s all about refueling and eating all the food.

 

Now that you know all about the amazing Christine, you should see her do yoga. Seriousuly. Check her out:

Facebook: Love, Life, Surf

Instagram: @cyu888

Twitter: @cyu888

Are you a mid-pack runner?

What is your go-to breakfast before a race or an important day?